This is brave of you. Your parents probably have a vision of family togetherness that they feel will not be fulfilled, but I think you are compromising beautifully by getting together with your side of the family the Saturday before Christmas. Will the baby be there then? If so, I think you should agree to put on a Santa hat so the baby can have a photo taken with Aunt Peaches looking all Christmas-y. You have special circumstances. You are in a place where you are not feeling Christmas this year, for good reason, and I think that needs to be respected. It's not like you are refusing to see family at all. Convo I want to have with my parents: "So, you know how we were talking about how maybe we won't be able to go to the Jersey shore this year because of Hurricane Sandy destroying so many homes, and you said maybe Delaware, or Ocean City, MD, or the Outer Banks instead? I would actually rather go to San Diego for vacation this year because I think Child is the perfect age for it. No, not in addition to a week at an east coast beach, instead of it. We would be very happy for you to come too, of course, and everyone could decide how much touristy stuff vs. how much sitting on the beach they want to do." Likely outcome: My parents will announce that they are planning to rent a house at an east coast beach anyway and will ask us if we could decide what week we're going to San Diego soon so they can figure out what week to rent the house at the shore. Selective hearing will be in full effect. I may try to do an end run by enlisting my sister ahead of time. We'll see if that helps.