Update on Dad - and next Xmas

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136 posts
Hi all,

Not been on here for a while after events over last xmas. Good news is hes still ok. Its as if nothing ever happened. He came out of hospital and all his ailments disappeared (proving that most of it was in his head).

Hes still the same reagding being selfish but he'll never change. But at least he isnt phoning me/doctors/ambulance every day.

Hes still got a strange attitude towards the grandkids. To be honest, hes not bothered with them at all - they're like an inconvenience to him when I visit and bring them.

Anyway, wife and I got talking about next Xmas day. Shes not keen that he visits on Xmas day this year. To be honest, I can see her point. His behaviour was appalling last year, he thought of no-one but himself, I ended up neglecting the kids, wife and I had a row about it etc. And he really played up about how ill he was. Not even mentioning his table manners - he kept belching/breaking wind to prove how ill he was.

We've had him every year for probably the last 15 years. I drive 30-40 mins to pick him up, feed him, he stays for hours (and I have to enterain him so cant play with the kids), then I have to drive him home. My brother who lives 5 mins from him just lives with his girlfriend (no kids at home) and gets away scot free every year.

My wife wants me to invite him boxing day instead and for me to spend xmas day with my kids....

My wifes a nurse and sometimes has to work holidays. I was thinking of telling him shes working xmas day, and the kids and I are going to her brothers for dinner. To be honest, theres my brother, his sister, his cousin (all of whom had a right dig at me last time when I refused to run around!) who could step up on xmas day.

BUT, he could end up on his own xmas day when they all make excuses.

Would it be evil of me to do this? I just feel wife/family need a break from him just once on xmas day.... Next year I expect it to be back to normal....
Invite him for Christmas Eve maybe. That way you 'get him out of the way' (!) so you can enjoy Christmas Day without 'dreading' Boxing Day.

You will need to pull back your own Xmas Day preparations by a day (ie, do on the 23rd what you do on 24th), and make sure you have a very 'easy' Xmas Eve lunch/dinner/main meal with your dad. That said, could your wife spend a lot of the time he's visiting in the kitchen peeling spuds for Xmas Day itself, to avoid having to be with your dad???

However you arrange it, one thing is definite to my mind - this year, it's YOUR Christmas with YOUR wife and children. End of!
PS - you could be cunning and tell him that your wife is working on Xmas Day itself, so you have decided to celebrate Xmas Eve as Xmas Day....
Hi Jenny - how are you?

Yes, I know what you mean. Plan would be to tell him shes working xmas day.

To be honest, my wife has been a saint. I can see how it affects her - last year was the last straw. Shes fine about boxing day - to her its xmas day thats important for the kids.

As usual, I'd just feel guilty again....
I do think the Guilt monster has to be firmly put aside. After all, if your dad CHOSE to be pleasant and good company, then you would happily have him for Xmas Day. He CHOOSES to be 'obnoxious' and a 'bad guest' so he has to take the consequences - ie, he doesn't get invited to spoil things for everyone else!

Of course he can't see that, but that doesn't mean (a) you can't tell him outright that he was horrible last year (and before) so this year you don't want him and that's that, and (b) even if you don't tell him, you still are justified in simply not inviting him because of his obnoxious previous behaviour (he should have the intelligence to realise how offensive he's been, and if he doesn't, well, that's not your problem!)

THE most important people over Xmas are your children. They are growing up, and one fine day will be off with their own partners (and YOU will be the one on your best behaviour to get an invite!!! :) ), so make the most of them for yourself, and give THEM the happy memories of lovely Xmas Days that they deserve - Xmas days that are NOT spoilt by rude old Grand-dad.....

It really isn't any good 'waiting for your dad to die so you can have Xmas Day with your own children happily' because that may not happen until they leave home.

