What do you do for Christmas every year? It’s started getting really tricky for me and Ben as, in the past few years, we’ve ended up having almost separate Christmas Days. We start off at my mum and dad’s house where we stay on Christmas Eve – Christmas Eve is a big deal on my mum’s side of the family and we all get together – see my posts here from 2010, 2011 and 2012 – I clearly need to do a more recent one! It used to happen at my grandma’s house where all my aunts, uncles and cousins plus respective girlfriends and boyfriends got together, but as we’ve grown and the family’s got bigger, it’s started to happen at my mum and dad’s house, where we’ve also invited my grandparents from the other side, plus aunt, uncle and cousins too. We don’t even have that big a family, but it sounds and seems like a lot when we’re all together like that! Fortunately we all get along really well – we’re one of the 49% that Slater and Gordon solicitors have surveyed and say their relationship is “very good” – we’re really lucky that way! And luckily I get on really well with all of Ben’s family too – in fact, at a recent birthday party for Ben’s grandma, she silenced everyone so that she could declare me as her grandaughter, even though we’re not married, that was awesome!
As I was saying though, Christmas Day is a more difficult situation nowadays. Having stayed over on Christmas Eve, we get up and have breakfast with my family while opening presents from Father Christmas and to one another. I then jump into the car with Ben (normally in my pyjamas still!) and drop him off at his mum and dad’s where he helps to prep some of Christmas dinner before they head off to his grandparents where the rest of his family is for the day, including a great aunt (who is more like another grandmother to him), aunt, uncle and young cousin.
I, meanwhile, stay at home with my family. My mum and I prep Christmas lunch together while my dad and sister head into work! It’s the one day a year where the bakery shuts down completely and no one is in, so they need to make sure that everything is okay, and certain things need to be moved from chillers and freezers so that they’re ready for the next working day.
We sometimes have one set grandparents over for Christmas dinner, but not always, and they spend most of the day with us. In the afternoon, after finishing Christmas dinner, we go for a walk. Then when we get back, I jump in the car and rush over to Ben’s grandparents’ house where I’m given my presents from all of them and get to play with William (Ben’s cousin) for a bit. And finally, Ben’s family all jump in my car (because I’m the one who hasn’t been drinking) and I drop them at home before going back to my mum and dad’s house where I collapse for the evening!
As you can see, it’s pretty hectic for me! For the last couple of years, Ben and I have been saying that we need to make a decision and actually spend the day together, whether with my family or his. The problem is that both of us feel that we can’t be away from our family that day as it’s always been tradition for us to spend it all together! I would feel guilty for drawing Ben away from his as they all get together for it and it’s lovely seeing William enjoying Christmas day while he’s still young. But I also feel guilty leaving my family without me on Christmas day – it’s a catch 22!
And even now, a couple of weeks before Christmas, I still don’t know what to do this year. My grandparents are coming over so I don’t want to miss out on spending the day with them, but I know at some point I need to be a “grown up” and spend the day with Ben as a unit. We’ve even suggested hosting Christmas day for everyone on both sides at our house, but I’m pretty certain that would be impossible! Basically, the decision is on me – do I leave my family without me or do Ben and I do separate Christmasses again this year, rushing around everywhere? I just don’t know!
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