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thanksgiving guests inviting guests . . (part vent)


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I can truly see both sides. Yes, it is rude to invite extra guests to somebody else's home. However, there have been many years people in our circle have showed up with stray soldiers who didn't have any place to go and I wasn't mad. We always had way too much food anyway and everyone pitches in with food.

 

Soldiers are special.

 

Honestly, I would be miffed if company showed up and planned to show up with uninvited guests. Clergy, soldiers, and certain others--not so much.

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apparently, sil is so "shocked" that her dd can't invite her girlfriends (who've already been invited), DESPITE being told on *three seperate years* to not invite guests to my home when she and/or her children have done so (or just shown up with them), she's threatening to have her own dinner. (that she is making clear really doesn't want to do. my grandmother was a master guilt tripper - I don't do guilt.).

 

at least dh is more willing to let her make her own dinner - and have to "eat" her words, so to speak.

 

eta: apparently, sil (hostess wannabe) will now be forced to be hostess-who-does-the-work for the first time in 27 years. I can go when I want, and leave when I want, and don't have to deal with the mess either before or after.

Edited by gardenmom5
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(Fessing up that I haven't read all the replies...)

 

It's your husband's Norman Rockwell fantasy, right? What does he have to say about it?

 

It sounds lovely and lots of work on your part. But unless it's important to dh to keep things formal, I would welcome all with open arms and switch over to nice paper and plastic. Save the formal dinnerware for a day when you really have control over the guest list. Anyone who announces they are bringing a friend, just ask them to bring a bit more of a side dish to help ensure there's enough food.

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apparently, sil is so "shocked" that her dd can't invite her girlfriends (who've already been invited), DESPITE being told on *three seperate years* to not invite guests to my home when she and/or her children have done so (or just shown up with them), she's threatening to have her own dinner. (that she is making clear really doesn't want to do. my grandmother was a master guilt tripper - I don't do guilt.).

 

at least dh is more willing to let her make her own dinner - and have to "eat" her words, so to speak.

 

eta: apparently, sil (hostess wannabe) will now be forced to be hostess-who-does-the-work for the first time in 27 years. I can go when I want, and leave when I want, and don't have to deal with the mess either before or after.

 

Let sil have her own dinner. If she's an empty-nester with grandchildren of her own, then she's more than old enough to host her own Thanksgiving and invite all the "girlfriends" she wants.

 

Why do you have to go to her home at all? It doesn't sound like sil is much fun at the holidays. You should have your husband's fantasy Norman Rockwell Thanksgiving with the china and crystal for just your own grown children at your home. Change is hard, but at some point an extended family has to break into smaller extended family groups or you'll wind up renting the community center to host hundreds.

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eta: apparently, sil (hostess wannabe) will now be forced to be hostess-who-does-the-work for the first time in 27 years. I can go when I want, and leave when I want, and don't have to deal with the mess either before or after.

 

So, how many extra guests are you planning on bringing? ;)

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apparently, sil is so "shocked" that her dd can't invite her girlfriends (who've already been invited), DESPITE being told on *three seperate years* to not invite guests to my home when she and/or her children have done so (or just shown up with them), she's threatening to have her own dinner.

 

She really thinks that is going to get you to change your mind? :lol:

People really are very funny sometimes. I agree with those who say it's incredibly rude to invite others to someone else's gathering. Even if it's a someone with a desperate/sad situation, they need to call you up and ask you if it's OK. I'm sure in special circumstances you would say yes if at all possible and it seems you do invite significant others as well, so I really see no problem with you drawing the line.

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I am just going to add, that while everyone in our family has email, Thanksgiving is handled by phone call. Direct call, who is coming, etc. So a yes or no is expected by a certain date.

 

It would be FAR more polite to ask about extra guests than to just assume they can come. However, having extra people at Thanksgiving is one of the few times of year I feel like a Biblical character. You know, "here's the robe off my back. Pass the applesauce!"

 

:grouphug:

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apparently, sil is so "shocked" that her dd can't invite her girlfriends (who've already been invited), DESPITE being told on *three seperate years* to not invite guests to my home when she and/or her children have done so (or just shown up with them), she's threatening to have her own dinner. (that she is making clear really doesn't want to do. my grandmother was a master guilt tripper - I don't do guilt.).

