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“That relative” at Thanksgiving


teachermom2834
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I'm sure I was totally "that relative" today. We drove 4 hours to my niece's house, who was hosting. When we were about 40 minutes away, they texted us to say niece had been robbed at gunpoint last night, likely by an acquaintance (that they didn't turn in and who has been hanging around their apartment today). The same apartment complex also had a murder last week, right in front of niece's unit. 

Well...nope. Sorry. Call me uppity and such, but their hurt feelings are pretty low on my priorities (when my kids' safety is at risk). So the girls and I went to MIL's house and stayed there. MIL stayed with us; DH went and ate and came back. 

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8 minutes ago, alisoncooks said:

I'm sure I was totally "that relative" today. We drove 4 hours to my niece's house, who was hosting. When we were about 40 minutes away, they texted us to say niece had been robbed at gunpoint last night, likely by an acquaintance (that they didn't turn in and who has been hanging around their apartment today). The same apartment complex also had a murder last week, right in front of niece's unit. 

Well...nope. Sorry. Call me uppity and such, but their hurt feelings are pretty low on my priorities (when my kids' safety is at risk). So the girls and I went to MIL's house and stayed there. MIL stayed with us; DH went and ate and came back. 

Wow! Yeah, nope from me! Sorry you're going through that. How stressful for everyone. 

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UPDATE:

He behaved. He brought two pies and left the uneaten half here. He also brought eggplant parmigiana which is a family dish but labor intensive and no one has brought it in years. He brought a large portion and it was all eaten so it was definitely helpful.

He came into the kitchen and asked if he could help. 
 

I hope he is OK. LOL.

 

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2 minutes ago, teachermom2834 said:

UPDATE:

He behaved. He brought two pies and left the uneaten half here. He also brought eggplant parmigiana which is a family dish but labor intensive and no one has brought it in years. He brought a large portion and it was all eaten so it was definitely helpful.

He came into the kitchen and asked if he could help. 
 

I hope he is OK. LOL.

He must have read the thread.

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1 hour ago, teachermom2834 said:

UPDATE:

He behaved. He brought two pies and left the uneaten half here. He also brought eggplant parmigiana which is a family dish but labor intensive and no one has brought it in years. He brought a large portion and it was all eaten so it was definitely helpful.

He came into the kitchen and asked if he could help. 
 

I hope he is OK. LOL.

 

did you check for a pod under his bed?  (re: invasion of the body snatchers)

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Well, we started refusing to have holidays with them a few years ago. But my brother would show up with, who we affectionately called "the hangers-on-ers." His wife would always have some relatives she wanted to bring to keep her company (and I stupidly thought she was MY company), or they would have other people they just took in, and would bring them along, to every single thing. I am talking, he and his wife were invited, and then he would show up with 5-6 random other people who would not even speak to us. My older sister started making a huge deal of our own family size once we had our second child. Then she would carry on about how I better not get pregnant again and demand I promise her I not get pregnant again. In fact, I was pregnant the last time that happened and did not tell her at the time. That was the very last family dinner.  My dad always had to tell stories. None of these stories were true and they were always geared to embarrass others. They were all about how clever and brilliant he was and someone else was doing something clueless or dumb or wrong. 

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On 11/26/2019 at 2:02 PM, 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 would continue to invite them just for the stories.

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17 minutes ago, Janeway said:

Well, we started refusing to have holidays with them a few years ago. But my brother would show up with, who we affectionately called "the hangers-on-ers." His wife would always have some relatives she wanted to bring to keep her company (and I stupidly thought she was MY company), or they would have other people they just took in, and would bring them along, to every single thing. I am talking, he and his wife were invited, and then he would show up with 5-6 random other people who would not even speak to us. My older sister started making a huge deal of our own family size once we had our second child. Then she would carry on about how I better not get pregnant again and demand I promise her I not get pregnant again. In fact, I was pregnant the last time that happened and did not tell her at the time. That was the very last family dinner.  My dad always had to tell stories. None of these stories were true and they were always geared to embarrass others. They were all about how clever and brilliant he was and someone else was doing something clueless or dumb or wrong. 

 

I see we are related! My dad also tells weird stories to show how clever he is and brings hangers-on.  Dad and youngest sister have had some big arguments because he wanted to bring a bunch of randos to sister's birthday party every year.   

