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Thread: Feeling sorry for DD during the holidays

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    Feeling sorry for DD during the holidays

    I spent a lifetime conceding to the wishes of in-laws at every holiday. To this day, I regret it. I wanted to have our own little family traditions but their expectations and traditions always ruled. Now DD has married into the same family dynamic and is expected to concede to her husband's family wishes even if it means driving three hours in horrid weather to be with them at every holiday. I want to tell her - make your own lives - but I know how difficult that is when the in-laws don't even consider that an option. It just plain sucks...that this is happening again to her. I guess it's good we're so far away so she only has to deal with his side of the family.

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    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    Perhaps, her DH will want to create individual family memories at some point. I promised my kids the gift of the freedom to choose whatever they wish to do for holidays except for our October Thanksgiving. I really value them being with me when the weather is great for driving, the harvests are in full production and lots of activities to enjoy locally. There is so much for which to be grateful.
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    I think one holiday is perfectly reasonable but all of them with in-laws - NO. My experience was that if it goes on too long, you can't really break away and do your own thing.

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    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinkytoe View Post
    I think one holiday is perfectly reasonable but all of them with in-laws - NO.
    Ditto. Everyone who's married into DW's family is informed that Christmas Eve belongs to that family. That's their tradition and they're sticking to it. Not like they take attendance or anything. But there's no discussion about moving the family celebration to Christmas Day, etc. and there is an implied expectation that everyone be there, weather and health permitting. My family really doesn't celebrate Christmas so I'm fine with the arrangement.

    On the other hand, the family is not hidebound about celebrating Thanksgiving or Easter or other holidays; those who can make it can choose to join in -- or not. No judgment.
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    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinkytoe View Post
    I spent a lifetime conceding to the wishes of in-laws at every holiday. To this day, I regret it. I wanted to have our own little family traditions but their expectations and traditions always ruled. Now DD has married into the same family dynamic and is expected to concede to her husband's family wishes even if it means driving three hours in horrid weather to be with them at every holiday. I want to tell her - make your own lives - but I know how difficult that is when the in-laws don't even consider that an option. It just plain sucks...that this is happening again to her. I guess it's good we're so far away so she only has to deal with his side of the family.
    I truly relate, pinkytoe. Same thing happened to me--my MIL was a domineering woman, and every holiday and every vacation was spent with her. I loved her, but looking back, I see exactly what you described--my constant concessions to the in-laws at the expense of time with my mother and brothers. It's one of my life regrets, actually. My mother was very non-complaining and accepting of everything, so she never expressed any disappointment that she wasn't getting equal treatment, but I wish I had had the wisdom and courage to push back and realize that I was being "too nice" to the people it was harder to argue with.

    I think you're right--you have to let it go.

    Interestingly, after growing up with 3 brothers in an alcoholic home, we all wound up in the same situation. My oldest brother moved out to MN and never looked back and he actually even has that great accent now.. My middle brother married into a very strong family and absorbed into them. My youngest brother never married. It's probably an ACOA thing, somehow, in my case.
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    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Neither my parents or my in-laws were insistent that THE Holiday would be spent with them. Certainly DH’s side of the family was stronger in the celebratory mode and there was, every year, the same ritual. But you weren’t looked down on for not attending. My MIL was understanding of different family obligations. DH’s side had lots of children and my side was barren, so the Xmas thing was a bigger deal for them.

    I dislike the question “ what are you doing for the holidays? “ I know it’s weird. But every year that question takes me by surprise because it makes me think “wait, what? I have to have a PLAN?”

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    Yes! I hate that question too. I even hate when on Monday mornings people at work say “what did you do this weekend?” I lived my life and I don’t really want to repeat it to people because it’s just a pissing contest for who had the most actively and socially amazing weekend. But I’ve learned to have a short simple friendly answer to those types of questions because it makes social interactions go smoother. I say things like “I slept 10 hours a night!“ And then they go off talking about how they get by on less sleep and they can all argue about how little sleep they can get by on ... again a pissing contest for the least sleep ... and I have successfully exited the conversation. 😄

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    Senior Member Teacher Terry's Avatar
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    Thankfully both sad sides of my family were flexible and so are we.

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    Pinky: what happens if you ask your daughter if you can come to her home to celebrate the holiday?

    I'm sorry for her. Establishing rules is needed right up front! My Mom asked if we could alternate years for Thanksgiving/Christmas, 1 yr with my family, next year with In-laws. My sister and I do that to this day and both our parents are gone. It was a great tradition to start. The only thing that changes this routine is exhaustion or horrid roads-and we will drive through snowstorms-but not ice.

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    Senior Member Teacher Terry's Avatar
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    My parents were big believers that little kids should be home for Xmas so if anybody was traveling it was them.

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