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Woman cancels Christmas, 'we end up broke, with our house trashed and our kids miserable.' AITA?

Woman cancels Christmas, 'we end up broke, with our house trashed and our kids miserable.' AITA?


"AITA for cancelling Christmas?"

Fully expecting to get torn to shreds, but oh well. Saw a similar post a while back and thought I'd throw my hat in since I am genuinely wondering. Myself and my husband (40s F&M) have been hosting Christmas for a few years.

There's a lot of mental illness in both sides of our family so we are pretty low contact, but we host because none of the other family members have a big enough house for everyone to fit thanks to the above, and poor financial decisions. We don't even have a huge house, just big enough for us and the kids, but it's still the biggest space available to them.

So every year, we spend a week (while still working full time, because neither of us can afford any time off) cleaning the house and getting ready and buying groceries for the Christmas meal. Every year, we get no help. My mother used to cook but started refusing to during COVID because "she cooked for 20+ years for Christmas and has had enough."

They brought some small platters once and the in-laws brought turkey, but nobody else in the family likes turkey (yes, we're weird and European) so they just sat there and sulked that they were the only ones eating it.

Someone will complain about the food every time, that there's not enough or too much of X and not enough of Y, or why didn't we get Z, and why do they have to bring their own drinks this year, on and on.

The children only eat mac and cheese or chicken nuggets and refuse to eat or throw a fit if we don't have any, so we have to make those too. I have to entertain the children because everyone else just ignores them. We end up broke, with our house trashed and our kids miserable and throwing tantrums because the others are too, and all around it's just not a fun experience.

So hubby is over it, he's refusing to host this year, he doesn't even want to go out or visit anyone on the day, he just wants to have a dinner with us and our kids, and I am pretty much in agreement.

It's just so much work and such a miserable experience but the parents are all guilting us and complaining that nobody will help clean their house or cook so they can't have it there.

I said they can have Christmas wherever they like but we would like a year off having to do any work or going anywhere; they're telling me we are AHs because Christmas is about family and I shouldn't let other people's negative attitudes get in the way of having a nice time with family.

I should ignore the complaints and just suck it up for the sake of the kids (who don't enjoy it anyway) and family time. It's only once a year and I should "rise above" my own resentments. So I ask...AITA for not wanting to do that this year?

Here's what top commenters had to say about this one:

AgitatedDot9313 said:

No, NTA. you have every right to NOT open your home, wallets and time towards this dinner. Its perfectly acceptable to need a break from that stress.

Top-Bar3863 said:

Why would you think you'd be shredded for this? Absolutely NTA. Your family isn't upset about the loss of family time and Christmas and whatever else. They're upset they're losing their meal ticket.

I've never heard of such audacity as what you've described their behavior to be like at these gatherings. If they hate everything you and your husband do so much, lock the doors, and hold firm that they can do their own thing this year. It's no longer your problem.

potato_soup76 said:

I honestly don't understand why you would do that more than once. NTA. Have as peaceful a Christmas as possible. Holidays shouldn't be about resentful toleration of frustration and unhappiness.

laurasdiary said:

NTA. Maybe everyone should consider just going out to a meal together and exchanging presents at the restaurant. That way everyone can see each other, exchange gifts, and then all go your separate ways with no house to clean and no meal to clean up after.

embopbopbopdoowop said:

“I shouldn’t let other people’s negative attitudes get in the way of having a nice time with family.” THIS IS EXACTLY WHY YOU’RE DOING THIS! Removing the negative attitudes! Just repeat these words back to them. They’re making your case for you. NTA.

DogsReadingBooks said:

NTA. It seems they’re taking advantage of you. Don’t let them. Have a nice time with your husband and children.

Everyone was on OP's side for this one. What's your advice for this family?

Sources: Reddit
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