When people ask me about my Christmas plans, it usually goes something like this.
Them: ‘So are you both travelling back to France, or are you staying here in the UK?’
Me: ‘Oh yes I am, but Will is staying here, we just do it separately every year, it’s easier’
Them: ‘Oh, so you spend Christmas apart?’ or ‘But you’ll travel back for boxing day right?’ or ‘Now that you’re married, you’ll take it in turns, no?’. You get the idea.
The fact it, I am selfish. I like the way my family does Christmas, and I’m not willing to compromise. We all dress up on Christmas Eve to eat seafood and drink champagne (and open presents, controversial I know, but if even the royals do it…). On Christmas Day, we also dress up, and eat far too much foie gras and cheese, before falling out over a game of Trivial Pursuit, and that’s just the way I like it.
Don’t get me wrong, my husband feels the same way. His family have their own traditions, involving homemade sausage rolls, building lego and Christmas jumpers, which he doesn’t want to miss, and that’s fine by me too.
Then there is the fact that his parents are separated, and his sister has a family of her own, so I don’t really fancy adding on France as an extra stop after Essex and Suffolk.
We vaguely discussed alternating when we got engaged, and then we got married and well, things didn’t really change, because truth be told we are happy with the arrangement, we simply always make sure we do our own faux-mas before we part ways.
Many of my friends do that whole ‘compromise’ thing, and from what I can tell, it’s a bit of a headache and logistical nightmare, and more often than not ends in an argument – so much so that one couple I know (who shall not be named) decided to ditch both families altogether and spend Christmas as a couple on the slopes.
It’s not like I don’t see my husband’s family (who I love, promise) for every other occasion, from birthdays to weddings, throughout the year, so I don’t feel guilty about it either.
As for my husband, of course I’d love to be with him on THE day, but for now I’m happy seeing him every other day of the year, and you know what they say about absence making the heart grow fonder.
We’ll reassess if and when we have children. Definitely. Maybe.