Christmas (drama) in July!
July 2, 2011 10:33 AM Subscribe
Is there a way to tactfully ask my mother to host Christmas this year?
posted by anonymous to human relations (14 answers total)
My brother and I are both in our 40's, and for about 20 years his family has hosted all Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations. Years ago, my mom wanted to have Christmas at her home, but my sister-in-law said she didn't want the hassle of traveling with small children, and so my mom never brought it up again. Holidays are at my brother's house. I'm single and for the most part have lived in a small apartment not conducive for a family gathering, so I've never had a family get-together at my home.
This year, my brother asked if I could host one of the holidays. I said, "Sure," and picked Thanksgiving. I live in a pretty small house with my boyfriend, but we have outdoor space so I figure we can have an al fresco feast. I'm a little fretful, as it will be the first time my family and boyfriend's kids (who will be visiting) will meet, but I think I can handle it. But yesterday, my brother asked if I could also "take Mom" for Christmas.
He finally opened up and said that he and his wife are having some marital problems, and he really does not think he can deal with the stress of having our mother in that atmosphere. Mom and sister-in-law have never gotten along, so get-togethers have always been a little tense, and I understand completely that my brother wouldn't want to bring that vibe into the current situation.
There is no way I can host Christmas. There is just no room here for all that... Christmas stuff. Boyfriend and I were already talking about taking a trip for Christmas, since he won't have his kids for the holiday, so we were thinking of alternatives. We will go insane if we bring Mom along on the trip, but I was thinking of proposing to her that we meet up for Christmas day (bf and I will probably take a trip where we'll be in Mom's vicinity during our travels). Should I ask her if she wants to meet us at a restaurant or something, or can I just say, "What would you think of having us for Christmas?" She hates cooking and is borderline hoarder. I can't tell how much of an imposition this would be. I've planned trips to visit her before where I had to wind up at a motel because there was no room in the house for me to sleep.
Brother says if Mom were to host, he isn't sure he would bring the family there, but it's not out of the question. He is most emphatic about not telling Mom about the marital problems issue, because... oh, the advice, the opinions...
I just don't know how to do any of this. When we were kids, my brother and I only ever celebrated Christmas with Mom and Dad, because my mom had for the most part cut off communication with her family, and my dad's family lived in the same town as her family so we just avoided the whole thing. I think it's fair to say that I don't have a really strong sense of family, but I do know that I need to be good to both Mom and brother here.
I'm bringing all of this up now because Mom usually books her plane tickets for the holidays now.