The Daily Dribbles

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Christmas Crashers

October 2010:
On Facebook:
My little sister posted this on my wall: "Thanks for all the work you did on my pictures...... Mike* and I are getting our plane tickets for Christmas"
To which my sister-in-law replied: "Are you going to your sister's for Christmas?"

December 2010

The excitement, the anticipation, the lights, the decorations, and the time to spend with family-this is part of what entails Christmas for many. Between the kids and I we had the excitement and anticipation part down. We had the lights and decorations ready and we even had some extra family coming into town to spend Christmas with us. My parents and my little sister and her new spouse were going to join us for Christmas. They would be splitting time between my older sister and I, who lives about 30 minutes away. Just a few extra family members felt perfect for me. I don't want a huge crowd Christmas morning. My kids are 6, 4 and 8-months-old--- ages where Christmas is so magical and fun and also a little bit crazy. I would be perfectly fine if it was just my immediate family for Christmas, but was happy to welcome a few more.

My sister and I had many phone conversations trying to figure out the logistics of where everyone would be staying, who would need to cook which meals and other plans which are necessary when there is going to be a large group of people. After one of the many conversations with my sister, I called up my mom to run some of the tentative plans by her.

"Did you know Tina and Aaron are planning on coming to?" my mom asked
"What? Since when?"

I have nothing against Aaron and Tina, in fact I like my sister-in-law Tina more than the rest of my family. I feel like I am always the one defending her and trying to point out her good points. But this was the first I had heard of this and I was pretty sure the first my older sister had heard of it to. They weren't just coming from across town to see everyone, but would be driving for over ten hours to join us... for a week. I asked my mom when Tina and Aaron were coming and she was not sure as it all depended on when my brother could get off work.

I called my older sister and told her the latest development, this was all new to her too.

Where were they going to stay? Was there anything they were going to need? Were they actually going to be here on Christmas Day? These were all questions I wanted answers to as suddenly adding two adults AND 3 kids ages 4 and under would obviously alter our plans just a little.

So I sent a message to my sister-in-law. A week went by... nothing....
I sent another message.. another few days went by.... nothing.

Christmas was quickly approaching. I left yet a third message stating that I heard that they were hoping to come and wondered if there would be anything they would need while here as I wanted to get my shopping done before everyone else started arriving.... still nothing.

Finally on my 4th attempt to contact them, they finally responded. Yes, they were planning on coming, no they still did not know when yet as they didn't know my brother's work schedule and yes they would be there for Christmas morning.

Oh and no-they never once did ask if it would be okay for them to come and stay in our homes.

They just assumed since other family was coming from out of town that they could too and well I guess that there was no need to ask. It makes me wonder if I hadn't called four times if they would have just shown up on our doorstep.

I tried to readjust my thinking, went back to look at the plans and tried and figure out where everyone would be able to sleep what everyone would eat and tried to once again feel that excitement about Christmas.

But I couldn't... all I felt was annoyed. Annoyed that they didn't have the courtesy just to ask, annoyed that I knew we would end up watching their kids a lot ((a whole other story that could take up another post)) and annoyed that they couldn't tell us anything definite so we couldn't make any real plans. I tried to say to myself, it will all work out, it will be fun, Christmas is about family... but it was not working. And then there was the guilt. The guilt that I was feeling bad about them coming. I should be happy right, a chance to spend more time with family.....yeah still wasn't working.

So my older sister and I worked out a second set of plans, the- "in case they come plans", since it was less than a week away and they still didn't know for sure.

Two days before they were possibly going to come and their plans were still not finalized.

Then once again back to facebook.

Tina's updated her status to something cryptic about heading out at midnight to pick up some medicine and not returning until 3 hours later.

Had she been in a car accident?? What had happened? I called her up obviously concerned. Turns out it was just car trouble, car trouble which was going to result in a costly repair ((which of course according to my SIL was all my brothers fault--also another story for another day)). So they were no longer going to be able to come.

And you know, I might have given out a little cheer of joy when I got off the phone. But well... then once again that dang guilt kicked it. Christmas a time for family... right?

(* Names are changed to protect identities of those involved)


Kmama said...

Geez, a little communication would go a long way, huh?? Nothing like a little extra added stress for the holidays.

Emmy said...

Yes, it seems like they should have just asked.

Kim said...

grrrrr. Consideration, people. Consideration.

Kerri said...

Some people just don't realize there are almost always other people that will be affected by their decisions or in this case, lack of.
How irritating!

Kristy said...

Super frustrating! Wow, I think I was on the anxiety roller coaster too just reading about it :)

Anonymous said...

I actually let out of cheer of joy when I read they weren't going. I so sympathize with you on this. I've had my share of drama too. I'm glad things worked out for you. No guilt.

DIAPERS in the DESERT said...

With Family communication is key. My in-laws fall in the lack of category. I feel for you on this. Hopefully Christmas was great & guilt free... maybe it all happened for a reason.

Dysfunctional Mom said...

I just can't imagine planning to spend Christmas with someone and not even asking them first. That's unbelievably inconsiderate. You are so much nicer than I am...I just would not have handled it that well.
I'm glad it worked out in the end!

Lourie said...

That would make me so totally nuts! I need to know all the details about everything. Much like my eldest. Hmmm...wonder where she gets that?

Shell said...

How inconsiderate! Sounds like my family. They think it's perfectly okay to tell me they will be here "sometime during next week." Um, I need to know what that means!!!!

Amy said...

Great hosting. Sorry to hear they did not get to come what a mess of not knowing..

Emily said...

This reminds me of people who also don't RSVP to parties or celebrations. They just don't get it! You are not alone as you have read, lots of people wanted to rant over their Christmas troubles with their families, and it is a shame.

Anonymous said...

Very cool idea to trade posts with another blogger.

It's a shame you ended up feeling so guilty. There's nothing wrong with feeling relieved when uninvited house guests cancel their trip!

The Stiffs said...

Glad it worked out for you. Family was supposed to come to us this year. There was a change of plans at the last minute due to work schedules, in spite of the fact that most everything had been purchased and we are the only ones with children, we had to travel. Not very far,but still. I feel your pain.

Mrs4444 said...

This is a great idea! Everyone needs to vent now and then. I'm glad she got the chance to unload a little.

Oka said...

Makes you feel any better, I went to Church, with the kids, the Sunday before Christmas. Then we were invited to lunch with some friends. We didn't get home until 2pm. I check my phone messages and my MIL and FIL left at 11am to head to our house. They live approximately 5 hours away. No warning, my house was a complete and utter disaster and I had 2 hours to get it done and run an errand.

My sister is the one that is great on canceling the plans last minute. You know 20lb Turkey in the oven for two hours already, and she calls to say they aren't making it.