 

at least dh is more willing to let her make her own dinner - and have to "eat" her words, so to speak.

 

eta: apparently, sil (hostess wannabe) will now be forced to be hostess-who-does-the-work for the first time in 27 years. I can go when I want, and leave when I want, and don't have to deal with the mess either before or after.

 

 

:lol::lol::lol: At this point, I think I'd seriously consider just having a small fun dinner with just my family (and maybe a few people I've really wanted to invite but couldn't because it's a "family" dinner) or I'd go and "kill her with kindness". I would make a big deal of how nice it was and suggest (several times) that she do it again next year, all with the brightest smile.

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apparently, sil is so "shocked" that her dd can't invite her girlfriends (who've already been invited), DESPITE being told on *three seperate years* to not invite guests to my home when she and/or her children have done so (or just shown up with them), she's threatening to have her own dinner. (that she is making clear really doesn't want to do. my grandmother was a master guilt tripper - I don't do guilt.).

 

at least dh is more willing to let her make her own dinner - and have to "eat" her words, so to speak.

 

eta: apparently, sil (hostess wannabe) will now be forced to be hostess-who-does-the-work for the first time in 27 years. I can go when I want, and leave when I want, and don't have to deal with the mess either before or after.

 

Oh, I'd let her do it in a heartbeat.

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Great news that she is hosting!! Now is your chance to show her how to be a gracious guest! Let her know how grateful you are she's taking a turn, help clean up, have fun, and try and let all your irritations go.

 

The friends of your nieces and nephews have probably heard about the "evil aunt" who "uninvited" (ha!) them for thanksgiving, so I would pray that God would give me an extra measure of kindness and graciousness so that they see it was nothing personal.

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Oh my gosh! How very rude it is to invite other people to your Thanksgiving and put the stress on you. :mad: I would absolutely say no. Let your SIL have Thanksgiving at her house then. Personally, I wouldn't attend. I would have a lovely Thanksgiving at your house and skip the drama. You will have a much more pleasant Thanksgiving that way!

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I can truly see both sides. Yes, it is rude to invite extra guests to somebody else's home. However, there have been many years people in our circle have showed up with stray soldiers who didn't have any place to go and I wasn't mad. We always had way too much food anyway and everyone pitches in with food.

:iagree:

We have a small family and it was quite common for anyone who had no place to go to show up at our MIL's home for the holidays. Plenty of food and good company. We all pitched in to help and cleaned up afterwards. I think the OP just needs to raise a white flag and admit defeat in this mess she has created. It sounds like everyone EXPECTS her to host and no one helps. So, next year, perhaps she takes off on vacay or a cruise? ;) Let everyone fend for themselves? Once the babies grow up, it will only be a few years left before they spend holiday time at another MIL's home -- once the older group grows up or dies. Nothing stays the same.

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I love Thanksgiving with friends, BUT not with a Crowd, like you're describing, not being run over like you're describing, & preferably not with strangers...although I could see making an exception for 1-2 that *I* ok'd because they didn't have anywhere else to go. I can't handle a whole lot of people, & I SO would have bowed out of this Thanksgiving tradition before now if I were you!

 

:grouphug: GL!

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I love and appreciate the suggestions of just having our own dinner - dh wants to go. (thunk) "the dinner" is very importantn to him - that's why it got this crazy in the frist place. I think he's feeling some glee at the prospect of watching his sister being forced to put on the dinner. I, otoh, have learned to eat before I go to her house for a dinner. (she volunteered to do mother's day since their mother lives with her - it was also my birthday. I won't go into gory detail about what a disaster that was - even mil commented on being disappointed. I left becasue I just couldn't stand the thought of spending my birthday that way.).

 

as for thanksgiving, 1dd has stated she won't go. I'm inclined not to go at all - if I do, it will be very short, and more for dudeling than myself. dudeling is a sensory seeker, and he can play with a small cousin - but he needs to be watched, and retrieved, and taken away before being over stimluated. he lasts about 1 1/2 hrs.

