Last year we took my mother-in-law out for Christmas lunch, then a couple of days later my brother and his family came to stay, my nieces who speak English-but-not-as-we-know-it went to play with the neighbour children (the nice girl I know anyway and her friend), we all had a jolly time, and my brother despite saying "I don't like baked glazed ham or trifle" wolfed them both down.
This year we have booked the Christmas lunch (it is too far to go and get her for the day, she is too confused to stay at our house, and her flat is too small for us to cook dinner in, or even eat it really, though it's fine for watching Doctor Who in). My mother has a big birthday just after New Year (cue drama), so we are going down there at that point, just before New Year.
I really wanted to have my brother up here in between, if all goes according to plan we will be very busy and not particularly interested in hosting the whole family for about the next six months (not to mention, out of the country for some of it). Yes, we'll see them at my mother's but a) we won't be staying there (her house is tiny) and b) did I mention she's having a big birthday?
I suspect my brother thinks we'll be hanging out at her house, or possibly everyone at my dad's house, all the time we are down there. We're planning a) to take my mother to the theatre b) to go out to an orchestra concert on NYE (because the alternatives are overpriced hotel dinner, or sitting at my mum's house watching TV, which is fine at our house, but hers is very small. Did I mention her house is small?) and c) not to stay at my dad's house either because he refuses to get a double bed or even matching single beds for visitors.
So now I'm thinking "well, I may as well go back to work between Christmas and New Year". Which is a) completely unlike me and b) completely pointless since our buildings aren't even open then. Or I can just sit around at home and feel sorry for myself, and try not to buy baby stuff. And I don't get to make nice food (because we can't eat it all). And I could try and throw a party but everyone is either away or not that friendly.
Oh, and we are evil people and immoral for planning to stay in a hotel and ditto inconsiderate for suggesting a post-birthday pub lunch where the main courses cost £15 (too expensive). How many times do I have to explain to my mother that my brother will, occasionally, spend money if she doesn't put her hand in her pocket first, and that although yes I am earning money and she is on a pension, I am currently supporting a student husband who eats a lot and a large house in a cold part of the world, and that she actually does have money in her bank account that she could use to, oh, you know, buy things for herself. Or us.
I have no real question here, I just want a moan.