Mom, let it rest already : Christmas and the relatives

Thanks, Ma. Thanks for deciding that Christmas is just a fucking waste of time unless you can get the whole damn family together.

LAST year you offended at least two people by constantly changing where Christmas dinner would be held. This year Mr. Athena and I announced early on that we would be having Christmas dinner at our house; if people wanted to join us, most were welcome (more on this later.) We were NOT going to be drawn into the whole Christmas Dinner calculus trying to decide which house would be most appealing to most people thus ensuring that my mother could be surrounded by as many damn people as she possibly could on Christmas day.

Mom, you KNOW that I don’t get along with the Evil Sister-in-Law. You also know that Mr. Athena and I spent a good nine months trying to mend a perceived problem that Sister-in-Law had with us. When we really thought we were making progress, she turned around again and kicked us in the head. Sorry, Mom, but ball is firmly in Evil Sister-in-Law’s court to start the communication lines going again, and even then I’m not sure it would work. She’s proven herself to be a two-faced bitch, and my opinion of her is not going to change easily.

So don’t whine to me when I tell you that Evil Sister-in-Law is not invited to my house for Christmas dinner. I never told you that YOU had to come to my house, and I would not be offended if you decided to go elsewhere. But I will not invite her to my house. And furthermore, when Evil Sister-in-Law opens communication for the first time in a year and a half via a group email where she invites everyone over for dessert on Christmas day, I’m not going to decide that suddenly everything is OK and show up on her doorstep. If YOU want to go, fine. In fact, I encourage it! Go have fun! But I’m not going to simply forget the lies she’s spread about me and my husband just because she’s offering us a scoop of ice cream.

So I’m sorry, Mom, that you’re going into hysterics and have decided that the gap in the family is such that you cannot enjoy the holidays. I’m sorry that Evil Sister-in-Law and I don’t get along, but even you can’t deny that I have reasons. I did the “forgive and forget” thing once, and convinced Mr. Athena to do the same even though he had major misgivings over it. She repaid us by spreading more lies about us, and Mom, you know it. This is not something anyone disputes; it happened. So fuck off, Ma. I get to like who I want to like, and I get to spend time with those who have really acted like family towards me, not bitchy treacherous women.

All I want is a nice, non-stressful Christmas, if such a beast exists.

If you find it, can you clone one for me? Or just send me a sample and I’ll do the cloning?

I’ll trade you your mom for my FIL. No strings attached except the ones they come with.


That really bites, but I’d just let your mother get over it. Tell her point-blank you’ve made your choice and that’s that. And she’s welcome to your house, but you don’t want to hear another word about it.

Moms are a fun thing, especially around the holidays.


I hear you. The best thing Mrs. Genghis and I did was to announce, ten years ago when our kids were still little, that Christmas Day belongs to us. We would not leave the house Christmas Day; we would not open our door to any visitors Christmas Day. Christmas Eve, Boxiing Day, every other day in the season we’re happy to go where we’re told, but Christmas Day is inviolate.

We stay in PJ’s all day, open presents, play with same, and have a nice leisurely Christmas dinner whenever we feel like it.

We met with some passive-aggressive resistance the first year we did this. After that, everyone settled down into their revised “traditions” and all has been much nicer.

Just the way the OP is doing it. (Great solution, btw) “I’m having Christmas here. If you want to come, please do, we’ll be happy to see you. If you can’t, I’ll understand.” And then refuse to feel guilty. After last year, I’ve had enough drama for one lifetime. The kids, the SO and I will be at home drinking egg nog, wearing pajamas all day, and trying to figure out our newest electronic gadgets. I love my family, but I want a happy Christmas for once. And that includes not being lectured by my holier than thou cousin about why we all didn’t go to midnight mass.

We’re of a similar mind, Genghis. We don’t have kids, but my husband and I like to have Christmas morning together without going anywhere or doing anything. Last year, my sister kind of gave me the gears because we could have come over to her house earlier Christmas Day if all we were doing was spending it with each other at home. No, actually, we couldn’t have. My husband and I (and our two kitties) are a family, too.