Four Christmases: How do you handle The Divorce Christmas Shuffle?

We recently saw the movie “Four Christmases” with Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon. And while the movie was just OK, the premise of the film is very familiar to many families.

In the movie, both sets of parents are divorced so they have to hit four Christmasses in one day.  I call it The Divorce Christmas Shuffle.

I have many friends shuttling kids between divorced grandparents and also between divorced parents. You could be up to six Christamases if the parents are divorced as well.

A lot of our friends try to hit several of the grandparents before Christmas day. If you have the time off or can use the weekend before the holiday, this seems to save a lot of frustration and headache.

How do you handle visiting divorced grandparents or parents in your house? Do you celebrate the holiday ahead or after the real date? Do the kids think it’s fun to celebrate multiple times at multiple places or would they be just as happy with one? Could you arrange for everyone to get together or would that get ugly? Could the divorced grandparents be trusted together over dinner? What about divorced parents? Could you pull it off?

What are the secrets to a successful Divorce Christmas Shuffle?

NEWS TO NOTE: If you are on Facebook, we now have an AJC Momania Fan Page. You can share messages and photos there. Also there is an RSS feed of the blog under the News heading so you can check for the latest topic without leaving Facebook. Here’s the link http://www.facebook.com/pages/AJC-Momania/210922088338.We have some exclusive material on the AJC Momania Facebook page right now: my husband posted the kids’ photo with Santa from yesterday.

And speaking of Facebook, I have a friend having an epic battle between her Elves on the Shelf. She’s posting the photos on Facebook. I’m trying to get her permission to post them on the blog for you guys to see. They are soo funny! Keep checking back to see if I can get them up. She is very creative!


91 comments Add your comment

Hi there

December 23rd, 2009
8:31 am

As a child of divorce we were always going from one house to another, but we did enjoy our holidays. Our parents still got along really well and adapted to the new spouses and children that came from the second and sometimes third marriages. Thankfully we would end up at both Grandma’s houses that day or someone would host the whole family over for Christmas day. (We would do Thanksgiving most of the time and have 70 people at our house so it was the WHOLE family) We loved it and of course as a kid we didn’t know about any of the stresses that came along with that, but now as an adult I wonder how they did it and without all the convience items we as parents have now. Two hour long car rides without tv’s, music players, computers and the like, jeez no wonder they wanted to turn the car around. :-)

I think it can be as hard on the kids as you want it to be and if everyone gets along (or at least should for one day) do it at someones house and allow the kids and everyone else to just do things once. I think I could pull it off and have for the most part every year for the past six years. However, now that my brother has married and had a child he can’t make it to “One” of our family gatherings, but can attend “SIX” of her family functions this week into the weekend. Nice. Anyone have advice on what to do with this? Should I say something to the wifey? Tell my brother to stand up for himself since it’s his holiday as well? Just back off and wait and see what happends next year? Smack her and tell her to quit being selfish? (Last one a joke, but sometimems I really could)

Hope everyone has a great Christmas.

motherjanegoose

December 23rd, 2009
8:52 am

I do not have any advice for the divorce dilemma, so I will be reading only today.

Merry Christmas everyone!

@ Hi there….my husband’s brother’s wife has parents who insist she spends Sunday dinner with them every week. This has been going on for 30 years. If we ever travel in from out of town, we can join them at her parents ( a nice invite but we do not) or find something else to do. They also HAVE to be there for holiday dinners. Maybe I am the only one who thinks this is a bit much? I cannot fathom this as we have not been at either of of parent’s houses for holiday dinners in years. As I have mentioned before, my husband’s parents have NEVER been to our house. The road only goes one way.

Years ago, the gifts from Santa got there but we almost did not, as they were sent ahead. We were frantic as to what the kids would think if we were in a hotel with no presents from Santa. We spent Christmas eve in the airport trying to maneuver a flight. That was the end of traveling 8-20 HOURS and having stress for Christmas. As they got older, there were activities here and then they had jobs. We spend a quiet Christmas home now and have done this for quite a while. There may be more folks doing this lately with the economy and also the weather that is expected to hit the midwest!

