Holiday planning

Here are all the things I meant to include in the previous weekends’ coffee share. Sit back and enjoy some milk tea and some snacks.

So we decided it was best to not go anywhere for this Thanksgiving and Christmas. Ever since we moved to LA back in 2012, we have been splitting our time during November and December between LA and San Diego. One year, we’ll spend Thanksgiving weekend in San Diego and Christmas in LA. For the following year, we switch the visits. I’m not going to lie, it can be quite stressful for my husband and me because we’re the ones who make the drive while the San Diego family does not. I recalled from one Christmas in San Diego my husband asked me, “can you remind me why do we switch between SD and LA? It’s not like on years when we decide to stay in LA for Christmas they come over here.” My answer was, “it’s (your) family. I treat your family like I treat mine.” At that time we left in a rush after his sister soured Christmas morning with a family fight with her brothers and mom. At this point, he felt we were just going to San Diego just for the act of showing up for family.

Honestly, I feel relieved that we are not going to San Diego this year for either holiday. I can finally decorate the house and plan to do more holiday activities.

In-law Home hunt update:

I thought my in-laws had until the end of the year to move out, but it looks like they have to move out by the end of November. They were notified early October. They seemed lax about the situation despite how hard it is to find reasonably priced housing in San Diego — especially my MIL. For many years, my husband has offered his mom to move in with us where she can live rent-free and she can have her own room (this was years before his brother moved in and when Lana was born). She’s always resisted by never giving us a straight answer. It would alleviate his sister’s responsibility so she can find a place for herself and her son and not take on a second job to support everyone.

On Lana’s birthday from a couple of weeks back, MIL talked to my husband in their native language in the backyard asking for money and he reoffers her to move in. I passed by and my husband calls me over to tell me that he has offered to have his mom move in, but we also have to take in his second brother. I said “ok, that’s great. When will you move in?” I looked at her and she became very quiet. After the party, my husband told me she felt embarrassed to include me in the conversation that’s why she did want to talk about it further.

Any progress?

Well, there has been no progress. Though they did not directly tell us, my MIL and BIL #2 are not interested in moving in. Their replies come in the form of “we’re looking at this place at this neighborhood next week” or “we’ll think about it.”

MIL continues asking for money and my husband is not caving in. There was a time many years ago when my husband lent money to his parents every month to help with paying bills only to find out they were gambling it at casinos. He tells her it’s either she goes broke in San Diego or moves in with us in LA.

How do I feel?

Emotionally exhausted. It would be a super-full house with five adults and a baby in a 3-bedroom 2-bathroom house. I understand my husband wants to lessen his mom’s financial problems but does my MIL really want to go from having her own bedroom to sharing it with Lana? Will BIL #1 really want to give up having his own bedroom to share with BIL #2 if he moves in (the same goes the other way around)? Plus they have to give up a lot of their stuff. We can’t deal with hoarding. My husband’s reply was, “They have the deal with it. If they want their own rooms and more space, then maybe they need to take better-paying jobs so they can move out and find something better.”

Also, my husband and I don’t want to buy a bigger house. Though this may come off as “out of touch,” As someone who has grown up in a big house, it means more cleaning and more maintenance. I like our “modest” size home because it’s less maintenance and easy to clean.

More to come… This post was longer than I anticipated.

Currently reading:

Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators by Ronan Farrow (e-book from the library)

The New Filipino Kitchen: Stories and Recipes from Around the Globe by Jackie Chio-Lauri – surprisingly more like an anthology of short stories rather than cookbook.


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Eat, Play, Live - my personal blog Buoyancy Blog Project - a blog about resilience

9 thoughts on “Holiday planning”

  1. I haven’t had the joy of in-laws yet but I already know my parents will be difficult in-laws… 😅 I’m glad that you’re happy about staying home for the holidays! This will be the first year in 8 years that I’ve been able to stay home for the holidays and I’m also relieved. 🙂 Traveling during the holidays and being around too many people makes me very anxious… I hope that everyone is able to get their living situations resolved in a way that works to the likeness and convenience of everyone else. It’s hard when it’s family, hard to let them stay but also hard to say no… 😅 Hoping it gets better soon. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yes travelling during the holidays can be overwhelming. And because of that they wonder why we don’t do presents. We usually gift cash.

      I do hope it gets better. I’m all for letting people decide where they want to live. It looks like MIL still wants live in SD — I understand there’s an emotional attachment though it will be very tough.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Goodness, Julie! You really have your plate full. Family is tricky, particularly when open conversation is challenging. And you really are such a generous person to offer your home to your in-laws. Although these arrangements are very common in among Asians, I don’t know if I could be as unselfish as you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. How interesting you mentioned this. Many Asian-Americans would respond “how terrible for taking family in.” I’ve noticed Asian-Americans tend to conserve the older Asian customs than the Asians living in Asia. For my husband’s case, his parents left Vietnam many decades ago and my husband (and his siblings and cousins) has never been to Vietnam. I think people forget countries evolve too. Again just an observation.


  3. July, you are so generous. I think you are wise NOT to get a bigger house. It is hard enough living with your own relatives, but to live with another’s is usually more difficult. We either lived with my mom or she lived with us when we were first married and very broke, My husband and mom were very close, though. Even so after nine months, we were ready for her to move on, and she did or we did. My heart goes out to you. I hope you have a wonderful holiday in spite of all your trials.

    Liked by 1 person

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