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3 hours ago, teachermom2834 said:

UPDATE:

He behaved. He brought two pies and left the uneaten half here. He also brought eggplant parmigiana which is a family dish but labor intensive and no one has brought it in years. He brought a large portion and it was all eaten so it was definitely helpful.

He came into the kitchen and asked if he could help. 
 

I hope he is OK. LOL.

 

Clearly he's been spending time here at the hive.    😉

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On 11/26/2019 at 8:04 AM, 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.” 


He could have stop for fast food and bring a bucket of KFC for example as contribution.

We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving but we do celebrate Chinese New Year’s reunion dinner. My in-laws would expect everyone to bring a hostess gift that exceed whatever it cost for MIL to cook. My MIL has very set ideas on dishes and she won’t let anyone cook. So contribution is in cash or ingredients (for MIL) or beer (for FIL).

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On 11/27/2019 at 2:41 PM, 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 really like hosting T-day. This year was the first year we didn't because, for a variety of reasons, DH is not close enough to the crew to issue invitations. He even refused to bring them one of my sweet potato pies! :sad: Normally we host 15 people or so and I do it all. Folks are welcome to bring a dish and I set it out but they usually leave with it. :biggrin: It's typically buffet style but I still set the table(s).

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This thread is hilarious!

We are on the other end of the family gathering spectrum: Our family members have passed away or are too far away to visit since dh only has Thanksgiving day off, so this is the first Thanksgiving it has just been our little nuclear family, and the first one we have done all the cooking. Younger dd20, home from college, and I cooked together Tuesday-Thursday. We made a thankful banner and dh, dd and I sat down to a traditional Thanksgiving spread. Ds22 and gf planned to come but didn't. I was thrilled ds came in the evening for a leftovers supper. He had to drive an hour each way in slick conditions—thankful he was safe. Older dd24 lives half the country away but plans to be home for Christmas.

Although the day was very different than other holidays—and even different than planned since we were hoping for 5 of us and had 3—we had a wonderful day. Attitude makes all the difference, doesn't it?

Thank you for all your great examples on this thread and others of extending grace, being kind, building others up, and making the most of what you do have and not mourning what you don't. Your circumstances and insights often help me see things from other perspectives.

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Well since someone asked if there was any venting to be done for this Thanksgiving ...

This year was not really a banner year.  I should have suspected something when I was the first person to arrive, other than my parents & sister who are the main cooks. 

My two older brothers did not come - one was ill, the other probably decided it wasn't worth it without his favorite brother.  We still did have a full table - about 12 people.

My youngest sister was in rare form.  Turns out she had a rough day with her MIL who was originally not invited to her house, but ended up coming somehow.  Her MIL is just awful.  So she was being crabby at her kids, and then had a fit when she found out my other sister baked the same dish she brought.  I've never seen anything quite like it between these two.  Meanwhile BIL kept telling his kids not to eat too much, while Grandpa kept telling them they could eat what they wanted.

Youngest sister huffily went into the kitchen and started washing dishes.  I told her I was going to do that as it was my annual contribution.  She insisted she wanted to do it ("I need something to do"), so I let her wash for a while to work off some steam ... but then she started yelling at BIL for not helping her.  Finally I got her to leave it to me, but then she went and screamed at her kids and left in a huff without saying goodbye.

We will be having dinner at her house in about a week.  I hope her MIL stays away and everyone is chill!  Nobody is mad at her - we all know it was a stress reaction.  But I'm not sure if she is mad at us.

Other than that ... a few things didn't work out as planned for my folks.  I wonder if it is really getting too hard for them to host.  My mom for one is getting more and more vision impaired.  It's just really a lot.  I hope I can at least get them to accept house cleaning help, because that is really a big challenge.  Historically they have always refused pre-holiday cleaning help.  It is hard to know exactly how to help them.

My kids did spend some quality time with their youngest uncle, and I had time to talk to some folks.  My mom started to feel chatty right about the time I should have driven home, so I stayed, but I should have at least taken some coffee for the road.  Lesson learned.

PS I also think the wine I brought was awful.  😛

Edited by SKL
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On 11/26/2019 at 1:02 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 think in your case, either consider your travel enough of a contribution or you provide the paper goods by reimbursing whoever is willing to buy them ahead of time.  But, it should be understood that you can’t provide a food dish!  Good grief!

