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Christmas dinner canceled

Started by kate123, December 17, 2015, 06:48:37 am

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Hello Ladies,

This year, for the first time since I left my ex in 2000, my son and his family were going to spend Christmas Dinner at my house. This was planned months ago. At Thanksgiving my DIL told me they had a change in plans and would not be having dinner with me, later my son brought it up and I did not say much except that I did not think it was right and that if I had known I would have made other plans. They said they could do Christmas Eve instead. My ex probably had something to do with this, but not sure. I suspect his family is having a large family diner. I don't know if I should be grateful to get anything at all, or what to feel. BTW my son also said that he can't please everyone, which is what he always says when this happens- it has happened before. Any advice??


My take, seeing it's the first time in 15 years that you were temporarily selected, is that there doesn't seem to be a lot of effort going into 'pleasing everyone'. DS's 'now' is his wife and her 'now' appears to be her mother. He picked her and he is making her choices his.

Your inconvenience obviously isn't an issue, nor are your expectations. What about all of it do you have a choice in? That's seems to be what it comes down to for most of us. You can't choose where they go or why but you can decide if you would enjoy Christmas Eve or not. If it feels like abuse...why not make other plans? If you can create it honestly being a positive experience..because you said so...go for it. Hugs...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


Thank you Louise- I do plan to make the best of CE, I could not in good conscience decline because even though it crossed my mind at first to make other plans, I feel like that would be vindictive and did not want to go there. I don't think it is abuse on their part, but do think it was seriously inconsiderate. And it will be very difficult to be "normal" as I am wondering who I've been ousted for. Would like to hear similar experiences and how it was managed.

Since I first stated reading this website I been trying to take the advice of move on and have your own life, but then these kind of set backs occur. I am thinking maybe in the future I should not make any Holiday plans so as not to get tied down. That way I won't get disappointed, and will not disappoint anyone else.


You get to choose. That's the truth. What that means to you and how you handle the experience is your choice. Some of us have gone numb, others have suffered while hanging in there and still others have come to not really giving a rip. What I did long, long ago was to enjoy what I could and ignore the rest. Not always easy.

Things are so different now. This year in the next 9 days I have four Christmas visits coming up. A dear pretend-daughter is coming up this Saturday (my retirement center is
in the woods... www.warmbeach.org ). Christmas Eve my ex-DIL and closest friend is coming over from the other side of the Cascade Mountains to be with me Christmas Eve...and then her with family in Seattle. Christmas Day, my son and his wife are coming here for Christmas dinner in our facility and two days later, my grandson who lives in Quebec with be here with his grown daughter...age 22. Yup, an adult great granddaughter!
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

Green Thumb

It can be painful to be second choice as it seems you were made to feel by the change in plans. It seems that people are often flaky these days, an RSVP doesn't mean flip any longer. They probably did get a "better offer" or perhaps your ex demanded they do this or that for Christmas Day. One take away from this is that they didn't cancel on you totally. Like Luise said, you get to choose what you want to do. I say take the high road, be polite and make it a good time.

My adult kids do not do their holidays or vacations with me, except for one. The rest have more clinging, demanding in laws or cater to their father, my ex. I have decided this is okay, they aren't that pleasant with them anyway, and I try to find something fun to do on my own. This year we are going on a wonderful vacation flying out on Christmas Day! This is our gift to ourselves as our adult kids are so yucky most of the time. Crumbs, no thank you!

