Here is the dilemma. My wife, my brother, my five-year-old son, and I live about five hours from my parents, about four hours from my father-in-law and his SO, and about an hour from my mother-in-law. My sister-in-law lives close to us. My brother lives about eight hours away (six hours from my parents). My brother-in-law lives about four hours away.
Every Christmas and Thanksgiving, no matter what we tell our parents, they somehow expect all their kids, everyone's significant others, and grandson to all be present for one day within a week of the holiday. A further complication: my wife's grandparents are living. We like to see her dad's mother for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and her mom's parents for Christmas. We do see my wife's parents at those events--however, they still expect a separate day to themselves. I forgot to mention that my father-in-law lives in the exact opposite direction of my parents.
Though we've discussed it at previous holidays, we had to discuss again as this holiday season approached that all the driving is just too much. We have extended an open invitation to our whole family to be at our house for Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day. We said we will do no traveling Thanksgiving, except to my father-in-law's mother who cannot travel herself. We said for Christmas that we would not be traveling the 24-26, but that the other days of the break would be open to requests and we would accommodate the requests that we were able to.
Everyone reluctantly agreed to the conditions for Thanksgiving, though my parents complained at length about the whole thing. My mother-in-law came to our house, my father-in-law saw us at his mother's house, and my parents opted to wait until Christmas.
Now that Christmas is approaching, however, all of our parents are suddenly insisting that it should be no trouble to us to see them on dates within one week of the holiday. My father-in-law is requesting the day that we informed him in advance we had already committed to my parents. He is trying to find a way for my sister-in-law to be present, but we have already discussed plans with her in advance and know that the only time our schedules match is the 24th. My father-in-law has thus far not accepted the invitation to come to our house.
How do we get across to our parents that it is simply unreasonable to expect everyone of their family members to be present at once for every holiday?