Hi there

December 23rd, 2009
9:04 am

Motherjane@ Thank you for at least letting me know I’m not alone with this issue. I just really think it should go both ways and that he should be allowed to spend time with his family at least once. Honestly, he is not making it to even one holiday get together. Since our dad lives in California and our mother passed many years ago, I have tried to step in and be the “mom” for my brother and sister and keep on the traditions that she had going. Why does a marriage have to change everything? My spouse and I don’t argue over what to do over the holidays and give and take with other visits and what not. It’s about compromise and working things out, not just about getting your way. My brothers wife is young (20 and just had their first child last month) so I’m hoping that as she ages she calms down a bit.

Hey, Hi there...

December 23rd, 2009
9:15 am

It always amuses me how we get a blog and then, after the second blog by the same person, more details emerge that help to further explain the situation.

The wife is 20? And just had a baby? Seems to me that they are making the rounds on her side, and this may not change much for the first couple of years.

Also, have you asked you brother about this arrangement – maybe it is HE who does not care to be with his family right now.

Michelle

December 23rd, 2009
9:16 am

@ Hi there…perhaps it’s not worth the stress & frustration that the wife gives him! He knows that you will still love him whenever he makes it over! I’m pretty sure as the baby gets a little older, he’ll be coming around more.

Ugghh…holidays with divorced parents…what a nightmare! I remember this as a kid! It was fun seeing everyone, but the backlash and guilt of wanting to be in one place was just ridiculous! We NEVER spent one whole holiday at one house.

My suggestion (and what we have done with our step kids) is to break it up so the kids are in one place for a whole day. You may have to change and do the holiday a day early or late though. For small families, this really isn’t that big of a deal. This year is going to be tough though. My little guy is 6 and still believes in SC! Sooo…his brothers are supposed to go home tomorrow night. I guess they’ll have to come back over to our house to open their SC gifts since they won’t be under the tree until Christmas morning! :o)

Really, I don’t think the kids care HOW the holidays are arranged, it’s the parents who cause all the drama! All of the parents want the kids for the BIG holidays and don’t want to share. Selfishness at it’s best!

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

December 23rd, 2009
9:37 am

She’s very very young. I can’t imagine having a baby and being married at 20. She’s got a lot of growing to do and it probably never even occurred to her that her husband would want to see his family. She’s just used to seeing hers. She’s probably freaked out with the new baby, wants help and reassurance, wants to feel protected and young again and may not feel as comfortable with his side — I think the being young explains a lot. I would give her the benefit of the doubt if you do approach the situation — maybe say we are so disappointed we’re not getting to see you guys and the baby. Is there any way you can fit us in –

removed it

December 23rd, 2009
9:46 am

I do not care what the calendar says. Secular Christmas will be held on Monday, December 28th at my house.

The children will have a Secular (and perhaps a relgious too) celebration in the company of their father and his extended family on the traditional date.

As the children get older, indeed as I get older. I find that I do not want the stress of a prescribed holiday schedule. That is true of ANY holiday — labor day, MLK, or Christmas.

I have extended family visiting my parents. I spent time with them over the past weekend. (My parents are 30 – 45 minutes away from me). More family is to arrive tonight or tomorrow morning. I will go for a few hours tomorrow to visit. Then I will go back for a few hours on Christmas Day. I will also be visiting two other friends’ homes during this time. This is my choice and everyone is clear that I will not be spending tons of time anywhere.

It is only going to be stressful if I let it. I am going to go at my pace, I know the dining schedules and will plan accordingly. I even told my Mom to go ahead and start without me if I am not there, I will at least do dessert with them.

My parents are joining the kids and I on Monday. In fact, my Mom let it slip that that is the celebration she is most looking forward too.

Parents who have divorced, just like newly weds, have to realize that some traditions will have to change. They will have to relax and find new definitions. Insisting that your children spend each holiday with you is unfair to you and them, and just sets up animosity.

Here is wishing you a lessed stressed and more Merry Christmas and Yuletide!

