No grief from family, whatsoever. I always screen their calls for a week after the big day, which in my family is the 24th.
There's at least twenty other like-minded relatives that they can ring up and k'vetch with for hours on end about what's wrong with every gift they've received the previous day, and who didn't say "Thank you" with enough enthusiasm, or how tacky the gift-wrapping of Such-and-such sister-in-law is, or how So-and-So's cooking is not what it used to be, or how pretentious (not generous) it was to have ordered a sushi course for forty people in addition to the other six courses, or how it's not like it used to be when we were kids, when they were kids, when their grandparents had a farm, the way it used to be when the great-parents were newly-weds and had nothing but clothes and a bed, et c. Maybe I ought to get someone to set this annual litany of complaints to music?
On the 25th, I ring my closest relations and some friends to wish them a Happy Christmas, but I keep each call under five minutes – thoroughly impossible to do with my mother without making her cry, but I get better each year. I'm meeting "the gang" at the outdoor skating rink in twenty minutes. I gotta go now, Happy Christmas!
I have a 2.5 hour rule that I've stuck with for the past year-and-a-half: Always have some social plans for after any family gathering so you can get away in 2.5 hours or less, before any flare ups arise, and with a clear conscious. Another time perhaps, but the others are expecting me in 30 minutes and it's too late to call and change plans now. Thanks for everything; delightful as always. Ah, I hear the taxi. Muah, muah. Ciao!
At Christmas and other very large gatherings I extend it to four hours, maximum, and still make plans - last night it was Midnight Mass at the church next door. What's that? You want to give me a lift? Go to mass with me? Awww, if only I'd known you were up for it this year I would've gotten you some tickets. It's been "sold out" for over three weeks, I'm afraid. Next year. Ciao everyone!
For me, it's the food & drink that makes it all bearable, but when it's time to go, no guilt-tripping is going to stop me where family is concerned. In fact, they still do it, but I expect it and view it as another opportunity to say No – firmly AND graciously. And I always have another rendez-vous to get to after a family affair.
Anyone else here experience such thoroughly un-Christian Christmases, year after year?