My sister-in-law offered to host Christmas this year.
When she first offered, I told her we are not available on December 24. I am volunteering at a Reiki share until 8pm that night. It’s a wonderful experience where free Reiki (healing energy) is offered to people with physical or emotional pain. The intent of the session is to help those who have a hard time dealing with the holidays. It’s ironic because I now fit into that category.
Am I crazy to think that if you are hosting Christmas with family that lives locally, it will be sometime between December 24-26? And if the only brother and sister-in-law you have are not available one of those 3 days, you would try to be accommodating?
Well, I am crazy.
Earlier this week, we found out my sister-in-law wants to host Christmas on December 21.
We have a family party for my mother-in-law’s side on December 19 and a party on my father-in-law’s side on December 20. The thought of doing 3 major get-togethers 3 days in a row (not to mention the fact they are with the in-laws) is just WAY TOO much for me this year.
I told my sister-in-law exactly how I felt. It is too much for me to do the 3 days in a row and we have already committed to the other parties. I felt quite vulnerable being open about my limitations with her, but I honestly don’t think she understood.
I asked her if we could switch it to sometime during December 25 to 28. She said they were not available unless we wanted to move it to this Sunday, December 14 or if we could make ourselves available for December 24.
We found out after that she is hosting Christmas Eve with my husband’s parents.
Her lack of flexibility is astonishing. They aren’t going on a trip or anything. They just have regular holiday plans with her family. And besides, it’s not like I’m just being a pain in the ass about December 24. I’m volunteering for a cause that is near and dear to me. Once again this week, I find myself defending my choices.
Christmas always used to be one of my most favourite times of the year. With my family, it was more about the traditions and time spent together than what you actually received. Since we all live across Canada now, I haven’t spent a Christmas with my parents, my sister and my brother in 6 years.
Since I met my husband, the Christmas dynamic has changed. His family doesn’t build the joy into the season like my own family used to. It always seems forced and obligatory. Gifts are exchanged, but usually opened when you return to your own home.
It’s hard trying to fit into a family that you don’t gel with; a family with major communication issues; a family that never shows love.
It’s hard when all you want is to build your own family, start your own traditions and fill your own home with Christmas joy.
It’s hard when you are facing your first Christmas after a pregnancy loss, but no one seems to understand.
As it stands, I caved and agreed to December 21. I want to make an effort for our niece and nephew, but it’s getting to the point where enough is enough with this side of the family as well.