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She really thinks that is going to get you to change your mind? :lol:

.

 

yeah, I know. I guess she forgot about nephew and his mother who made the same threat, only to be wished a happy thanksgiving with their friends. they came without their extra guests.

 

 

I love Thanksgiving with friends, BUT not with a Crowd, like you're describing, not being run over like you're describing, & preferably not with strangers...although I could see making an exception for 1-2 that *I* ok'd because they didn't have anywhere else to go. I can't handle a whole lot of people, & I SO would have bowed out of this Thanksgiving tradition before now if I were you!

 

:grouphug: GL!

I can't stand the crowd either. dh hasn't wanted to let it go - for the last five years I've heard "this will probably be the last year", and then it happens again. I'd have gone away for the weekend with 1dd, but I didn't want to provide an opening for his family at me not being there.

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dh is the "china, silver, crystal' and nothing but person. I think he thinks it connects him to his father, who passed away in 1969. He will not budge on it. I suggested the plastic "china, silver, crystal" as easier care, but it was vetoed since we have the real stuff. dh is he control freak about thanksgiving.

 

Congrats on having a fabulous breakthrough! What I don't get, though, is why your dh won't budge on the china, silver, crystal aspect since his Norman Rockwell Thanksgiving is falling apart anyway. Even if your SIL has china, silver, crystal, it doesn't sound like it will be Rockwellesque. Oh, well. I guess we all have our quirks.

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We saw this sort of coming before we got married......one sil was NPD and the rest of the group are all type B personalities and 'let' her.....so, the first Christmas after our wedding, we went away. It was shocking and upsetting to all of my dh's family. They couldn't believe we would want to be away from them all for a holiday. It set the precedent that we would do our own thing- thank you very much- and wouldn't be dictated to by a nut-job. I always keep an open mind about holidays with our own 20-somethings. None are married yet, but I hold it all pretty loosely open. We TRY to nail down 1 time that we will be together during the holidays and then I guard it like a Doberman pincher.

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:grouphug:

 

just to bring a smile to your face,

 

the first year dh and i were married, we hosted christmas for his family. the phone rang a few days before christmas and a person i had never met nor spoken to asked why we weren't at the airport to pick her up.

 

hmmmm..... because dmil hadn't mentioned she'd invited my dh's ex-girlfriend from australia to my home for christmas?

 

really, it can get weirder.... ;).

 

(it turned out she was charming, and equally as surprised that a woman had answered the phone, so all was not lost ; ).

 

if you do end up hosting it, another idea i just thought of is to ask everyone to pitch in $10- a person who is coming, and then you can use that to hire someone who will serve and clean up. the remainder of the money can go to have the linens cleaned. that way, no one has to feel put upon to actually help, but you don't end up stuck doing it all, either.

 

that way, your dh could still have his gathering, and people could bring extra guests, but it would cost them. the idea being that then they bear part of the burden of the extra people they have invited. it just might fly...

 

although i really do like the idea of your sister in law hosting (but it may not meet your dhs needs the same way, especially if it reminds him of his dad)

 

:grouphug:

ann

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:grouphug:

 

just to bring a smile to your face,

 

the first year dh and i were married, we hosted christmas for his family. the phone rang a few days before christmas and a person i had never met nor spoken to asked why we weren't at the airport to pick her up.

 

hmmmm..... because dmil hadn't mentioned she'd invited my dh's ex-girlfriend from australia to my home for christmas?

 

really, it can get weirder.... ;).

 

(it turned out she was charming, and equally as surprised that a woman had answered the phone, so all was not lost ; ).

 

if you do end up hosting it, another idea i just thought of is to ask everyone to pitch in $10- a person who is coming, and then you can use that to hire someone who will serve and clean up. the remainder of the money can go to have the linens cleaned. that way, no one has to feel put upon to actually help, but you don't end up stuck doing it all, either.

 

that way, your dh could still have his gathering, and people could bring extra guests, but it would cost them. the idea being that then they bear part of the burden of the extra people they have invited. it just might fly...

 

although i really do like the idea of your sister in law hosting (but it may not meet your dhs needs the same way, especially if it reminds him of his dad)

 

:grouphug:

ann

 

wow, ann! did the exgirlfriend come for dinner?

