Author Topic: Need help with email to DHs siblings about gifts/Xmas  (Read 3654 times)

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Offline pam1

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Need help with email to DHs siblings about gifts/Xmas
« on: October 08, 2011, 09:05:01 AM »
Ok, so we've talked a bit about gifts to the in laws -- lots of strings attached to their gifts, heck they might as well be ropes lol.  DH and I both have different values that we want to represent to DD, we think Xmas is about charity and kids.  DHs siblings think it is about them and carrying out their childhood traditions -- going to MILs at the crack of dawn to pretend Santa came etc.  Its chaotic and a fiasco every year and all the kids get lost in the mix, it truly is a tradition for the adult siblings.  It's sad IMO. 

Anyway, we've managed to break with tradition and have Xmas morning to ourselves but after last year (some of you might remember) MIL and FIL accused me of faking a miscarriage to get out of their holiday tradition.  And this was after spending Xmas Eve and Xmas evening with them.  MIL had set up a third day of Xmas b/c she was upset that she didn't get Xmas morning.  And I had the nerve to miscarry on her third day of Xmas.

So, DH and I have no interest in participating in anything Xmas with them.  They still don't understand, no apology, nothing.  I'm beyond that but now we've come to telling the sibs.  Some of them know but not all of them.  We want to send out an email to all of them but I can't figure out how to word it properly -- hmmm....guess I'm not really beyond what happened last year after all.  Food for thought.

Anyway, help?  I stink at these things.  I want something short and sweet that they can't bother me with later lol.
People throw rocks at things that shine - Taylor Swift

Offline Doe

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Re: Need help with email to DHs siblings about gifts/Xmas
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2011, 10:12:42 AM »
oof!

How about "We're not going to join in at Christmas because MIL and FIL accused me of faking a miscarriage last year and we're still offended by that." 

Shelby

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Re: Need help with email to DHs siblings about gifts/Xmas
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2011, 10:39:04 AM »
Doe, I think I love you. 

Pam - it sounds like you are quite justified in being touchy where ILs are concerned.  Where are your parents?  Did MIL not feel any responsibility to let you carve out space for your own FOO? 

Young families need their own traditions.  You and DH have 2 FOO's between you.  That means - in happy families - (and if everyone in same town) - Christmas eve with one FOO, Christmas Day afternoon or evening with other FOO, and Christmas morning with your own nuclear family in your own blooming home.  (See, I'm not such a bad MIL) -   

No way can she expect Christmas Eve, Christmas Morning, and Christmas day evening. 

For a young family to cart the little kids and all the presents to the ILs house for Christmas morning is absurd.  My own parents began "touring" when my sibs and I had families of our own.  We all live in same city and all get along, but we each had our own celebrations.  The grandparents would visit my sister and her family in the morning, our family in the afternoon, and go to my brother's on Christmas Eve.   On Christmas Eve, DH and I would visit his FOO, my sister and her DH did the same.  It all worked out fine.   

Why not adopt same approach that DH FOO has when you tell the sibs.  No apology.  No excuses.   

One last thought - does it make any sense to let the family know that while you won't be there Xmas evening with them, you'll drop by briefly on Xmas Eve, but will have to leave early to get home and get kids in bed?  You might at least retain a path to better relationship down the road - and not get sucked into them demanding all your time on the holidays.

But I still do love Doe's answer.

Offline lancaster lady

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Re: Need help with email to DHs siblings about gifts/Xmas
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2011, 03:51:28 PM »
We have won a holiday ...... at Christmastime !  See you next year !   Happy Holidays !

Offline Pen

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Re: Need help with email to DHs siblings about gifts/Xmas
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2011, 09:03:31 PM »
Good one, LL!   ;D
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

Offline Pen

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Re: Need help with email to DHs siblings about gifts/Xmas
« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2011, 09:19:21 PM »
Pam, I'm wondering if an email is the way to go here. How about purchasing a charity gift in everyone's names, sending out the cards announcing what you've done in their name, and adding a note (could be printed out, could be handwritten) about your plans for Christmas? Keep it positive, in other words what you are going to do rather than what you're not going to do. Let them know they'll be in your thoughts this holiday season or whatever.