Becky

December 23rd, 2009
9:53 am

Thank goodness this isn’t an issue for us either..I do have a brother though that lives in Snellville and he says that it’s to far for him to drive..Go figure..Christmas is the only time that we ever see him..

@Hi there, I would just flat out ask him what his problem is..Of course that is just me..Our family is very verbal, if we want to know, we ask..If you don’t feel right doing that, just give it another year and see what happens..

iRun

December 23rd, 2009
9:55 am

Heck, my husband and I are still married, my parents are still married, his mother has never been married (he has no father) yet we go nowhere for Christmas. My parents and his mom are 9 hours away. It just ain’t happening. We spend it here, just us.

motherjanegoose

December 23rd, 2009
10:00 am

LOL @ removed it, I am with you on the stress of any holiday…my kind of person! This is why my fancy dishes rarely get used but the picnic and patio sets are worn out. I love to cook out and invite friends over or even take them to lunch or dinner. I HATE having a big formal dinner here in my dining room….to each his own!

I know there are those who like to ooh and aah over other’s houses and all the beautiful stuff they have but I want to visit with the people, we can be eating a yogurt at the park and that is fine with me!

...

December 23rd, 2009
10:02 am

The problem is expectations. Too many people expecting too much of other people. If you have grown children, you shouldn’t expect them to travel to see you every holiday, birthday, or other celebration. You should go see them some times and hope they come see you, but not expect it.

Elliot Garcia

December 23rd, 2009
10:08 am

We spend Christmas in Antigua every year—just my wife and I and our children….it sure beats all of the other dilemnas!

hockeymom

December 23rd, 2009
10:22 am

My parents divorced when I was a teenager and Christmas especially became an issue, but somehow we made it work. Then marriage and children and trying to fit in grandparents for the holidays while still letting the children enjoy their Christmas presents became a bit stressful. We did come up with solutions (having celebrations on Christmas eve, etc) that seemed to work. By 2004 all of our parents had passed away (we are still in our 40s) so now there is no where we have to be on Christmas – what a bummer. As much as the stress made me crazy at the time, I would honestly enjoy another Christmas spent shuffling from house to house and I know the children would love the opportunity to see much loved and missed grandparents again.

Worked it Out

December 23rd, 2009
10:26 am

I feel very fortunate that my ex and I agreed, up front, to always be home at Christmas so that we can both be with our daughter – now 16. When she was younger, one of us would spend the night at the other’s house (sleeping with her) so that we wouldn’t miss anything on Christmas morning. Now, depending on who she is with – it alternates each year – the other comes over early, we have breakfast and open gifts. Then we all go about out day visiting with each other and friends. She visits with his parents before Christmas and we usually go home (6 hours) to mine the day after Christmas.

My ex and I get along very well, and I feel very blessed for that!!

Wayne

December 23rd, 2009
10:27 am

@hockeymom; had the same sort of thing – my parents divorced while I (and my younger sister) was in my early teens. It was difficult but it sorta worked out. Now, my Dad is in CA, my sister is in PA and my Mom is in FL, so just have my wife’s family here. All grandparent’s have passed on. It’s okay, but it’s not the same without my family here. My boys haven’t met my Dad, but they have my Mom. Where’s Grandma is a common refrain around the house.

Pray

December 23rd, 2009
10:27 am

My parents who have been married for 30 years divorced this summer and I dodged Thanksgiving, but I have absolutely no idea how to divide myself and my family so that we can go see them both for Christmas. My mother is here in Georgia visiting family and my father is in Alabama. He keeps asking me if I’m coming home and my mother keeps asking me what time should she be at my house for Christmas dinner…

removed it

December 23rd, 2009
10:37 am

MJG I am a regular poster who removed my name. I am not sure that I am your cup of tea but you would be surprised that I really am a nice person. I do this when I give information that might connect me to my kids. I have no problem with taking heat for what I say as my regular persona but I do have issues with my kids taking heat for it.

I know their teachers and others that know me, read this blog. Most of them do not know my screen name though.

