A woman on Reddit is finding numerous internet allies after describing her decision to not attend Christmas festivities with her family. A Redditor with the handle Miserable_Horror_980 posted in the subreddit thread “Am I the A—hole” (AITA) to describe her holiday woes. The user asked the community to rate whether she was in the wrong “for telling my parents that my kids won’t attend christmas if everyone can’t attend.” “My husband was injured when we were in high school (almost 18 years ago now) and uses a wheelchair now. We have four children—his 15 year old son from a previous relationship, an 8 year old daughter, a 5 year old son and a 1 year old daughter,” she began. She described how her parents usually plan a big Christmas party and that it has been at her parents’ home or a vacation spot.
In the past, most locations have been accessible, but the user’s parents have decided to have this year’s festivities at a ski resort that, according to the user, “is largely inaccessible and would have a lot of activities that would leave my husband out.” After telling her parents that they would do their own thing for Christmas rather than leave the user’s husband out of activities, the user’s parents suggested she just send her children and the couple could “do their own thing.” The idea of splitting up the family did not appeal to the user, who wrote to her parent that, “we wouldn’t be sending our kids and that if we couldn’t all attend, nobody would attend.” The user was then accused of withholding the children from the extended family and being a bad parent.
The post received over a thousand responses, with most supporting the user over her parents. “They've excluded your husband from Christmas and their solution is oh that's OK, you can just split up your entire family for the holidays?!” wrote one Redditor. “Do they have a problem with your husband? Because honestly, I almost feel like this would be *less* awful if they've done it on purpose than if they've been *that level* ignorant towards him and your whole family.” The user responded that usually her parents have seemed alright with her husband, thus making their response so surprising.
Of course, family drama during the holidays has become as iconic as 24-hour marathons of “A Christmas Story” on TBS. Christmas stress abounds with festivity planning and trying to see everyone all at once, which can be especially difficult for blended families. Psychology Today gives some tips for how to manage family drama during holidays, including setting expectations and having your spouse advocate for you. It also stresses the importance of being grateful and looking for opportunities to learn. “As much as being around others can cause friction, it can also create growth. It can help you see others and yourself through a different lens. It can also introduce you to new things, whether it be uncovering traditions, a new meal, or a different board game.”