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      Dear Community friends and family,   After great consideration, we are moving the Grandparents.com community to Facebook Groups effective March 15, 2018.   This wasn’t an easy decision, but we want to bring our communities together and believe the best place to do so is through Facebook’s groups feature. We’re so appreciative of you and the diverse conversations and opinions you have provided over the past 9 years. Your stories and amazing advice have helped so many readers, and have reached thousands of GP.com users. We encourage you to retrieve any information you want to retain as the forum will only be accessible by the admin after March 15, 2018. We’ve created a closed Facebook group called Mothers-in-Law Unplugged where we welcome you to continue the conversations around grandparenting, family, and in-law relationships, and any general topics we discuss here. As the group is closed and each user must be approved, your friends and family on Facebook won’t see any of your activity. Request to join the group here: http://bit.ly/milunplugged Thank you to all of our past and current users. You helped build our community, and we look forward to continuing to interact with you in the Facebook groups. If you have any questions about the groups and privacy, let’s chat about here:   Sincerely,   The Grandparents.com Team

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  1. Do/did/would you ever end a TO (time out) long enough to, perhaps, send a Christmas (or Hanukkah, etc.) card to the relative/IL whom you have distanced? Or "break the rules" of CO (cut off) to reach out to the other party during this holiday season, even if just in a brief text or email? Or do/did/would you treat the holiday just the same as any other time? What if the distanced/COd person tries/tried to make contact during the holidays? Do/did/would you or your spouse/SO ever respond in kind?
  2. Here comes December - a month full of holidays - Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Boxing Day (in the UK, Canada and other Commonwealth countries), and New Year's Eve!   @ GPs - Will you be w/ the GC you take care of on Christmas or any of the December holidays? And/or will you be doing any babysitting on New Year's Eve, while the parents go out, or during their vacation?   Or if you're raising your grands, are either of their parents expected to see them during the holidays?   Same questions for other relative caregivers.   @ Parents - Will your kids see the GPs/relatives that watch them (if any) during the holidays? Or will those GPs/relatives be watching your kids on New Year's Eve or during any part of the school vacation?
  3. Maybe you and your kids always had a strict rule against opening any Christmas presents before breakfast, but your spouse and their kids went at it at dawn. Or you and yours always enjoyed the traditional candlelit Hanukkah menorah, but your new spouse and their kids long since gave that up for an electronic one. Or, if you live in Canada or Britain, etc. you and yours visit extended family on Boxing Day, but your new spouse and theirs are used to doing that on Christmas, itself. Or... ?? If yours is a blended family, how have you managed to blend traditions, if need be? Or if one or more of your AC now have a blended family, how have they worked out such differences?
  4. With Thanksgiving behind us and the December holidays coming up, I'm starting to hear Christmas music on the radio and in some stores. No doubt, many stations and some other stores wait a little longer before beginning to play holiday favorites. What's your preference? Are you already joyously listening to Christmas carrols, etc. whenever you can? Do you avoid them all through the season? Do you enjoy them in small doses or punctuated by more "regular" fare?   In short, what are you/will you be listening to as the holidays approach?
  5. Is there a Scrooge/Grinch in your Christmas (or Hanukkah or Kwanzaa, etc.)? If so, please feel free to sound off about them here! Or hey, if you think it's you, please tell us why. And either way, please let us know how you deal...
  6. Do/did/would you ever bake for the holidays? A cake, a pie or some cookies? Or?? Also, if you will, do you ever do a "bake off" w/ family and/or friends? Or include kids/GC? Or do you tend to bake by yourself?
  7. If you're going to be alone...

