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“That relative” at Thanksgiving


teachermom2834
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I host a full dinner for 17. I have a relative who brings a family of five (four adults and a nearly adult boy). They are big eaters. The are willing to contribute a pie. When specifically asked a few years ago to contribute something more substantial to the main meal the answer was “no”. When drinks were suggested as an easy contribution that also was declined. 
 

It used to make me mad but now it is just an eye roll. 
 

Do you have “that relative” at your holiday gathering? 
 

(And this is not about finances. They are by far the most well off of the family). 

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I would be reconsidering their invitations next year. 

We don't have anyone like that in our family. We have a few relatives who contribute very little but they're just coming solo so a six pack of beer or a small tray of an appetizer seems fair. The families that have multiple people bring the main side dishes and desserts

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No one quite that bad. 

We do a pot-luck style meal with about 40 people. We always seem to have an overabundance of rolls. Seems that's the only thing a few folks bother to bring. Fortunately there are some of us who provide multiple dishes (we handle the turkey, 2-3 sides/desserts, and drinks and we also host), and there's always plenty.

I have one cousin who always shows up late -- sometimes empty-handed -- and is inevitably the first one back in the kitchen filling up her containers with leftovers. That's annoying. 

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I feel like we are that family since we are bringing just a salad, but it's because all the older family members claim absolutely everything and everything I suggest gets shot down. Possibly my mother in law doesn't trust me not to bring something unusual, like vegetables that haven't been boiled beyond recognition or slathered in cream of mushroom. I'm pretty sure they are happy to do it and not holding it against me and that it will be my turn in a few years.

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10 minutes ago, xahm said:

I feel like we are that family since we are bringing just a salad, but it's because all the older family members claim absolutely everything and everything I suggest gets shot down. Possibly my mother in law doesn't trust me not to bring something unusual, like vegetables that haven't been boiled beyond recognition or slathered in cream of mushroom. I'm pretty sure they are happy to do it and not holding it against me and that it will be my turn in a few years.

I am sure you are not that family if you have made suggestions and expressed willingness. I am also thinking that if you were specifically asked to bring something like a 12 pack of drinks or a package of rolls you would be agreeable. So you are definitely not that family!
 

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You are much nicer than I am. If they said no, they didn't want to bring anything else, I would say that it wasn't really a request, lol. "There are 5 of you, you need to bring more than a pie. It's not fair to make everyone else bring more. Do you want to bring X number of drinks or would you rather just give me X number of dollars and I'll be nice and buy the drinks for you?" 

Honestly, adding drinks to a single pie is still a pretty lame contribution. I go to a Christmas gathering where I get off very easily, one big side dish and maybe some paper products, but I ask every single year if I can bring more and I also text that morning to see if anything last minute is needed. 

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17 minutes ago, katilac said:

You are much nicer than I am. If they said no, they didn't want to bring anything else, I would say that it wasn't really a request, lol. "There are 5 of you, you need to bring more than a pie. It's not fair to make everyone else bring more. Do you want to bring X number of drinks or would you rather just give me X number of dollars and I'll be nice and buy the drinks for you?" 

Honestly, adding drinks to a single pie is still a pretty lame contribution. I go to a Christmas gathering where I get off very easily, one big side dish and maybe some paper products, but I ask every single year if I can bring more and I also text that morning to see if anything last minute is needed. 

Yeah, when we host, I don't "request" dishes, I assign them.  At this point they are mostly the same every year-mom and dad bring pies and stuffing, my sister brings rolls and a veggie dish, etc etc.  

 

I do have to make sure I don't assign something important to my brother, because it's always hit or miss as to whether or not he will remember in enough time to prep something (like, he will call me when he is on his way, while standing in Walmart "ok, what did you want me to bring again?") or to show up in enough time for the dish to get eaten.  

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1 minute ago, happysmileylady said:

 

 

I do have to make sure I don't assign something important to my brother, because it's always hit or miss as to whether or not he will remember in enough time to prep something (like, he will call me when he is on his way, while standing in Walmart "ok, what did you want me to bring again?") or to show up in enough time for the dish to get eaten.  

Brothers.  *eye roll* and lol

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Well the times we have attempted to assign and explain that I needed help providing enough to feed everyone he said “it clearly is a burden to feed my family so we will come watch you eat and stop for fast food after.” 
 

Nice, huh?

Also he has very sincerely stated that his presence is his contribution. And he is dead serious. We are so blessed he joins us!! 
 

He is nearly 50 yo so I don’t think he is changing

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Just now, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

When we had giant combined family Thanksgivings, I had one who would always say she was bringing something, but that it was a "surprise" so she would never say what it was in advance-  this did me no good whatsoever as far as planning and would always leave us with an overage of something. I just let it go though- wasn't worth arguing over, and at least I knew I had what I wanted there the way I wanted it cooked, LOL. Anything else was a bonus. 

This is where I am. I just provide what I want how I want. Funny-  he just said they might not make it. So now I am making the pie just in case they don’t. 

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1 minute ago, teachermom2834 said:

Well the times we have attempted to assign and explain that I needed help providing enough to feed everyone he said “it clearly is a burden to feed my family so we will come watch you eat and stop for fast food after.” 
 

Nice, huh?

Also he has very sincerely stated that his presence is his contribution. And he is dead serious. We are so blessed he joins us!! 
 

He is nearly 50 yo so I don’t think he is changing

Yeah, he wouldn't be invited next year if that was the response I got.

Sorry... holidays are so complicated.  It's always easier to SAY we won't invite a relative than to actually do it.  hugs.

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I sometimes feel like “that family.”  Aaack.

Kids here have many LTFAs.  Both kids, plus I can’t have gluten.  So I cook an entire thanksgiving dinner for the kids and me, and we bring that for most of our family.  

No one asks us to do a main dish - maybe because they know I’m cooking the whole shebang allergy free at home?  So we get asked to bring appetizers, maybe a dessert.
 

Allergies and holidays are such a pain in the rear!

 

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My brother-in-law's family lives 45 minutes away.  Dh's parents are at his house this week helping with the kids, as his daughter just had surgery.  They were invited to both his house and ours for Thanksgiving dinner.  Last week they said, "When are you planning on eating, because we like to eat the Thanksgiving meal earlier in the day."  We said we were planning on having it at an early dinner time, around 5 or 5:30.  Brother- and Sister-in-law were also planning on eating at dinner time.  (Because what mom with young children wants to get up in the dark of the morning to start cooking a turkey, have to rush around all morning to get everything ready in time, and spend the afternoon cleaning up from a big meal only to turn around and feed her kids another meal at dinner to then clean up after?). A few days later we heard from brother-in-law that they were saying, "Oh, well, I guess we aren't invited to have Thanksgiving with anyone.  We'll probably just pick up some drive-through on our way out of town."  So dh called them and told them to come to our house, and we would eat at lunch.  The reason they want to eat then?  They want to go home that afternoon to go Black Friday shopping the next day at their home stores.

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Oh yeah not inviting is not an option. I do want to see my nieces and nephew and my dad would just die if there was that kind of rift over turkey. Totally not worth it. 
 

I wonder when his adult daughters are going to start to notice. I was actually cooking Thanksgiving dinner at 23 yo.

The funny thing is my 21 yo ds texted to ask what he should bring 🙂 

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I really miss the days when I was the irresponsible relative. I'm way too old to feel this way but I do wish that I could still show up for Thanksgiving dinner with just flowers, or a bottle of wine, or some other feckless offering. No, now I'm assigned side dishes and I'm an integral part of the event -- this is super hard on my commitment issues and leaves me with zero wiggle room.

I'm mostly kidding. I love Thanksgiving and I love seeing everyone. But something about all the planning and pressure brings out my inner teenager.

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1 hour ago, xahm said:

I feel like we are that family since we are bringing just a salad, but it's because all the older family members claim absolutely everything and everything I suggest gets shot down. Possibly my mother in law doesn't trust me not to bring something unusual, like vegetables that haven't been boiled beyond recognition or slathered in cream of mushroom. I'm pretty sure they are happy to do it and not holding it against me and that it will be my turn in a few years.

That's how my mom and inlaws are, my mom because she wants things just so, so she has to cook everything. My MIL because she hates homemade food, I think partially because she doesn't want to be outdone and also because she has a fast food/convenience diet and doesn't like the taste of real food. She makes fun of dh's aunt that brings homemade pies with homemade crusts. I'm bringing a deep fried turkey my brother is cooking for me to MIL's, that is allowed b/c it is deep fried and I didn't make it, she couldn't possibly like anything I make. Last year I brought ribs, everyone raved about, but not her. Mom is "letting' me bring deviled eggs, brussel sprouts and bacon, and a salad- nothing considered important except the eggs. Last year she ended up still making her own eggs and mine didn't get put out, we'll have words if she does it again. Nobody likes a Marney, it is supposed to be a shared meal, get over yourself, bring what you like, let others bring what they like and let it go.

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13 minutes ago, teachermom2834 said:

Well the times we have attempted to assign and explain that I needed help providing enough to feed everyone he said “it clearly is a burden to feed my family so we will come watch you eat and stop for fast food after.” 
 

Nice, huh?

Also he has very sincerely stated that his presence is his contribution. And he is dead serious. We are so blessed he joins us!! 
 

He is nearly 50 yo so I don’t think he is changing

Yeah, no.  

I would actually probably bust out laughing.

 

"Ok, so wait.....it's a burden for you to spend $8 to $10 on some 2 liters, but it's not a burden to go spend $25 on fast food? That doesn't even make sense!"

 

 

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19 minutes ago, teachermom2834 said:

Well the times we have attempted to assign and explain that I needed help providing enough to feed everyone he said “it clearly is a burden to feed my family so we will come watch you eat and stop for fast food after.” 
 

Nice, huh?

Also he has very sincerely stated that his presence is his contribution. And he is dead serious. We are so blessed he joins us!! 
 

He is nearly 50 yo so I don’t think he is changing

That is crazyness, I've seen that a lot at potlucks but for someone to refuse to make more when asked, is absurd. How can they see others bringing things and not think they should as well?

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6 minutes ago, Little Green Leaves said:

I really miss the days when I was the irresponsible relative. I'm way too old to feel this way but I do wish that I could still show up for Thanksgiving dinner with just flowers, or a bottle of wine, or some other feckless offering. No, now I'm assigned side dishes and I'm an integral part of the event -- this is super hard on my commitment issues and leaves me with zero wiggle room.

I'm mostly kidding. I love Thanksgiving and I love seeing everyone. But something about all the planning and pressure brings out my inner teenager.

I host thanksgiving.  I know the next time I do not host Thanksgiving will be because I am too old to do so..  I wish I could go back to those carefree days.  Show up just before the food is served, help a little with clean up and then leave.  No fuss, no muss and no angst about who or who didn't get invited or who is being an jerk.  

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25 minutes ago, teachermom2834 said:

Oh yeah not inviting is not an option. I do want to see my nieces and nephew and my dad would just die if there was that kind of rift over turkey. Totally not worth it. 
 

I wonder when his adult daughters are going to start to notice. I was actually cooking Thanksgiving dinner at 23 yo.

The funny thing is my 21 yo ds texted to ask what he should bring 🙂 

So the adults that come with are his children. I would go directly to them and ask them to bring stuff. Maybe they are more reasonable than him.

My 21 year old niece and her boyfriend showed up to my house on Sunday for our Thanksgiving with a 24 pack of beer. We weren't expecting them to bring anything. My sister, her mom, brings plenty for niece to still be lumped in with her families contribution. I thought it was so awesome that they brought something. Dh is still enjoying their leftovers.

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8 minutes ago, PrincessMommy said:

I host thanksgiving.  I know the next time I do not host Thanksgiving will be because I am too old to do so..  I wish I could go back to those carefree days.  Show up just before the food is served, help a little with clean up and then leave.  No fuss, no muss and no angst about who or who didn't get invited or who is being an jerk.  

I am grateful not to host Thanksgiving!

I'd happily do ALL the cleanup if I didn't have to be part of the dinner planning. I think many people feel that way -- it's just so much lower pressure. Every year we all compete for who can get to the kitchen first to start washing dishes. Being in the kitchen means gossiping with whoever else is in there, drinking an extra glass of wine, AND feeling virtuous, while everyone else is arguing over when to serve dessert.

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I might be that relative, LOL.  Especially when I forget to buy the wine in time!  Nobody would ever ask me to cook, LOL.

I think they keep me in the family because I do Christmas well.

ETA I should mention that it has been my role to clean up after the meal, which is no small task.  But lately, my dad doesn't let me do it myself; he will go out there with me despite being so tired.  😞

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At this point it is really so ridiculous that we laugh at him and have fun at this expense. I could keep this thread going forever with stupid Thanksgiving stuff he does.

One year (back when I hadn't given up on having him contribute) he said " I don't think anyone else really likes turkey so have what you all want for dinner and I'll bring a small dish of turkey for myself." I guess he wasn't even going to share his turkey with his wife and kids. LOL

Everyone in the family (including his offspring) eat turkey. So now we often joke about how we will just bring a small plate for ourselves when we are going somewhere. 

I will say he was absolutely pampered growing up and definitely put on a pedestal for everyone to admire. But at almost 50 he really should have realized that was weird and his 45 yo sister isn't having it. (Well obviously I am but I still make fun of  him for it.)

At least my kids have learned how NOT to act from him.

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We did finally stop sending him home with all the leftovers. One year my sister just packed everything up and put it away without offering him any. He said to his wife "I guess we should just pack up leftovers and hit the road." She sheepishly said "I don't think there are any to take." He had to settle for a bunch of canned drinks for the road. Apparently cans of drinks can travel south but not north. Who knew? 

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I stopped hosting dh's family (after 25 years) - it took me another five years to stop hating thanksgiving.   

we host a variety of friends, etc.  my sister started coming with her dh a few years ago (she was done with bill's family.)  that's been fine.

just this week, 1sil fished for an invitation.  and bring her dog.  and bring her eldest son (who is divorced, highly opinionated, and loves to argue with people. . . . . fortunately, dh was also on the phone and was quite firm with his "NO' to her son. I don't care if he has a new gf and has "mellowed".  I'll believe that only when I see it. - his own sister's prefer his ex to him . . . .  I assured her, my own brother is not allowed. - not even the year he 'requested' an invitation.)

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OP, I'm glad you are able to see the humor in it.

I'm certain people joke about how I'm the only female in the family who doesn't cook and bring something.  I'm good with that.

One year there was a big fight after my folks' Thanskgiving dinner.  It was a lot of things built up, but each individual thing was not worth a mega fight.  My brother who was the head of the "offending" part of the family decided to never come over for Thanksgiving again.  This hurt my dad so much.  If I had it to do over again ....

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here's what we have done so that we get  more balanced "bringings".

dh would send out a menu a month in advance with all items listed - and who wants to bring what? people/families are expected to sign-up.  at this point, changes can be made for sides, etc.  but everyone is expected to sign up for something.  the singles usually would purchase an appetizer, etc.  (a then 20something nephew brought the Costco chocolate turkeys a few times. - now they don't have them.) elderly just brought herself.

we still do it that way, even though we no longer invite dh's family.  

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11 minutes ago, teachermom2834 said:

We did finally stop sending him home with all the leftovers. One year my sister just packed everything up and put it away without offering him any. He said to his wife "I guess we should just pack up leftovers and hit the road." She sheepishly said "I don't think there are any to take." He had to settle for a bunch of canned drinks for the road. Apparently cans of drinks can travel south but not north. Who knew? 

we need a shocked emoji. . . . that's a lot of chutzpah.

actually - I dealt with that too.

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2 hours ago, xahm said:

I feel like we are that family since we are bringing just a salad, but it's because all the older family members claim absolutely everything and everything I suggest gets shot down. Possibly my mother in law doesn't trust me not to bring something unusual, like vegetables that haven't been boiled beyond recognition or slathered in cream of mushroom. I'm pretty sure they are happy to do it and not holding it against me and that it will be my turn in a few years.

dd's friends family - who are coming this year - aren't allowed to do green beans (and any vegetable is suspect.)  . . . . . I love green beans, so I was looking forward to them.. . . . . not with cayenne pepper on them.

 

1 hour ago, teachermom2834 said:

Well the times we have attempted to assign and explain that I needed help providing enough to feed everyone he said “it clearly is a burden to feed my family so we will come watch you eat and stop for fast food after.” 
 

Nice, huh?

Also he has very sincerely stated that his presence is his contribution. And he is dead serious. We are so blessed he joins us!! 
 

He is nearly 50 yo so I don’t think he is changing

wow. . . . I tell him since he's more comfortable spending money, he can pay for the turkey - and I'd let him know exactly how much it cost, and thank him for his contribution (in advance . . . . . . . he doesn't seem the type of embarrass easily.)   

1 hour ago, teachermom2834 said:

Oh yeah not inviting is not an option. I do want to see my nieces and nephew and my dad would just die if there was that kind of rift over turkey. Totally not worth it. 
 

I wonder when his adult daughters are going to start to notice. I was actually cooking Thanksgiving dinner at 23 yo.

The funny thing is my 21 yo ds texted to ask what he should bring 🙂 

the adult children are old enough to bring things.  even when 1dd still lived here (before she bought a house) - she would contribute.     I would go directly to them to find out what they're going to bring?  (I wouldn't phrase it as a question - it would be a "given" they're bringing something. - dh's 23 yo nephew would stop at the store and buy something - even if it was just a box of chocolates.)

but with such a father - it's understandable his children need help.  is he married?  do you talk to his wife about what they're going to bring/contribute?

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How do you all handle food assignments to people who don't live in town?  I always get assigned dishes just like everyone else but we live 600+ miles from our nearest relatives.  We usually stay in a hotel the night(s) before the meal in question as most people we visit do not have room for us.  We are often in the region days before the meal so I cannot prepare at home and try to keep in a cooler or something.  The hotel has no kitchen.  Stores are typically closed on the day of the meal so grabbing prepared food is rarely an option.  I end up calling the organizer (this is the same person every time) to re-negotiate our contribution to something that I can buy prepared ahead of time like pies or beverages.  And this usually works after some drama about how difficult it is to shuffle around the assignments.  But every single time I originally get green bean casserole or dressing or something else that has me scratching my head wondering if this person has thought through how gross cooler casserole would be by the time we got to the meal. 

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14 minutes ago, gardenmom5 said:

  is he married?  do you talk to his wife about what they're going to bring/contribute?

He is married. I used to talk to his wife some but now only when we see them 1-2x a year. They actually used to contribute (15 years ago?) more but then they just decided to stop. Said it was just too much trouble and they are too busy.

They are just totally self absorbed in every way. They are just going through life in their own little world and not thinking about other people at all. Years ago they said they preferred not to have friends because of the reciprocal nature of being asked for favors, etc. When their kids were little and in school and activities they always bragged about getting to the sign up person early so they could sign up for napkins. They just thought they were smart. LOL. So they just come at life from the opposite side I do. 

Luckily I actually like doing most of the cooking and would rather host. It is easier now than when I had babies. 

I really am not looking for ways to get him to contribute. I am just venting and eye rolling and laughing at him, really. At this point it is easier not to fool with him. He really just looks like a fool when we were all raised to look up to him and honor him as the first born. He's just ridiculous and I'm just as happy to feed him and file away his stupid comments to review the Tuesday before Thanksgiving every year. 

One year he bought a gravy packet to make because he said I never made gravy. Which is not true. I always make homemade gravy. He was making a scene in the kitchen needing to use a burner to make his one little gravy pack for himself and his teen daughter was embarrassed. She said "Dad! Why are you being like this? There is plenty of gravy."  I don't know how he got in his head that I always neglect the gravy. But even if I did neglect the gravy he was only making enough for himself. LOL. 

I think this is a situation where my brother just gets with his family of origin and acts like a spoiled child. He is a professional as is his wife. They must function in society in some way but you would wonder how when you see him interact with the family. 

Now I will be disappointed if he doesn't give me something new this year to add to the Thanksgiving craziness. 

 

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1 minute ago, skimomma said:

How do you all handle food assignments to people who don't live in town?  I always get assigned dishes just like everyone else but we live 600+ miles from our nearest relatives.  We usually stay in a hotel the night(s) before the meal in question as most people we visit do not have room for us.  We are often in the region days before the meal so I cannot prepare at home and try to keep in a cooler or something.  The hotel has no kitchen.  Stores are typically closed on the day of the meal so grabbing prepared food is rarely an option.  I end up calling the organizer (this is the same person every time) to re-negotiate our contribution to something that I can buy prepared ahead of time like pies or beverages.  And this usually works after some drama about how difficult it is to shuffle around the assignments.  But every single time I originally get green bean casserole or dressing or something else that has me scratching my head wondering if this person has thought through how gross cooler casserole would be by the time we got to the meal. 

Well I would not expect you to contribute but would think it was thoughtful if you offered to contribute something toward the meat or bring cookies or something that worked for you. I would never expect you to bring a major component. But even the contribution of paper products eases the financial strain on a host. Or if you are driving and have rooms for drinks in the car. 

I never use paper plates and while I am washing dishes someone always comments that we could have used paper. Yet no one offers to bring them. As happy as I am to host (and truly I am) the expenses do add up. 

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18 minutes ago, teachermom2834 said:

He is married. I used to talk to his wife some but now only when we see them 1-2x a year. They actually used to contribute (15 years ago?) more but then they just decided to stop. Said it was just too much trouble and they are too busy.

They are just totally self absorbed in every way. They are just going through life in their own little world and not thinking about other people at all. Years ago they said they preferred not to have friends because of the reciprocal nature of being asked for favors, etc. When their kids were little and in school and activities they always bragged about getting to the sign up person early so they could sign up for napkins. They just thought they were smart. LOL. So they just come at life from the opposite side I do. 

Luckily I actually like doing most of the cooking and would rather host. It is easier now than when I had babies. 

I really am not looking for ways to get him to contribute. I am just venting and eye rolling and laughing at him, really. At this point it is easier not to fool with him. He really just looks like a fool when we were all raised to look up to him and honor him as the first born. He's just ridiculous and I'm just as happy to feed him and file away his stupid comments to review the Tuesday before Thanksgiving every year. 

One year he bought a gravy packet to make because he said I never made gravy. Which is not true. I always make homemade gravy. He was making a scene in the kitchen needing to use a burner to make his one little gravy pack for himself and his teen daughter was embarrassed. She said "Dad! Why are you being like this? There is plenty of gravy."  I don't know how he got in his head that I always neglect the gravy. But even if I did neglect the gravy he was only making enough for himself. LOL. 

I think this is a situation where my brother just gets with his family of origin and acts like a spoiled child. He is a professional as is his wife. They must function in society in some way but you would wonder how when you see him interact with the family. 

Now I will be disappointed if he doesn't give me something new this year to add to the Thanksgiving craziness. 

 

wow. what a sad attitude toward life. . . . they're going to be lonely old people.  

you should write a book of all his thanksgiving antics.  other's would enjoy the humor.  you can thank him for the inspiration.  😜

 

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2 hours ago, Jenny in Florida said:

Is it time for Marney yet?

https://awkwardfamilyphotos.com/2009/11/26/awkward-family-story-the-thanksgiving-letter/

(Not suggesting any of you who are hosting are in this category! Just thought it might provide a giggle.)

 

I was just about to post that, considering this thread, maybe we need to think more deeply about what inspired Marney’s letter. 😂

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I was not completely honest when I said he is only bringing a pie. He typically brings 2, but only shares 1.5 pumpkin pies. Which is great. Almost everyone loves pumpkin pie and we definitely need it at Thanksgiving. 

When it is dessert time his wife generally cuts half of one pie and wraps it up for them to take home and then shares the other 1.5. 😂

Y'all...I swear I am not making this up.

 

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3 minutes ago, teachermom2834 said:

I was not completely honest when I said he is only bringing a pie. He typically brings 2, but only shares 1.5 pumpkin pies. Which is great. Almost everyone loves pumpkin pie and we definitely need it at Thanksgiving. 

When it is dessert time his wife generally cuts half of one pie and wraps it up for them to take home and then shares the other 1.5. 😂

Y'all...I swear I am not making this up.

 

Oh, goodness, someone should start pie before dinner then!  

"I couldn't help it, it just looked SO good.  And I figured that since I was cutting, I went ahead and plated them all too so your dish is all ready to go home empty, should be really easy to clean!"

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1 hour ago, skimomma said:

How do you all handle food assignments to people who don't live in town?  I always get assigned dishes just like everyone else but we live 600+ miles from our nearest relatives.  We usually stay in a hotel the night(s) before the meal in question as most people we visit do not have room for us.  We are often in the region days before the meal so I cannot prepare at home and try to keep in a cooler or something.  The hotel has no kitchen.  Stores are typically closed on the day of the meal so grabbing prepared food is rarely an option.  I end up calling the organizer (this is the same person every time) to re-negotiate our contribution to something that I can buy prepared ahead of time like pies or beverages.  And this usually works after some drama about how difficult it is to shuffle around the assignments.  But every single time I originally get green bean casserole or dressing or something else that has me scratching my head wondering if this person has thought through how gross cooler casserole would be by the time we got to the meal. 