Georgia Daaawg

December 23rd, 2009
10:39 am

If you’re a parent with kids, anyone who wants to see you and your kids need to go to your house! Once I started having kids, I told all family members Christmas was at my house, come if you want, but we aren’t going anywhere. Some will come, some won’t, in the end you find out how important you and your kids are to others!

single dad

December 23rd, 2009
10:43 am

seems to me that the whole custody/holiday shuffle is just a sad fact of life for children of divorced parents. a parent who divorces his/her spouse, but makes an issue out of custody/holidays doesn’t care about children. i’m not talking about spousal abuse, substance abuse or infidelity. i am talking about “i don’t love you anymore” or “i feel trapped…” if you feel you made a mistake in marrying your child’s other parent, fine, but be prepared to walk away from your children as well. at the end of the day, most parents are self absorbed (emotional) children themselves, and all this litigation and court-ordered stuff is just a revenue stream for lawyer and the Courts. ‘the best interests’ of the child are not served by ANY divorce and more often than not, become a tool for one parent to do harm to the other. so spare me the trite “concern” for the kiddies. love and the spirit of christmas or any holiday cannot be “ordered” by a Court. that said, merry christmas to all and to all a good night.

Michelle

December 23rd, 2009
10:45 am

Theresa, my first post didn’t show!

motherjanegoose

December 23rd, 2009
10:55 am

@ removed it, I do not know if you are my kind of person. I actually meant that your comment about not being stressed is my kind of person. For all I know, you could be someone who regularly spats with me!

I am really a nice person too, as those who actually know me can attest to. This is why I often wonder how those who do not know a person can make rude jabs about their character, on a blog. It is one thing to disagree or be offended by a comment but another to ridicule the poster. We have mentioned this before! It does seem that things have calmed down a bit.

I did get a kick out of the post on Toys for Tots blog by Private:

“I don’t like people who take from the government. It annoys me seeing a person buying $200-600 in food (paying with food stamps) but driving around in a new car and a Coach hand bag.”

I have mentioned seeing this before and have taken heat from other posters who think I am crazy!
Guess I am not the only one who realizes that this is happening.

@ Georgia Daaawg….You are correct about finding out what is important and sadly, my kids are not too important to their grandparents. They mean the world to us and we make sure they know they are loved and that we are proud of them…as most here know.

Tasha

December 23rd, 2009
11:05 am

We string out Christmas over a few days. It actually makes it more fun!

Wayne

December 23rd, 2009
11:06 am

What we ended up doing when we were kids is to do Christmas Eve at one parents house, and Christmas at the other. The next year, we swapped. It worked. What else can you really do, without a ton of stress? Kids don’t need that – at all. Fer cryin’ out cats, it’s Christmas! Or should I say, Holy Crap on a Stick, it’s Christmas!

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

December 23rd, 2009
11:10 am

michelle — i will search for it –

three Christmases and counting

December 23rd, 2009
11:13 am

My parents are divorced and my father is remarried. They are in another state. My in-laws are nearby, as is my mother. We have a pretty good routine going – Christmas Eve with Mom, a little while Christmas morning just us and our kids, then most of Christmas Day at in-laws, drive to my dad’s house the day after Christmas and spend a few days as work schedules permit.

I’m an only child; my mother’s family never had a big holiday, and my dad’s not so much until he remarried. I absolutely CRAVED a big family Christmas growing up! The first year I went with my boyfriend to his parents’ house and there were nieces and nephews running everywhere and way too many people and presents to fit around the tree, and 30+ potluck dishes, I thought I was in heaven! And now that my father is re-married, my kids have aunts and uncles and cousins on my side, and they get ANOTHER big round of presents and food and crowds. I will drive for hours, cook casseroles, pack awkward-shaped presents in the trunk, schedule around all the school and church activities – whatever it takes to keep it all up and give my kids lots of extended family time.

I read once that divoce and re-marriage had created a modern extended family, a new version of kinship, and I believe it. Divorce is truly awful for children, especially when it’s happening, but later in life, it’s a nice side effect to have yet another extended family.

We usually have yet ANOTHER Christmas dinner in early December with our long-time best friends, three families we’ve been friends with since newlywed/grad school days. We all live scattered around north Georgia now but all have children around the same age and try to get them together for yet more “cousin time.”