     ... on Christmas (or found yourself alone for Hanukkah), etc., and maybe lonely, sending you lots of (((hugs!))) Meanwhile, I hope you're able to find some ways to enjoy yourself - perhaps things you couldn't do if you were w/ other people. I hope, for example, and as cliche as it may sound, you get to "curl up w/ a good book" and read for hours, if that's your pleasure. Or have a "movie marathon" and watch DVDs for hours, whether old favorites or new. Or switch off between books & movies, if you wish. And through it all, play any music you love - doesn't "have to" be holiday-related. Or just enjoy the quiet and, perhaps, catch up on sleep (some people, apparently, love being alone on the actual holiday for these very reasons). If you're simply alone b/c of distance, I hope you get to videochat or FT, etc. w/ your far away loved ones on the Day or close to it. Or if you're seeing family on an alternate day after the actual holiday, I hope you make good use of having the extra time to prepare.Or hey, if you saw them just before the holiday, I hope you're enjoying the gifts you received. If none of these are the case, I hope you can get in touch w/ other family and/or friends. Or that you have plans w/ other family/friends to look forward to at some point during the season. Or if you'd like to get out of the house, say, on Xmas day, I hope you get to enjoy a nice, long, leisurely walk. Or maybe do some volunteering if that idea appeals to you (some posters, over the years, have said it fills the void; others, not so much). If you're traveling alone, I hope you meet some friendly fellow voyageurs and/or get to bask in the sun, revel in skiing or whatever your pleasure is. Regardless, even if you still have some unhappy moments or can't find anything to truly enjoy, please know that many member here are supportive of you and  wish you peace.
  8. Perhaps you delight in decorating your home for Christmas, Hanukkah and/or Kwanzaa. Or maybe you love how cheerful people can be at this time of year and the warm greetings they give.  Or maybe your favorite moment is when the gift-giving is over, the company is gone, etc. and you can just curl up w/ a hot cup of cocoa. Or?? In short, what's your favorite part of the holiday season?
  9. Scrooge V Grinch: Who's worse?

      Since it's the holiday seasonn, I thought I'd post a more light-hearted "debate" on Scrooge v, the Grinch. Let's see... Ebebezer Scrooge - A greedy old man who has lost sight of all else b/c of money and goes around exclaiming, "Bah! Humbug!" a lot. The Grinch - A creature w/ a way-too-small heart who hates Christmas, especially the singing, and tries to stop it by stealing Christmas Trees, decorations and presents. Who's worse, in your opinion?
  10. Ok, Thanksgiving is behind us, so here come the December holidays - Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa! If you're living in a multigenerational household, what does that generally mean for your celebration(s), if any? And/or what does it mean for your celebration(s), this year? Will you have several people, adults and children, crowding around your table? Or will everybody/most of them be dispersing to celebrate at other relativesl/ILs' homes? Or??
  11. If you won't be seeing/contacting one (or more) of your AC (adult children) and/or GC (grandchildren) during the holidays, how do you cope? Ignore the holiday/act as if it's "just another day?" Celebrate alone (light those candles or put up that tree)? Get together w/ friends or other family? Travel somewhere you've always wanted to go? Volunteer? Or??
  12. Will you be traveling/did you travel this year to visit your long distance loved ones for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah and/or Kwanzaa, etc? Or will they be traveling to see you?
  13. If you have custody of, have adopted or are the foster parent for your GC (grandchild/ren), what's happening this holiday season? More specifically, will the parents come to visit for Christmas (or Hanukkah, etc)? Or at any time during the season? Do you find it's better if they visit on the actual holiday or at some point near it? Or not at all? Or perhaps visits aren't happening during this holiday season b/c you and your GC are going away on vacation? Or??
  14. Holiday Vent!

    The holidays can be a lot of fun. But in all the "hustle & bustle," many of us have our frustrations & pet peeves. Maybe you're feeling frazzled b/c you still have so much Christmas shopping left to do, but "life" keeps "getting in the way." Or perhaps you're sick of the crowds in stores. Or your DIL/MIL/whoever served frozen potato pancakes for Hanukkah and you prefer homemade. Or you'd like to stop buying for the adults in your family already, but the rest of the family is aghast at the idea. Or they've decided to do "secret Santa" giving w/ the adults this year, and you're aching to buy for everyone. Or you're getting tired of holiday music. Or?? In short, what's been bugging you about the holiday season this year/overall? Let it out here!
  15. If you're the regular nanny granny (or grampie, etc)/go-to babysitter for your GC, does that mean they make sure to see you on Christmas, Hanukkah, and/or Kwanzaa? Or do the parents feel that since you see the GC often, they need to spend that special day/event w/ other GPs/relatives and see you on an alternate day/occasion? Or do they, perhaps, prefer to spend Christmas (or that first night of Hanukkah, etc.) w/ just their core family? Or?? Also, parents & custodial GPs/relatives, what's your take on this? All others are welcome to comment, as well, of course.
  16. As the regular caregiver for my 2 DGC (dear grandchildren), I'm often fortunate enough to get invited to join them and their mom/my YDD for fun holiday events. For example, yesterday, I had the pleasure of going w/ them and my ODD to a "Santa's/Restoration Village," as I describe in Gigima's "GC are such fun!" thread in the General Gabbery. I don't get included in everything, of course ( for example, YDD still takes the kids to tell 'Santa' what they want for Christmas, but hasn't asked me along in a while). Also, some outings I decline, simply b/c I have other appointments or need some me-time, etc. But now I'm wondering... If you're the nanny granny (or grampie, etc.) or frequent babysitter for your GC (grandchildren), do you find you get to do a lot of Christmas or Hanukkah, etc.) activities w/ them, such as going to "meet" Santa Claus? Or do the parents tend to keep these activities just for/as a bonding experience for their core family (parents & kids)? Or to share w/ the GPs/relatives who don't babysit? Or hey, if you're not the go-to babysitter for your GC, do you find yourself getting invited to share these kinds of holiday events? Or inviting your GC (and perhaps their parents, also) to share certain holiday-themed/vacation activities w/ you? Or do the parents tend to include only the GPs/relatives who are caregivers/babysitters for the kids? Or as asked above, do the parents prefer to keep those events for just their nuclear family? Or as a parent, do/did/would you ever include any GPs in holiday-related activities? Or do/did/would you do those w/ just your own family unit?
  17. It's holiday-time, and if you've got young children or GC, that may mean you're buying toys  Do you tend to favor any particular kind - the classic or the trendy? wooden or high-tech? just pure fun or educational? If you're a GP (other relative), are you the one who likes to give every girl a Raggedy Ann and every boy a set of hand-operated trains? Or the one who usually shows up with the latest Dora or Barbie doll for the girls and a battery-powered helicopter for the boys? Or are your choices guided by the children's wishes or their parents' preferences for them? And/or as a parent, do/did/would you have specific boundaries regarding types or number of toys given at Christmas/Hanukkah  - or any other time, for that matter? ETA: We've talked about this before, I know, but not for a long time. Plus we've gained some new members since then, and, no doubt, it's a good topic for this season.
  18. 'Tis the season...

