Pinings: Survey says!
by Sherry Hughes firstname.lastname@example.org
There is a feud going on in my family. Two of my sisters are married with children. I’m not married, but I’ve been living with my fiancé for the last 2 years. We also have a brother but he’s not part of the fight. My sisters insist on staying at home on Christmas morning rather than opening gifts at my parent’s house the way we always have. We (my mom and dad, my brother and my fiancé) all want to be together on Christmas morning. My sisters say their kids should have time to do “the tree” at their own home. I think they can tell the kids that Santa stopped at Bumpy and Mimi’s house (my parents) instead and they can go there to do “the tree.”
My parents are in their 70s and won’t be around forever. They’ve never been invited to watch their grandchildren open gifts on Christmas morning. I know they feel hurt by this. My sisters have both invited their in-laws over to watch.
I think my sisters are incredibly selfish. They refuse to even discuss it with me. They show up mid-afternoon to exchange gifts with all of us and have Christmas dinner – and everyone else has to do all the work.
Am I wrong to feel angry? What should I do?
It doesn’t sound like your situation is a family feud to anyone but you. It sounds like your sisters are trying to establish their own family traditions. And it sounds as if that boundary isn’t working for everyone else.
What should you do? You should celebrate with your family and open gifts in the morning and then enjoy dinner with the rest of the family when they arrive. And you should ask your sisters to contribute to the meal in some way, whether they bring a dessert or have a ham delivered the day before. And you should let your parents handle their hurt feelings around not seeing their grandchildren open gifts on Christmas morning.
You are putting yourself in the position of taking care of everyone’s feelings. You can only take care of your own.
And remember that one day, when you and your fiancé marry and have children, you may have to make tough decisions about where to spend your holidays.
A note to readers: I received a letter from a reader that wanted me to remind everyone that lots of people have to work on holidays – particularly those in the service-industry, such as restaurants, convenience stores, hospitals, etc. The letter went on to suggest that we all need to remember that – and stop complaining that our holidays aren’t going the way we want or there’s lots of traffic or there isn’t the right cranberry sauce at the grocery store because some people aren’t even able to celebrate during the day because they have to work.
Sherry Hughes welcomes letters from readers at email@example.com
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