Your British Sister-in-Law and you, the facts

Posted on December 4, 2008 by peacefulyorkshire

yahooavatar15Dear Readers,

Christmas is just around the corner (21 days lovelies, 21 days!) And you are going to need to prepare. Us 3 gals at Shes not From Yorkshire know the stress of being an American in Britain for Christmas– we’ve been there and done it. Numerous times.

It may be that you will be going back to America to see your beloved folks. Lucky you!!! If that’s the case, you don’t need to read this now. Go get that second cup of coffee and we’ll see you same time tomorrow.

Ok,  that means that you are staying here for Christmas. Chances are you don’t have the clout to hold Christmas at yours this year. Number one reason is probably because you are Americanyou wouldn’t get it right to have the family over, after all how would you know how to hold an English Christmas?

Because you’re American, this means that the hols will either be at the in-laws house or at a sister-in-laws house. If its at the English parent’s house, this isn’t going to apply to you. That is another topic! So, go ahead and get that saved up Oreo…. and yes, we will see you tomorrow, same time.

This means that you are spending Christmas at your sister-in-laws?? You do realise that you will be needing some confidence to voice what you need and what you want and what you expect? You need to make it clear what you will do and will not do.

Repeat the quote: Trying Fails, but Awareness Cures… repeat three times a day.

Just be aware sweet readers, just be aware you will need to be vocal about your expectations because No one else is gonna do it for you–!

Ms British sister in law will probably be be lovely and ask you what you might want to make you “feel at home”. Under no circumstances will she ever actually get it right, not really her fault, shes not really concerned about your needs. You have to realise that she is trying to impress her parents, her partner, his parents, her kids, not you!

Ill have a pumpkin pie that is all I really want, Ill even give you a great recipe since you don’t want me to bring anything, you say. Mr. Kipling’s mincemeat pies will be flogged instead.

I don’t eat meat. she will serve you a nut roast from Tesco’s value range.

I’ll do the Christmas breakfast, you say, to try to show them that you can cook and can contribute, and what a great little lady you are. They won’t like your smiley face waffles. Odd bread products are brought from deep-freeze instead

Hasn’t baby Sophie grown so much, would you two like to take her to the park? she asks

About that point you start daydreaming about your lovely family and how much you miss them in America… I bet dad is on his 2nd Coors-light by now, you  sigh.

And don’t expect your British man to understand, even if he is Mr. Chill, Mr. Nice Guy or Mr. Charismatic. Its his family and you do not want to be in the middle. Nor do you want him to be in anyway held accountable for your homesickness. Its not his fault either.

Christmas at your sister-in-laws is under her reign, darling, and you’re just there for the ride…

Just be aware sweet readers, just be aware and you will feel better…

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What Others Are Saying

  1. JR August 1, 2011 at 2:46 am

    I’m the opposite (Brit in america), but I totally get what you mean about missing your family on Christmas, I went with a friends to her family’s Christmas and all I thought about was what my family would be doing even though they were really kind to me. After dinner I even sneaked out for a couple of minutes and rang home to see what there doing, only to find out they had not long just woke up. To be honest I felt homesick throughout alot of December. 

  2. Pingback: Before you start flinging mince pies: Surviving Christmas in the UK , a reminder | She's Not From Yorkshire

  3. Pingback: Christmas in Britain as an American, the facts « She’s not from Yorkshire…

  4. peacefulyorkshire December 6, 2008 at 6:49 pm

    Yankee bean, I know what ya mean!
    Its not that the sister-in -law means unwell, not at all. In fact I am aware often how hard she tries. We’re just so so so different culturally that I am not sure we always “get each other”. As long as I remain AWARE I usually don’t get all upset like I used to at the beginning! Took me a lot of crying sessions to understand that she DOES mean well… and then not get mad at her when her plans did not make room for my American traditions. Sigh.

  5. yankeebean December 6, 2008 at 11:15 am

    OH MY GOD, it’s so true…

    I’m reminded of the first 4th of July that I spent in England when I was only 16.

    I was staying with a friend and she arranged a whole day to try and make me feel at home. It was the nicest thought, but it was all wrong.

    She took me to McDonald’s for lunch, then to see an American movie. Then we had Pizza Hut for dinner and Ben and Jerry’s and stayed home in her room reading an American magazine that she’d bought.

    It was SO sweet of her to do, but when all your ‘peeps’ are back home barbecuing and watching parades and fireworks, it just doesn’t cut it.

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