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Old 30.12.2014, 20:46
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Family and friends, why invite them...???

Surrounded by people who complain about Christmas and having family and friends over- and then complain bitterly about them and their visit, the hard work, their tastes, their presents, etc, etc, etc.

If you don't want friends, family, neighbours- whomever- and complain about them year after year- just don't invite them- simples, no

Due to distance I have to have family staying here for 1 week to 10 days- and yes, it is hard work. Yes, we don't always agree about everything- their way of doing things is not necessarily mine- they eat things which are not my favourite, it's noisy and bedlam- but I am so happy they made the effort to come all this way, to contribute in their own way- and to share the love- and I wouldn't dream of complaining.


Reverse bah humbug - don't bother if you don't enjoy it.
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Old 30.12.2014, 20:49
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Re: Family and friends, why invite them...???

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Surrounded by people who complain about Christmas and having family and friends over- and then complain bitterly about them and their visit, the hard work, their tastes, their presents, etc, etc, etc.

If you don't want friends, family, neighbours- whomever- and complain about them year after year- just don't invite them- simples, no

Due to distance I have to have family staying here for 1 week to 10 days- and yes, it is hard work. Yes, we don't always agree about everything- their way of doing things is not necessarily mine- they eat things which are not my favourite, it's noisy and bedlam- but I am so happy they made the effort to come all this way, to contribute in their own way- and to share the love- and I wouldn't dream of complaining.


Reverse bah humbug - don't bother if you don't enjoy it.
Lucky you, at least you have friends.
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Old 30.12.2014, 22:50
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Re: Family and friends, why invite them...???

Good job the customs' were to wo/manned btw- as they brought 5.5kg turkey, roast pork joint 4kg and a gammon 4.5kg. Ooooops.
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Old 30.12.2014, 22:54
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Re: Family and friends, why invite them...???

I would gladly not bother but the person I would not bother with would be even more evil then she currently is if I did not invite her. Plus the children don't see what she is like and would find it strange. I now realise what my own mother meant when she said she didn't do christmas for her, but for others.

Its simply not as easy as saying don't invite them again. The world is bigger than me and how I feel about things.
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Old 30.12.2014, 23:05
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Re: Family and friends, why invite them...???

Ouch- I feel for you there. With very close relatives- like, I imagine, mils and fils- this is a bit different. Not the case with the people I have in mind, both where I live and on another I am a member of in another country- and who constantly complain about the invasion of friends and relatives- when they could just say a gentle but firm 'no, not this time' or state the 'conditions' more clearly (here it is- everyone mucks in- I am not slaving on my own in the kitchen- which everyone totally approves of- great). I relinquish my kitchen to my sil who loves cooking, is very fussy about how things are done, and who is much better than me- and I become washer-upper, tidier with the others. It took a bit of getting used to at the beginning, but I am now very good at taking a back seat- more time with the grand-children).

My parents used to come to us in the UK for 10 days every Christmas, and my (difficult and head strong) mil too for a few days. The first year I cooked a turkey, both mum and mil were telling me how to do it (totally differently of course). Gently but firmly kicked them out of the kitchen and told them to look after the kids- and that Mary (Berry) would help me- much easier after that. Much better to be gentle but firm, than to simmer for hours and days and pop a fuse later. Get OH to sit down with you and work out tactics for next time, and enrol his help- WITHOUT making him pig in the middle- which will really aggravate things.
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Old 30.12.2014, 23:17
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Re: Family and friends, why invite them...???

We had our visitors before Christmas, meaning that we got to spend Christmas Day alone with the spogs.

It was lovely and (almost) quiet.
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Old 30.12.2014, 23:37
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Re: Family and friends, why invite them...???

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We had our visitors before Christmas, meaning that we got to spend Christmas Day alone with the spogs.

It was lovely and (almost) quiet.
What is a Spog?
UrbanDictionary: SPOG. spider crossed with a dog. agility of a spider, loyalty of a dog?
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Old 30.12.2014, 23:38
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Re: Family and friends, why invite them...???

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What is a Spog?
UrbanDictionary: SPOG. spider crossed with a dog. agility of a spider, loyalty of a dog?
In our house, the spogs are manufacturers of yoghurt, disturbers of sleep, fillers of nappies.
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Old 30.12.2014, 23:51
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Re: Family and friends, why invite them...???

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We had our visitors before Christmas, meaning that we got to spend Christmas Day alone with the spogs.

It was lovely and (almost) quiet.
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What is a Spog?
UrbanDictionary: SPOG. spider crossed with a dog. agility of a spider, loyalty of a dog?
Might I humbly suggest that DB really meant to say sprog?
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Old 31.12.2014, 08:17
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Re: Family and friends, why invite them...???

It's not that simple for many people. And if they feel like complaining, why not? It's good to get it off your chest.

I don't like big noisy gatherings myself, so I limit them. I also associate Christmas with death and disease. We've had a disproportionate amount of it during the season over the years. Not so easily controlled - not trolling for pity, just stating reality.

Families can have complex dynamics and rational solutions don't always exist. Getting through the holidays without using knives in an inappropriate manner is sometimes the best you can do.

But if you like the holiday, great. If you don't, no problem. Almost over. Been there, done that.
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Old 31.12.2014, 08:42
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Re: Family and friends, why invite them...???

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What is a Spog?
UrbanDictionary: SPOG. spider crossed with a dog. agility of a spider, loyalty of a dog?
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Old 31.12.2014, 09:21
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Re: Family and friends, why invite them...???

