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You Asked: Can I Save Our Christmas?

Dear Sugar,

My husband and I are hosting Christmas dinner this year, but I'm feeling very uncomfortable for the following reason. This past year, the relationship between my six siblings and mother has become very fractured for a number of reasons, but mostly because my mom and eldest sister create too much toxic drama. Some of the siblings are fed up, and don't want to come to Christmas unless I can 100 percent guarantee that my mom and sister won't be there. I seem to be the only one concerned that the young children are able to see each other, so I invited everyone; it's Christmas after all!

I did an evite so that everyone could see who's coming, but no one is responding. What should I do at this point? I've been preparing for 20 guests but at this point it might just be my husband and me. What should I do? — Disappointed Dede

To see DearSugar's answer


Dear Disappointed Dede,

While your siblings say they don't want to be around your mom and eldest sister because they are too dramatic, they're just adding more fuel to the fire by not RSVPing. The holidays are supposed to be about family, but there's really not much else you can do to get everyone together. You've already offered your home —which was very gracious. If I were you, I'd call each of them and ask if they plan on attending, and leave it at that. I understand that you're trying to be the ring leader, but the outcome is out of your hands. Hopefully, everyone will be willing to put their differences aside for one day, but if you do end up spending the holiday alone with your husband, know that you did your part to keep the peace. Happy Holidays.