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On 11/26/2019 at 1:02 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 was thinking about your dilemma.  In your shoes, I'd be calling a more reasonable relative who lives closer who will be at the event.  "Cousin Susie, can you make this dish and bring it to the event for me? Granny Gertrude is obsessed with me providing this specific casserole but I can't really cook on the plane."  If I were cousin Sue, I'd totally cover for you and do some sneaky hand-off in the driveway. If I'm not the one hosting, bringing an extra dish is a really easy thing to do for an out-of-town relative.

I realize this is no help the day AFTER Thanksgiving, but maybe you can try it next year? 

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After a particularly difficult Thanksgiving, my DH and I gave up on the big family Thanksgiving. We started our own tradition of going camping. Sometimes with other people and sometimes on our own. We would cook a traditional meal camping style. We even had a tripod set up for cooking a stuffed turkey. It was always a lot of fun to have conversations with random strangers when they would walk by and smell the turkey cooking. Then we moved somewhere much colder, and DH got a new job where he could not take the time off.

Now we have a very small dinner with just immediate family and an occasional coworker, but I miss the camping. 

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We usually host somewhere between 12 to 18 for Thanksgiving.  Our home has two fully equipped kitchens.   I do not request that anyone bring anything.  If they ask what they should bring, I tell them to bring whatever they would like.  Adopted this policy since a passive aggressive relative brought what should have been an easy dish that was not even edible.  Wondered if it was intentional on her part.  I also had people who brought an item and wanted to finish prepping it at my home, which was rather inconvenient for me.   Another person could not be counted on to remember to bring dish if they even decided to show up.   Others drive or fly in.   If I needed financial help, of course, I would not have adopted the policy. 

If they show up with a dish or drinks or wine, I thank them and put item on the buffet counter.  It is less stress for me to handle *all* meal preparations and shopping than to coordinate what each person should bring.  After all these years experience hosting,  I have a mental flowchart / timetable for getting everything on the buffet line at same time. 

My younger sister usually brings a delicious brownie truffle dessert.  Brother in law brings soft drinks.  This year a new guest brought couple nice bottles wine.

Husband always roasts the turkey.  I make all except frozen apple pies from scratch.  This year we had turkey, dressing, cranberry sauce, spiral glazed ham, mashed potatoes, cheesy potatoes, mashed sweet potatoes, steamed green beans, broccoli casserole,  corn, spinach, yeast rolls, fruit salad, apple pies and brownie dessert.  We also served a fruit tray and bacon-wrapped beef with blue cheese appetizers.

I offer guests leftovers to take home if they wish.

Edited by annandatje
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10 minutes ago, annandatje said:

We usually host somewhere between 12 to 18 for Thanksgiving.  Our home has two fully equipped kitchens.   I do not request that anyone bring anything.  If they ask what they should bring, I tell them to bring whatever they would like.  Adopted this policy since a passive aggressive relative brought what should have been an easy dish that was not even edible.  Wondered if it was intentional on her part.  I also had people who brought an item and wanted to finish prepping it at my home, which was rather inconvenient for me.   Another person could not be counted on to remember to bring dish if they even decided to show up.   Others drive or fly in.   If I needed financial help, of course, I would not have adopted the policy. 

If they show up with a dish or drinks or wine, I thank them and put item on the buffet counter.  It is less stress for me to handle *all* meal preparations and shopping than to coordinate what each person should bring.  After all these years experience hosting,  I have a mental flowchart / timetable for getting everything on the buffet line at same time. 

My younger sister usually brings a delicious brownie truffle dessert.  Brother in law brings soft drinks.  This year a new guest brought couple nice bottles wine.

Husband always roasts the turkey.  I make all except frozen apple pies from scratch.  This year we had turkey, dressing, cranberry sauce, spiral glazed ham, mashed potatoes, cheesy potatoes, mashed sweet potatoes, steamed green beans, broccoli casserole,  corn, spinach, yeast rolls, fruit salad, apple pies and brownie dessert.  We also served a fruit tray and bacon-wrapped beef with blue cheese appetizers.

I offer guests leftovers to take home if they wish.

 

Amen! 

But some in our family get a little indignant if told they’re not to bring anything, so they bring. 

