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PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 8:06 am 
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We have just returned from our regular vacation in southern Spain, where my brother and his family have a villa nearby, and a mutual friend and her family have one also. We always try to coincide our summer time there, not to holiday together per se, but we usually arrange a few games of golf or tennis together, and meet up for dinner & drinks a few times over the holiday. It is the perfect balance I would say, all the convivial enjoyments of meeting up when and how we want, without any of the close-proximity hassle that can often come with actually 'holidaying together'. My 13yo dd also has the advantage of similar age cousins and friends to hook up with too, so all in all, the perfect holiday. Anyway, having just returned, we have received an email from dh's two sisters, suggesting that next year, we all holiday together. His two sister's, his mum, and us. This has brought me out in a panic. How do I put this, they are not in anyway 'convivial', while their idea of dinner is a quick bite at 6pm on the way home from one of the 17 museums they might have scoured beforehand, our holiday dinners, are always a much more relaxed and 'sophisticated' affair, and usually don't go out until at least 9pm, by which time, they are usually tucked up in bed. His sister's and his Mum also like to plan your day for you, and having spent a very long and stressful Christmas together last year, swore I would never ever do it again! So now I am wondering how we deal with this diplomatically, but in such a way as to give the message, once and for all, and not simply defer it a few months! What do other families do? Are 'extended family' holidays a problem for you? Or are there many idyllic 'Walton' families out there, quite unlike mine?! :o


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 8:11 am 
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I think I would just try to be honest, and say that from what I knew of everyone's preferences, our holiday styles are rather different and I fear we'd all end up irritating each other, and I'd rather avoid that.

And then end with a nice cheery invitation to arrange to see then soon.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 9:04 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:01 pm
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Location: Herts
Holidays are usually make or break time with relationships. People have such a different idea of what a holiday is. For us because we have a very busy term a holiday is sleeping in and going to the beach and having lovely meals cooked at home. All things we do not manage much during the term. My younger sister lives the same sort of busy life with her dc's so we holiday together in perfect accord. My elder sister is the go and do something type of holiday person so we don't holiday with her. I would suggest a solution would be to produce a draft holiday schedule of what you will be doing on your holiday and invite them to join you on some of it. Then if they are prepared to fit in with your schedule then they can join in. I would not tolerate anyone telling me how to spend my holiday. DG


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 10:25 am 
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Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2010 9:22 am
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I have this problem every year too...my inlaws are always sniffing around when it comes to holidays. Having put myself through a few, I am now deliberately a bit vague and it all dies a death. You don't think they might be a bit miffed because you have just met up with your brother and friends and they feel it's their turn? We went away in June with my family and the sniffing around for next year has started up...but I just think it's a year away and a lot could happen between then and now. If it looks like you have no choice, could you all go away for a weekend break and keep the big holiday just for your family?


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 10:36 am 
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Location: Warwickshire
mm23292, I would find some tactful way of telling them you're not going, following aliportico's advice.

We've just come back from the south of France, we had an apartment in our villa so invited my parents. My mother has Alzheimers but is not too bad at the moment.

We assumed they would fly over for a few days. They came for ten days. It was fine at first, we did things together, when we went out without them, they were upset. My father started moaning about many things. I childishly snapped "nobody made you come".

My children are younger, but I felt they ended up being slightly left out, and avoiding my parents. The last few days my parents went out all day, then returned moaning about the weather (too hot/cold), the traffic (terrible everywhere), the apartment (basic but adequate). I felt really cross then guilty and upset. Even dh gave up with them.

Rather amusing that my father moaned all the time but my mother, with Alzheimers, was totally happy. Although she did say she had bumped into a few friends!

We would never do it again. I think we have our routine which is obviously different to everyone else's and I'm selfish; I like family holidays, just us. Seeing friends for the day is great - but that's it. Or maybe, like Daogroupie, I could write down our routine. Holidays are annual and very precious to us.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 11:03 am 
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I think I agree with the honest approach, although this is a recurring theme, and the message never seems to drive home. I agree also Scarlett, I call it the miff and sniff :lol: Every year we go to Spain, as we have our place there, and as it happens, so does my brother and this friend. We have for years, we don't always coincide, but try to at least overlap a few days. Our dinners out are always mutually arranged, very enjoyable, and we all go home to our respective villas. But they see it as going on holiday with my family. Yet they expect us to all accommodate under one roof! A city weekend break, had them hammering on our door at 8am wondering why we weren't down for breakfast, my eldest was in tears at the prospect of yet another museum, and they liked to eat in cheap local 'cafs' on the way home so they could veg in the hotel room and be in bed by 9.... We even hooked up in one of the most exciting cities in the world, and arranged to meet for dinner (having told them that 5pm was not a good time for us so agreed on 7pm) so they hung around our plush hotel lobby for two hours with back packs, shorts and hiking sandals, and when we all swept down fully attired for dinner and suggested a pre-dinner drink, they held up their water bottles and said no they had one thanks :roll: We are like chalk and cheese, so why oh why do they keep trying to get us to holiday together?! I know they like to keep tabs on dh, but it does go a little far sometimes. I wouldn't dream of suggesting to my brother what he should do with his family vacation, in fact any social arrangements we ever make, I do via my SIL, and it helps that we have a lot in common and get on great. Anyway, time to set the boundary on this one, once and for all. Thanks for your input!


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 1:16 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:01 pm
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Location: Herts
I think you need to be really clear. On YOUR precious holiday you don't want to go to any museums, you don't want to eat early and you want to sleep in. Could you not draw up a schedule in advance on things you both want to do and things that you will do separately as the other party is not interested in it. It is such a shame to have your dc's not enjoy time with their grandparents who will not be around for ever. My dd's just have one grandparent who is housebound but when she was in better health we would invite her to join us for a few days with a previously agreed schedule and it worked fine. The only time it didn't work was when elder sister came too and insisted on a schedule of days out when we just wanted to go to the beach. Needless to say she wasn't invited again. Now we tell her what we are doing and she is welcome to join us. DG


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 8:25 am 
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Thanks DG, totally agree regarding the GrandP's not being around for ever, particularly having lost my parents many years ago. Just makes it very difficult to achieve, when the MIL in question doesn't understand the notion of 'autonomy'. Having quelled it in her own offspring, and still achieving it rather well with her 40+ yr old daughters, she has tried too hard to do the same with me, and that never bodes well for harmonious times together! And in case that sounds exaggerated, as a tiny snippet of example...when the xmas day bottle of wine was rounding our large jovial table, she placed her hands either side of her, cupping each of daughter's empty goblets, and answered for them...NO!! they are not having any. And yes, they still do what they are told!! :lol:


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 8:58 am 
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Honesty is the best policy on this one! :D


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2013 3:07 pm 
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Very hard this one, can you not say that you have already booked for next year (wouldn't be too much of a fib if you go every year) and then perhaps agree a grin and bear it weekend away with them?


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