Do relatives make you feel guilty at Christmas?
December 23, 2009 2:07pm CST
Do you feel guilt-tripped or manipulated into celebrating christmas someone else's way instead of the way you'd like to? I'll put my situation out as an example. When my 3 siblings and I were growing up our Christmas tradition was that we opened presents at home Christmas morning and then travelled about an hour away to spend the rest of the day at my maternal grandparents', which included my unmarried aunt, a teacher who spent her Christmas vacation there. Having no children of her own she was very extravagant with gifts, not so much in price as just the amount of them; that combined with what we got from our grandparents was always more than we got from our parents. The first time I remember NOT going to my grandparents' on Christmas Day, I was a senior in high school and had to work that day and they were convinced to come to our house instead. I think my mother was very surprised as she had told me they'd never agree to it. Meanwhile, we would get together with my dad's side of the family in a way that wouldn't conflict with our standing arrangement. Well, that was 30 years ago. My mom died 25 years ago and my dad is in a nursing home. I haven't had that much contact with my dad for 20 years, which is a topic for another discussion. My grandparents are gone, my aunt is married (no kids) and retired. And yes, the four of us and all spouses, children, and a grandchild are still expected to go to my aunt's on Christmas Day. Her 95-year-old mother-in-law, my dad in a nursing home, and all other inlaws and extended family can go jump in a lake as far as she's concerned. She goes on about how important it is for us ALL to be there, and I'm not saying that it's unimportant. But that means every year 5 OTHER families aren't ALL together. And couldn't it be just as meaningful if we all got together on another day? Or if we took turns hosting so the same people didn't have to spend hours on the road every year? Well, I'd be satisfied if she just stopped the zero-tolerance attitude. It seems as though there is no good excuse for not going--weather, transportations issues, finances, being scheduled to work that day. Claims of illness are met with suspiscion. For heavens sake, she's actually arguing with me this year about it being "our" (not MY) turn to have my son this year, and not my ex-husband's! Bottom line, for me, though, is that I'm almost 50 years old and old enough to make my own holiday plans, and not be treated like the Grinch who stole someone else's Christmas.
1 person likes this
24 Dec 09
Hello, i am so sorry to hear there have some guilty feeling existed during Christmas . Absolutely , i can understand your feeling, even though Christmas is not so important in our China. For me, i hate such feeling as well. Sometimes we have to do sth for someone or for some unnecessary tradition, which we don't really be willing to do. If going as other's expectation, you will feel reluctant and not really happy; But, if you refuse, you will become guilty as a killjoy.So unfair and frustrated.
• United States
23 Dec 09
I personally don't really care for celebrating Christmas in the traditional sense. I love the fact that it's a day to unite and love each other, but having specific traditions is not necessary. People should feel like it's Christmas everyday and then there wouldn't need to be a Christmas. Everyone would wake around without a care in the world(almost everyone).
• United States
23 Dec 09
relatives make me feel guilty, but for a different reason. they buy all these gifts and I really don't have the room in my budget to purchase a lot of gifts or anything really nice. i might buy something for my kids and husband, but everyone else has to deal with a batch of blueberry muffins. They know I can't afford to be buying gifts, and when I don't have a gift for them, they get this cranky look on their face.