Join The Conversation
sparklestar sparklestar 8 years
I agree with Karlotta! They all sound like FAR too much effort!
skigurl skigurl 8 years
to be honest, you're being a bit immature and also somewhat fueling the fire by not picking up the phone and calling is should be able to deal as a shouldn't need an evite to know who is coming to the holiday celebration. it should be a given that you will all be there. anyway, call them. act like an adult.
MyOwnRules MyOwnRules 8 years
I'm going to put this plainly cause' I don't want you going through the same crap I've gone through: you can't change the toxic members of your family and asking your siblings who are tired of the drama to put up with it is unfair to them. Plus, you'll just end up getting blamed when everyone's Christmas is ruined. I have toxic members and my Mom was the same way you are. She tried, for the sake of holidays and vacations, to have us all together. Her logic behind that decision was "It's the holidays, the family should be together and if they have a chance to sit down and talk, they'll mend fences and get along better." Good in theory but in practice it's a disaster. The toxic family members thought they were in the right and everyone else could take a hike. The non-toxic members tried to ignore they're attitude but my family aren't very good at pretending to be doormats so that didn't last long. If you truly want the kids in your family to have a good holiday, don't try to force the opposing sides together. For this holiday, I don't know what to tell you. I'd just choose (it wouldn't be difficult) but I can tell you're on the fence about the family problems. Next year, try to split it into two days. Hopefully, things will be resolved by then or at least cooled down enough that everyone can get together. Whatever happens, have a happy holiday (as best you can) and good luck.
kia kia 8 years
Good luck to you. It is a shame that petty differences have to ruin what could be a beautiful event you are throwing. Plan on what to do with the leftovers in case no one shows. And enjoy the family you have created with your husband no matter what kind of chaos is around you on your holiday.
JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 8 years
They really are adding more drama. Tell them to air their grievances with your mom and oldest sister and get over it. If they don't want to be there you don't want to force them though. Sorry it has to be so difficult.
justanerd1975 justanerd1975 8 years
ha ha Karlotta I like your idea-- that's a good way to send out the message loud and clear without having to confront! ;) I have just said "we're very uncomfortable with your attitude and behavior, and we don't want our family/friends stressed out. If you want to apologize and make peace then your more than welcome." And what can the drama queen say? No, I wouldn't like to apologize? If she/he does that, then you'll know for SURE that they are a drama queen, male or female....AND they are dumb as shizzle. LOL.
justanerd1975 justanerd1975 8 years
"So I invited everyone, it's Christmas after all..." That's where we all go wrong, IMO. If your a big drama creator then your NOT invited--- to SHHHHizzle. I mean it. My family and friends know it. I don't need that shhhh, no one needs that's shhhh and if we can't ALL be grown-up's and cut the crap then we can't ALL be together. THEY choose to exclude THEMSELVES with their behavior. That's the truth, that's just the way it is. Just consider this: how much more peaceful your life will be when you tell them they can hit the highway till they cut their crap. My experiences: the drama creators ALMOST ALWAYS cut it out WHEN and IF they realize that you really mean that they won't have a friend(AUDIENCE!!) anymore if they keep it up. Voila! Works on evil MIL'S,too ;)
frieddumpling frieddumpling 8 years
Christmas is really not a time for these types of family interventions/resolutions. Everyone wants to be happy on Christmas. I wouldn't show up if I know I was going to be miserable. I think you should've truly listened to your family members instead of going ahead with your plan regardless of their strong feelings against it and hoping for a miracle. Also if conflicts/arguments arise, the children wouldn't be having a good time anyway. However, the idea of getting the children together is wonderful and perhaps during the holiday break, you can plan something for them, so a family gathering can still happen without your eldest sister and your mom. You can meet with your eldest sister and your mom another time. Just meet up with them separately is what I would do and spend the Christmas with your husband!
Mesayme Mesayme 8 years
I've been there. Planning a dinner party and everyone canceled at the last minute. I just divided the food up into separate dinners. But, I think you should use the phone like someone said. Why are people so afraid of communicating like humans now? We aren't robots. I know all about the tension. My mother's always been the drama queen we all tolerate. We just have fun around her. This past Thanksgiving she didn't come but my sisters did and we had a great time. Sometimes the picture of what you want in your heart is very clear but in reality we cannot force people to share that same desire. So, just plan your dinner, invite ~by phone~ your family and throw in some friends who may not have families to go to. I know that I've had friends as family for many years. You're blessed and you want to share that with people. If all else fails, pack up that dinner and take it to a homeless shelter or runaway shelter. They sure as hell don't have drama issues. They just want to not be forgotten :) Happy Holidays!
queenlizzie queenlizzie 8 years
Personally, I'd just cook as if 20 people were coming over and eat leftovers for days and days. That sounds pretty wonderful to me!
karlotta karlotta 8 years
I think you should buy two tickets to the Bahamas and have some fun with your husband, and leave them all hanging with their rude, annoying greek tragedy.
refinedharmony refinedharmony 8 years
It's so frustrating when people act like this. I've always been a fan of phone calls- it's really easy to ignore a letter, an e-mail, an online RSVP service... but a phone call is hard (if not impossible) to ignore. Even if you have to leave a message, we all know it's impolite not to return a call. Be careful not use any tactics to convince them to come. If you guilt trip them all into coming, there's going to be that heavy tension during the holiday and no one wants that! Everyone that comes has to be willing in order for it to be a happy holiday. Good luck!
TidalWave TidalWave 8 years
If your mom and sis hate each other as much as you make it sound, then I doubt they will be in the same place at the same time. double check, then call all of your siblings and let them know and tell them it would mean a lot to you if they were all there. but also, don't be offended if they don't want to be. I don't like some family members so instead going to the huge family gathering, where I know I will see them, I just see everyone on my own time privately.
Mamis03 Mamis03 8 years
I think you should try sending one more message to all about dinner and leave it at that. Let them know if they want to attend they are welcome and if not "MERRY CHRISTMAS"! If you have prepared for 20 guest and they don't show up, you can donate some of the food to people less fortunate. You have tried and spending time with the family is the most important part of christmas, even if the only people involve are your husband and kids. That should be enough. Don't stress yourself out.
kiwitwist kiwitwist 8 years
ask your mother & eldest sis if they are coming... when they say no then tell everyone else they are not coming... OR do what Dear said. :) trying to make them grow up and talk to one another is probably not worth it. You will end up being hated in the end.
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