Green Thumb

Oh, Kate123, what your son said is very true, he can't please everyone. Divorce makes it hard on the adult kids. No matter why or how the divorce happened. They got twice as many demands on their time, houses to visit, etc. Their parents are angry at each other and don't get along and it is not unheard of to have one ex pushing to exclude the other ex. I am divorced also and this division of holidays was something I had to swallow whole and just accept. I am glad to be divorced from this horrible man and I accept that holidays with adult children are going to be his, cause he has demanded them since the separation. It is a small price to pay, I think, in my situation (being alone on holidays is well worth not being married to their father any longer -- I got the better deal in the long run). It took me a while to accept this, cause at first I thought naturally of myself and "my holiday." I was surprised and unhappy at first that my adult children would choose him over visiting me but... it is hard on the children of divorced parents so I do not make demands. I would suggest you try to look at this from your son's point of view and make it easier for him to see you, and make it fun for him and his wife, be pleasant and have a little tiny something to surprise them with. A nice fancy bar of soap for her, a nice type of coffee or beer for him. Just a little something to give them. Will help  mend fences.


Louise, you are a lucky person to have so many that care.
Green Thumb, yes I will take the high road- this time. I will be looking at airfare for the next holiday!

Thank you, feel better about it already


Isn't it wonderful to come here and be heard? Glad you are feeling better!
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


Green Thumb, just saw your second reply. I did take the approach for 15 years, because I know it is hard on the kids being one myself. And probably would have gone on that way, but he gave me a carrot and I took it. So I kind of wish no plans were ever made. Nevertheless, I will do the right thing because it is the right thing to do, even if no one else does. And your right, it is the price you pay but well worth it.  :)



Kate my suggestion is this.  Go get a magic marker and go to your calendar.  On Dec 24th change the 4 to a 5 and on Dec. 25th change the 5 to a 6.  Celebrate your Christmas with your DS on Christmas Eve, kind of like super daylight savings time!  Then on Christmas day act like it is Dec. 26th.  Yes I know you will have two 26ths but most everyone wishes they had more days to get over Christmas!!  You have the power to look at this any way you choose, so choose a way to look at it that makes you happy.  I have been sliding my holidays around for years.  It takes the sting out of the day and honestly, now I wonder why I ever thought that December 25th was the only day when I could celebrate Christmas.  I mean, really!

Your mind is a garden your thoughts are the seeds
You can grow flowers or you can grow weeds.
Author unknown


December 17, 2015, 01:41:11 pm #11 Last Edit: December 17, 2015, 02:33:12 pm by luise.volta
You're welcome! Everyone has their own definition of the 'right thing'. We know when it feels right and if we follow that, we do well. I got into trouble years ago with this stay or go issue because I listened to what others had taught me the 'right thing' was which was to look good and never make waves. (Remember, I was born in the 1920s!) It took a while for me to figure that out that I mattered, too. I know you will have a lovely time...and we will be there with you!
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


WW indeed  ;D I love this place!!

K, we can be yet another source of stress for our DSs or we can be a haven of peace and love. Who will he think of with feelings of gratitude and relief? Who will be remembered as just more anxiety for him?

I decided to chill out about broken plans and unfair time allotments when my DS expressed frustration over feeling pulled in two directions (ILs vs us.) A wise friend told me to get over my need for justice (so difficult for me!) and think long-term. It has really helped.

Have a wonderful Christmas Eve!!

Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb


Hi Kate,
It is hard to deal with changes in plans, but it sounds like you are going to make the best of it...and make a different tradition next year....good for you  :). I thank you for posting this issue, because I need to step back and look at the bigger picture myself, as Pen suggests with her comments about being a place of warm thoughts and memories.  That is something I want to do not just for DD but for myself and my own small family, who will celebrate together a couple of days before Christmas.

I wish you all peace over the next week.  And please accept my deep gratitude to all of you for your warm encouragement and support.  We walk this road, and sometimes it is dark and scary. At those times we need others to help shine a light on the path and encourage us to take steps forward, sometimes in entirely new directions, toward a new light.  The more we walk, the lighter the path, and although there are dark patches from time to time, with the lantern of wisdom and awareness they become fewer and farther between.  At least that is how it looks when I observe those of you who have been on the path for a while now.  Thank you for shining that light, everyone!

Luise, I'm going to go out and buy myself that gratitude journal for Christmas, so I can celebrate Thanksgiving every day  :). Even at Christmas!