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Is this a dig, or what?

Started by Scoop, December 13, 2010, 07:26:37 pm

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So, here's the background, and there's a LOT of background.

We alternate Thanksgiving (in Oct in Canada) and Christmas between my FOO and the IL's.  We're out of town from both families.  We've done this for over 10 years.  We used to visit both sets of parents over the Christmas break, but DH got a job that didn't allow for this, so now we only visit one family at Christmas (and usually invite the other for New Year's).

Christmas of 2008 we were at my FOO's.  February of 2009, my Dad died, quite suddenly, at only 62 years old.  So Christmas of 2009 should have been my IL's "turn" for Christmas.   However, I did NOT want my Mom to be alone for her first Christmas without my Dad.  Also, she was taking my family and my brother's whole family down south for a week, leaving on Dec 26th.   So we spent Thanksgiving of 2009 with the IL's, and they came to visit mid-December (note: it had been 2 years since their last visit to us).

That brings us to this year.  We were really up-in-the-air about Christmas.  Per the old system, it would be my FOO's turn (this depends on my DB and SIL as well).  We knew that things we would still be renegotiating Christmas, because my DN is in University too.  She wants Christmas at HOME, not at Gma's.  And we figured the IL's were due a turn too.   So, no one had made any firm plans either way. 

Then MIL invited us specifically for Thanksgiving.  Well, phew! that was an easy decision then.  MIL had a special party planned that she wanted us to attend.  In the end the party fell through but we were still expected to visit.  Well, at dinner, MIL said "You're still coming for Christmas, right?"  O.M.G.  DH, of course, said nothing, so *I* had to say "No, you asked for Thanksgiving".  MIL just continued with "What was it last year?  Oh yeah, something about your trip?"  and I said "NO, it was because my Dad DIED and we didn't want my Mom to be ALONE."  And MIL continued with "Well, it's not fair, it's been 2 years!"

Thankfully, SIL & BIL helped change the subject, because I was getting REALLY, REALLY angry.  To me that was just plain old greed.

So, that's the end of that, right? 

Well, we received our Christmas card from the IL's today and inside there was a note "Hope we get to see you!"     To me, that was a dig.  And it made me FURIOUS.  Here, I'm trying to get along and she has to pull this on me.  I wish she would realize that this makes me NOT want to EVER spend Christmas with them again!

UGH - I'm mostly venting, but if anyone has any words of advice, I would appreciate it.


Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


Quote from: Scoop on December 13, 2010, 07:26:37 pm
"Hope we get to see you!"  To me, that was a dig.  And it made me FURIOUS.  Here, I'm trying to get along and she has to pull this on me.  I wish she would realize that this makes me NOT want to EVER spend Christmas with them again!

You may be reading to much into her six word message.  If you made yourself clear at Thanksgiving then let it ride.  Your MIL's message made no demands on you or her son, wishful thinking may be all it is.  If you accept it as this and nothing more then there is no reason to be angry and hurt. Plan your holidays as you see fit but  I would out of courtesy let her know without anger what your final decision will be. 

Without knowing everything that has ever transpired in your life concerning your MIL, I think that your reaction could be a little over the top.... don't assume the worse, as you could have just as easily assumed she meant it as a loving thought.. it's your choice.



I see this has left you feeling very, very angry.  It must seem to you that MIL doesn't appreciate all you did to help your mother through a difficult time last Christmas.  Also, I'm very sorry your DH didn't come to your aid when you needed it.  Does it feel like MIL is just pulling on you too hard?

But we're here.  Breathe.  Then tell us, what are your plans for this Christmas?


I'm with Laurie on this Scoop.  You made it very clear at Thanksgiving what was happening and why.  I think she is just "wishful thinking" with the message and letting you know they would still love to see you guys, even though she knows you are not coming.

It's a shame that she can't put herself in your Mother's place and be more understanding of the situation last year.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell


I think it has a lot to do with our history too.  In the 13 years we've been together, MIL has never graciously accepted the loss of Christmas.  She ALWAYS begs DH to come home for Christmas.  It's as if she has no concept that my Mom wants to see us too.  My Mom has no problems alternating.  Of course she misses us, but she's careful not to guilt trip us.

At Thanksgiving I was so mad about how presumptuous MIL was in requesting both Thanksgiving AND Christmas.  The year before, when each occasion was a "first" without my Dad, my Mom encouraged us to go to the IL's for Thanksgiving, because she knew it wouldn't be fair for her to have both.  So here, with NO GOOD REASON, MIL wants both - to me that's super-GREEDY.  And my first response, when people ask for MORE of anything, is to offer them LESS.  Because when you re-open negotiations, you have to accept that you might lose.

My Mom agreed that it was just wishful thinking on her part.  So I'll just build a bridge and get over it.

Thanks ladies!


Good for you! This is a great place to work toward getting over it, too. I loved the responses you got here.  :)
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


That's a good positive way to view her message.  Good for you, don't let something little ruin a moment of your holidays. 


Hi Scoop.
I feel your pain. I generally have a good relationship with my MIL but she has now brought up/hinted around seeing us for Christmas 3x now. We told her point blank (twice) that we were going out of state to visit with my family this year and told her the dates we would be gone (we spent the past 3 Christmases with her--which I enjoyed).  It is just very annoying to keep hearing this brought up time and time again. When we spent the past 3 Christmases with her (and didn't see my mom) there was no hinting/guilting from my mom. She just told us to have fun and tell DH's side she said hello and Merry Christmas.

I am getting VERY frustrated and you're right, it makes me want to give LESS not more, when my wishes with my DH do not seem to be acknowledged or important.  >:(


Hints can be easily ignored.  Once you choose not to ignore a hint then it becomes a request.  I would go about your plans as you have provided her with all the information that she needs concerning your dates and when and where to contact you in case of an emergency.  I wouldn't dwell on it another moment, just smile and keep on doing your thing.

Now if you want to get the last dig in.. call her and give her your mother's land line just in case it's important and you don't have phone service at your moms. Be sure to mention that her son will be sure to call her on Christmas day to make sure her holidays are going smoothly. Now she has no reason to hint any longer.


Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


 ;D Thanks for the laugh, ladies. I needed it. I'm going to just ignore the "hints" and go about my business. The most recent hint came via email and I responded to all other questions/news in the email except the "hint." Hopefully she got my "hint" back. Ugh.  ;)


Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


Oh dear. You were right, L. We were asked again last night to fly out to see DH's mom for Christmas. Sigh.