Family Christmas?

I am feeling very hurt and frustrated by my family. I have been attempting to make plans for Christmas with them but have only felt defeated. I previously wrote about the stress in my blog post Christmas stress is upon us, but problems have only continued to escalate. So here is where we are currently at. We recently moved closer to home which has allowed some assumptions to be made about Christmas celebrations. We haven’t celebrated Christmas with my family for the last two years so a lot of things have changed. My family is wanting us to drive home for the holidays but we think it’ll be too much since we live in the city. The best part is I found out they wanted us to drive home not once but twice. Drive to my parents on Christmas Eve and then my Grandma’s on Christmas day, which I had assumed were both on the same day since no one mentioned otherwise but nope. I don’t appreciate that they are expecting us to make the drive on two separate days and just assumed that we know what the family usually does even though we haven’t been around or informed. They said I could spend the night which wasn’t helpful at all. What are we supposed to do with our dogs? My brother suggested bringing them, so we’re just supposed to show up to my grandma’s house with two dogs? One, this is rude. Two, my dogs are dog reactive and there will be other dogs there. My grandma lives an hour away from my parents so staying the night and leaving them there doesn’t make sense either. It really doesn’t matter though because this is all beside the point. The point is we don’t want to do this. We don’t want to sit in traffic all weekend. As mentioned in my previous blog, it takes two hours for us to drive to my parents on a good day. This led us to decide we don’t want to drive on the holidays. It doesn’t seem worth it to us to have to drive around the whole weekend just sitting in traffic. With our decision in mind, we let my family know that we would still love to see them and want to plan a time for a pre-holiday gathering to celebrate together. I felt they would be understanding about this request because nobody likes to sit in traffic and this is what they did two years ago when my middle brother was going to be out of town for Christmas. Instead what has happened has only made me feel sad, unimportant and defeated. My mom was initially shocked that we weren’t planning on driving home on the day and has pushed for us to at least go to my grandma’s. That being said she has since jumped on board with a pre-holiday event and is happy to at least be seeing us. With her on board I continued my quest and reached out to my brother. I have two brothers but one recently moved out-of-state so only one will be attending Christmas this year. I spoke with my brother about our decision to avoid holiday traffic and that we are planning on making a special trip home before the holidays to see everyone. I asked him if any dates in particular worked for him and that we’d love to see them if they had the time. His response was to continually convince me that traffic wouldn’t be that bad and that I should drive home for Christmas Eve to see them. This upset me for many reasons. First off I wasn’t asking for advice, just seeing if you had time beforehand because this is happening either way. Second he refused to care about my opinion and desires to instead push his own agenda. Third they live 20 min, maybe, from my parents and we live 2 hours away in the city. It’s a big effort for us to drive home, unlike for you guys. Besides there is always traffic here so wouldn’t you assume it’d be especially bad on the holidays? I calmly tried to come back to my point of this is what we are planning and we’d love to see you if you have time. We hope they can make it but if not we will miss them. With this stressful conversation over I was hoping that things would only go up from there. Obviously this wasn’t the case. I continued the plans with my mom and let her know that my brother isn’t planning on coming but we’ll let him know the date and time in case they are able to make it. My mom was sad that they didn’t have the time but was happy to continue plans with us. I was starting to feel better and glad we were moving forward. Then I received a text message from my dad. The conversation with my dad was very similar to that of my brother. Again trying to convince me that we should be driving home on the day instead and that traffic won’t be that bad since it’ll be a weekend. This frustrated me. We are not asking for their permission or advice. We are telling them this is what we’ve planned and would love for them to be apart of it. Instead of appreciation for wanting to see them at all, they saw it as a chance to negotiate with me and convince me to do what they want instead. I wish they would respect our decisions. I was also very frustrated with the traffic situation. They both stated traffic won’t be that bad because it’s a weekend. Okay so it’s a weekend? Meaning if Christmas landed on a Wednesday things would be different? It’s a holiday! It literally doesn’t matter what day it lands on, everyone has off and most people travel. No means no. I don’t hear a single one of them volunteering to come see us for Christmas. They don’t seem to care that we live in the city and instead are trying to tell me what it’ll be like. How would they even know? They’ve never lived in the city so I’m not sure why they think their thoughts and opinions would trump my own. It has taken a lot of support from my husband to remain calm and patient while continuing on with plans that include them if they desire. I am exhausted though. I feel completely drained and wish they were more appreciative that we want to spend time with them and celebrate with them. I’m not forcing anyone to do my plan so stop trying to force me into yours. The longer this goes on the less likely I’ll ever want to spend holidays with them ever again. It’s just not worth the pain and frustration. I just want the holidays to be fun instead of hurtful and stressful.

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