Aaaand here we go again..

Am I happy we aren’t going to be here for Christmas.  It has the potential to be positively explosive.

Some background:

Hubby has 2 older brothers, both married, one here (2 kids) and one in Mpumalanga (3 kids).  Far away brother is the middle child and sometimes has the EQ of a 4 year old.  Which means that relations have been strained between him and older brother for the last year or so.  We have managed to stay out of it so far as we had our fair share a couple of years ago so now we just shut up and suck up.  We have very little contact with him as we tried to stay in touch, but it wasn’t reciprocated, so we just kinda gave up in the end.

Anyhoo, Far away brother wasn’t coming to CT for Christmas, so we decided to go away with my parents.  Local SIL had arranged for the IL’s to spend Christmas day at their (SIL) house as there is a pool etc and the kids are comfortable at their own house.  It was all figured out and arranged and everyone was happy.

Yesterday morning my MIL calls.  Do we have a camp cot.  And I knew.  They are coming.  Without even letting us know.

My first instinct was to be pissed off because I had just navigated the Christmas gift landmine with my local SIL as I only wanted to buy gifts for the kids, but now we are buying for everyone.  Then I thought it is a good thing to do as my In-laws are quite elderly and they only see BIL once or twice a year and they are (ridiculously) fond of far away brother in law.

So of course I called my local SIL and she is furious.  Not only is she now having to spend Christmas lunch with BIL they aren’t speaking to, my In-laws have said that they now want Christmas lunch at their own house.  Where there is a small lawn and no pool.  And a lot of testosterone.  And bad vibes.  

What I would like ask is whether I should now buy gifts for them all as well?  We are exchanging gifts with local BIL on Wednesday, but I would hate for them to all open gifts together on Christmas day and then there’s nothing for the other children. We will be gone by the time they arrive, so we won’t see them until after Christmas.

What should I do???  How to keep everyone happy and be fair??

15 thoughts on “Aaaand here we go again..”

  1. mmm not an easy one, are you expecting gifts from them? perhaps give them as a family something? then they won’t feel bad that they have been left out, or bad that they haven’t thought of something?

  2. Oh boy, families!!! We only buy for children and this year my parents will be going to PE to spend Christmas with my youngest brother and his family.
    I have already made it very clear that I expect nothing for myself or for Jessica from them (B and SIL) and will not be sending prezzies for their kids either. I just cannot afford to do anything in the holidays if I have to buy presents for kids I don’t ever see and Jess deserves to do something nice.
    Maybe a nice tin of biscuits for the whole family that everyone can enjoy could be a way out! xx

  3. i think give just the kids gifts … it’s almost impossible to make everyone happy … but the kids shouldn’t feel left out 🙂 hope you find a way …

  4. Agree – Christmas is for children – how old are they? ARe they old enough to go on the Cool runnings slide? Maybe get them a card to use while they are here?

  5. My motto is: My hard earned money + my hard earned break = spending it on me and people I love and care for. Not negotiable.

  6. Family drama at Christmas is my most unfavourite thing ever. I hate the stress, tension and atmosphere, and always end up asking myself – WHY??? Why must everyone pretend to like each other for the sake of keeping the peace? I’m stocking up on Rescue and Becalm tabs now already, just to get me through the 25th in a semi-sane condition!

    Christmas gifts are for kids – adults are old enough to know that. If you feel “obliged” then just get something small for the kids.

    And if you don’t want to – then tough takkie for them! Would it really bother you if they said something about it? Would they be rude enough to comment?

  7. My BIL would comment, he really does have the EQ of a 4 yr old..
    Screw the rescue remedy, bring on the wine!

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