I live alone. Spending Xmas with my family is definitely a plus, and I don't actively avoid
it, but I also try to be flexible balancing family and work. You see, at my job I have low seniority. That means if 1/3 of my coworkers decide to book off for Xmas eve/day I am probably stuck working those days. Thats just how it works. Being at this job for two years, I've accepted that there are situations where you cannot be 100% guaranteed to have X day off. So if I have it off, I'll visit my family. If I don't have it off, I'll visit them another day and exchange gifts then. Its no big deal.
But it is to the woman I'm dating. See, a couple of months ago, something really nice happened- she invited me to her sister's for Christmas eve. Coming from a really conservative family, and being a really private individual, I took this as a positive sign things were going well between us. She said their family celebrates Christmas eve late, like till midnight. I told her very clearly I'd love to go, however due to my job schedule I wouldn't know exactly when I'd get done that day. But since they'd be celebrating it so late, I would go straight to her sister's house after work. In addition, my mom invited her to spend Christmas day with us. Best of both worlds! My mom has this nice tradition of giving Stockings full of little goodies to all her (grown-up) kids/stepkids/kids' girlfriends, and she'd make one for the woman i'm dating. At the time I was pretty certain I'd have Christmas day off.
Things changed at work. I found out I WOULD have to work on Christmas Day, but not until the early afternoon. I'd still have time to spend with my mom, it would just have to be somewhat brief. When I explained the situation to my SO, she got very upset. She told me that she assumed we'd be spending all day with my mom, and that she canceled on some relatives for that day. Apparently with her, once you cancel on someone, there's no going back
. So rather than go back and tell her aunts/uncles 'oh actually it turns out I CAN make it' with still over a week's notice (at the time) she complained to me that I changed things on her it messed up her Christmas
Nevermind the fact that my JOB was the one that changed things on me, and that considering how little I might potentially see my own family, I was flexible and fine with everything, her reaction really stressed me out. I feel like its gone from having a nice Christmas with as many relatives/friends as possible to a stressfest consisting of appeasing grumpy individuals about how long I'll be/where I'll be going.