Tuesday, December 15

Christmas issues

I may love Christmas and my family around but I have one small problem which arises every Christmas. My only sibling doesn't. Over the years he has made himself and his family quite scarce. Christmas has been either a 'we dont want to leave the house' day (fair enough) but we wont make any other arrangements, or a 'you're to far to travel to to be with (30 min) and 'its a pain and we'd prefer to do Christmas low key by ourselves this year' (later finding out that Xmas has been done with the in-laws family (the truth is so much better) or 'what are you doing this year? we're staying home, feel free to drop in anytime'.

Its always on his terms and at his place. Or else its a Christmas Eve visit,his kids optional and for an hour or two. No other options considered. So, if I dont take up the offers and times they propose, there's no recourse. No negotiation. 'This is what we're doing, join in if you want to see us. If you cant make it, too bad. '
Its dissapointing to say the least.

So, in the last few days, after I found out that the Christmas proposal that I thought he''d made when we last saw each other at our Mums birthday; to have lunch together, is not happening, i was pretty shattered. They have lunch with the in-laws and early evening drinks with friends and neighbours organised...but again, feel free to drop in...(thanks for including us in the arranging but we have a 1 1/2 year old, so night-time drinks are a small problem. He seems to think this is inclusive, an expression of interest. Or am I wrong here?

Alternatively, we have been offered a Christmas Eve at their place (with the caveat that they're both working till late so its probably not possible ) but hey send me a 'proposal'" or else Christmas morning at their place before they head out for lunch. Geez thanks. Last time we were invited over to their place (2 years ago) he cancelled due to rain??? And never rescheduled. I dont get him.

My heart has been in recovery mode. I sent him an email saying how sad i was about it all, his lack of priority of my family. His very legal response (he owns a law firm) was not touching and heart warming to say the least. Last time I spoke up about something I didn't like, he and wife didn't talk to me for three years.

Im waiting his response to my latest letter...Im actually quite terrified but it feels great to purge!


belinda said...

Yep, family politics sucks.

Honestly it sounds like he is a "world revolves around him" type. They don't have to do anything uncomfortable or inconvenient. They don't have to do anything but announce a date for a party and everyone, not just family, are expected to be grateful. The only way that an event he doesn't feel inspired about attending or throwing is going to happen is if wife nags (which of course she is more likely to do on behalf of her family than yours).

On the bright side the behaviour isn't personal.. on the not so great side until it stops working for him in the vast majority of his life it aint gunna change.

Kind Regards

Anonymous said...

Ah that sucks. My own family are different, they want everyone to be part of everything. It gets overwhelming sometimes and we start talking about spending next Christmas in Afghanistan for the peace and quiet. Either way, families are about give and take, and it sucks when someone in your family doesn't get that.

Would it be helpful if you gave up on Christmas, when they always have somewhere else they could be, and chose a day in, say, July, when you all get together? Then you'd know straight up you will only spend Christmas with people who don't drive you crazy. Perhaps your Mum's birthday could be Compulsory Family Day?

Kelly said...

belinda- true true. its funny how writing it all down gives clarity. it never really occourred to me that he was selfish this way until then. true to form i always think Im being unreasonable...*Doh* And i really dont expect him to change or to 'want' it.

ICG- lol, and like about, reading others, you saying give and take, makes it so much clearer to me what my issues are. Its all about reciprosity and care. Im fully expecting that after my last email it may well be about now that we give up on Christmas! lol My mums birthday IS the only day we get together during the year. So sad!!

Sarah said...

Oh that is crap Kelly...

Pleased to see you have realised the issue is his self centred attitude certainly not you being unreasonable.

Hey what about visiting him in person and telling him face to face than email? Maybe this will be more theraputic than an email which does not show body language etc... thinking out loud

Jacqui said...

Hmm this is exactly why I have always hated Christmas - I get this sort of thing from my mother and step father, my eldest brother AND my Dad. It's crap. Good on you for speaking out because the bottom line is that it hurts. Because I am somewhat of the peacemaker in the family, I have churned myself up year in and year out over Christmas - never being able to be with everyone at once (my parents maintain an acrimonious divorce) and then the to-ing and fro-ing each year between everyone else's place but ours. Do you know Mick and I have never had one Christmas at home together? Incredible. Last year I started to make it clear things were going to change and I can say that this year has been OK so far but still running off to make everyone else happy, just doing it more on our terms.

Have a great Christmas with your brood Kel - thanks for an inspiring and thoughtful blog. Your culinary adventures really are amazing and now you've teamed up with the formidable gnomes - watch out! I hope 2010 is a really good year for you and yours.

Best wishes,

Kelly said...

jacqui- i think once again i fell victim to my expectations that people are like me. Seriously tho, i dont understand why people cant just be considerate and nice and PLAY BY THE RULES! lol. Im the peacemaker too- sucks but i want to do something about the hurt!Hope you have a lovely christmas . Hope we doo too! no doubt a post xman post will be on the cards!

Kelly said...

jacqui- thesis due day brain took over- thansk for your lovely comments; so nice to hear. 2010 hopefully brings me some more time to do more interesting stuff!

Kelly said...

sarah- hearing other peoples descriptors has really helped me see the wood for the trees here! too chicken to do face to face(need therapy). email worked and all ok for now ! lets see how Xmas eve goes!