My title wins, I think. Llama Llama Holiday Drama just isn’t enough drama. Throw the family in there, Llama Llama Family Holiday Drama, and you’ve got a winner.
So, don’t you love it when strangers on the Internet ramble about their family drama? Not really? Then skip this one, because ramble I will.
So, on my husband’s side of the family, there are lots of people who don’t like each other. This isn’t abnormal, because statistics show that only 20 percent of members of an extended family like each other at any given time. No, not really, but that can’t be too far off.
Keeping that statistic in mind, I was volunteered to cook Christmas Eve dinner. Once by Little Man, who sent out sweet messages to everybody on his Facebook list and asked everyone over. That obviously didn’t count. The other time was by my mother-in-law.
Here’s how it went…
“E, my niece and her family don’t have anywhere to go for Christmas,” she told me.
“Hmm.” The niece and her family (all older than me) moved back to town about a year ago, have a place to live, and have lots of close family members who aren’t my husband and myself. That sounds about as strange as saying the Anxious Family doesn’t have anywhere to go for Christmas.
“I can’t invite them to my house during our family get-together because people might get mad,” she told me.
“Who might get mad?” I asked.
“Well, you know, I don’t want to step on anyone’s toes,” she responded.
“It’s your house. Whose toes would you be stepping on?”
“Some of the others might not want them here. I’d have to call around and ask. You know how it is.”
Not really. “Is someone mad at them?” I named over the other families that were coming, wondering if there was a beef that I was unaware of. There wasn’t.
She shook her head. “No. But you know how people are. Someone might not want them here and get upset, and then we’d have drama at Christmas.”
“Well, it’s your house. If you want to invite them, then you should. I wouldn’t worry about what anyone else thinks.”
She sighed. Clearly I wasn’t getting it. “Well, maybe no one would get upset. But they might. And then what if [Niece’s] brother comes to town and finds out where they’re going for Christmas? I don’t want him and his family piling in here. And neither does her aunt, that’s why she’s not inviting them over for Christmas, either. And if I do invite [Niece], then I can’t tell her that she can’t let her brother come over. It’s Christmas, for crying out loud.”
“Well…” I wasn’t exactly at a loss for words, but none of the words I had were appropriate for deescalating drama over potential Christmas drama. Plus a headache was starting to come on.
“I know!” she said excitedly, suddenly having an idea. “We could just invite them to your house for Christmas Eve to eat dinner. And we could invite [lists several other relatives]. And if the brother finds out about it, we can just tell them that since it’s at your house that he can’t come; it wouldn’t matter then.”
Great. I get to cook and clean for fifteen people (instead of the just four of us) and potentially have a family pissed off at me.
“Yeah. I don’t know…” At some point, if you display being reserved or uncomfortable about something, people pick up on that and back off, right?
“It’s be great!” MIL said. “Everyone would be so happy and we wouldn’t have to worry about Christmas being ruined.”
I told her I’d let her know, that Sam and I needed to talk about it first, plus I needed to check to see what my dad had going on. I barely got the words out of my mouth to Sam when he said it wasn’t happening. He talked about how we already have our own Christmas Eve tradition with the kids and that he doesn’t want to break that, plus if his mom wants to invite people over for dinner, she should do it at her own house on Christmas Eve and deal with it. So, I texted MIL that we weren’t going to be able to do it. I felt relieved, but felt a bit guilty, too.
And then MIL texted me yesterday to ask me if the plans were still on and to let me know that everyone was excited about coming.
We’re used to this method of hers — she will disregard whatever you say and move on with her plans. Sometimes we (or Sam’s siblings) shut our mouths and go with it, sometimes not. This wasn’t one of those times, so I broke it to her again that I wasn’t hosting anything on Christmas Eve. She didn’t say anything else about it, so I think we’re fer sure off the hook now.