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My thanksgiving invitations include spouse/partner and children. If the person is single, I would anticipate they might bring a friend. But that's all. I do not have space for any others unless they want to eat in the garage, and it is freezing cold out there. Just with my dh's family I have upwards of 50 people.

 

Of course, if the guest had nowhere else to go, what can you do? Squeeze in, get friendly and make room. But generally, no to other guests not originally intended on - in my situation.

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I think it's rude to invite people to someone else's party. But....Thanksgiving? I'd forego the fancy stuff, make it buffet style, and tell that dear SIL that she is in charge of clean up this year. (I have a "sweet" SIL myself.)

I don't think I'd host next year. If it's only making you hate the holiday, then why do it?

Besides, the guys might like the buffet style. They could eat in front of the TV. :) Kids could eat and run. Moms can take their time at the table. (That's usually how it worked out when I was a kid and had these big holiday meals.)

FWIW, we do invite stragglers. My mom and I take turns hosting and we both are fine with the other inviting anyone we wish. I have invited single elderly people, friends who can't travel to their family, people who's spouses are in the hospital, etc. BUT! We have an understanding. OP doesn't have that undestanding with her family.

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I think that for next year you need to send out a pre Thanksgiving letter saying that you are not hosting it. You sound burned out and gracious attitudes and burn out don't mix, in my experience. For this year, you need to decide what you can handle. Don't worry about precedence because NEXT YEAR YOU WON'T BE HOSTING IT! (Make sure you talk to dh about needing a break first.)

 

:iagree:

 

We did this last year with Christmas and I'm happy to have people over this year again, since it seems more of a choice on my part again.

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Paper plates, plastic wear, SOLO cups, and aluminum pans. At end of day, throw away!

 

Next year, just say no.

 

 

I totally agree! Ruin their expectations of what "their" dream Thanksgivng served to them upon your silver platter is going to look like from now on.

 

If I didn't just cancel the whole thing altogether this year, I would make it as memorable for them as possible, by making it the exact opposite of what they expect. How about peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, a few bags of salad, and pitchers of water to drink? Maybe it will get them off their lazy, unhelpful butts and realize that if they want to be a part of the celebrations, they need to help with the celebrations instead of making you do all the work.

 

I am sorry they are being so awful, inconsiderate, and rude. However, the simper you are able to keep things, the easier it is to allow for unplanned guests without turning into the Grinch who forgot the meaning of thankfulness. Don't let them steal your thankful spirit!

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wow, ann! did the exgirlfriend come for dinner?

 

she had flown from australia. she stayed a fortnight.

i liked her. thank goodness.

 

but it was a little, hmmmm......, odd.....

 

fortunately, dh thought so too, and that was the last time dmil invited someone to our home.

 

ann

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sil is hosting this year. this year wtih 1/3 fewer people than usual, so she can invite extra people. (seriously, that was her reasoning.)

 

I think this is the chink I've needed for dh to allow changes. I'd be happy just doing our family with tagalongs. Maybe even get through to sil just how incredibily rude I consider her inviting people I've never even heard of to my house for a big sit-down formal meal. No, she's impervious. (not the first time a cousin from that family has done that, they just show up with extras.) But like I said, she's been a thanksgiving "hostess wannabe" for years. wants the adulation without the work.

 

I guess she's even more like mil than I realized (and that's saying something!) - mil's motto is "it's easier to ask forgiveness than permission." then she does whatever she darn well pleases, because "christians are commanded to forgive".

 

what had me most angry was we had told our own daughter we didn't know if she'd be able to host her friend, and her cousin was bringing three more people without ever asking us.

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she had flown from australia. she stayed a fortnight.

i liked her. thank goodness.

 

but it was a little, hmmmm......, odd.....

 

fortunately, dh thought so too, and that was the last time dmil invited someone to our home.

 

ann

 

how does your dmil treat you? and is she supportive of your marriage, or does she still attempt to undermine it?

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I agree that it's a blessing to share a holiday with those less fortunate. I also believe the hostess should be the one to invite them, on her terms.

