What's going on as we gear up for the holidays?

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-19-2008
What's going on as we gear up for the holidays?
Fri, 10-12-2012 - 12:13pm

Hi All,


I noticed that we all seem to be either not venting much or having more peaceful days with our inlaws.  Mine, of course, are peaceful because they are non - existent.  Since July nothing has been said since the letter asking them to stay away from son and I.  DH hasn't wanted to call them and to be honest, I've not even brought the topic up but maybe once.

I know that the holidays seem to be the worst time for inlaw issues - how to spend time with them without losing our minds.  This year will be very interesting because I'm wondering if it will be quiet on the homefront or if drama will insue. 

Have you guys made plans for the holidays?  Have you vowed to do things differently this year?   If so, can you share with us what you decided and how it is working out?


I know that what usually happens is the DH's (duh) say one thing and then cave at the last moment.  Any examples of this happening and how you overcame it so that others can be prepared?


Happy Friday.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-07-2008

Well as for us and you all know the situation, we have not had interraction with them since Easter and I must say that these have been the best months of my marriage of 4 years!!!.   Now for my DH on the other hand - this may have been some of the worst months :-(.  Unfortunately I have no interest or plans on visiting any of them for the holidays.  Frankly I am tired of having bad holidays because of how they treat me.  It is no fun to be around people that go out of their way to try and make my visit an unplesant one.  Holidays are supposed to be about family and fun.  But that doesn't exist with me when it comes to my inlaws.

It does get tricky when my DH makes last minute changes (I guess he is not the only one I see) and expects me to go along with whatever MIL has planned.  Wonder if she will still plan XMas eve for our son again without asking us what time/day works for us.....don't know, but I am sure that the arguing will start very soon...maybe November. :womanfrustrated:

So I would like for some heavy prayers to go up cause I have a feeling I am really gonna need them!  Good luck to all of you in your future holiday endeavors and I hope for those that are having issues at the moment, that all can at least be put aside for the holidays so we can all have a happy one!

Good Luck ladies....and men!

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-11-2005
Because I work for the Feds, I have to work the holidays {am trying to work out a deal with the big boss to let me have 3 days off for new yr, as we want to go on ski trip} and because I'm working Thanksgiving/Christmas days, I think DH is planning to go to BIL's for the holiday. Hopefully my sister & I will go to dinner at my oldest dd's, and I'm not going to do the cooking LOL
~~Sam stitches well with others, runs with scissors in her pocket. Cheerful and stupid.
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-19-2008


I am so glad to hear your post and I'm not happy for you about all the stress during the holidays, but this issue of guilt is so on my mind.  I had to laugh about going to the counselor starting in October - I can see all the counselor's just raking in the dough around this time - thanks to "family."  Isn't it funny how people make us feel guilty no matter how hard we try and no matter what we do.


I had an incident with DH this weekend - we've been doing so well together and all was great.  But....and there is always a but.  I had encouraged him about 2 or more months ago to go on a hunting trip (same one he went on last year).  This trip goes from Saturday to the Sunday more than a week later - but that's okay.  Honestly, it's a good vacation for all of us - LOL.

But, DH hates it when I'm "controlling"  or "managing" as I like to call it - so even though he's known for 3 months the day he would be leaving for this trip...guess what happens on the day before?  He has to get an oil change, his hair cut, go to the sporting goods store, clean out his car, get stuff for the dogs, pack, pick up something that he's taking with him and....on top of that, he gets a new cell phone so guess what he spends all morning doing?  Yep, setting up and playing with his new cell phone.  Then - that evening after I've cooked and cleaned up the kitchen and in my PJ's and having some wine - he says ...."I may need you to run to the drug store to get me some things."  Now mind you, I picked up the cash he'd need, had the laundry all done for him, got the shots the dogs needed, and I picked up food and had already made some stuff for him to take.

Well, you bet I was ticked off.  I couldn't believe that he'd even have the guts to ask this considering that when we have a family trip I have to plan for weeks getting clothes washed, and packed and schedules for dogs and food for animals and just all the stuff that goes into it and never would he have to do anything on a family trip like this or even for a trip that I would take - if I'd ever take a week trip by myself.  Sorry - hasn't happened yet in 24 years.  But, I digress.


At first, I said no and was really ticked off and then due to guilt I said just give me the darn list and I'll go (maybe not in such a sweet way).  I didn't end up going (he did) and I decided right then and there that I wasn't going to feel guilty about his own lack of planning and scheduling.  And, I didn't. 


Not feeling guilty is in our control - we just have to look at it reasonably.  Your mom knows exactly how to push your buttons but the question is - how do you respond.  What you should have done is said - mom I'm so sorry that you feel that way - what plans do you have this holiday to enjoy it the way you want?  Then, let her expand on her comment.  I think that passive aggressive people and manipulators like to shock and awe people.  They leave you speechless and then hurt and angry.  But, if you immediately address the issue, then it may prevent alot of this. 


Since you left in a shocked state...why not call her up now and say - hey mom, I've given some thought to your comment about being alone for the holidays and hate that you feel that way.  What plans are you considering so you won't be alone? 


Of course she'll go into what you can do and you need to stop her immediatley and say how you really feel.  Tell her that you want to be in your own home for the holidays - explain to her why.  You have the right to enjoy your family in a positive way and the way you feel you should.  Celebrating with family - in my opinion, doesn't have to be on "the day".  I really never understood this.  I would point out to your mom that memories can be made on visits like last weekend just like they can on a holiday.  Then, turn it back to her and ask her if she enjoyed the time you spent together last weekend.


