Stepsis changing holiday plans

Rae01August 15, 2012

I know its early to start thinking about holidays. But anyway here's my situation. I am a grown step-daughter. Raised by my mom, and visited my dad and his wife every other weekend. Dad remarried when I was 12. Not close to my stepmother and stepsister (don't see them unless my dad is around), although everyone is cordial, polite, and friendly. But its far from a close family. I see my stepmother and stepsister at holidays and thats as far as our relationship goes. My dad makes much more an effort and is always calling me.

Holidays really haven't changed much since I was little. I still spend the same days with each parent at Christmas. Christmas Eve with Mom and Christmas Day with Dad. However as the years have gone on, Christmas at Dad's has changed a little. We no longer celebrate with my aunts, uncles, and cousins. We did always have my grandmother over for Christmas, but she passed away just a few months ago, so this will be our first Christmas without her.

So my dad told me that my stepsister has decided not to come over for Christmas anymore cause she sees no point since my grandma is no longer here. He's hoping she'll change her mind from now til Christmas but we'll see. Dad is trying to talk me into changing my routine and spend Christmas Eve with him at his inlaw. My stepmother's family (her parents, siblings, nieces & nephews) are very nice people but they aren't MY family and there's several family members of hers i've never even met, plus they are 2 hours away from where I live.

And the other issue is I've always celebrated Christmas with Mom on Christmas Eve. Going to Christmas Eve service with Mom (who has no other family but myself) has always been a special tradition, and I won't give that up just cause my stepsister announced she won't be spending Christmas Day at Dad's anymore. I will not spend Christmas Eve with my stepmother's family and leave my mom alone. That is not fair to my mother. I am more than happy to continue what I've always done and spend Christmas Day with Dad and Stepmom, but my stepsister won't be there.

So my stepmother is very upset cause with her daughter choosing not to ever come over for Christmas Day anymore that means my stepsister and I will likely go years without seeing one another. Christmas was really the only time a year we saw eachother anyway so we'll probably from now on only see one another at weddings and funerals. I think this really made Stepmom realize how our family is not blended whatsover. My stepsister and I will never have any type of relationship and after 20+ years there's no way to force us to have a relationship.

I told Dad that I will not change the way I've done holidays my entire life just cause my stepsister decides to change the way she does things. She can choose not to come for Christmas. I will still go over to Dad's for Christmas, but I will not spend Christmas Eve with stepmom's family just so they (dad & stepmom) can have both stepsis and I together.

I don't think I'm being spiteful. I still will see Dad for Christmas, but I'm not willing to change a tradition I've had with Mom my entire life (christmas eve service) to spend Christmas Eve with my stepmom's family. My dad says his wife has been crying about not having both us girls together for Christmas. Really she needs to talk to her daughter about this, cause it was her daughter that decided to change plans.

I also think sometimes Dad and Stepmom do not take into account that my mother has no family at all but me, so because of that she does take priority.

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I think you are right and it's a fair decision. You have very good arguments, hopefully stepsis will reconsider.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 11:32PM
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I think you're perfectly within your rights to keep your traditions as you want to, since you're not the one trying to change things. Why is it so important for your stepmother to have both of "you girls" together for Christmas? It's not like you're close, as you say. Don't let your father guilt you into doing something you don't want to, just because your stepmother fantasises about being Carol Brady, or something.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 5:50AM
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Just keep it tactful (to avoid hurt feelings) and honest when Dad calls about it again...thank him for the invitation to be included at Sm's family's get-together, then politely refuse. Keep it plain and simple. Christmas Eve, church and Mom is your personal long standing tradition. Something you feel is very important to both your mother and you. No need to feel guilty and/or have to try and justify your feelings/actions in maintaining your Christmas Eve tradition.

You could offer up a possible other afternoon to celebrate Christmas with your father if there is a day that works better for him. If that's not an option for him, not your problem. There are 365 days in a year. If SM feels it's important enough to her to have a family gathering including both daughters together, she has 364 other choices.

I'm sorry that SSis feels since Gma passed there is no reason to carry on a Christmas Day tradition. Perhaps the cease even makes sense to Dad/SM ect, but what they are planning aka trying to push onto you does not 'work' for you and your traditions. It's just as simple as that. You don't intend to change your Christmas Eve (even if it means no Christmas Day with Dad, be prepared that they may do SM's family on the Eve and choose to do nothing on the Day) and you don't intend to be guilted and/or pressured for the next four months over it. Dad can hand SM a tissue for her tears. SM's upset has little to nothing to do with anything you have said or done. It's her daughter who has chosen to alter whatever tradition was in her household.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 8:03AM
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I think your dad/SM are being very selfish, but there is no point in saying that. I agree with offering up another date, and start another tradition with them.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 9:41PM
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SM does fantasize about being the Brady Bunch. She knows her daughter doesn't say more than "hello" to me all year long(i don't even know where in town she lives, her phone number), but at Christmas time she thinks all family has to be together. She gets furious if I say I'm an only child. Umm, well I am. Her daughter and I weren't raised together and she barely acknowledge my existence. The reality is hard for my SM to accept that the only reason my stepsis and I even see one another is them and if Dad & SM weren;t around we'd never see eachother ever again. Truthfully, my stepsister is almost like a stranger to me and I think thats hard for my SM to accept cause she wants to force us to be siblings which we never were.

However even though Dad & SM may guilt me, it may work out in the end. Last year my stepsister didn;t come, and my grandma (her last christmas before she passed away) went to my aunt's so it was just SM, Dad, and me for Christmas and it was just fine. So it may just take Dad & SM to get used to stepsis never coming for Christmas again. But I will continue my tradition of Christmas Eve with Mom, and see Dad & SM Christmas Day. No reason to change how I've done Christmas for over 20+ years cause of a decison my stepsister made.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2012 at 7:42PM
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I think that you've made a good decision. It sounds like your SM is very disappointed with her daughter and she hopes that, if she keeps creating the perfect family atmophere, the situation will improve. However, you can't disappoint your mom, or yourself, to help her. She needs to deal with her daughter directly and tell her that it's time to make more of an effort.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2012 at 3:57PM
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Good decision, stick to it.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2012 at 8:02PM
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