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  #1  
Old 12-04-2019, 06:27 AM
Neil K Walk Neil K Walk is offline
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Default Family gatherings over the holidays

I'm not sure generationally how many of you feel this way, but being firmly in the middle of raising kids and having retired parents the holidays are always stressful. This year we're hosting my in-laws for a week and there are going to be MANY references to "Christmas Vacation." I've just finished up a bathroom renovation that I hope doesn't blow up on one of my in-laws but I'm hoping I summon up enough grace to just smile and nod when presented with one of those "those little lights aren't twinkling, Clark" moments.

Sorry for being "Karen" - but what do you Boomers expect when staying with your kids? Should I just hand over the remote right now and expect to be goaded into political debates while I'm trying to come down the stairs with a wet plunger?
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Old 12-04-2019, 07:14 AM
rmp rmp is offline
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I suggest a big ol' bottle of knob creek and one glass.... you'll be fine..
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Old 12-04-2019, 08:21 AM
Slothead56 Slothead56 is offline
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I suggest a big ol' bottle of knob creek and one glass.... you'll be fine..
Always have a back up....
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Old 12-04-2019, 08:38 AM
J-Doug J-Doug is offline
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I went through this for many years with my MIL. It could be very trying at times. Mostly I just kept my mouth shut and just walked away when I needed to.

My MIL bought a house a 10 minute walk from our house a few years ago so now I don't have to deal with that at Christmas. She's over for the evening then goes home!

So exit out of conversations and attitude you don't like and go have some quiet time. Your partner should understand this (I hope).
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Old 12-04-2019, 09:06 AM
RedJoker RedJoker is offline
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As an introvert, I frequently retreat to the kitchen to wash dishes for some alone time when needed. It's not a secret as to what I'm doing and why so my relatives started doing the same thing. We ended up having four people all trying to wash dishes at the last gathering. We decided to split up the work so each of us got some alone time.
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Old 12-04-2019, 09:12 AM
Fogducker Fogducker is offline
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Borrow from the rich ones and loan to the poorer ones. That way none of them will bother you!

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Old 12-04-2019, 09:13 AM
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My family tends to be pretty likeminded for the most part, so family gatherings involved plenty of debate and discussion, but with enough underlying agreement that it never got close to nasty. Now we're mostly the oldest generation (my wife's mom is still alive, but otherwise its down to my generation) and our kids are both full adults at this point, 30 and 31 and it's AMAZING how much of a difference there is between 20 and 30, as I remember in my own time. So it's gotten pretty easy again, but there were several years there with tweens and teens and failing parents where everything was hard and stressful and involved either sadness or conflict or both. The next challenge will be for our kids as we get into the "failure" years, which I hope are a good way off, but you never do know...

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Old 12-04-2019, 10:43 AM
Neil K Walk Neil K Walk is offline
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I suggest a big ol' bottle of knob creek and one glass.... you'll be fine..
Duly noted. I will be tinkering in the basement. I’ll try to keep count of all my digits!
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Old 12-04-2019, 10:51 AM
Silly Moustache Silly Moustache is offline
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For many years it was Nanny Jane and I, plus my Dad, and MIL. Then it was just MIL. Then it was just us.

Stepson has another Dad, his wife has parents and loads of sisters, kids crawling everywhere. They really "do" Christmas - not really my style, and I'm not known for being very good with screaming kids and family politics (not ever really having much of a happy family myself) so, I expect we'll be alone on Christmas.
Hope the stepson and wife might meet up for a drink.
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Old 12-04-2019, 11:52 AM
VTexan VTexan is offline
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"What do you Boomers expect when staying with your kids? Should I just hand over the remote right now and expect to be goaded into political debates while I'm trying to come down the stairs with a wet plunger?"

These two boomers finally stopped visiting my in-laws because they had their political choice of TV News up really loud the entire time we were there. It was hard to engage them in conversation when every attempt at it started with a "What?" on their part.

We wanted to keep things non-partisan an familial in nature. They were inclined to engage in politics and even a little name-calling. We finally just stopped going for Christmas an we've had a whole lot of good ones ever since.
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Old 12-04-2019, 12:16 PM
mattbn73 mattbn73 is offline
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My mother-in-law's is much more stressful than my grandmother's house, and it took me a long time to put my finger on it. Basically, a lot has to do with the layout of her house and the lack of any scheduled activities.

The TV is in one room in the middle , with an open floor plan , and is generally turned all the way up . It's difficult for other people have conversations or do anything different , whereas at the other house there are more separate spaces and more defined choices for activities to choose from day and night. TV in one room, another for games, kitchen for talking and catching up etc. . There's always outside as well . Dogs need walking. Kids need variety.

I've been working on getting my wife and kids to come up with rough ideas of scheduled activities and things to do in different spaces To try to combat the Keven fever and loud TV fatigue from my hard-of-hearing, father-in-law .
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Old 12-04-2019, 12:48 PM
rmp rmp is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neil K Walk View Post
Duly noted. I will be tinkering in the basement. I’ll try to keep count of all my digits!
you may loose count after a few... just stay clear of the power tools, hammers, stuff like that,,, and all will end well LOL!

Family... really they are just friends God chose for you, so you gotta hang in there.. Good luck...
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Old 12-04-2019, 12:51 PM
rmp rmp is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattbn73 View Post
My mother-in-law's is much more stressful than my grandmother's house, and it took me a long time to put my finger on it. Basically, a lot has to do with the layout of her house and the lack of any scheduled activities.

The TV is in one room in the middle , with an open floor plan , and is generally turned all the way up . It's difficult for other people have conversations or do anything different , whereas at the other house there are more separate spaces and more defined choices for activities to choose from day and night. TV in one room, another for games, kitchen for talking and catching up etc. . There's always outside as well . Dogs need walking. Kids need variety.

I've been working on getting my wife and kids to come up with rough ideas of scheduled activities and things to do in different spaces To try to combat the Keven fever and loud TV fatigue from my hard-of-hearing, father-in-law .
Man I get that..

TVs blasting all the time really makes me itchy to get the heck out of there asap. I don't really watch a lot of it, movies, yes.. but just the endles babble, and ridiculous "reality shows" heck no..

and I refuse to watch what passes for"news" these days.

our house is like the later. more sectioned off. If ppl want to watch a football game, there's a spot for it, if you want to hang, talk there's a place for that too. One doesn't impeded the other.

I usually do all the bar tending too, seems like mixing a drink is a skill that mere mortals don't posses... I don't get it,, aint that hard..
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  #14  
Old 12-04-2019, 01:49 PM
Neil K Walk Neil K Walk is offline
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Yes, the TV will be blaring. As an early Christmas present I have asked for a new TV that can paired with a bluetooth speaker or the Amazon Echo, which will be set on an end table near where at least one of them will spend the majority of their time with us.
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