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19 minutes ago, annandatje said:

We usually host somewhere between 12 to 18 for Thanksgiving.  Our home has two fully equipped kitchens.   I do not request that anyone bring anything.  If they ask what they should bring, I tell them to bring whatever they would like.  Adopted this policy since a passive aggressive relative brought what should have been an easy dish that was not even edible.  Wondered if it was intentional on her part.  I also had people who brought an item and wanted to finish prepping it at my home, which was rather inconvenient for me.   Another person could not be counted on to remember to bring dish if they even decided to show up.   Others drive or fly in.   If I needed financial help, of course, I would not have adopted the policy. 

If they show up with a dish or drinks or wine, I thank them and put item on the buffet counter.  It is less stress for me to handle *all* meal preparations and shopping than to coordinate what each person should bring.  After all these years experience hosting,  I have a mental flowchart / timetable for getting everything on the buffet line at same time. 

My younger sister usually brings a delicious brownie truffle dessert.  Brother in law brings soft drinks.  This year a new guest brought couple nice bottles wine.

Husband always roasts the turkey.  I make all except frozen apple pies from scratch.  This year we had turkey, dressing, cranberry sauce, spiral glazed ham, mashed potatoes, cheesy potatoes, mashed sweet potatoes, steamed green beans, broccoli casserole,  corn, spinach, yeast rolls, fruit salad, apple pies and brownie dessert.  We also served a fruit tray and bacon-wrapped beef with blue cheese appetizers.

I offer guests leftovers to take home if they wish.

 

I don't get this line of reasoning.  I CAN do the whole meal myself.  I did it yesterday.  I still think it's physically easier and less time consuming to cook fewer dishes.  Emotionally, I'm not affected if someone else ruins their dish.  That's on them and there are a dozen other foods to fill the plates.  I don't have it in me to have a hole in my heart for missing mac n cheese.

People who show up with the ingredients to the dish they were supposed to prepare are a whole 'nother thread.  Why do they DO that????? I had someone come LATE (not for Thanksgiving) and do that.  We held the meal for her arrival, but not for her to cook.  We started eating and she's in the kitchen making a dish.  Everyone was full before it was ready!

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LOL - I had to come back to this thread because my SIL just sent a very Marney like e-mail about Christmas.  

My SIL's mail said what her family was bringing.  And she is not hosting.  IL's are hosting at their house.

Person X is bringing A
Person Y is bringing B
Person Z is bringing C

We still need dinner rolls, raspberry jello, baked beans, and deviled eggs.  

She also directed some people to bring other very specific items.  

Umm ok, how about we still need some sort of bread and a few sides?  We don't eat jello at our house, I don't do canned/frozen baked beans and that's not a holiday food to me at all, and maybe between 4 of us 1 deviled egg would get eaten.  I've never made those either.  

I was assigned to bring jello for Xmas once and I said I'm hosting my family at my house x-mas eve so I don't have time to make jello.  But I'll be happy to pick up jello cups.  LOL.  I was fired.  I would happily make bread or dinner rolls of some sort but I was already fired from that once.  

Either take control and do it all, or let people bring what they're going to bring.  Saying something like salad, dessert, pie, drinks, etc is fine.  Don't pick your favorite very specific sides and assume everyone is super excited to make those for you.  🙄

ETA - Jello is a ridiculous holiday food.  Please.  

Edited by FuzzyCatz
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5 minutes ago, FuzzyCatz said:

LOL - I had to come back to this thread because my SIL just sent a very Marney like e-mail about Christmas.  

My SIL's mail said what her family was bringing.  And she is not hosting.  IL's are hosting at their house.

Person X is bringing A
Person Y is bringing B
Person Z is bringing C

We still need dinner rolls, raspberry jello, baked beans, and deviled eggs.  

She also directed some people to bring other very specific items.  

 

ETA - Jello is a ridiculous holiday food.  Please.  

 

Agreed!  What is even the point of sharing the cooking load if you're not actually cooking? Do people really open a can of beans, nuke them at home, then drive to grandma's house? Is Christmas Jello required anywhere?

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Just now, KungFuPanda said:

 

Agreed!  What is even the point of sharing the cooking load if you're not actually cooking? Do people really open a can of beans, nuke them at home, then drive to grandma's house? Is Christmas Jello required anywhere?

You have clearly never been to a holiday at any of my inlaws because the answer to this question is always a resounding YES to both questions.  😂  We didn't spend Thanksgiving with them this year and it was truly delightful eating real foods in our home environment!  

