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Parents alone for Christmas

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
I am so angry at my family, I don't know what to say. I know I am in Bosnia and have no time off to get home for Christmas (it is not a holiday here), but there is a holiday in early Jan and I will be going home then. But I have two brothers and a sister in the UK, and NONE of them have invited my parents for Christmas! My sister has chosen that time to go skiing - OK maybe there were reasons for that, but I don't know of any. One of my brothers has invited them for boxing day - but won't travel an hour to fetch them so they have to go by coach. The other brother, who lives ten minutes' drive away from my parents' house, is the worst. My sister in law always prefers to have family Christmas alone with their two girls, and leaves the rest of us to invite each other. But this year, when she knows that my 90 year old parents will be alone, she is not offering even to drive over to see them for a short while, let alone invite them for a meal, so my mother will not see her grand daughters. And my brother is bowing to pressure because he does not want to upset her. My mother is making light of it, but I know she is really hurt. I can do nothing except send them a large parcel of chocolates etc and make a long phone call. Am I wrong to be angry? For years my mother prepared Christmas for us all and now that she can't, you would think that they would reciprocate. It is not as if there is any problem with my parents - they are good company and love being with their children and grandchildren. OK now I am ranting, I will stop.
post #2 of 26
Oh that is really sad! I don't know what to say, but I know if I was your parents I would be upset - I'm so glad you can go see them in the new year!
post #3 of 26
Your parents will just love the box of chocolates and the phone call. As for your sis-in-law, why not tell your mom & dad to give them a call, at least to talk to the grandchildren. It's Christmas after all.
post #4 of 26
Thread Starter 
I think she will do that, though my sister in law is funny - she hates being disturbed in her own house. My brother will probably manage to call - but it is crazy, living just across town. You would think they could drop by.
post #5 of 26
i would be furious!
especially if my parents made a good xmas after so many years and now they cant coz they are so old.

maybe you can convince your brother to go?? i would be extremely hurt if i were your mother

Thats great that you are sending them a large parcel and a long phone call i would appreciate it to know how much my children loved me
post #6 of 26
I'd be angry as well Jenny. My mother-in-law is 85 and was widowed three years ago. We all make sure she spends Christmas with one of the "children", the last two years she spent it with us, this year she'll be spending it with my sister-in-law (her daughter) who's driving from Manchester to collect her and bring her back!
post #7 of 26
I have no family. I would love to be able to go see my mama and daddy.
post #8 of 26
Batgirl - You have this family!

Jenny - Your sis-in-law - IMHO - is a mean *****. I hope Santa leaves her a dead rat in her stocking! It has always irked me the people who have to have Christmas their certain way and will not even consider altering it a bit.
post #9 of 26
I'm with you Jan.......how they can ingore Jenny's parents is beyond me. Do they realize how much I would give to be able to have my father here for Christmas or anything. Ever since he passed in 2003, I remind everyone I know to appreciate the loved ones in their life............
post #10 of 26
Your anger is justified! It's hard to believe that your brother has caved in on this matter. And that your other brother expects them to travel by bus at their age!
post #11 of 26
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for taking my rants seriously. I feel so helpless about it all, and I don't want to upset my mother any more by slagging off the others to her. She is looking forward to Boxing Day on the 26th and going to my other brother, though how they can agree to let my parents get a taxi then a coach from Cambridge to London, a journey of over two hours, when they could come and get them with all- motorway-driving for an hour or so is also beyond me. I have sent them an email and all they reply is that it was Mom's idea! Well, of course it was, she doesn't want to be a trouble to anyone, that is her nature.
post #12 of 26
well i can tell you that you are still lucky to have parents that are at that age!
Christmas isnt a tradition anymore here, its just like a holiday for other people and a way that we get an extra present
I dont know where i will be this xmas
post #13 of 26
Originally Posted by jennyranson
: Am I wrong to be angry?
No. I think you are justified in your anger. But try not to let it consume you, especially as it seems there's nothing you can do about it.
post #14 of 26
All you can do is your part. It's up to your brother to do his part. If he won't, he won't. But I think it's a shame. How does your brother think he got here? Storks don't drop babies out of the sky!
post #15 of 26
Thread Starter 
No, I cannot let it get to me, especially when I have a seriously ill cat to worry about, who needs all my attention. But I have sent off some emails to taxi/limousine companies, asking how much it would cost to take them to my brother's on Boxing Day. It might be a possibility and something I could do.
post #16 of 26
Originally Posted by fwan
well i can tell you that you are still lucky to have parents that are at that age!
True, true...
post #17 of 26
You have every right to be angry. I would call your brother who just lives across town and tell him to take the kids to see their grandparents while his wife is preparing their dinner. That way, she is in her own home and the kids get to see their grandparents even if it is just for 1 hour.
post #18 of 26
it makes me mad when people cant put themselves out for one day of the year, especially one which is meant to be about giving and spending time with the family.