Anyway, maybe someone else has some suggestions on this issue of guilt. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-19-2008

I think that people who always make "last minute plans" are inconsiderate.  Especially, when it is around the holidays.  This is just me so I apologize if I offend - but I think that it is just being lazy.  What I mean is this:  time and time again I would include SIL in a gathering - or plan a month or two months out for the holidays so that everyone knows what everyone wants and can plan etc.  In my SIL's and MIL's case part of me or most of me thinks they are just SELF CENTERED.  They use the excuse, like "oh you are so good at planning - we always forget or stuff like that" but the truth is, they really don't and no one is really has a gift for planning - they just make it a priority to them.  My Inlaws (I feel) think the world revolve around them and that everyone will just drop what they are doing and cater to them.  I've seen it so often and I also think in the case of my SIL/BIL - people that they get along with so well - are the type that will just do things like this.  It's like the high school clicks with the popular people who snap their fingers and beckon others to do things with them/for them. 

The consideration part is that more than one family or person is involved and in my opinion you have to take the time to be considerate and think that the other members of your family might need to plan as well. 

The fact that your inlaws just always decide at the last minute isn't nice and I would definitely consider holding your ground on this issue.  To me, you might circumvent the whole issue by emailing them in advance (so you have a written doc.) what your plans are and where they could fit into them if they choose.  Then ask them to reply as soon as possible so you can plan accordingly.  If they don't reply - then keep asking them for the next couple of days and then after that - write off their involvement in your events.  Don't allow them to just decide last second that they will come - tell them sorry, you've made other plans or already scheduled around them not being there.


Well, that's my opinion but I'm getting mean in my old age LOL.



iVillage Member
Registered: 05-19-2008

Hi Missie,


I'm sending prayers your way :smileyhappy:.  You know my feelings on your situation - I'm 100% in your corner and think you are doing the right thing.  There's no way in he$$$%$%@# that my MIL would be planning anything for my family without my permission but, my MIL wouldn't take the time or make the effort anyway.

I'm always confused by people who "think" they are trying to be nice or that is how they come across verses the people who really are being nice.  In your MIL's case - the nice person would welcome the opportunity to do something for a family member /grandson but make it clear to the mother of the child that it is an offering not a statement.  And the mean person - well, they just do what they want and even without respecting a child's own mother.


Do you think we could all get a discount on counseling?  Maybe an Ivillage Inlaw Counseling discount around the holidays - LOL?

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-23-2007
Oh goodness Sophia. Your post makes my heart hurt. I do like the phrase "Christmas behind the windshield", not the act itself and what it endures but just the phrase is funny. I might steal it from you!

I'm not one of those that thinks you have to spend THE day together...be grateful for what you are given and the time you are allowed to spend together, whether it's celebrating the week or month before or the summer visit. It's like your value has doubled in price ON the holiday because everyone suddenly needs to see you...I've never understood that.

It took a few years for me to understand this but people can only make you feel as guilty as you want to feel. And her happiness is not your responsibility. When she makes those types of comments, put it right back on her: "I'm sorry you feel that way." Smile and let it go.

It seems as though you go out of your way to make her happy and no matter what you do, it's never enough and I find that sad. If it were me, at this point, stop going out of your way. All it does if fill you with resentment. Do what you can and don't stress yourself over what you can or can't do.

You absolutely have the right to set boundaries but sometimes it can be hard. If she won't help herself, there is no way for you to. I have not read this book but I have heard many wonderful things about it; Boundaries by Henry Cloud. Based on reading Toxic In Laws, I would think Toxic Parents would be a great read as well. These two books are straightforward and to the point. It's heavy material but yet a light read.
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-07-2008

LOL Summergirl,

I wish they had discount counseling for the holidays...I would soooo use them!  LOL.  My MIL is a trip and ever since she/they got mad at me 4 years ago, it seems like trying to inconvienence me is her #1 goal.  But after all of this time, I have learned to ignore them.  They try really hard to get to me..even post comments on my FB posts that I tag my DH in.  I haven't responded to any of it, I just simply delete all negative comments and then politely block whomever is posting. HAHAHA.  That will make it harder for them to get to me and it may even make them mad..don't know, but as long as I am not involved in their mess, that is the way I like it.

It is amazing how they have tried with their passive/aggressiveness all of these years and by the grace of God my husband is starting to see how they are.  Poor thing just has a hard time dealing with them....not my problem either.  It is a shame because we could really have great times with them if they weren't so jealous and envyous of everyone (it's not just me).  They are like what you said in the fact like high school clicks wanting everyone to do what they say to fit in.  Sad thing is...they are in their own little world and don't even know it.  I kind of feel sorry for them because they really are missing out on all that my family has to offer them. 

It is sad to see people that want to control things so bad that they loose everything trying to accomplish it.  Then want to blame everyone else for their own actions.

Yes I will be enjoying the holidays this year.  I refuse to let them ruin one more event, holiday, birthday party or whatever they have tried to ruin before.  The last time was the last time!  Thanks for your prayers cause Lord knows I need and will be needing them some more as we closely approach the holidays.  I wish you and your family situation well too and I am glad that you have taken the stance you have......prompted me to do the same.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-07-2012
We're just waiting for the guilt trips to start, its slowly beginning, expecting it to build to a head over next few weeks. We've just had a few small comments so far. We won't be travelling to theirs as this will be the first year we will have Xmas in our own house for our baby's first Xmas. Mil was invited but refused saying it was up to us to go there, she wants all her family with her. No compromise. Tough, we made the offer. The first guilt trip was mentioned two days ago when she flung in that her mil would be there for Xmas with everyone else for a family Xmas as she's getting on and it could be her last. The implication being that we would miss this last family event. Holding tight for next few weeks of more emotional blackmail.