Is there a chance they'll decide to descend on you? I've had that nightmare happen with SM & DF along with her AC & GC, without notice.
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

Offline Nana

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Re: Need help with email to DHs siblings about gifts/Xmas
« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2011, 02:21:02 AM »
Dear Pam 1

Just a question ..Why can't your dh send the e-mail or note to his family?  Remember that everything you say will be used against you lol.  If they accused you of faking a miscarriage which is a very serious accusation, you think they will be understanding this time?  Of course not.....

Just do what you think is better for you and your family.   We can always change traditions that better suits our family (dont stick to theirs). 

Good luck with this...whatever you decide.

Love you Pam
Love is not love Which alters when it alteration finds, Or bends with the remover to remove:
Shakespeare

Offline pam1

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Re: Need help with email to DHs siblings about gifts/Xmas
« Reply #7 on: October 09, 2011, 07:41:10 AM »
Nana, our therapist thought the emails/talks should come from both of us b/c MIL has a history of trying to pit DH and I against each other.  She has even showed up at DHs work or our home (to get to me) to get us to change our mind.  Say DH sent the email, she'll come to the house to talk to me.  Love you too Nana :)

Pen, awesome idea.  I'm going to run it by DH, I don't know if they'll think it opens the door to gifts though.  And yes, they might come to our house or just drive by.  Lately MIL has just been doing the drive by and not stopping.

Shelby, thanks for the support.  My very large Foo lives on the opposite coast, Dad remarried and now I have a lot of little siblings in the house :)  They'd probably come out here if I asked but I wouldn't dream of trying to take their Xmas morning away from the kids.   And, I think we are different than DHs Foo concerning the holidays.  I've never known anyone in my family to demand someones presence or have set and rigid rules that do not change over time.  Also, I think for whatever reason the adult kids grew out of it growing up so we mostly just focus on our own kids.  As long as my FOO has a good holiday, that's all I care about. 

And no, MIL does not care.  The first year I was explaining to her that with her schedule of events I wouldn't have time to call my FOO and DD wouldn't have time to call her Dads family.  She could've cared less lol.

Btw, I don't think you're a horrible MIL, just different than what I would do, which is totally ok :)  And I don't think I'm touchy concerning in laws, my views are just different.  The experience with my MIL has been bad for the most part.  There are some good things that have come out of it though.  I have good relationships everywhere else, even ones that are normally conflict ridden.  Stepparents, ex-inlaws and most of my inlaws now. 

In laws are just a label, they're not all the same

Doe and LL, you ladies crack me up!  My rough drafts of the email sounded like Doe's and DHs sounded like LL's.

I guess the point I want to get across is that even though what happened last year was terrible, what they felt entitled to in the first place isn't something we can give anymore.  I don't want to go into the miscarriage with them again (last time MIL said she never knew anything about it. big, big lie) and I think they'll use that to gain leverage in the situation. 
People throw rocks at things that shine - Taylor Swift

Offline Doe

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Re: Need help with email to DHs siblings about gifts/Xmas
« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2011, 01:00:32 PM »
Glad to make you laugh, but I was being serious!   

Do they all know what happened?  If this had happened to one of your sibs would you want to know the truth? 

Offline Ruth

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Re: Need help with email to DHs siblings about gifts/Xmas
« Reply #9 on: October 09, 2011, 01:14:33 PM »
Pam, maybe you could create with DH  and DD your own Christmas Card?  And in it, encapsulate your own philosophy of what family life means to you and what the past year has been like for you as a family?  Send this, in lieu of the email. ?  I don't know if your MIL has the sensitivity of a gnat, but making your own message could be a positive experience.  I'm sorry for the loss of your baby, and especially at a time that should have been the celebration of a joyous birth, maybe your MIL and FIL need to be reminded what Christmas really is about.