 

If a random guest occasionally asked politely if they could possibly invite "friend x" who is down on his/her luck, the ball would be in your court to decide whether to allow that or not.

 

After the first time someone brought along uninvited guests, I would announce that, since so-and-so seems to be so gracious and enthusiastic about inviting others to a Thanksgiving meal, it will be their turn to host it next year. Done. Seriously.

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We all teach our children that you cannot volunteer others, only yourself, and that you cannot give a gift that is not yours in the first place. So, it is not reasonable to invite others to an event you are not hosting. Your family, having been your guests for 25 years, have never had the opportunity to share Thanksgiving.

 

That said, you can choose this year to give the gift of hospitality to these folks. THEN you can either refuse to host when your efforts are not respected, or you can notify everyone that you will no longer be hosting. Offer your family the opportunity to do some giving of their own.

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I see nothing wrong with asking about inviting others (even non-significant others), but I also think you are fine to say no to that question. It is your house.

 

 

:iagree:

 

I can't imagine not having an open door policy for Thanksgiving, and everyone knows the more the merrier. But with that said everyone who walks through the door gets put to work. Even the kids help bring chairs, set the table, peel potatoes, or whatever, and the same with clean up. Just about everyone will bring a dish as well.

This doesn't bring you joy anymore and I think you should make it clear that next year you guys have different plans besides hosting.

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:iagree:

 

I can't imagine not having an open door policy for Thanksgiving, and everyone knows the more the merrier. But with that said everyone who walks through the door gets put to work. Even the kids help bring chairs, set the table, peel potatoes, or whatever, and the same with clean up. Just about everyone will bring a dish as well.

This doesn't bring you joy anymore and I think you should make it clear that next year you guys have different plans besides hosting.

 

Me either.... but people should still ask, with the expectation of "yes" as the answer, extreme circumstances understood, at least with my friends & family. I can't imagine not being able to find room for more. But if I'm not the host, I would ask! If they said no, I might have to cancel to accommodate those I'd hoped to bring. I wouldn't want anyone without somewhere to go on Thanksgiving.

Edited by CathieC
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Ok, I haven't read all of the other posts but I am going to post anyway.:D

 

I will start by saying that we never have a formal holiday meal as you describe. They are always at my house and there simply isn't room. I set up my island buffet style, everyone goes through and finds a place to sit, hopefully not having to sit on the floor. There was years that we never had a holiday meal that didn't have extras at it. Sometimes we knew the people well but most of the time is was just someone or ones that we knew would be spending the holiday by themselves and I have a theory, "No one spends a holiday by them selves if I can help it unless they so choose to do so.":001_smile: I gave up the fancy for the friendly, the formal for the come on over and be part of our family. I don't normally have more than 20 at one time but we have had. I like to know if there is going to be extras so I can be sure to have enough deserts but if one or two extra get added in at the last minute it really isn't a big deal.

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I think the whole idea is to share with family and friends. I totally understand now being able to do a sit down, crystal and china dinner for extra people, or for 30 people even if expected. So tone it down. Buy nice disposable plates (they make plastic ones that are clean with a pattern, pretty and nicer than paper for a formal dinner), serve wine in plastic wine tumblers, have people sit where ever they fit, etc. If my choice was to exclude people that have no other thanksgiving option, or change HOW I do thanksgiving, I'd do the latter. In a heartbeat. I can't imagine turning someone away on thanksgiving. However, I wouldn't do it in such a manner that I was totally stressed out. Make it more casual, be gracious and include those that want to come, and see what happens. If people don't like the less formal version they can do it at their house next year.

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My family has never had that sit-down formal dinner at any major holidayb there are simply too many of us. There are typically over 80 people at my aunt& uncle's house for Thanksgiving. Everyone brings what they want. Turkey duty is divied between several people (hostess aunt cooks two in her oven, my DH usually fries 3 or 4 provided by different people). A cousin is a firefighter in the same town aunt& uncle live in so the firefighters and police officers that are on duty that day often drop by in the firetruck/patrol cars and fill a plate a different times. Neighbors, in-laws, in-laws, friends, and school mates of anyone are always welcome and made to feel like family-even if it is our first time meeting. No assigning of dishes, no nazi-hostess orders as to what ingredients to use, and it all seems to work out.At one point in my life I thought I had missed out on something by never having a formal holiday meal; and then I did with ex-h and his mom, step-dad, brother, and daughter. I prefer our style of celebrations for sure-paper plates, buffet line, share the prep, lots of family and laughter and love.