What is getting complicated for us is that my husband’s nieces and nephews are now getting engaged, married, having kids themselves (he’s the youngest and the nieces and nephews are much older than our children). It’s getting harder to find a time when the maximum number of grandchildren can be at my in-laws’ house and also get time with their spouses’ families. Our goal is to really hold it together, keep having a really big family Christmas and adding great-grandchildren as they come along. I guess we are true Clark Griswolds.

Hi there

December 23rd, 2009
11:15 am

Thanks for everyone’s comments and I am going to try and just give my brother this year, but she does need to know that things change once you are married and you have to do other things. I mean, she lives on the same street as her parents and most of the family attend the same church, so why can’t they just give a little bit? I mean the rest of us live an hour away and were even going to give them gas money to help out. OH well, I’m over it and I guess I will see them when I see them. Just hope they take pictures to send to the family as they will be expecting them.

oneofeach4me

December 23rd, 2009
11:18 am

@ single dad.. that is so sad.. but so true.

My parent’s divorced when I was a year old and the Holiday’s were always divided. I do have to say.. as I got older it became more complicated because at the point I always considered the other person’s feelings. In all honesty.. I wished my paren’ts were still together back then. Now today, I see why they aren’t.

As for what we do now, we always go to my side of the family for xmas eve (this year it’s at our house) and we go to his family on xmas. Since we are having it at our house I invited everyone. Of course, his family says it’s too far for them to drive (from Fairburn to Kennesaw) but they will hop in the car and drive to South Carolina every chance they get. But hey.. whatever.

Momof2

December 23rd, 2009
11:24 am

I would not advocate having the ex- stay over at my place so he doesn’t miss the early morning activities – I think the could set up false expectations for the children (I am staying divorced from him and there is no chance of that changing) – so the kids are shuffling.
I try to always make sure the kids know the plan, and remind them a couple of times so they’re ready. I make sure they always have a present for the ex- that they shopped for – I think they need to have that involvement in the process, plus I think the ex- needs to experience their taste in presents. Also, they have presents for the ex’s pets.
The main thing is to try to get them to look forward to the shuffle, like, “ok, we wore Mom out, let’s go to Dads now”.

Photius

December 23rd, 2009
11:26 am

Oh Motherjanegoose… you get ticked off at welfare; is that your extent of political reality? How about hundreds of millions of campaign contributions from big business in order to re-write laws and get a return on their investment? But I guess is welfare and food stamps that should get me riled up… Not Wall Street.

We have a normal Christmas because nobody in our family is divorced! Something a bit radical… a little different…. people who actually make a marriage work in an entire family.

Snellville mom

December 23rd, 2009
11:33 am

We divorced when our daughter was 7. Christmas was always at the house she lived in with Mom. Dad would come over and do Santa then leave. Mom and daughter wold go to my family’s for lunch and to see family. He would pick her up later in the afternoon to go to his mothers. We felt that was best for our daughter. Now that she is 19, she will drive over to Dad’s in the afternoon to go the Grandma’s house. The only difference is Dad is not coming to do Santa. We had to tell her the truth this year… ;>).

teach1

December 23rd, 2009
11:40 am

Our daughter has done the Christmas shuffle between our home and her mom’s for going on 14 years. This year we asked her (now 17) if she owuld like to spread the visits out and see some of the family Christams eve, open gifts then and see grandpa the day after. She looked at us like we were nuts and said “Christams day is about everyone. Its supposed to be a little crazy”. She is traveling to all 4 houses(parents and granparents) Christmas day! Luckily she can drive herself now!

Tiger needs me on his PR team

December 23rd, 2009
11:45 am

My wife and I each have divorced parents, we came to a great solution….screw them, we take a vacation over the holidays and leave them all behind. A couple years in a row it was Maui, sometimes it’s San Diego, occasionally skiing in Colorado. the Holidays are SO much better when you leave your relatives behind instead of worrying about who’s feelings are going to hurt because you saw one parent earlier, longer, etc.

