Christmas Conundrum

I like Christmas. I find it’s a pleasant time of year. Even though people are often pushy and rude, I still enjoy shopping and I love buying gifts for others. I like Christmas music and snow, when we are lucky enough to have it. I love to bake holiday goodies. I like the Spirit of Christmas and sharing the joy with others. But this year we have a conundrum.

My niece is coming to visit and spend Christmas with us. I am really excited about this. I am disappointed that her mother, my sister, is not having Christmas for her daughter, but this means I get to see her. She is a sweet and strong young lady. At age 23, she’s just finished her two-year degree and she’s going to go to a four-year college next year. She’s much like me in that she wants to study science. In fact we’re so similar, we could be mother and daughter. She’s bipolar too.

This is where the conundrum comes in. My mother in law has just accepted an offer on her house. This means that this year will be the last Christmas they have in the house that my husband grew up it. She invited us to spend Christmas with her. I told her that my niece is coming and we really couldn’t go. However, my husband has been thinking maybe he should go. He feels torn because he wants to stay here and spend Christmas with us, but he feels as though it’s a family obligation to go and spend Christmas with his mom, who is 70 years old. If he goes, this will be the first Christmas we have spent apart since we met.

I feel torn too. I want him to be happy. And I want my mother in law to be happy. But I also want him here with me. And I know my niece would love to have him here. This is his only opportunity to go because even if I didn’t have my niece here, I am in no condition to travel. However, she can drive and we can shop and we can bake and we will be okay, but we will really miss him. So I don’t want him to leave but I also understand that it’s important to his mom, and to him too in some ways. But this breaks my heart.

He keeps asking me what I think. Do I encourage him to go? Or do I encourage him to stay? Or do I encourage him to make up his own mind? I don’t know what to say to him. I don’t want to keep him here against his will. Nor do I want to force him to go. But it’s going to be really hard without him.

The really sad part is that yesterday we were both happy and excited about Christmas. Now we both are upset and frustrated about it. Amazing how quickly things can change.

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2 thoughts on “Christmas Conundrum

  1. I’m going to warn you. Try hard not to look to me for holiday joy. I have nothing but complete loathing of Christmas. I am cheerful and pleasant for my son. I want him to love the holidays. That’s what they’re meant for.

    Anyway, I am decent at marriage, despite my shortcomings. So, when I’m trying to make a tough decision for myself in situations like this, I ask myself this set of questions. First, if I told him to make up his own mind, and he choses what I don’t really want him to do, am I going to be upset and betrayed? If I tell him to go, will I be angry that he decided to? Things like that. How will this emotionally affect me? And then, what will I have to be responsible for when it comes to how it will affect him? Can I live with that? Will I injure him with what I have to say, and how bad?

    I hate to admit that I think of myself first. Yeah, everyone wants to put their partner first. But does it really work that way? I can’t say it does all of the time, because you can’t anticipate the way a person is going to feel all of the time. All I know is that I have to look out for the greater good of my marriage and examine how the give and take has been happening lately. And if it’s been a one way street for awhile, I have no problems dipping my hand into the pot to take back.

    What do you think?

  2. Pingback: Christmas: Happy and Sad | Manic Monday

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