PS - thank you for your enquiry. I'm fine. Poor MIL is fading, but the 'upside' is that her memory is now so bad that I truly believe she 'forgets' me when I'm not there, so that soothes my own guilt monster. I've actually now reached the point of realising I have to make the most of her while she's still capable of any recognition of me at all, and still capable of being taken out for drives and cream teas. I've just come back from visiting in the westcountry where she lives now, and I'm looking forward to spring making 'outings' more pleasant all round.
Paul,
I remember how awful your last Christmas was. Time for dad and his other son to spend quality time together!!
If I remember rightly, your children are growing up fast, this might be the last Christmas they want to spend it with you. Your wife has been a saint, and deserves a HAPPY Christmas.
Previous years hes just been hard work and a bit of a PITA come xmas day. Wife has been willing to put up with that.

Its not cool that I have to drive to collect him. Which means leaving the kids to go and get him. Not drinking all day (not that bothered) because I need to take him home too. He did used to annoy me because he'd try and tell me what time to pick him up (and I used to tell him I'd be there when I'd sorted the kids).

Thats his main problem. He really is not bothered AT ALL about his grandchildren. Hardly bothers with them if I'm honest. They're just an inconveniece that gets in the way of his access to me. I remember him once saying when I said about the kids "Well, there'll be other xmases to spend with the kids". My kids are 13 and 3. So even if the 13 year might understand the 3 yr old doesnt!

Last Xmas he was REALLY bad. Really laid the illness thing on thick. Made out he couldnt walk from one side of living room to another etc. His table manners. And then of course when I got him home, I spent an hour talking him down from calling an ambulance.

I dont want to upset him or hurt his feelings but I feel guilty. I am seriously considering the white lie thing. BUT I know what will happen. His sister (5 mins drive away), his cousin (10 mins), my brother (5 mins) will all keep their heads down and he'll end up on his own xmas day. Firstly, no-one will drive to pick him up and he wouldnt get a taxi any day let alone xmas day even if he had more money the Sultan of Brunei!

It seems its me or no-one. Remember these are the ones who gave me grief last year but, as they did then, wont step up to the plate themselves...

Im considering telling him wife is working Xmas day (she has in the past - shes a nurse) so not doing xmas dinner. I'll tell him the kids and I are going to their uncles for xmas dinner. He'll probably expect me to drag kids out to him but I'll say no.
There is no law that says you can't be left alone Christmas Day. If he doesn't enjoy the meal or your children, let him stay home. If he tells anyone a sob story, your brother can be rightly blamed.
I agree. He can be on his own on Xmas Day. Xmas is for children - YOUR children, not his! (ie, YOU are the Dad on Xmas Day, not the Son.)

Why not write (not talk) right now to the rest of your family saying 'This year, my wife and children will be having Xmas to ourselves. If any of you want to have Dad over, fine, arrange it with him, as I am out of the loop. I will be telling this to Dad as well.'

Then say no more about it. If anyone asks, nearer the time, just say 'I wrote to you in the Spring, and nothing has changed.'

I do think you have to put the Guilt monster aside for this. We fetishise Xmas Day itself SO much in this country - I've been in other countries where it's far more 'just another day' - it was even so in Scotland up until our generation. Because the Scots focussed on New Year, it was Xmas Day that was still a working day (I'm old enough to remember when New Year's Day was NOT a bank holiday!).

Why not ask your children if they want Grand-dad for Xmas this year? I think you know what the answer will be.

(And my reasoning is confirmed even more so when you describe how utterly uninterested in his grandchildren your father is - he clearly only wants YOU, because only YOU 'do stuff for him' - in that respect his grandchildren are 'useless'. Worse, they are RIVALS for YOUR attention......as is your wife of course!)
Paul, Christmas day comes and goes. I really treasure the memories of my 2 daughters, when little, and Santa left the presents. I still smile at my youngest, the photo of her,smarties all round her mouth, playing with a toy post office. She's 40 now, and treasures Christmas day with her own children. You and your lovely wife are more than entitled to have some happy memories of Christmas days, without all of this quilt and anxiety. You've done more, much more than your fair share of entertaining your dad, who isn't the least bit grateful. 5mins away brother, can call in for an hour, have a mince pie or whatever and a drink. It won't ruin his day.If he can't be bothered, it's not your fault. It's 1 day, but exciting when you have children at home. Make the most of it while you can. Stay strong.
136 posts