Photius

December 23rd, 2009
11:52 am

Hey “Tiger needs me..” – that’s great! I agree. Put a bunch of relatives together in a house… after you catch up you realize you have very little in common with these people… add booze…. family starts pushing buttons or you start realizing how nuts your family is and sometime’s it WHY AM I DOING THIS? IT’S MY LIFE – THIS IS NOT FUN. We’ve taken vacations too at Christmas and it is better!

Mary

December 23rd, 2009
11:59 am

I just do like I did for years in Puerto Rico — celebrate until Three Kings Day — save money, time, stress. Spread it out.

Nikki

December 23rd, 2009
12:04 pm

My parents divorced when I was 10 and my brother was 7. We would have Christmas with Dad and his family the weekend before or the weekend after Christmas. Christmas day we were always with my Mom and her parents, who would come up from Macon. My Mom’s philosophy- if you want to see your grandkids, you come to our house! We loved being at home with all our new stuff.
Now, I am married to a man that is divorced and has two kids (12 & 15). They live with us full-time. Typically, we do our Christmas with the kids and my mother-in-law on Christmas Eve and the kids go to their mom’s Christmas morning through New Year’s. This seems to work out well. Their mom has a lot of family that they have to make the rounds to see (her parents are divorced and are both remarried). My mother-in-law despises Christmas, so that leaves my hubby and I on our own (both my parents are now deceased and my brother and his family live in NY) and we love it. We go to the movies, then out for Chinese food. This year we will head down to hang out with some friends that evening and then have the remainder of the weekend to do whatever we want! It’s a very relaxing time for us and we really could use it this year!
I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas and a prosperous New Year’s!

Tiger needs me on his PR team

December 23rd, 2009
12:07 pm

@Photius….it’s SO much better than a big get together. I mean, seriously, why does anyone think that arguments and hurt feelings that occur during the other 11 months of the year are suddenly going to disappear and we’ll have a scene out of A Christmas Carol and every relative will suddenly channel the spirit of Tiny Tim and say “God bless us all, everyone”? The only way to win the game of the Christmas Shuffle is to not play by the rules.

Chris Broe

December 23rd, 2009
12:08 pm

My parents stayed married, but I saw my mom kissing Santa Claus once.

Julia

December 23rd, 2009
12:10 pm

I was a child of divorced parents and my son is now my son is a child of divorced parents. This year, my ex husband decided he wanted to sue me for custody. This was a night mare. He decided to believe and ex boy friend of mine and now we are all paying lawyers. Needles to say, I kept custody but I dont have a thing for him this year for Christmas. This has been a very hard year but I know that next year will be better……. If any one just has prayers, just say a few for my boy and me.

single dad

December 23rd, 2009
12:22 pm

Tiger needs… if you recall, the Cratchit’s also downed copious amounts of gin punch in order to survive the Christmas Shuffle (actually, they remained married, but that’s not my point).

motherjanegoose

December 23rd, 2009
12:22 pm

@ Photius…I tend to comment on things I see and live everyday. While big business contributions and re-writes will affect me, this is not something I rub shoulders with on a regular basis. I am not knowledgeable to make a valid contribution about what is going on there. I do see children who grow up with parents that are modeling misplaced financial priorities and these children may too grow up to be on welfare and purchasing things they cannot afford because they have our tax money to pay for food and housing.

Perhaps this is kind of like those of us who are staying in GA for Christmas and are not fretting about the major snowstorms that will indeed affect many of those who are traveling ( in the midwest) to see family for Christmas or may miss flights at the airport due to cancellations. Maybe some are.

@ Nikki…I love the Chinese Food thing. We always chuckle at the Chinese restaurants that are advertising they will be open on Christmas. We had Chinese food one Christmas eve as we picked up take out after church. I thought it was fine but my husband was not crazy about it. He prefers a traditional meal ( cooked by myself, my sister and my daughter). This is one time I will suck it up and do it….hahaha!

Glad I am off this week and next.

Name withheld

December 23rd, 2009
12:28 pm

Sounds like alot of folks on here (without naming names) have forgotten about what family means.

