Judge Jay-Jay shares her advice on spending Christmas day with family

More FM radio diva Jay-Jay Feeney delivers her verdict on your biggest dilemmas


Hi Jay-Jay,
I love your column. I would never usually write in to a magazine with my problems, but I would love to have your advice.
My mum is a traditional person and she absolutely adores Christmas. It's November and she has all her shopping done, the tree is out of the garage ready to be put up and the Christmas Day menu is already planned. I have four siblings, some nieces and nephews, and my grandparents are alive, so every year we all spend Christmas together.
But this year, my best friend asked me to go to Thailand with her for the holidays. She has two weeks off from the week before Christmas. I booked and paid for my trip a couple of months ago, but I just told my mum last week and she is mad – like, really, really mad. She cannot believe I would miss Christmas and wants me to cancel my trip.
I should point out that I am 26 and I do not live at home.
If I cancel my trip, I won't get all the money back, my friend will be upset and I'll be sulking on Christmas Day. What do you think I should do about this?
Amelia, Auckland
Hi Amelia,
This is so tough! I kind of feel the same way about Christmas as you do. The pressure to be there makes me anxious every year, so I love to go on holiday and miss it altogether! Luckily for me, I have a very understanding mother.
You're going to upset someone no matter what you finally decide to do. I don't know how much you can stand up to your mother, but I think this is the time you need to do so.
There is such a thing as family duty and Christmas Day is usually one of those times, but on this occasion, you've already made and paid for expensive plans, which you obviously want to follow through on.
You're going to have to tell your mum you're sorry but can't be there this Christmas. Can you get your siblings, your dad or your grandparents to help soften the blow?
Is there a chance you can have an early Christmas in the days before you fly out? FaceTime your family on Christmas Day, for sure. Your mum will get over it! Does she drink? After a couple of wines on the day, she might relax a little (not that I would like to encourage that!).
Make sure you tell your mum how much you love her and appreciate all the effort she puts in every year, but you really don't want to miss this opportunity to travel with your friend for once.
Good luck with that – and merry Christmas, I hope!
A problem shared is a problem halved! Send your sticky issues to Jay-Jay – email wdaynz@aremedia.co.nz.

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