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3 hours ago, KungFuPanda said:

 

I don't get this line of reasoning.  I CAN do the whole meal myself.  I did it yesterday.  I still think it's physically easier and less time consuming to cook fewer dishes.  Emotionally, I'm not affected if someone else ruins their dish.  That's on them and there are a dozen other foods to fill the plates.  I don't have it in me to have a hole in my heart for missing mac n cheese.

 

Some people are just difficult.  It's easier to do all the work myself than to spend 85% of the time smoothing their ruffled feathers due to a Marney-esque tantrum about serving spoons or whatever.  I'd love to have a family full of people that don't pitch a fit about green beans or try to turn the day into their own one-act drama, but I don't have those people, lol. I have people that have strong feelings on whether or not I've served their cherry-jello salad with enough reverence and flair, and I really don't have the bandwidth for that anymore.    

 

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16 minutes ago, MissLemon said:

 

Yes. Yes, they do.  Or worse, they don't nuke the beans at home, and instead drive over to grandma's with the can and ask grandma to heat it up for them. 

A tale from last year:

MIL had her annual Christmas party at her sister's way too small home.  It was 15 people in her tiny home.  Sister has a trailer house, so it has a tiny trailer-house sized kitchen that is covered with all kinds of clutter. They decide they aren't going to cook anything because there is no room, but will get bbq to go from a local place. Ok, fine, but DS11 doesn't like bbq, so I make a mental note that I will have to pack food for him.  MIL remembers that DS11 doesn't like bbq and says she'll make sure there is plain turkey for DS11 to eat.  I think, great!  I get there, and MIL says "Here's the turkey for him.  I'll let you figure out how to cook it", and hands me an uncooked, still in the shrink-wrap 'turkey-breast', and then breezes out to join the party.  It was one of those pre-formed things they make out of the bits and scraps and not a whole turkey breast.  I just looked at DH and said "Seriously?" and shoved it in the fridge.  There was no room to cook this, even if I wanted to, because the counters were dirty and full of junk, plus aunt-in-law keeps all her pots inside the oven, so I'd have to relocate all those somewhere.  DS11 decided he would just eat the veggie and fruit tray I brought, the one that MIL insisted "No one will eat that". The other kids happily helped him eat the fruits and veggies.  MIL made a face and stage-whispered to SIL "Who wants to eat fruits and vegetables at Christmas?! Ugh!"  Apparently, all these kids do! 

This year the party is at SILs house in Houston and we are NOT attending! Yay!!!!  

 

That sounds like one of those events that would be more fun if you live-tweeted it or made a bingo game or something.  My dd and her little cousins are fruit bats.  One day they polished off a giant dried fruit platter from costco AND some fresh fruit before dinner even hit the table! They like fresh veggies too.  It's not weird!

Edited by KungFuPanda
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4 hours ago, KungFuPanda said:

 

I don't get this line of reasoning.  I CAN do the whole meal myself.  I did it yesterday.  I still think it's physically easier and less time consuming to cook fewer dishes.  Emotionally, I'm not affected if someone else ruins their dish.  That's on them and there are a dozen other foods to fill the plates.  I don't have it in me to have a hole in my heart for missing mac n cheese.

People who show up with the ingredients to the dish they were supposed to prepare are a whole 'nother thread.  Why do they DO that????? I had someone come LATE (not for Thanksgiving) and do that.  We held the meal for her arrival, but not for her to cook.  We started eating and she's in the kitchen making a dish.  Everyone was full before it was ready!

More of my dismay had to do with the relative's attitude than the dish.  She *asked* if she could bring something, so I said to bring whatever she wanted.  That was not sufficient apparently, so she insisted that I tell her what to bring.  When she arrived with the dish, she complained about how much trouble it was (deviled eggs) and huffily tossed it on countertop with such force that most of the eggs bounced up against the lid or sides.  No one went hungry for want of a deviled egg; I had enough to feed army.

I often make doggie bags with little plastic bone stickers on them for guests' dogs.  Naturally I tend to use the less desirable but still edible parts of the turkey and ham for doggie bags.  She made her own doggie takeout plate densely stacked about 2 inches high with white turkey meat because her little dog was "allergic" to the dark meat.  We had a good laugh after she left.

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5 minutes ago, annandatje said:

More of my dismay had to do with the relative's attitude than the dish.  She *asked* if she could bring something, so I said to bring whatever she wanted.  That was not sufficient apparently, so she insisted that I tell her what to bring.  When she arrived with the dish, she complained about how much trouble it was (deviled eggs) and huffily tossed it on countertop with such force that most of the eggs bounced up against the lid or sides.  No one went hungry for want of a deviled egg; I had enough to feed army.

