Family crashing Christmas this year
Published 11:48 am Monday, December 11, 2023
Dear Aunty Pam,
My wife just blindsided me with the news that her whole family is coming down for Christmas. We had a pretty big argument over it because I can’t stand them and said she never should’ve invited them down without asking me first. She says she didn’t invite them, they invited themselves by saying they were on their way to Disney World and would spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with us in our house.
My wife ended up crying and told me that I was being a bully and completely ruined Christmas for her. I said she ruined Christmas for me the second she told me her free loading, Yankee brothers and wives and bratty kids were coming.
She’s not even talking to me and has gone out drinking with her girlfriends the last two nights in a row and is sleeping in the guest room. I don’t think I should be the one who apologizes and I might just take off the next two weeks to go deer hunting with a buddy.
So what do you want from me? To vent? To decide who’s right? Honestly, both of you doorknobs deserve to have your heads knocked together.
Of course your wife should have discussed this sibling invasion with you. Of course! But did you really have to raise the level of dysfunction by denigrating her family? And it’s very possible that they did indeed steamroll over her by inviting themselves. Perhaps your wife is easily intimidated by them from past relational dynamics, and couldn’t find her voice to say, ‘No, I’m sorry, we can’t let you stay with us.’ It can be very hard to set those boundaries with family—especially for a holiday that is supposed to be all about love and family gatherings.
If either of you really wants to save your Christmas, stop acting like babies. Ask her—don’t TELL her—if she would please sit down with you to talk this over. See if there’s some common ground: How about if them dang Yankees come down for Christmas but you put them up at a hotel or AirBnB? Aunty Pam thinks that, frankly, is a fair solution. Most of us can stand even the worst company as long as we know we can bolt out of there to our own home and drink heavily.
If your wife disagrees with this and insists they stay with you, then I’d go to the most crowded buffet you can find in the next couple of days and come down with covid.