... you wait for ages for inspiration, then two or three come along at once.
This year I'm hosting Christmas. Two of my husband's brothers and their families are returning for Christmas here, with their parents. I of course am hosting Christmas dinner/lunch, to take the burden off my 90-year-old mother-in-law. That's okay. I have it planned, and I have delegated some tasks to my sisters-in-law. I'm a little nervous though - I'm cooking a turkey, and I've never done that before.
Every year we've hosted, we've asked my in-laws about my husband's aunt and uncle. Usually if they are in town, they go to another niece's house for Christmas Day, but I have always wanted to give them the option of coming here, However, whenever I have raised it with the in-laws, my curmudgeonly old FIL has always grumbled at the idea. And, feeling as if it is "their" side of the family and therefore their right to decide (I'm just the cook), I have always urged an invitation be sent. (In my defense, it's a complicated family dynamic.) But I've never stood up to him, and for that I am ashamed. Finally I spoke up a few years ago.
I pointed out that in case they haven't noticed, they don't have any children. And neither do we. And that when we are old and alone, we hope that if any of our brothers and sisters, or nieces and nephews are nearby, that they will invite us to spend the day with them. That we won't just be ignored and pushed aside, as they both (aunt is MIL's sister after all) seem happy to do for this elderly couple. (I have no fears that my sisters, and my sisters-in-law - husband's brothers' wives - would ever do this.)
I don't know that he had ever compared our situations. We don't discuss our childlessness with them, but I think they feel for us. But they aren't very good at feeling compassion for others, and they're certainly not good at expressing it.
And so for the last years, we have just informed MIL and FIL that we are inviting them, and that they have no say in the matter. (And to their credit, they haven't complained about it - not since my outburst). This year is the first year A and H are coming. (They have been unable to come previous years). I hope they enjoy themselves, and feel part of the family.
PS: I hope it provides a good example to my nieces and nephews!