I often make doggie bags with little plastic bone stickers on them for guests' dogs.  Naturally I tend to use the less desirable but still edible parts of the turkey and ham for doggie bags.  She made her own doggie takeout plate densely stacked about 2 inches high with white turkey meat because her little dog was "allergic" to the dark meat.  We had a good laugh after she left.

See, she is providing entertainment value.  You have to keep inviting her just to see what she does next.  It's better than a sitcom! "Allergic to dark meat."🤣 I'm guessing she prefers white meat?

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Just now, KungFuPanda said:

See, she is providing entertainment value.  You have to keep inviting her just to see what she does next.  It's better than a sitcom! "Allergic to dark meat."🤣 I'm guessing she prefers white meat?

 

The dog's plate was in addition to her own leftovers plate.  Indeed she herself will eat only the turkey breast. 

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On 11/26/2019 at 11:04 AM, 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

 

I would uninvite him. 

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20 hours ago, annandatje said:

More of my dismay had to do with the relative's attitude than the dish.  She *asked* if she could bring something, so I said to bring whatever she wanted.  That was not sufficient apparently, so she insisted that I tell her what to bring.  When she arrived with the dish, she complained about how much trouble it was (deviled eggs) and huffily tossed it on countertop with such force that most of the eggs bounced up against the lid or sides.  No one went hungry for want of a deviled egg; I had enough to feed army.

I often make doggie bags with little plastic bone stickers on them for guests' dogs.  Naturally I tend to use the less desirable but still edible parts of the turkey and ham for doggie bags.  She made her own doggie takeout plate densely stacked about 2 inches high with white turkey meat because her little dog was "allergic" to the dark meat.  We had a good laugh after she left.

sigh.

1dd's dog adores poultry meat - his GI tract doesn't . . . . . . . so he's not allowed to have it. 

by little dog, would that be a purse dog?  at least you can laugh at it.

 

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On 11/30/2019 at 3:03 PM, FuzzyCatz said:

Either take control and do it all, or let people bring what they're going to bring.  Saying something like salad, dessert, pie, drinks, etc is fine.  Don't pick your favorite very specific sides and assume everyone is super excited to make those for you.  🙄

This reminds me of a meal at my dad’s and stepmom’s.  She assigned me to bring au gratin potatoes from a specific recipe that she emailed to me.  When I brought the dish in, the only thing she said was, “This is au gratin potatoes and NOT scalloped potatoes, right?”  Like there is something terribly wrong with scalloped potatoes.  I don’t even know the difference, I’d have to compare recipes.

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On 11/30/2019 at 12:03 PM, FuzzyCatz said:

Either take control and do it all, or let people bring what they're going to bring.  Saying something like salad, dessert, pie, drinks, etc is fine.  Don't pick your favorite very specific sides and assume everyone is super excited to make those for you.  🙄

ETA - Jello is a ridiculous holiday food.  Please.  

tomato aspic is worse.  (1sil).

6 hours ago, school17777 said:

This reminds me of a meal at my dad’s and stepmom’s.  She assigned me to bring au gratin potatoes from a specific recipe that she emailed to me.  When I brought the dish in, the only thing she said was, “This is au gratin potatoes and NOT scalloped potatoes, right?”  Like there is something terribly wrong with scalloped potatoes.  I don’t even know the difference, I’d have to compare recipes.

I confess, for a few years, dh assigned out a batch of rolls to his sister.  I eventually did stipulate she use real butter in her rolls - not margarine.   my biggest objection was, we used butter, she used margarine - and she would deliberately eat our rolls, leaving the ones with margarine for everyone else.  I will also state - I've seen her eat half a pan of rolls   - by herself. (they were still in the pan, and she'd get two or three at a time. up and down, and up and down . . . .)

dh finally just took them over and would do two batches - one the night before, and one would be shoved in the oven as soon as the turkey came out.

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On 11/30/2019 at 2:03 PM, FuzzyCatz said:

 

I was assigned to bring jello for Xmas once and I said I'm hosting my family at my house x-mas eve so I don't have time to make jello.   

While I think Jello is disgusting, it's so easy to make that I wouldn't object to having it assigned to me. 

