Thursday, November 05, 2009

Change of Christmas Plans......

Usually around Sean's birthday, if not earlier, Noel and I try to get the family together to discuss Christmas. So with the fact of the whole family getting together for Sean's birthday we decided to wait until then. Last Sunday (while out for a family lunch and Sean's birthday) the subject of Christmas was brought up.. or should I say buying presents was discussed and hosting Christmas was (as usual) mentioned.

Firstly buying presents ONLY for the kids was agreed by all although some years this never gets adhered to!

Secondly, with regards to hosting the actual Christmas Luncheon no-one put their hand up for Christmas when Noel asked if anyone else wanted to do it... infact everyone laughed, comments were made about how good last year's turkey was and then there was a comment made that "we used to offer but you two (meaning Noel and I) always say you are doing it". So as the discussion pretty much finished there with no-one positively saying they were doing Christmas, Noel and I presumed it would be Christmas Day at our house as it has been for many years now.

Needless to say everything seemed organised last Sunday..... so in usual fashion, off I have gone and I have started planning my decorations, the menu and all the little touches that I add to make our Christmas Day special... in fact it has consumed most of my thoughts over the last week. I love Christmas and it's truly the one day I look forward to each year.

All was starting to look good (albeit on paper) ..... until I got a phone call last night!

Noel's mam rang. She said that her and Dad had been thinking about it all week and they would really want to do Christmas this year! I was a little in shock and during my silence, mam went on to explain she had already spoken to Vicky who thought it was a great idea and would be much easier for them especially as Vicky's parents live in the next street. I was a little upset and as I said silent for a while on the phone thinking of why people couldn't have just spoken up last week!

The next sentence floored me.... "you are quite welcome to come? Of course we would love you be here but it's up to you" which sounded like we are now hosting Christmas at our house whether you decide to come or not. To be honest it felt as if they weren't sure if we would attend as it's not at our house... and what's with that?

So not only had the topic now changed from nothing during last week's conversation to a complete change of plans without the normal group discussion but yet reassurance had already been received from Sean and Vicky about their attendence before even deciding to mention it to us!!

Mind you saying that, it probably wasn't meant to be as bad as I have portrayed it and if anything, it may have just been the way I interperated the situation last night more than likely due to the shock of recieving the phone call!

Before continuing here is some background into our family Christmases. The Murray's (Noel's family) and the Davies' (my family) have been having Christmas Day's together since Noel and I met and starting courting..... so for the last 20 years. Traditionally my mam and dad held Christmas every year. Everyone went to my parent's house - maybe the fact they lived on a golf course was the inviting factor. My dad passed away but mam kept up the tradition, even when she eventually remarried. Of course, that tradition finished when she moved to Bribie Island. Since then most years my mam flies to Melbourne for Christmas.

With the situation with my sister, I actually haven't seen her or her family on Christmas Day for the last few years and this year will be no exception.... so sadly the only one I have to factor in from my side of the family again this year is my mam.

I won't lie by saying I wasn't upset about the phone call or the change in plans... because I was last night. I think Noel was also upset. I am still a little concerned with the comment made about joining them for Christmas as what sort of people would we be if we chose to stay at out house for Christmas Day, especially after years of expecting people to come to ours. But I have thought about the whole situation since the phone call, in fact it's all I have thought about.

Please don't get me wrong, now that I have thought about it I am actually GLAD (sort of....) that someone else wants to do Christmas Day and although it is a day we love hosting we have always got the feeling no-one else has wanted to take the reigns anyhow. Mam and Dad hosted Christmas lunch many years ago and I can remember clear as day afterwards mam said that "they were getting too old to do this!" and to be honest the only time Sean and Vicky have ever offered was the year that we took our family to Brisbane for Christmas. Now I don't want to sound bitchy but as you can imagine, it's just become somewhat habit for us to host Christmas.

Now I actually do feel a little guitly. Maybe it's our fault and we have selfishly monopolised Christmas Day without realising. All these years believing that people have been happy to come and sit at our table to enjoy Christmas Day when maybe they have really been wanting to host Christmas themselves. Or maybe we, ourselves, caused this situation by wanting to host Christmas and some how made others feel that they didn't have any other choice.

Now after thinking about the situation and even though I would still love to be hosting Christmas this year and would happily host it every year without question, I DO actually feel this is a change that obviously needs to happen especially as the family grows, a change in routine and expectations will probably do us all good. Who knows what will happen from this year on, Noel and I hope that the load will now be shared with all families taking turns in holding the special day and putting their own twist on the day! Maybe we may only get to host it every 3rd year from here on in.

Needless to say Christmas will definitely be a change this year but the most important thing of all, especially with Clare coming down from Sydney and my mam from Queensland, the important people in our family will all sit down together and celebrate as a family no matter where we are......

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