    ,,, to give gifts. But the GP.com GB page is featuring this article about presents that are not appreciated: https://www.grandparents.com/family-and-relationships/mother-in-law-daughter-in-law/returning-holiday-gifts-frustration So now I'm wondering... how do you know if the gifts you give are appreciated? And what do/would you do if you find/found out they're not?
  19. Let's play a holiday game!

    Let's have some fun! Going in alphabetical order, let's each post something that we think of in regards to Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, the New Year, the holiday season, in general or wintertime, in general. Let's see if we can get through all 26 letters.  It can be something fun or something spiritual, a humorous comment or a serious one and, yes, you can do more than one letter/take more than one turn. Also, please feel free to write a whole sentence with the first word beginning with the letter, if you'd like. I'll start below...
  20. As I've said elsewhere on the board, there are several holidays coming up -  Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, New Year's. So now I'm asking, is it generally easier to be single during the holiday season or more difficult? How about this year?
  21. With several holidays on the horizon - Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, New Year's - I'm wondering if any of your hobbies/interests/sports/passions lend themselves to any of these occasions? Perhaps you love to cook, and so preparing dishes for TG or Xmas is right up your alley. Or maybe crafting is your hobby, and you've made a cornucopia for your TG table or enjoy making your own decorations for Xmas or Hanukkah, etc. Or you're a shutterbug and the holidays give you plenty of opportunity to indulge your passion. Or?? Then again, perhaps you'd rather be out skiing (if it's possible) just when it's time to gather around the holiday dinner table. Or maybe you'd rather be taking in an opera. Or??
  22. It's baby's 1st holiday season! Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and/or the New Year, do you anticipate your new baby or GB will be included? Dressed up in holiday attire that says "Baby's 1st Christmas" (or Hanukkah, etc.)? Or just in their regular baby clothes? Traveling to see GPs and other relatives or just staying home w/ Mommy and Daddy? Or??
  23. If you''ll be alone on Christmas... ... or Hanukkah,, etc.for whatever reason - geographical distance, estrangement... sigh... or, very sadly, loss of a loved one -I know it can be hard, and I feel for you. Then again, I realize that some people "look on the bright side" of the situation - peace and quiet, no walking on eggshells (if that's been a problem in the past), a chance to sleep in, etc. In fact, I know that some people actually prefer solitude for, at least, part of their holiday. So now I'm wondering  how you feel about being alone for the coming holidays. Also, what do you plan to do w/ your time if anything?
  24. Books for Christmas?

    My 11-year-old DGD loves to read and says she wants some new books for Christmas. DH and I would love to get her a couple, and maybe her 9-yr-old brother, too. Any ideas? And while we're at it, any books on your Christmas (or Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or even birthday gift) shopping list for kids in your family? How about for some of the adults?
  25. Holiday Stesses - 2017

    We've talked in here before about the fact that for some people, holidays can be lonely and/or stressful. So w/ several of them approaching - Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, New Year's - I'm asking, what stresses/upsets/hurts you, if anything, during this otherwise joyous time?