my grandparents make such a fuss about coming to us every year, starting complaining about it mid november then always end up coming. my mum feels bad if they dont becuase my dad is an only child and if they dont visit us they dont celebrate it. on the 1 year my grandparents didnt come to us my nan rang us every 10minutes to say she was bored! this year they are refusing to come because mine and my sisters boyfriends will be there.

it puts so much pressure on my mum because she wants to make everyone happy. i wonder how they would feel if they didnt have the option.

you cant control your brothers actions but you can do your best to make it up to them when you come and visit. why not have a mini christmas then with all the trimmings?
post #19 of 26

It saddens me when I hear things like this. The holidays are supposed to be about bringing families and friends together. It's unfortunate that your brother can't stand up to his wife for the sake of his parents, but there is little you can do about that. What your sister-in-law is not considering is what she is teaching her own children...that elderly parents are a nuisance, and not to be bothered with. I'm afraid that someday that will come back to haunt her when her own children won't want to "be bothered" with her when she is elderly, and they have families of their own. I can remember as a child that everyone came to see my grandparents, their house was bursting with aunts, uncles, and grandchildren...some of my best memories. It's a shame that your SIL doesn't have a big enough heart to celebrate the holidays the way they were meant to be. I hope you have a great trip when you go see your folks, I know they will be thrilled to see you!
post #20 of 26
Thread Starter 
THat is a very good point about setting an example for your kids. My SIL hates all family celebrations and always tries to find an excuse to get out of coming. But she also tries to get my brother not to come either, and I know they have rows about it, which he hates. I guess we are a large family, and maybe seem overwhelming at times, but we do go out of our way to welcome others in, and my other SIL and BIL are fine at gatherings. But you can't please all the people all the time, can you?
post #21 of 26
Jenny, I absolutely agree with you being angry. You SIL is a very selfish, mean-spirited person. Even if she didn't want to participate, it is very very selfish to restrict your brother form participating. I agree with the post that suggested your brother and the children visit your parents while she is preparing the meal.

Nobody should be alone at Christmas and especially elderly parents who have probably given everything to everyone for many years.

Shame on your brother for not standing up to his selfish wife too.

I hope your Christmas is not spoiled by all this and that dear, sweet Persil is feeling better.

Hugs and love to you from our family.
post #22 of 26
Wow what I would give to have my Nan and my MIL back for Christmas I miss them so much your brothers and sisters are very selfish I feel for you I hope your mum and dad are ok I love the limo idea you had I think they would love it it would sertanly make them feel special I really can't belive the rest of your family could be so unthoughtfull and crewl I would be hopping mad if I was you you only get one shot at doing the right thing if you blow it you may find you have to live with it for the rest of your life I hope that dose not happen to your sibblings I hope it all works out for you and your parents here are some hugs and good vibes comming your way
post #23 of 26
Thread Starter 
I have ordered the limo for boxing day - my mother was cross but it turns out they might not have gone to my brother's at all as she is afraid of going on hte bus in freezing weather. I spoke to my brother and he says he did offer to pick her up but she wouldn't hear of him driving to get them. He just didn't insist hard enough, I guess. This also means my parents will see their first great grandchild for the first time, which they were longing to do. Anyway now everyone is happy, except my other SIL who will be left alone to have Christmas her way. I am sorry for my younger brother though.
post #24 of 26
Good for you Jenny. Even though you can't be there in person, being able to see their great grandchild is a wonderful gift to give to your parents.
post #25 of 26
Jenny that's really sad. I'd be heartbroken too if that were me - I'm so glad that you can make the time to see them in the new year - they'll really appreciate that. Any grandparent would want to see their grandchildren at christmas and I think your sister-in-law has been really selfish over it. Christmas is the time for giving, is it not? My mother has prepared Christmas dinner for a family of at the very least 9 people every year, up until the last two when her marriage fell apart - and I think my making her dinner is the very least I can do for her this time around. She'll be staying with me - ok she's only 42, but the principle is the same. She wants to come and see her grandson, and who am I to say no? I love my mother, and I think your brother should learn to be a bit stronger towards his wife - otherwise she'll be walking all over him for the rest of his life and he'll finish up a very miserable man. It's strange how little things can escalate. I sincerely hope that your parents will have a lovely Christmas in the end though sweetie.
post #26 of 26
Oh Jenny if you knew the arguments i had with my youngest brother who never so much as lifted a finger to ring my parents!.

People have short memories of what parents have done for us in the past. Of course they say no when someone says they'll pick them up, but deep down they don't mean it!, if they'd been asked again they would have said ok then!.

And i agree with Emma on that your brother needs to stand up to his wife because that was the same as my brother and his wife, she ruled the roost!.

But, let them get on with it, but one day they will be elderly themselves!.
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