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Toxic family holidays


treestarfae
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We avoid extended family on holidays. We live thousands of miles away and I won't travel (or ask others to travel) during hectic times. It's just not worth the drama to us.

 

Sorry, no advice beyond removing yourself from the equation.

Edited by MEmama
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hugs.  I finally got dh to see what we were complaining about - and he stopped insisting on hosting.  a couple of his relatives are just very obnoxious. (one is particularly . . . 'entitled') the other, I expect to be far worse than usual this year due to politics. i enjoyed thanksgiving with his family when those two weren't there.  (different families.)  one of  the obnoxious person's spouse filed for divorce last spring.  I kinda think part of it is how obnoxious they are.

 

all you can do is pass the bean dip and change the subject.  boundaries.

 

eta: regarding gifts - I still purchase gifts for his sisters and mother. (my parents are deceased)  one sil -I don't bother with much effort or expense anymore.   why bother when her idea of a gift is an unwrapped dvd of her latest must-watch show.  (we're not into tv.)  one year - she gave my gift to to her to mil. I did get a thank-you phone call from mil.    gracious is not in her vocabulary.  

I buy token gifts for mil's great-grandkids as a family/sibling group.

Edited by gardenmom5
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Anyone have advice for finding grace with those family members that do not give and are not thankful for your giving?

 

Anyone here just avoid the related people or muddle through the drama?

stop giving. Maybe they don't even want you to give. If you are giving for the purpose of getting a thanks and gratefulness, then you shouldn't be giving.
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We walked out of the drama. The dq will never accept us, as the holidays arent drink 'till you drop for us, nor are we going to participate in one way gift exchanges, or subject our children to the tantrums.

 

Agree, never gift expecting a return. Gift because you want to.

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Are you talking about Christmas? We don't give gifts on Thanksgiving.

I thought she might mean those who do the work on Thanksgiving and those who show up empty handed and don't help.

 

Or perhaps those who give/bend for the sake of peace and those who don't give or offer flexibility and harp on old stuff.

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I give presents to everyone who I know will be in attendance at Christmas, no matter what.  They are not necessarily large.  I like doing this, and I don't care whether they have something for me or not (unless it's some super passive aggressive message, which has been known to happen, but which I pretend not to notice--this has the dual effect of being super polite and driving them crazy, which is perfect.)

 

Our Big Family celebrations are always pretty diverse in political and religious views, and usually I avoid talking about those topics, or leave the mini-group and join another one when they come up.

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We stopped doing extended family holidays several years ago.  In a way I am sad, all my childhood holidays were spent with extended family.  My children will not have those kinds of memories.  But, when I was a child, my extended family almost all lived within 30 minutes drive of each other, many in the same town. If things got too stressful, leaving was easy.  Because both my parents were from large families, avoiding certain relatives could also be managed.  

 

We live a day's drive from my parents, two days from one of my siblings.  My cousins have also scattered.  We have spent some holidays with my parents, but logistically it is difficult.   Dh's family lives closer, however, family dynamics are such that we actively avoid some of his relatives.  Instead of mass gatherings on the holiday, we opt to visit those relatives we want to see at other times.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I find it helps a lot if I simply don't have any expectations of those people, and remind myself that I'm not really in a position to know whether they are choosing to be like that, or simply aren't able to do any better because they are missing something within themselves.

 

I try and balance that with not giving of my time and effort in a way that would make me feel like somehow I was owed something, or make me resentful. 

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