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In our house, the spogs are manufacturers of yoghurt, disturbers of sleep, fillers of nappies.
You have your own sprogs now? If so, a hearty congrats!
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Old 31.12.2014, 09:39
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Re: Family and friends, why invite them...???

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Getting through the holidays without using knives in an inappropriate manner is sometimes the best you can do.
I really had to take a couple of deep breaths when a family member was in the kitchen last week criticising every single move I was making while I was cooking. Really? And then when I was like "um, could you remove yourself from the kitchen before I lose my mind?" The reaction was, "I can't tell my opinion?".

Sure, in the other room, where I can't hear it and where nobody but you cares.
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Old 31.12.2014, 10:08
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Re: Family and friends, why invite them...???

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What is a Spog?
UrbanDictionary: SPOG. spider crossed with a dog. agility of a spider, loyalty of a dog?
Psst.. Look up Sprog...
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Old 31.12.2014, 10:23
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Re: Family and friends, why invite them...???

We had our offspring issue invitations - an extra 12 yo from UK and 15 yo from Sweden have joined us for New Years and some winter fun. No extra adults - less stress
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Old 31.12.2014, 11:02
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Re: Family and friends, why invite them...???

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I am so happy they made the effort to come all this way, to contribute in their own way- and to share the love- and I wouldn't dream of complaining.
If there is one thing marrying into an English family has taught me, it's that these two are not mutually exclusive.

I am glad his parents come to visit, but they still drive me nuts. And I still probably drive them nuts. (But they still visit, so apparently not too nuts.)

I felt this year's holidays were ideal - a pre-Christmas visit with turkey dinner (I called it late Thanksgiving, they called it early Christmas) followed by Christmas and New Year on our own while they went to celebrate with extended family in the UK. If it were up to me I'd quite like that to become our standard arrangement, but I don't see how I can make it happen without being ungracious, especially now that there are grandkids in the mix.

It's like ECB said. Part of being a grown-up is realizing that Christmas doesn't revolve around what you want any more.
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Old 31.12.2014, 11:15
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Re: Family and friends, why invite them...???

Not Christmas related...

When I have my in-laws coming, it's a pain in the butt. They are nice people but they are old and they have their own routine which means, she doesn't eat any food she doesn't cook at home, she won't try anything different which isn't from her own culture. I have to cook things her way, won't touch what I do that is different.

They high jack the tv and we are stuck watching brain killing Turkish shows. I spend the whole time living according of their habits. It's a pain and I hate it. I do it for my husband and the kids so they can spend time with them.

On the other hand, I have my mother bitching and complaining that she doesn't see her grandchildren. When I propose her that we could come to visit, she says that we will need to find a place to stay. Her house is apparently too small to receive even with the guest room and the office. They have their habits and don't want to have them disturbed. Well F**k that, I am not spending 4000 chf in plane tickets for them to see their grandchildren plus having to stay in a hotel. My husband find it very insulting and he is right.

They can't come visit because they don't have the money while buying a new desktop computer, a laptop and two iPads. Sometimes, you wonder how come you share the same blood...

Rant over
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Old 31.12.2014, 11:22
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Re: Family and friends, why invite them...???

Over the years, I have found that being straightforward early on pays off in the long-term. Smiling and nodding and choking down all the irritations keeps the peace at the time, but then it builds up and builds up until having certain people over becomes The Big Issue of the holidays and ruins everything else.

Sure, the first time I smiled sweetly at my mother-in-law and said "I'm a grown woman with children of my own, I really don't need you to tell me to be careful when using knives. Now please go back go the living room, get a drink, and RELAX" she was a bit miffed for a while. But that was nearly 20 years ago, and she's never bugged me in my kitchen again. She still treats us like children now and again, but I point it out to her when she's doing it. Just because their family dynamic is all passive aggressive, doesn't mean I have to play along.

My own parents, of course, just get told to back off when they're being annoying
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Old 31.12.2014, 11:37
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Re: Family and friends, why invite them...???

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I felt this year's holidays were ideal - a pre-Christmas visit with turkey dinner (I called it late Thanksgiving, they called it early Christmas) followed by Christmas and New Year on our own while they went to celebrate with extended family in the UK. I'd quite like that to become our standard arrangement, but I don't see how I can make it happen without being ungracious, especially now that there are grandkids in the mix.
St Nicholas Day!

After one too many marathon Christmases - trying to fulfill our obligations to both families, 500 miles apart (and us 5000 miles away), all on the same day - we decided to bring the St Nicholas Day tradition to the US.

The extended family gathered for St Nicholas Day rather than Christmas day. This had the advantage of generally less expensive airfares, the focus was placed on Advent and family (and not so much on gift-giving) and since it was a new celebration there was less 'territoriality' over who hosted the family shindig. As a new celebration we could more easily blend in the in-laws from all the siblings, making one big (huge!) gathering of the clan.

Made for a nice kick-off to the season.

My sisters especially appreciated this when their children were small, as gathering the clan on St Nicholas' day allowed them to build their own family traditions on Christmas Day.

It also meant that OH and I had could spend a nice quiet Swiss Christmas here.

---

Now that three out of four parents are gone, all the young people are either at university or starting out on their own (and starting to scatter around the globe themselves...) we went back to the Christmas Day celebration this year, but in a much quieter way. Still a lovely time.

---

Families: They drive you nuts, they love you as no one else can. And you them. It's all part and parcel of the human condition. Thank goodness.
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Old 31.12.2014, 11:51
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Re: Family and friends, why invite them...???

Houseguests are a bit like fish, they tend to go off after about 3 days......
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