My ILs like to go away some place warm from 12/26 returning 12/31. I am not a fan. I find it very stressful to rush through the holidays, have to pack up 2 children (w/ clothing for a different season) & leave early am of 12/26. We didn't do the trip this past year and are now getting guilt-inducing e-mail invites for a trip for this year.
I explained very clearly to my MIL when we were up there at the beginning of the year that I DON'T want to travel during that time frame (w/ the exception of going up to see them for holiday related events.) That leaving on 12/26 is difficult after playing Santa & doing Christmas (was up until 1 am this Christmas Eve doing the Santa set-up.)
We did this trip w/ them twice since DD was born & when we did it we had Chinese food for Christmas dinner because we didn't want to drive an hour each way to have dinner @ my parents the day/night before traveling via plane for so long. Hosting a major holiday the day before going away isn't my idea of a good time either- it typically takes me 24 hrs to do the full post-party clean-up, etc. I enjoy hosting holiday meals and hosted both Thanksgiving and Christmas this year.
What is really irritating me right now it the lies of my MIL & SIL are telling to get us on board. When I asked my MIL if she has always gone on these trips even when her children were little she said yes. Completely contradicting statements she has previously made about how her family celebrated Christmas. Also SIL just wrote in an e-mail that it's a 30 yr tradition. REALLY? you've been doing this since you were 2? I asked DH and he said they haven't been doing it since he was 5- more like since he was 10- I know it's just semantics, but I hate that they are lying in order to apply pressure/guilt.
MIL said she would never go to Mexico (I suggested going to an AI family-friendly resort there for another vacation) but the cruise they are pushing right now stops in Mexico!
I am this close to writing back a very blunt e-mail. I am clearly an afterthought in this whole thing, meanwhile I am the one who bears the brunt in terms of prepping/planning w/ the kids. I love to travel and love to travel w/ my kids, but I need the time/space to prep and pack in a thoughtful manner and I would rather do it not during the holiday season.