Christmas stress.....

I am really trying to have a less stressful Christmas. I really am, for my sake and for the sake of my family. Christmas presents are bought. Plans were made last month for what we were doing Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Things seemed to be moving forward smoothly...until...today.....

I went to the grocery store this afternoon and my husband calls me. He only calls if a) there is a problem with the kids or b) because he HAS to tell me something. He had just gotten off the phone with his mother.

The day after Thanksgiving, Bill and his mom were talking about our plans for Christmas. She wanted us to come for Christmas dinner and to be at their house on Christmas Day. Well we had already committed to going to Bill's aunt and uncles house for Christmas Eve and we had told his mom that we would like to spend Christmas Eve day with them, so that we would not have to have two 3 hour round trip car rides in 2 days. We didn't think that putting the kids through the car rides was fair. She went on a rant that she was unavailable on Christmas Eve because they had to usher at church and we were choosing my side of the family over Bill's side, etc. She said that we must have her very low on our totem pole and she hung up on Bill. At Rebecca's b-day party, she did not speak to my husband. The Monday after that she called to say that Christmas Eve was fine for getting together and that we could come in the afternoon and then all go to Bill's aunt and uncles from there. That way we could spend Christmas Day at home with our kids and then Christmas night spend with my parents (who live 15 min away). Okay so the plans were made. Right? WRONG!!!!

She called Bill today to say that Rick (Bill's brother whom we have seen 1 time in the last 5 years) is coming in on Christmas Day only and so we HAVE to come to her house on Christmas Day and that if we come Christmas Eve she won't be able to see us. ???? Bill told her we would be there all afternoon Christmas Eve and that we were going to the family Christmas party that night. My mother-in-law said that that didn't count. And she said that we were choosing my family over them and that she gets no holidays this year. (We celebrated Thanksgiving a day early with her and my other inlaws due to their schedules and the fact that my niece's b-day was on Thanksgiving Day). She said that my parents get to see the kids all the time and that we must not love her very much. Yes my parents see the kids more often because a) they live 15 minutes away and are constantly in our town as my sister and brother's activities and schools are 5 minutes away from my house and b) my mom babysits our kids 3 times a week so I can work part time. Ugh.... (Oh and we have spent every major holiday with them for the past 4 years. We have not seen my parents on Christmas Day since 2006).

Bill and I had made the decision to spend Christmas Eve with the in-laws because that way we could spend Christmas morning and early afternoon at home and not have to rush our kids out of the house and allow them to enjoy their things from Santa. My mother-in-law doesn't understand that. We have invited her to our house for Christmas morning and she says " I am 77 years old, I can't do the round trip drive." Ugghhh... I am so tired of dealing with her. If it were not for my kids, we might not have any relationship with them. It is so frustrating!!!!!  I want and need to do what is right for our family. And I am sorry if my mother-in-law doesn't understand. Christmas is not about her (even though she thinks it is). It is about the kids and about being with family and friends at some point.  I wish she could see that.  I am trying not to be stressed about this, but it is so frustrating to me.

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