 

This sounds absolutely heavenly. I would absolutely love to be a part of something like this. My dd19 will be at her dad's house leaving just the 4 of us. We're not even having anything special to eat because it's just us. We're so boring.

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What third did she cut and how did they feel about it? I'd be tempted to eat with them.

 

no one was "cut out". two "children" family groups were already going to their own inlaws this year - but never bothered to let us know until sunday night - two weeks after the invite went out. another niece lives in europe and was here last year. two of sil-hw's own married children live out of state and won't make it this year.

 

because there would be 10 fewer people (plus four young children) this year, sil didn't give any thought to inviting more people to someone else's house without bothering to ask. I, however, was feeling relieved because for the first time in more than a decade, the group was under 20 and I was looking forward to actually maybe being able to enjoy thanksgiving instead of working every minute. large groups stress me. 1dd is also highly stressed in large groups and went to her friend's last year to avoid dh's family. dudeling is an aspie/spd and has anxiety disorder and requires constant supervision in small groups, let alone large ones. It's the noise and commotion, and certain members of dh's family are best dealt with by a pair of ear plugs. (he did ask I please wear my hair down to cover the ear plugs. I think he was just jealous because his hair is too short to cover ear plugs.)

 

I did let dh know, if the subject of thanksgiving at our house next year comes up - it will be discussed at a later time. subject closed. dh can be pretty clueless - sil made clear in one of her e-mails she doesn't want to do the dinner this year, (but she will - oh, the humanity . . . :svengo:) and thinks it will be back to the big bash at our house next year. uh, no. (though she did "offer" to only have the big bash at our house every other year. hmm, what's wrong with this picture?)

Edited by gardenmom5
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If it were me, I would ditch the formality and make it you can welcome extra guests into your home with less stress. I will say though that with the type of situation you describe it is rude to bring guests uninvited (and especially unannounced).

 

 

:iagree:

 

When we know it's just family on a reasonable scale we bring out the fancy dinner. When it's everyone and their neighbor we use pretty holiday themed paper plates. I love to include everyone who needs a family to celebrate with, but I don't love doing the dishes. I would rather spend my time giving everyone a place to be.

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I did let dh know, if the subject of thanksgiving at our house next year comes up - it will be discussed at a later time. subject closed. dh can be pretty clueless - sil made clear in one of her e-mails she doesn't want to do the dinner this year, (but she will - oh, the humanity . . . :svengo:) and thinks it will be back to the big bash at our house next year. uh, no. (though she did "offer" to only have the big bash at our house every other year. hmm, what's wrong with this picture?)

 

OMG. Claim sciatica. Or scabies. I think you've paid your dues. :grouphug:

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(wait, I take that back, I did hear from one sil - with a *long rambling - at times incoherent - history* of the pilgrims thanksgiving, and what they ate and what she thought would be interesting to cook and eat, but nothing definitive. fairly typical of her.)

 

I'm sorry, but this totally made me :lol:

 

Anyway, you have my deepest sympathies.

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I, also, have hubby's family over (mine are in S. California). The last few of meals, mil has asked it there would be room for a single friend of theirs, a nice lady who otherwise would be alone.

 

OK, we are cramped on space, but managed to squeeze in an extra place setting. This was meal #1.

 

Ever since, mil has asked me to make a space for Nice Lady...and then the morning of the day (Thanksgiving, Christmas, whatever) Nice Lady will decide she'd rather stay home. So this year i told MIl I was NOT going to make space for her...so then of course she'd come (we'd make room). I told mil (who is only now after two decades "getting" my warped humor) that only by NOT having space for her could we guarantee Nice Lady will show.

 

Now it is just a matter of seeing if she shows! :D

 

Anyway, I do not really mind an extra person..IF I will be able to make room and IF I get advance notice! And ask me, don't tell me!

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