Single Parents

Already thinking about Christmas...

Alright, I know this is months away, but I would like some opinions as to whether or not this is reasonable.

So, a bit of background: My ex's brother is married to my sister. Last year for Christmas we had both our families together which was nice but super awkward.

Anyways, this year my parents, DS and I will be traveling to the city where ex, sister and BIL live for the holiday as BIL invited my dad to an NHL game on the 23rd. We will be there from that day till the 26th. Every year ex's/BIL parents have a big party for their family on Christmas Eve. Last year I let my sister and BIL take DS there for a few hours. This year, I'd like to do the same only drop him off around noon maybe and pick him up around 6 so he can have a bath and relax a bit before bed around 8. Do you think that's reasonable? It's enough time for his family to visit with him on that day I think.

Here's the catch-I have a feeling I'm going to catch heat from my ex over it. It seems like a good arrangement to me seeing as they will be at my sisters house Christmas day for dinner (this is the LAST year our families will be doing it. My sister and I are not cool with having our families together and it's a big awkward situation). Fortunately, I have sole custody (physical and legal) so it's pretty much up to me what goes down. The only reason I'm worried about it is that because my family and his family have permanent ties because of my sister/BIL, I don't want to make a big deal of it for their sake.

So, what do you all think?

Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker

Re: Already thinking about Christmas...

  • Do you two not have holiday's written in your CO?

    I think what you're offering is fair, but it also depends on what takes place on Christmas Eve. For example, if the family hangs out all day but doesn't eat dinner until 5pm, saying you're picking DS up at 6pm isn't fair. It's a holiday and his schedule will get thrown off a bit. He doesn't really need a whole 2 hours to "relax" before he goes to bed. On the other hand, if they eat an early dinner at 4pm, picking up DS at 6pm isn't a big deal. Does that make any sense?

    If it gets ugly with X, tell him that DS's bedtime is 8pm and you will be picking him up at 7pm at the latest. That's what I would do if I was in your shoes.

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  • image PrettyInPearls23:

    Do you two not have holiday's written in your CO?

    I think what you're offering is fair, but it also depends on what takes place on Christmas Eve. For example, if the family hangs out all day but doesn't eat dinner until 5pm, saying you're picking DS up at 6pm isn't fair. It's a holiday and his schedule will get thrown off a bit. He doesn't really need a whole 2 hours to "relax" before he goes to bed. On the other hand, if they eat an early dinner at 4pm, picking up DS at 6pm isn't a big deal. Does that make any sense?

    If it gets ugly with X, tell him that DS's bedtime is 8pm and you will be picking him up at 7pm at the latest. That's what I would do if I was in your shoes.

    We do not have any holiday schedule in our CO. Basically it states that visitation will be arranged as agreed so if I don't agree, it doesn't happen. That being said, I don't want to seem like I'm playing the custody card to get what I want as far as visitation goes. Ex has only seen DS for a total of 5 days since January so I don't want to just throw DS out there and have him be uncomfortable too, KWIM?

    As for meals on that day, they don't have a formal sit down dinner, mostly just finger foods and things like that-kind of like a come-and-go thing. 

    I'm big on consistency for DS; he is always in bed by 8 at the latest but sometimes he's so pooped he only makes it till 7. I realize holidays are special for sure and that's why I wanted input as I've never really been in this position before.

    Also, he will see him Christmas day as well so I guess it's more for his extended family on Christmas Eve. 

    I suppose we will have to figure something out as time goes on and DS gets older. 

    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • In that situation, yes, I think 6 hours of family time is plenty on Christmas Eve.

    I would strongly suggest getting some kind of formal visitation schedule in place. Especially for holidays. This will avoid any kind of arguments in the future and will keep it so you're not looking like you're playing the custody card. While your X will likely not utilize his visitaiton, at least you don't have the stress in the back of your mind wondering if he'll just pop up out of nowhere and want to see DS. Odds are you will already have plans (especially if it's a holiday) and you'd be forced to either tell X no, he can't see DS, or change your plans. Neither of those situations is ideal.

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  • All good points you make there. Thanks for your help!
    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
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