Offline Pooh

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Re: Need help with email to DHs siblings about gifts/Xmas
« Reply #10 on: October 09, 2011, 01:16:57 PM »
I think no matter what you guys say, however nicely it's worded, those that know about last year will understand and those that don't or won't believe the truth will find fault.  So stand your ground and just say you've decided to spend the Holidays with yourselves and do your own traditions and wish them all happy holidays.

Now, that was my nice answer.  Secretly I like Doe's and LL's! Lol.  So the mean side of me would write "We have decided to spend the Christmas holidays attending play after play.  I figured if it was going to be drama anyway, I would at least buy tickets!"   ;D
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

Offline pam1

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Re: Need help with email to DHs siblings about gifts/Xmas
« Reply #11 on: October 09, 2011, 01:29:53 PM »
Doe, I'm not sure how much they all know.  DH and I have told only 2 of the siblings personally and they both were upset for maybe a couple weeks and then apparently told DH that I needed to get over it b/c their mother was never going to change.  FIL has also made comments that yes, it is all wrong but I need to go with the flow. 

We know that the other siblings do know MILs version, we caught one red handed gossiping with MIL.  But this family behaves very, very strangely.  When confronted they just lie or deny or make something up.

It's a tough position, this past year has been pretty rough.  Coupled with the fertility treatments and subsequent losses, one of my SILs is expecting another child and while we are happy for them, their situation has been shoved in our faces over and over again.  It's really brought up some animosity in DH and he doesn't naturally turn to his siblings for support anyway.

If it were my siblings this happened to - well, I can't quite imagine, no one messes with my family, no one.  This family is different, MIL is fairly mentally ill (diagnosed, not something I made up) yet she rules the roost.  Her kids have a mixture of mental illnesses themselves and/or developmental delays due to being raised by a perpetual 5 year old.  And everyone is terrified to upset her, they might be the target next.  Since I'm the newest family member I've been the handy target for her issues, and this is the first time a target has refused to participate, everyone else did it...so should I (they think)

So short story, no.  DHs siblings aren't a support for us right now.

Ruth that is a great idea too, DH and I were kicking around Pen's idea today, maybe we will combine the two. 

Pooh, somehow you always make me feel better, thank you.  Much needed laugh, that's a good one! 

It's hard and another reason why this situation is almost intolerable to me, DH and I have wracking our brains how to handle this to create the least amount of fall out for them...in our efforts to have a good holiday ourselves.  The holiday is already starting to take on some tainting again this year since the in laws and their issues are so much in the forefront of our marriage and life.

I really cannot understand this game.

People throw rocks at things that shine - Taylor Swift

Offline Doe

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Re: Need help with email to DHs siblings about gifts/Xmas
« Reply #12 on: October 09, 2011, 01:41:32 PM »
Oh, I see.  It's so frustrating when people won't stand up for what is right.  Maybe this is the year for all the fall out to occur so that future years will be more peaceful for you.   Just get it over with if you are up to it.

sesamejane

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Re: Need help with email to DHs siblings about gifts/Xmas
« Reply #13 on: October 09, 2011, 02:05:58 PM »
I like Pen's Idea too about buying a charity gift.  How about just contribute to one charity and send the card to everyone? 

You know:  "With so much strife and suffering in the world today, we have elected to help those who need it so much.  We have sent a financial gift to [Salvation Army, Habitat, Heifer, etc. you name it] in honor of our families.  Have a Merry Christmas everyone and blessings all around."


Offline Pooh

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Re: Need help with email to DHs siblings about gifts/Xmas
« Reply #14 on: October 10, 2011, 05:57:52 AM »
I really cannot understand this game.

That's because it's senseless and not understandable.  I love these ladies' ideas but I still say just be honest.  You don't have to drudge up all the details of last year, but I agree with Doe, take the fallout this year.  You already know that no matter how nice you are, no matter how nicely you word anything...she's not going to be happy.  So write the truth, that you two want  the Christmas holidays for yourselves and DD.  That you want to center your Christmas traditions with DD around charity and goodwill.  If you guys figure out a work-around this year, you will be having to figure it out every year.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell