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“That relative” at Thanksgiving


teachermom2834
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30 minutes ago, Terabith said:

I am a terrible cook.  My husband or kids do all the cooking.  Like, I have often messed up spaghetti.  I was assigned to bring the fruit salad.  Cool.  I can handle that.  But I've now been involved in over an hour of texting about what is and is not acceptable to include in the fruit salad.  Now I am super stressed about it.  Thank God I wasn't assigned anything crucial!

Like that is a total Marney move to me.  If you want potluck, you don't get to be bossy or pick exact recipes.  I could see saying something like "I loved that salad you made for other event.  Could you bring that?" if you knew someone well and they had a specialty.  If you want to make everything offer to host and tell guests they don't need to bring anything.  

This would make me want to bring of a bag of oranges (or something along those lines) and call it good.  😂  Who texts someone about that the day before Thanksgiving anyway?  I've had my grocery shopping done since Monday for the most part.  

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When I was growing up, my grandmother and her first cousin alternated hosting Thanksgiving.  It was huge, and no one brought anything.  It wasn’t allowed.  This was traditional hosting, and the meals were lengthy and planned to go together.  

That is my own standard for hosting.  If I host something, I don’t ask anyone to bring anything.  If they offer I say yes, unlike my grandmother and her cousin, who would say no.  What bothers me is if someone says they will bring something and then they don’t bring enough for everyone and are unclear about that.  If they say that they are bringing a vegetable, for instance, and it serves 6 people but we have 17 coming.  I have one relative like that, and it’s a real pain.  He also bails at the last minute fairly often, and being part of a family of 4 heavy eaters that changes the ‘amounts required’ considerably.  

I had to stop hosting once there were 6 tiny kids in the Big Family Crowd.  I don’t have a fenced back yard and my house is fairly small and I live on a busy street, and there just isn’t anywhere to put all those people and have 6 tiny kids running around.  I know that one of my rellies really resented it when I dropped out of the ‘offering to host’ rotation.  We finally had a frank discussion about that a few years ago.  I explained about the issues, but I also pointed out that I proactively offer to bring LOTS of food—all the desserts, a side dish, soup for the next day or for starters, tons of stuff.  I’m also super careful to stay out of the way in the kitchen.  There is NO last minute kitchen work to be done dramatically and in everyone else’s way, and the only thing I ever bake there gets popped into the oven as we sit down for the main course, so it doesn’t impede the progress of the roast beast.  

Anyway, I thought that there might be others who were mad, especially the cousin who graciously stepped up to host pretty often, so I initiated a convo with her as well, and I offered to host at a hall.  Now, everyone has seen that hall.  It’s pretty homey and nice.  Was built in 1910, craftsman style, with a large dining room, a big parlor, a tiny stage, a serving hall, and a big kitchen.  The only real problem with it is that they don’t allow outside food there—you have to hire a caterer with insurance (what a pain.). I did not mention that; I just said, hey, you have been there, it’s nice and homey, and I would decorate it for Christmas, there is plenty of room for the kids to run around, I would organize crafts also, it would be fun.  She was absolutely horrified, I think, at not doing this at a home.  And I think once people thought it through they realized that I am the farthest away from the group and that coming here with their little kids would be a big fat pain.  So...I don’t host right now and everyone is more or less fine with that.

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13 hours ago, Familia said:

 

 

Were we separated at birth @Little Green Leaves?  I so agree with your sentiments.  

A completely different path of life has followed those “..showing up to Thanksgiving Dinner with just flowers” days for me.  I host.  And, I do love it.   China.  Chrystal.  Requesting menu helps/accepting what is brought.  But, we have no choice.  For many years, we have hosted a large Friends-giving, because there just wasn’t any family beyond the IL’s.  That has all faded away, and, this year, with only the IL’s it will be quieter (just our immediate family) and the ILs and UNO games.  Fun, for certain, but I am longing for the day when there is some extended family to wash dishes with.

It's really inspirational reading about people who love hosting Thanksgiving...especially people who can relate to my feelings! Who knows, maybe one day  I'll host Thanksgiving myself. UNO sounds like fun.

 

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17 hours ago, MissLemon said:

 

Oh wow, you're right.  I made asparagus from a recipe from America's Test Kitchen the first year.  My MIL took a bite and said "Well, I don't really like vegetables, but I can tell it was prepared well", and then didn't take another bite.  I still can't figure out if that was a compliment or not. 

MIL is also a fan of this gross gravy made with big hunks of giblets and hard boiled eggs floating in it.  *shudder*

Sometimes I wish there was a "vomit" emoticon.

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2 hours ago, arctic_bunny said:

As an outside observer of this thread...

Are you bring enough veggies for everyone?

Were you asked to bring the turkey, but refused?

Are you bringing a whole pie and expecting to take half of it home?

It seems that if the answers to these questions are no, then you are not *that* relative. And in all seriousness, if you are celebrating with that part of your family that has been so wonderful about helping your son, I can’t imagine them being anything other than loving people who just want to spend time with your family, and wouldn’t care two bits if you came empty handed.

 

If you have any doubt, contact the hostess and express your willingness to bring more since you are a large number of the crowd. Simply making that offer - even if the offer is declined - goes a long way. 

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1 hour ago, SKL said:

Our family doesn't have a "fair share" standard.  Thanksgiving is not a pot luck.  Most people are not asked to bring anything - if you are asked, it is because you have a specialty dish that you will probably be proud to bring.

Those not asked to cook usually do bring something, of their choice.  One person brings a baked treat that is always appreciated, one brings raw veggies.  I bring the wine.

When my kids were little, my folks told me I shouldn't do anything other than bring the kids.  They were the littlest, and therefore by default the cutest and most entertaining, and also plenty of mom work in and of themselves.  It probably helped that I had 3 able bodied, childless, culinarily talented siblings at that time.

I'm curious, for those who do the entire meal on their own, how many people (teens/adults) are you hosting?  is your meal sit-down or buffet?

 

 

  18 hours ago, MissLemon said:

 

Oh wow, you're right.  I made asparagus from a recipe from America's Test Kitchen the first year.  My MIL took a bite and said "Well, I don't really like vegetables, but I can tell it was prepared well", and then didn't take another bite.  I still can't figure out if that was a compliment or not. 

~~~~~~~~~

It was probably a commentary on the recipe.  I think she was being polite, even though she didn't like it.

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It's MIL if we make the 8+hour trek to her house she makes all the food.  Which with the size of her kitchen it's pretty hard to help some of us will peel potatoes in another room.  The only veggies are the green bean casserole and technically her diet sweet potato casserole that has like 1/2 a bottle of stevia in it.  We eat on paper plates in the living room while watching football.  When the kids were like 6 and 4 we went their and they didn't even realize that was the Thanksgiving meal and kept asking when it was.  No big deal to me other than the heaviness of the meal. 

The years she comes up here it's always wrong she insists on bringing a bunch of her food, "apologizes" for not using a nice serving dishes when we are using the Corelle she gave us not exactly fine China and we don't care. 

You should have seen her head explode last year when we decided to do a buffet, I was 7 months pregnant high risk, dh was working until 11pm the night before and it was my  parents who are in town anniversary and they didn't want to cook.  She did go along with it but basically insisted we find a way to get her leftovers because what else are you going to eat all weekend.

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3 hours ago, CuriousMomof3 said:

Actually, sort of yes.  I mean, I'm not cutting it in half and putting it aside, but we have a lot of really good bakers in the family, so there will be lots of treats and lots of left overs.  So, I expect that I'll come home with the equivalent of half a pie, at a minimum, although it might not be half of mine, more likely an assortment of slices.

 

 

That pretty much sounds like a win-win to me. Yum.

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17 minutes ago, gardenmom5 said:

I'm curious, for those who do the entire meal on their own, how many people (teens/adults) are you hosting?  is your meal sit-down or buffet?

We do a sit down meal with the fine china and dh and I make almost everything except the pie and sides someone might want to voluntarily bring. We usually have around 14-15 people. Our house isn't big, but we have a large table and add something on the end to make it longer if necessary.

ETA: There aren't any small children in our family right now. Everyone who comes is a teen or adult.

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4 hours ago, CuriousMomof3 said:

You guys are making me nervous that I'm "that relative".  

How do you decide what is an appropriate amount for each person to bring?  I've been assigned the vegetables this year, plus one pie, but I'm bringing almost half the people.  That doesn't seem like our fair share.  

You are most definitely not that relative. No way, no how, never.

 

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1 hour ago, gardenmom5 said:

I'm curious, for those who do the entire meal on their own, how many people (teens/adults) are you hosting?  is your meal sit-down or buffet?

 

I host 22-25. Food is set up as a buffet but I set individual place settings for every person with “real” dishes, glasses and utensils. Additional areas are set up for beverages, coffee & desserts (again, no paper or plastic). I enjoy doing it this way. I also think of it as a way to pass on family history: this is great grandmother Sally’s recipe, this China platter was given to someone 75 years ago, that sort of thing. Though they are just recipes or plates or objects, they are starting points for story telling. As my children become young adults, they are more interested in family heritage and enjoy the storytelling at the dinner table. 

If it were up to me, I’d also cook everything, but people like to bring personal favorites so we divide items up. I’ll usually do the meats (Turkey and ham) and then fill in whatever gaps there are, usually something green (not jello!😂). I have actually cooked the whole meal a time or two. I like to do this as a gift to my extended family. It’s also the gateway to the holiday season, and to be honest, it takes off some pressure to host other formal holiday events, though we do typically end up having folks over for more casual gatherings during that time. I use China at christmas but just for whoever is here that day so not many people. 

Edited by Seasider too
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1 hour ago, gardenmom5 said:

I'm curious, for those who do the entire meal on their own, how many people (teens/adults) are you hosting?  is your meal sit-down or buffet?

Over the years, my folks' dinner has fed from 8 to 25 people.  It has always been a sit-down dinner.

One of my sisters (the single, childless one) has been helping a lot as my folks have aged though.  My folks help her a lot all year long, so it's fair.  🙂

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33 minutes ago, CuriousMomof3 said:

 

LOL, what I bring "that relative"?  Because I might be doing that.  Do I get a dispensation if I also bring some very cute lego fanatics?

If the person you're bringing does end up being 'that relative', your lovely hosting family will know this is no reflection on you. They love you.

Cute kids 👍

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8 minutes ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

Okay, I have to ask- what are the ground rules on this fruit salad? 

No cantaloupe, no honeydew, but most of the hour long texting was going back and forth on whether or not we should include fresh pineapple.  My sister in law has started having her throat feel sore and tight when she eats them.  Fine.  Totally legit reason.  But sister in law loves pineapple but mother in law doesn't like fresh pineapple....  It was decided that my mother in law would buy a can of pineapple and add it to the fruit salad after I bring it to her house.  Whatever.  I don't even care.  I'd already done my shopping and had not bought cantaloupe, honeydew, or pineapple....  So I'm really not sure what the concern is.  

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2 minutes ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

Wow that's a lot of drama over fruit salad. Maybe you should soak what you're allowed to use in brandy and it'll make the day a lot more mellow tomorrow, LOL. 

I always add amaretto to my fruit salad.  It keeps the fruit from getting brown too fast.  

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I have read this whole thread and I think I have won the Thanksgiving lottery this year. 

We had extended family Thanksgiving a few weeks ago because our niece and her just turning one year old baby were coming to town for baby’s first birthday from Utah. All the rest of her siblings came from far away and they all requested Thanksgiving meal while they were here. They wanted to have it at our house and it was a Saturday I had to work. I said sure, it could be here, but I wouldn’t be able to cook or do anything. We typically do a potluck style meal anyway. So I had kids help me clean on Friday, then dh did all the set-up and some cooking and everyone else brought food. I came home in time to eat.  

And for tomorrow, we are going to a good friend’s house. I had happened to mention to her that I wasn’t sure what we would do for real Tgiving since we were having the early meal. Plus, I also have to work this holiday so I wasn’t really up for cooking a big meal. She invited us to her house and told us not to bring anything. This is the kind of friend who I know really means it. And we’ve hosted her and her large family (7 kids) for holiday meals and told them the same thing and meant it. 

So just eating for me this year! 

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7 hours ago, Terabith said:

I am a terrible cook.  My husband or kids do all the cooking.  Like, I have often messed up spaghetti.  I was assigned to bring the fruit salad.  Cool.  I can handle that.  But I've now been involved in over an hour of texting about what is and is not acceptable to include in the fruit salad.  Now I am super stressed about it.  Thank God I wasn't assigned anything crucial!

unless you've done something similar to mil - you haven't messed it up.

she couldn't find a spaghetti seasoning pkt - so she used one for chili.  the DOG wouldn't eat it!

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On 11/26/2019 at 11:17 AM, 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 never had those days and probably won't until I'm too old to contribute. As a kid I always had to help my mom do holiday meals. Once I moved out I either went to her house the night before and helped, showed up early to help, or brought a dish I cooked. 

On 11/26/2019 at 11:26 AM, 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 only host occasionally these days* but wouldn't mind hosting regularly again if it came to that. When dss and ddil married in 2010 dss said he hoped one day to be the host of holiday meals. Two years later when oldest grandson was born they asked if they could start hosting and all sets of parents agreed to it. Now we all go to their house, as do ddil's side of the family. Dss (the main cook in their family) does the turkey and everyone brings a dish or three. 

*Last year with Emma being brand new to this earth it was too much for them. Her parents hosted Thanksgiving and we hosted Christmas. This year they're back to hosting again.

 

 

Edited by Lady Florida.
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11 hours ago, gardenmom5 said:

back when we were hosting dh's family - there was one  member who would sign-up to bring a side dish that needed to be cooked. she'd always wait until she got her to prepare it.  uh - no. we might have a generous amount of counter space plus a kitchen table - but it's all being used. dh got where he didn't care if any dish she brought was ready when dinner was or not.  as far as he was concerned- when the turkey was reading - it was time to eat.  if your dish isn't ready, too bad so sad.

then the "we're not hosting" got forced and other sil hosted.   - she waited dinner 30 minutes so that relative could cook her *vegetable*! (there were other vegetables on the table)   the turkey was cold, gravy had congealed, etc. -- it did help dh understand what 1dd and I had been complaining about for year . . . . and was the last time we had thanksgiving with his family.

 

My sister rolled up one year 30 minutes late with an un-prepared pie.  As in, a box of premade pie crust and cans of pumpkin. I had a tiny, apartment kitchen with about 3 feet of counter space and no room to whip up pies on the fly.  I wanted to strangle her.  Now I know not to depend on her for anything like that.  She's going to be late and unprepared and that's how it is. 

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@teachermom2834 at least you learned to laugh it off. If you don't want to dis-invite them that's probably the best thing to do. And good for you for making sure they don't get leftovers. I think this year I'd also hide the canned drinks so they go home as empty handed as they came. 

 

On 11/26/2019 at 12:11 PM, gardenmom5 said:

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. 

This is what we do. Ddil's sister emails a list from Sign Up Genius. It has most of the traditional foods listed and everyone is expected to sign up for one or more dishes. You can also add something if you want to bring it and it's not on the list. We've been doing this long enough that we pretty much each know what the other will bring every year, and we're all good with that.

Regardless of who hosts, it's usually dh, ds, and me, ddil's mother, stepfather, and sister, and dss, ddil, and the kids. If ds or ddil's sister are dating someone and they want to join us, that's fine. Sometimes dss' mother comes but it's hit or miss with her. Yes, I've had holiday meals with my husband's ex. It's not a big deal because the only thing they have between them is a son and grandkids - there are no leftover feelings from either of them.

 

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1 hour ago, gardenmom5 said:

unless you've done something similar to mil - you haven't messed it up.

she couldn't find a spaghetti seasoning pkt - so she used one for chili.  the DOG wouldn't eat it!

Wait, what is spaghetti seasoning? I just boil water with a tbsp of salt and add noodles.

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9 hours ago, SKL said:

Our family doesn't have a "fair share" standard.  Thanksgiving is not a pot luck.  Most people are not asked to bring anything - if you are asked, it is because you have a specialty dish that you will probably be proud to bring.

Those not asked to cook usually do bring something, of their choice.  One person brings a baked treat that is always appreciated, one brings raw veggies.  I bring the wine.

When my kids were little, my folks told me I shouldn't do anything other than bring the kids.  They were the littlest, and therefore by default the cutest and most entertaining, and also plenty of mom work in and of themselves.  It probably helped that I had 3 able bodied, childless, culinarily talented siblings at that time.

 

This is how it was in my family, too, both my mother's side and father's side.  Whoever hosted did the cooking.  I have no idea if they split the cost between the families, but I doubt it since hosting duties rotated each holiday.  I was never assigned anything to bring, but always asked if there was something I could bring.  Sometimes my aunt would send me out to grab ice cream or paper towels, or some other random thing that was needed. 

Holiday dinners with my dad's family were usually for 20-30 people and a sit down affair. My mom's family was dinner for 8-10, also a sit down affair and slightly more stuffy/formal.

DH's family only does potluck holidays.

 

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2 hours ago, EmseB said:

Wait, what is spaghetti seasoning? I just boil water with a tbsp of salt and add noodles.

a seasoning pkt for the red sauce that goes on the spaghetti.  we make our sauce from scratch - I've never used a seasoning pkt.  (someone gave me a store bought pasta sauce once. it was hideously sweet. - I threw it out.)

mil didn't really cook.  dh say's the kids learned to cook in self-defense.

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2 hours ago, MissLemon said:

 

My sister rolled up one year 30 minutes late with an un-prepared pie.  As in, a box of premade pie crust and cans of pumpkin. I had a tiny, apartment kitchen with about 3 feet of counter space and no room to whip up pies on the fly.  I wanted to strangle her.  Now I know not to depend on her for anything like that.  She's going to be late and unprepared and that's how it is. 

sil is like that.  she's not allowed to "sign up" for anything that will be missed.  (dinner will not be held for her to make her item.)  it's a pity - 40 years ago she was actually a good cook.

I think she's coming tomorrow.  (I haven't heard from her to say she's not coming.)  if she comes here, she can bring her dog.  (and eat real food.)  if she goes to 2sil's, she has to leave the dog home (in a miniscule apartment), will get boxed/canned food - but she can bring her very obnoxious son and his gf.

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Your brother sounds so selfish,  but it is mostly the attitude. Functionally my family has some of the same behaviors, but it feels fine. I am that relative. When we come, we are "blessing them with our presence." But we live 6 hours away, so our cost to come is significant in both time and money. I usually do the bulk of the dishes at my in-laws, though. My mom usually cooks for my family, and my sister and I do clean up. 

We have my parents and my sister's family here this year, so I have 19 people to feed for 4 days. And not just food, but company food. You can imagine my grocery bill. I will do the bulk of the cooking and cleaning, but Mom and my sister (and random kids) will all contribute. Mom brought some stuff from her garden (pumpkin for pies, corn, tomato juice for chili). I wouldn't dream of asking my sister to bring food. It is enough for her to bring 8 kids on a trip to see me. If she can take 4 days out of her very busy schedule for the trip, I want her to just come and enjoy herself. She doesn't mind work and pitches in with anything that needs doing, but she won't have to be concerned with menu planning or contributing something specific while here. 

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1 hour ago, Meriwether said:

Your brother sounds so selfish,  but it is mostly the attitude.

Absolutely.

It is totally the attitude. And obviously from all of my posts on this thread there is plenty of baggage coming in. But at this point in my life I can let go of the past. If he just showed up and was pleasant and appreciative one time I would be happy to go from there and leave the past in the past. 

My sister helps. She brings appetizers and dessert and she helps in the kitchen. While my brother, SIL, and adult nieces sit and watch us 😂I used to get really resentful when I had a house of little kids but now my youngest is my 11 dd and she is a big help. Honestly, if he came and behaved and didn't give sis and me anything to add to our list of Thanksgiving antics we would probably be disappointed.

I also started doing just exactly what and how I wanted it and welcomed everyone else to chip in with whatever they had to have. That was a big shift in attitude. Before that I was trying to make everyone's favorite dish and have every desired condiment. I don't do that anymore. I texted my brother last night and told him I don't have his hot sauce and to bring it with him if he wants it. Ten years ago I would have run out to the store to make sure he had it. 

 

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Am I the only one thinking, "It isn't that easy to just leave people out if they are family."  

It starts wars and just isn't worth it.  Unless there are drugs or criminal activity or abuse, it just isn't that easy;.  It would be easier to say, "We aren't able to host this year."

We went to Michigan one Thanksgiving to be with Dh's family 12 hours' drive each way.  His sister stuck us in the kitchen, away from everyone else, claiming the table was full in the dining room and we had little kids, so we could sit in the kitchen, alone, and come beg for things like butter and cranberry sauce as we needed it.

We never have gone back.  And won't.  

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On 11/26/2019 at 12:02 PM, 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. 

I'd totally show up at organizer's house at 5:30 AM with all the ingredients for my assignment and start using her kitchen and her bowls, measuring cups, spoons, whatever to make my assignment. I'd probably play Christmas songs at loud volumes on my phone too. Because, you know, that helps me to cook and focus better. She wouldn't assign me anything to cook again. I would clean up after I was finished though. I'm not that tacky! 

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33 minutes ago, DawnM said:

Am I the only one thinking, "It isn't that easy to just leave people out if they are family."  

It starts wars and just isn't worth it.  Unless there are drugs or criminal activity or abuse, it just isn't that easy;.  It would be easier to say, "We aren't able to host this year."

We went to Michigan one Thanksgiving to be with Dh's family 12 hours' drive each way.  His sister stuck us in the kitchen, away from everyone else, claiming the table was full in the dining room and we had little kids, so we could sit in the kitchen, alone, and come beg for things like butter and cranberry sauce as we needed it.

We never have gone back.  And won't.  

That is one of the meanest things I have ever read.

I am so sorry that happened to your family.

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Just now, HeighHo said:

 

And there you have it, the real reason....you and the dc aren't considered family in your sil's culture.

 

 

Right, but my point is, in the OP's scenario, she can't just exclude one family that has always been invited, without it being a "thing" with everyone.  Sometimes one stress is better than the other.

 

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Just now, MysteryJen said:

That is one of the meanest things I have ever read.

I am so sorry that happened to your family.

 

Thank you.  I have never liked his sister, she was mean to me from the second we got engaged.  So was the mom.  I have one SIL who won't speak to any of them.  I get it.  They aren't nice to any of the wives, although they tolerate the youngest son's wife the best.

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Yeah, it is hard to cut people out unless they are extreme.  And TBH I'd not want to.

About three years ago there was a major fracture in my family, right after my mum's father died which may be related.  There are five kids in that family, and there was a major blow up, so the two oldest are no longer talking to the second youngest, at all. Only my youngest uncle is still really talking to all of them.  In addition, the middle sibling has a trust that is being administered by my mom, and that has become quite nasty so they do not really speak any more, this is more down to that aunt having serious emotional problems but it doesn't help with the larger situation.

As a result the family holiday meals have completely stopped, and as far as my generation we are rarely seeing some of our aunts and uncles because it's become somewhat awkward.  It's very unpleasant when you've been used to a large, close, and often quite opinionated family and family gatherings.

I'd be happy at this point to put up with jerk and freeloader relatives at Christmas dinner if the supposed adults could get themselves together so they could be in the same room.

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21 minutes ago, HeighHo said:

 

We'll have to agree to disagree on that thought.  I've seen 'that family' excluded, and the rest cheer. They didn't get what they wanted - the desired blood relative w/o the baggage, the cash, the food, whatever..so they retain control by booting the dissident.

 

In your family it worked, I am just saying, it doesn't always work.  It wouldn't work in our family.

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8 minutes ago, DawnM said:

 

In your family it worked, I am just saying, it doesn't always work.  It wouldn't work in our family.

I don't even understand the meaning of the quote you posted.

LOL

Sometimes people suck and they still get invited to dinner, like you said, bc the alternative would cause MORE dysfunction, MORE chaos, MORE levels and layers of hurt.

If a family is still at that point with *that* relative, I hope everything goes well today!

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16 hours ago, Terabith said:

No cantaloupe, no honeydew, but most of the hour long texting was going back and forth on whether or not we should include fresh pineapple.  My sister in law has started having her throat feel sore and tight when she eats them.  Fine.  Totally legit reason.  But sister in law loves pineapple but mother in law doesn't like fresh pineapple....  It was decided that my mother in law would buy a can of pineapple and add it to the fruit salad after I bring it to her house.  Whatever.  I don't even care.  I'd already done my shopping and had not bought cantaloupe, honeydew, or pineapple....  So I'm really not sure what the concern is.  

I'd be so tempted to show up with fruit cocktail and a can opener at that point. Sheesh.

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12 minutes ago, HeighHo said:

 

Can't agree. Families that shun, exclude, and badmouth aren't functional families. No point in even labeling them 'families' cause they aren't.

 

How can you not agree that it wouldn't work in my family?  How could you possibly know that?  As I said, unless there is criminal behavior, everyone is invited.  That is how our family works.  

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16 minutes ago, DawnM said:

 

How can you not agree that it wouldn't work in my family?  How could you possibly know that?  As I said, unless there is criminal behavior, everyone is invited.  That is how our family works.  

Back in the day, if criminals weren't included, my dad wouldn't have been at the table...

I'm NOT telling you to include criminals, just to be clear. 

 

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4 hours ago, Meriwether said:

Your brother sounds so selfish,  but it is mostly the attitude. Functionally my family has some of the same behaviors, but it feels fine. I am that relative. When we come, we are "blessing them with our presence." But we live 6 hours away, so our cost to come is significant in both time and money. I usually do the bulk of the dishes at my in-laws, though. My mom usually cooks for my family, and my sister and I do clean up. 

We have my parents and my sister's family here this year, so I have 19 people to feed for 4 days. And not just food, but company food. You can imagine my grocery bill. I will do the bulk of the cooking and cleaning, but Mom and my sister (and random kids) will all contribute. Mom brought some stuff from her garden (pumpkin for pies, corn, tomato juice for chili). I wouldn't dream of asking my sister to bring food. It is enough for her to bring 8 kids on a trip to see me. If she can take 4 days out of her very busy schedule for the trip, I want her to just come and enjoy herself. She doesn't mind work and pitches in with anything that needs doing, but she won't have to be concerned with menu planning or contributing something specific while here. 

you are not "that relative".  you help clean, and you are appreciative.

 

I hosted my brother for Christmas one year.  he and his kids stayed here. (four more people, plus my mother was over every day.)  he never offered to help.  one night about 30 minutes before dinner would be on the table, he and his family and my mother all took off - to go out to dinner!

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49 minutes ago, unsinkable said:

Back in the day, if criminals weren't included, my dad wouldn't have been at the table...

I'm NOT telling you to include criminals, just to be clear. 

 

 

Well, my cousin has been in and out of jail, and he comes to our Family Christmas get together.  My niece too.

I guess what I was referring to is engaging in it at my house......but even that I guess would be subjective.  How do I know someone is taking illegal prescription drugs?  I really don't.

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Just now, DawnM said:

 

Well, my cousin has been in and out of jail, and he comes to our Family Christmas get together.  My niece too.

I guess what I was referring to is engaging in it at my house......but even that I guess would be subjective.  How do I know someone is taking illegal prescription drugs?  I really don't.

i was tracinkg your vibe...and then you get into things like...what if the person is out on bond? What if the holiday is at the person's house who is under house arrest? what if the sober person shows up smelling like a gin mill

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24 minutes ago, unsinkable said:

If we didn't have the criminals, the addicted, the mentally ill, the difficult to get along with...and all these categories overlap in MY family...

we'd be missing a few people.

I think (it wasn't my post) that we're talking about current behavior. My stepdad went to prison for murder but he doesn't run around murdering people all willy nilly. If he did he wouldn't be invited. 

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14 minutes ago, Slache said:

I think (it wasn't my post) that we're talking about current behavior. My stepdad went to prison for murder but he doesn't run around murdering people all willy nilly. If he did he wouldn't be invited. 

I am talking about current behavior too...

mental illness doesn't just end. neither does addiction. some times relatives are in the middle of criminal proceedings...

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5 minutes ago, unsinkable said:

I am talking about current behavior too...

mental illness doesn't just end. neither does addiction. some times relatives are in the middle of criminal proceedings...

If someone puts my children at risk they would not be invited. I just think criminal has a broad meaning and sometimes people use the term differently than we do, but with no offense intended.

We have mental illness, felons and difficult people too, but mental illness is not mental illness, criminal is not criminal and difficult is... well... difficult.

I might be wording this poorly. I'm hungover with sleep aids.

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1 minute ago, gardenmom5 said:

bullies/highly toxic are not welcome.  I've tolerated a lot over the year, but that I now put my foot down.

I'd rather have people who didn't bring anything and took the leftovers.

 

14 minutes ago, Slache said:

If someone puts my children at risk they would not be invited. I just think criminal has a broad meaning and sometimes people use the term differently than we do, but with no offense intended.

We have mental illness, felons and difficult people too, but mental illness is not mental illness, criminal is not criminal and difficult is... well... difficult.

I might be wording this poorly. I'm hungover with sleep aids.

 

Yeah there’s a big difference between non contributors and people who won’t share their pie, and people who completely destabilize a family gathering. Each nuclear family has to decide for themselves where to draw the line. Personally I think that line can shift a lot depending on the age of any children involved. 

I am sorry for all who have situations more challenging than what an eye roll describes. 

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