I am looking for advice for hosting a thanksgiving feast next year.
Previously my mother has hosted Thanksgiving and Christmas eve, but my father is now gone so my sister and I are taking over.
I have a more formal layout to my home, so I agreed to host Thanksgiving and she will host Christmas Eve. That is not an issue. The issue is how to stop some rather odd issues I simply hadn’t anticipated. I am hoping for advice on how to nip them on the bud politely as my mother is a big stickler on being me remaining polite and I don’t want to start (another) family feud.
The house is an old Victorian with one door the front and two that lead into the side and back of the kitchen. Everyone walked around the house – passing by the front door where people in the living room were clearly visible (my in-laws were in the living room and the game was on the tv), and came in the side door into the kitchen where I was frantically cooking and really needed my space. Can I ask them to use the main door or even go back around without being rude? I have a large front porch and wood floors so it was not a matter of trying to spare the carpeting or anything.
Then came my sister’s spouse (A) and her mother in law (B). Her spouse demanded my husband hang up her coat, he was running about setting up so instead of serving her he politely directed her to the coat rack by the front door. A got pissed that he would not tend to her and literally threw her coat across the living room at the coat rack. Never mind we had the fireplace lit so that wasn’t safe for her property, it was exceptionally rude. What can I do to get them to use the front door and the coat rack like grown adults without inciting another tantrum?
While attempting to lay out dinner on the table people kept wandering into the kitchen. Is there a nice way to tell them to go away for 15 minutes? Should I post a guard? I can’t imagine why they thought that was the right time to send a young child into the kitchen asking for a different drink.
B then brought out a camera and proceeded to take pictures of everything, even when asked not to. She told me she was on a mission to take pictures of all the animals… I did not want nor ask her too but I was fine with that if it made her happy. What I wasn’t fine with was the stalking of the people that did not want pictures taken – including myself, my MIL, my husband, and my mother. I eventually asked her to stop because it felt like the paparazzi was fallowing me about and she told me ‘that was just the way it is’. I told her it was not that way in my home and we were in my home and it was making people uncomfortable. She put the camera down for about five minutes before resuming her reign of terror. My mother has told me she intends to tell her she is not invited if she brings the camera, but could I do anything to stop this? Everyone hated it and I feel bad that I couldn’t stop it.
My mother in law then tried to help so kindly by assisting with the dishes. I am still searching for my dishes (how do you hide a dozen water glasses? It has been almost a week and I still haven’t tracked them down!) What polite tricks does anyone have to share with me to nip that one in the bud? My knife block was positively barren but I have been discovering shears and knives all over the place!
I won’t go into the attitude A threw because it was her first time at our house even though she declined one dinner invitation already and we have only owned it for 7 months! I figure that battle is best ignored as A likes to be dramatic and it is easiest to not acknowledge her tantrums.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I have the cooking down pat, but handling family is like herding cats and I could use some helpful hints!
Thank you in advance for anything you have to give. 1128-17