Can family get-togethers get crazy and out of hand? Sure. But, they’re your family. If you celebrate Christmas (and are truly Christian), then you appreciate and love your family no matter what. Jesus emphasized loving and taking care of one another.

No matter what.

Tiger needs me on his PR team

December 23rd, 2009
12:30 pm

@single dad…..the Cratchits were a bunch of lushes! I immediately found them very endearing and would welcome them to spend a week on the North Shore over the Xmas holidays grilling fresh mahi mahi over spending time with my relatives. You know Bob secretly hoped his mother in law never made it to Xmas dinner because she’d bitch about him not doing well enough to keep his daughter from having to work in a sweat shop.

Tiger needs me on his PR team

December 23rd, 2009
12:40 pm

@name withheld……I think you are missing the point. My philosophy is to spend the holidays with the family the I appreciate and who appreciates me back during the rest of the year leading up to Xmas. It’s very family focused. My wife and my child spending great quality time together and forging great memories we will never forget. There is nothing more special than that to me. If being a “true Christian” means that I have to let others take something away from that simply because we’re related…..then it’s no wonder I’m agnostic.

lovelyliz

December 23rd, 2009
12:47 pm

My sister had to deal with the facts that not only were her husband’s parents divorced, but now she and he are also. Thank goodness our parents live in another state and come to visit during non-major holidays. Not only did his family all schedule their parties at the same time, but also they all expected everyone to stay there the entire time. Unhappy because you leave early. Unhappy because you arrive late.

In the divorce, she got custody of their daughter. They alternate Thanksgiving/Christmas, switch every year and transfer of the 13 year old takes place at noon-ish. The first couple of years after the divorce she was more than generous with his visitation at Christmas, but then his family froze her out of everything when her ex’s shacklette didn’t like having my sister around. That’s when my sister put her foot down. When told that she would be spending Christmas Eve/morning with Mom, my niece was fine. She still gets to see her father’s family, just not on their schedule.

Sometime you have to compromise. Be consistent and make your decisions concerning the holidays known well in advance.

lovelyliz

December 23rd, 2009
12:52 pm

It’s my understanding that Jesus wants you to love your family, forgive when they transgress and pray for them, but not to spend time with people who are a serious threat to your sanity even when you are related by blood, marriage or whatever.

removed it

December 23rd, 2009
1:02 pm

Lovelyliz that is my take on the reading of the scriptures too.

Tiger needs me on his PR team

December 23rd, 2009
1:06 pm

since name withheld invoked the “follow Jesus’s lead” for the holidays….I was just wondering, can anyone imagine how THAT Xmas family gathering would go? Jesus and God sitting at the table having a conversation? I mean admittedly, Jesus was a forgiving, loving, compassionate guy….a little different from daddy! I think it might go something this…..

GOD: What’s bugging you, son, you seem a little distracted today.

Jesus: Well, I’m still a little put out by some of the things you’ve done lately.

GOD: like what?

Jesus: well…like Exodus 12:29 when you ordered all the Egyptian firstborn children and cattle killed….just seemed a little over the top to me.

GOD: Hey, they had it coming to them alright…pass the potatoes!

Jesus: I wish I could dad, but I haven’t been able to grip with my hands since…well, YOU KNOW when! I mean, couldn’t you have come up with something different to show the world how much you loved them than to have me hanging there by my hands?!? I wanted to be a concert piano player!

GOD: Hey! that’s enough from you, young man….I work in mysterious ways, OK! Now go to your room, you just lost dessert!

Becky

December 23rd, 2009
1:21 pm

@lovelyliz..AMEN..If anyone one here had ever met any of my family, boy would they know that praying is a good thing..

Photius

December 23rd, 2009
1:33 pm

Oh, and the other thing about these morons who get divorced once/twice… the sham of having to buy gifts at Christmas for the new boyfriend/girlfriend they are shacked up with and the non-blood line rug rats which get added to the fold, bleeding our wallet dry.

name withheld

December 23rd, 2009
1:33 pm

My wife left, took the kid and all after she was running around. Kind of stinks — maybe that’s why I ended up overseas. No reason to make the kid suffer more, heh?