Well, in our family that'd mean you wouldn't be expected to bring anything. If you insisted, the suggestion would be jellied cranberries (you know, from a can).

I feel a little badly that all I am taking to Thanksgiving this year is cranberry relish, cranberry sauce, jellied cranberries (yes, we need all 3 kinds as different people prefer different ones) and 2 kinds of cookies. I offered to bring a veggie or rolls but was turned down.

OP, I am glad you see the humor in this.

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3 minutes ago, teachermom2834 said:

I was not completely honest when I said he is only bringing a pie. He typically brings 2, but only shares 1.5 pumpkin pies. Which is great. Almost everyone loves pumpkin pie and we definitely need it at Thanksgiving. 

When it is dessert time his wife generally cuts half of one pie and wraps it up for them to take home and then shares the other 1.5. 😂

Y'all...I swear I am not making this up.

 

I can't even.  Why don't they just buy/make a 3rd pie and keep it at home??? Then no one sees just how stingy they are!

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Thing with the pie is that our family is not super formal and we obviously give this brother and family a pass on having manners. If they showed up with half a pie gone and said "we couldn't help getting into it last night." we would all just laugh. I would let my adult boys do something like that..but I would also tell them not to take any the next day until everyone had gotten some.

But who brings the whole pie and only shares half??? My brother and SIL. That's who!

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2 hours ago, teachermom2834 said:

At this point it is really so ridiculous that we laugh at him and have fun at this expense. I could keep this thread going forever with stupid Thanksgiving stuff he does.

One year (back when I hadn't given up on having him contribute) he said " I don't think anyone else really likes turkey so have what you all want for dinner and I'll bring a small dish of turkey for myself." I guess he wasn't even going to share his turkey with his wife and kids. LOL

Everyone in the family (including his offspring) eat turkey. So now we often joke about how we will just bring a small plate for ourselves when we are going somewhere. 

I will say he was absolutely pampered growing up and definitely put on a pedestal for everyone to admire. But at almost 50 he really should have realized that was weird and his 45 yo sister isn't having it. (Well obviously I am but I still make fun of  him for it.)

At least my kids have learned how NOT to act from him.

He is probably acting like this because you all as a family tolerate that kind behavior. If he would be left out from family gatherings, he would probably start to act differently. He is playing on guilt and that's what manipulative people often do.

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4 minutes ago, teachermom2834 said:

Thing with the pie is that our family is not super formal and we obviously give this brother and family a pass on having manners. If they showed up with half a pie gone and said "we couldn't help getting into it last night." we would all just laugh. I would let my adult boys do something like that..but I would also tell them not to take any the next day until everyone had gotten some.

But who brings the whole pie and only shares half??? My brother and SIL. That's who!

I have a BIL like that.  We all tolerate him, but mostly, we just ignore him.  In our case, he's outnumbered by the rest of the normal people.  And it's also good that mostly, he's lazy too.  There's no way he would be in the kitchen making a gravy packet....that's too much work.  He's never brought 2 pies and automatically packed up half...............but that's because he wouldn't ever think to bring pies.  Mostly, we just go through his wife (DH's sister.)  Which is a different set of things, but not a the special kind of butt nugget sort of things lol.  

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5 minutes ago, Vanchy said:

He is probably acting like this because you all as a family tolerate that kind behavior. If he would be left out from family gatherings, he would probably start to act differently. He is playing on guilt and that's what manipulative people often do.

It's so very difficult to leave out the immediate family of people you DO enjoy having around.  Many times it becomes tolerating one person, for the sake of enjoying and getting together with the other people who have to live with the butt nugget.  This is especially true when those other people are minor children who can't find their way to the celebration on their own.  

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2 minutes ago, Vanchy said:

He is probably acting like this because you all as a family tolerate that kind behavior. If he would be left out from family gatherings, he would probably start to act differently. He is playing on guilt and that's what manipulative people often do.

it's the father who doesn't want to exclude him.  (I understand the op's position, I bit my tongue a lot at my brother's antics for the sake of our mother. - now, he gets to experience the full consequences of his choices. - and he's not welcome in my house - for any reason.)

my sister would engage in this sort of behavior - I held her accountable, my grandmother took her anger out on me.  how dare I hold her accountable for her behavior!

incidentally, now that grandmamma has blessed us all by dying, (and my mother, another enabler, is also deceased) - me sister is perfectly well behaved and has attended a few thanksgivings at my house.  of course, she's also been going to her sil's for 30 years and is THRILLED to be coming where people are sane.