Or did they want some kind of Jello 'dish'? The very first time I met dh's grandmother, she asked if I liked salad and I said yes. She proceeded to spoon green Jello onto my plate, with a variety of I-don't-know-what floating in it. I had never in my life seen Jello as part of a meal, and I had sure never heard it referred to as salad, lol. 

It was also the first time I saw ham plop out of a can, and the first time I ate a Snickers bar with a knife and fork. 

On 11/30/2019 at 6:10 PM, MissLemon said:

MIL made a face and stage-whispered to SIL "Who wants to eat fruits and vegetables at Christmas?! Ugh!"   

🤣

My mom is not that bad, but she was taken aback once that I was "making" my toddler eat Cheerios without sugar added. Said toddler was eating her cereal with delight, smacking her lips and saying yum, but apparently I should have added sugar on principle. 

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7 minutes ago, katilac said:

While I think Jello is disgusting, it's so easy to make that I wouldn't object to having it assigned to me. 

Or did they want some kind of Jello 'dish'? The very first time I met dh's grandmother, she asked if I liked salad and I said yes. She proceeded to spoon green Jello onto my plate, with a variety of I-don't-know-what floating in it. I had never in my life seen Jello as part of a meal, and I had sure never heard it referred to as salad, lol. 

My MIL also referred to jello as 'salad'.  It was the only 'salad' she served at holiday meals.  Green jello mould with mysterious probably fruit-cocktail-from-a-can floating in it. 

My MIL passed a few years ago, and we've been inviting some of dh's brothers and her friends (who are much younger than she was) over on the 26th, where I do a sort-of-recreation of her traditional Christmas day meal, which was always turkey pot pie, sweet potatoes in brown sugar and various quickbreads and the jello 'salad'.  I buy premade chicken pot pies from a place nearby that specializes in them, and make the sweet potatoes a-la-MIL, but I have not felt any inclination to make a jello 'salad'.  Nope.  This spread is not what I would ever come up with, but it's easy and it makes dh happy.  Homage to MIL day.

Quote

My mom is not that bad, but she was taken aback once that I was "making" my toddler eat Cheerios without sugar added. Said toddler was eating her cereal with delight, smacking her lips and saying yum, but apparently I should have added sugar on principle. 

LOL, I think I have the evil twin of your mom.  She would never let us have sugar on our cereal, and always bought unsweetened stuff. At home maybe we could sneak (although at home I rarely ate cereal for breakfast anyway), but one summer we did a cross-country trip and she bought Cheerios and milk, but there was no sugar to be had.  She also made me drink brewer's yeast dissolved in cranberry juice.  Fortunately that went in phases and after a burst she'd forget about it again.

 

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34 minutes ago, katilac said:

While I think Jello is disgusting, it's so easy to make that I wouldn't object to having it assigned to me. 

Or did they want some kind of Jello 'dish'? The very first time I met dh's grandmother, she asked if I liked salad and I said yes. She proceeded to spoon green Jello onto my plate, with a variety of I-don't-know-what floating in it. I had never in my life seen Jello as part of a meal, and I had sure never heard it referred to as salad, lol. 

 

They typically have some kind of jello "dish".  LOL.  I had volunteered to pick up jello cups at the grocery store but that was inadequate and I was fired so evidently it had to be special salad jello.   Since they serve a bunch of garbage we don't typically eat, if I have to actually make something I prefer it to be something I actually want to eat.  I actually like to cook.  I'd be happy to bring a veggie side, a green salad, a homemade pie or bread.

Can we end the use of the word "salad" with anything that contains jello and/or whipped topping!?  That is not a main course people!  🤢

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6 minutes ago, MissLemon said:

Is jello "salad" a regional thing? My in-laws (Texas) are into "salads" made of cool whip and jello. My NY relatives think jello is pointless as a food item, lol. 

I know that it's a big thing with dh's midwestern relatives (Illinois). 

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I live in the midwest urban and I don't get jello salad at all.  I would see jello "dishes" at picnics and church potlucks in the 70's and 80's.  My mom never made it at home when I was growing up.  Jello has the taste and nutritional content of a gummy worm so the word salad is totally lost on me.  My  SIL said she was bringing strawberry pretzel salad to Christmas and I had to look it up.  Umm that's a dessert for people under age 12.  I did like it when I was a kid. 

So maybe it depends what circles you walk.  Our current church potlucks would be much more likely laden with  quinoa and vegan selections than anything containing jello.  😂

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