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13 minutes ago, teachermom2834 said:

I was not completely honest when I said he is only bringing a pie. He typically brings 2, but only shares 1.5 pumpkin pies. Which is great. Almost everyone loves pumpkin pie and we definitely need it at Thanksgiving. 

When it is dessert time his wife generally cuts half of one pie and wraps it up for them to take home and then shares the other 1.5. 😂

Y'all...I swear I am not making this up.

 

Haha, I would literally laugh in their face if they tried to pull that here. We are not formal at all here. I would seriously unwrap that pie, slice it up, and serve it immediately after she served the rest of it. I might even eat that half of the pie in front of them just to make a point. None of that would be done in anger. It would be done half heartily to show them how ridiculous they are.

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1 hour ago, skimomma said:

How do you all handle food assignments to people who don't live in town?  I always get assigned dishes just like everyone else but we live 600+ miles from our nearest relatives.  We usually stay in a hotel the night(s) before the meal in question as most people we visit do not have room for us.  We are often in the region days before the meal so I cannot prepare at home and try to keep in a cooler or something.  The hotel has no kitchen.  Stores are typically closed on the day of the meal so grabbing prepared food is rarely an option.  I end up calling the organizer (this is the same person every time) to re-negotiate our contribution to something that I can buy prepared ahead of time like pies or beverages.  And this usually works after some drama about how difficult it is to shuffle around the assignments.  But every single time I originally get green bean casserole or dressing or something else that has me scratching my head wondering if this person has thought through how gross cooler casserole would be by the time we got to the meal. 

That's a planning failure on the assigner's part. If you're assigned anything, it should be something like beverages.

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1 hour ago, skimomma said:

How do you all handle food assignments to people who don't live in town?  I always get assigned dishes just like everyone else but we live 600+ miles from our nearest relatives.  We usually stay in a hotel the night(s) before the meal in question as most people we visit do not have room for us.  We are often in the region days before the meal so I cannot prepare at home and try to keep in a cooler or something.  The hotel has no kitchen.  Stores are typically closed on the day of the meal so grabbing prepared food is rarely an option.  I end up calling the organizer (this is the same person every time) to re-negotiate our contribution to something that I can buy prepared ahead of time like pies or beverages.  And this usually works after some drama about how difficult it is to shuffle around the assignments.  But every single time I originally get green bean casserole or dressing or something else that has me scratching my head wondering if this person has thought through how gross cooler casserole would be by the time we got to the meal. 

Why would anyone assign a cooked dish to someone traveling so far or staying in a hotel?  That's completely nuts!! That's the person you either invite to come early and help cook something OR assign drinks/napkins/bakery pick-up to OR they can help with clean-up.  Two-day-old road casserole sounds gross and unsafe.

The original OP's brother IS cracking me up.  It's so extreme it's funny.  I have a brother who is LITERALLY a felon and he wouldn't be that socially inept.  My family is so snarky we might have to put on a play so he can WATCH someone be him and hear how ridiculous he sounds. I'm sure his kids are embarrassed.

The packing up the leftovers thing is hysterical.  I would've told him "There are no leftovers.  We ate the whole pie." just to see what he said to that.

Edited by KungFuPanda
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Want another quote from Brother of the Year?

When I thought drinks were an appropriate suggestion that he could easily do and would save me money and time and also save me from trying to figure out what his family liked I asked him to just bring whatever his family liked to drink. Didn't even ask him to bring enough to share. It was "Pumpkin pie is great. Thanks. Can you also just bring whatever your family likes to drink?" He responded that he would. He then called  my sister (who had a newborn and two other small children) and said;

"Your sister seems to think I can drive an hour and a half with a twelve pack on my lap. So I'll give you money if you just go to the store and pick up some drinks."

Nice, huh?

It bears mentioning that he passed multiple open grocery stores between his home and mine. He could literally have run in on the way. His kids were old enough to send in by themselves. That way he would have only had to drive 5 minutes with a 12 pack on his lap. 😂 (He does drive an SUV for the record).

Seriously, if I didn't invite him I might be the crazy one in the family. He makes me look normal.

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