Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Life...in general => Holidays => Topic started by: weeblewobble on October 24, 2011, 10:25:12 PM

Title: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: weeblewobble on October 24, 2011, 10:25:12 PM
So, here at ehell, we're pretty dedicated to finding the most polite, sensible solution to problems, but somehow, all of those skills seem to evaporate for some of us (ME included) when we're trying to negotiate the holidays. 

We compromise.  We put up with boorish, bizarre behavior from others just to keep the peace.  We put ourselves through a scheduling wringer to try to make all sides of the family happy- even though we know there's a veritible army of ehellions online, cheering us on, chanting, "Just tell your (MIL, uncle, dad, etc.) the universe doesn't revolve around him!"

I was wondering which of you have had your "hill to die on" moment.  That crystal clear moment in which you realized that the requests you were accomodating were not reasonable and you changed the way you handled holidays.  I'd love to hear about them, and how you handled it in a non-violent, ehell-approved manner.

If this is the wrong place for this thread, and it belongs in the Coffee Break folder, I'm sorry!
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: blue2000 on October 24, 2011, 10:52:28 PM
I think I posted about this before, but my family have a habit of calling me the day before (or the day of) and expecting me to go along with whatever they decide (spontaneous 200 mile trip to see Great Aunt Maude, nothing for me to eat, and I have to work tonight? yeah, lovely). I can call them ahead of time, but they either won't call me back or won't make a decision.

I spent Christmas Eve one year twiddling my thumbs and waiting for them. I decided I don't want to spend the holidays/vacation time like that. If they call, they call. If they can't be bothered, I'll make my own plans. Right now I am on vacation and I haven't even told them I'm off. It is strangely relaxing just to do whatever I dang well feel like doing, even if it is cleaning the closets. Well, I do still have the kitties spontaneously demanding snacks ;) but...
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Tai on October 24, 2011, 10:54:26 PM
My hill to die on was the 1st Christmas with DD.  She was 4 days old on Christmas Eve, and after an exhausting day of visiting with family, DH allowed his parents, sibs, and one sib's violent SO to invite themselves over, after 10pm, to open presents.  Because "its the DHname family tradition!".  Did I mention that we had seen them every day that week because we had a newborn? 

They didn't leave until after midnight, and SIL had the nerve to say that I wasn't being a good hostess since I didn't have food ready or enough seats, and shouldn't I give up my seat for MIL?  Maybe because I wasn't expecting to a. go into labor several weeks early and have the baby, b. have 7 extra people crammed into my living room which seated 6, and c. have them stay until after midnight because their traditions were more important than us getting to bed at a decent hour. 

I told SIL that she was welcome to let her mom sit in her spot, but I wasn't moving from my seat since "I just had a baby.  She's not even a week old, and they don't just crawl out on their own.  But thanks for asking, I'm quite fine sitting right here." 

Not my best moment, but again *4 days postpardum with a house full of demanding ILs after 10pm*. 

I solved this by telling DH, "Never, ever again.  I'm not hosting a gift swap in our tiny apartment, especially since SIL was rude to me in my own home." 
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: MacadamiaNut on October 24, 2011, 10:57:18 PM
If we absolutely cannot find a way to be with each of our families *together* for Christmas (usually due to distance), we must find a way to get back together somewhere/anywhere for New Year's Eve.  I sort of guess my hill to die on is not being with my SO to start the next year (although not a deal breaker).  I have always looked at Christmas as a close family thing and New Year's as a friend's/everyone else thing.

The way I have handled it in the past is to plan ahead as soon as we know how much time we have off from work for the holidays between Christmas and New Year's and plan logistically the best place to meet from there.

Note: I am someone who does not have children (which may make a difference in how you look at my post!)
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Lady Snowdon on October 25, 2011, 05:56:47 AM
My "hill" was about 4 years ago, so right after we got married.  We were spending Christmas with DH's family that year, and they wanted us to come over for dinner on Christmas Eve, followed by watching It's a Wonderful Life.  Then on Christmas Day, they wanted everyone to be over at their house by 10 am, so we could all do present opening in the morning before going on to visit various family members in the afternoon.  Well, dinner was late, we had to fast forward through half of It's a Wonderful Life to get done watching it before church (I was like "church?") and the evening service was long, so DH and I didn't get home til after 11.  We dutifully got up the next morning, went to his parent's house, and discovered that his sisters weren't there yet!  One sister ended up not showing up til almost noon!

Long story short, we had almost no time to celebrate Christmas ourselves and I ended up feeling very stressed, resentful and mad at his family.  I told DH never again.  We will carve out some time on Christmas for ourselves.  We will not feel pressured to do everything that his family demands. 

It'll be interesting to see how this year goes.  It hasn't been an issue for the past few years, but now one of DH's sisters has a baby and I do believe his family thinks she may have hung the sun and the moon, so the unreasonable demands "because of Niece!" may make an appearance.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: amanda_tlg on October 25, 2011, 06:06:10 AM
Every time I read holiday hell stories I thank heavens my own family is very laid back and easy going about plans. we have certain set things we do and places we go, but that's about it. We are also lucky that we all live in the same town and see each other often anyway. it is fair to say we are estranged from all of Dh's family, and they wouldn't deign to include us in their holiday plans even if they did live closer.

My hill to die on is actually a yearly thing. I won't cook on my birthday or Christmas day. We don't have the huge sit-down meal on Christmas, never did when i was growing up either. I spend the week leading up to the day doing a cooking & baking marathon. Our favorite Christmas meal is hoagies, chips, etc. I make sure there is tons of deli stuff and everyone's favorite. all the kids are old enough now to assemble their own sandwiches or just eat Christmas cookies all day (and it's one of the few days I don't care if they do).

This still works out for me since my extended family don't visit all day and expect to be given more than a handful of cookies and a cup of coffee. We all gather at my cousin's house a few blocks away in the evening for an informal get together.

It doesn't make for fancy, holiday-movie-worthy gatherings, but it's bliss in terms of peace!
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: QueenofAllThings on October 25, 2011, 06:30:11 AM
My personal hill, which I've probably discussed before:

I married a widower with three boys. He has no family, and my family lives an hour away (we are all close). Her first wife's parents, and their family, live 5 minutes away. It was established, in a very whiny, PA way, that we would spend every other CHristmas with first wife's family. Well, OK. They are my boys' grandparents after all, and they have a good relationship with the boys.

So - every other year for six years, we went there for Christmas dinner. One house for cocktails and munchies at 4:00, and another for dinner at 7:00 (if you missed it, that's a looooooooooong cocktail hour, especially considering we see some of these people once every 2 years). Everyone was always welcoming and kind. And then came dinner - hideous food and, worse, 'family' (like my husband and kids) sat in the dining room and 'other ' (like me and 2nd cousin's weird college boyfriend) out in the hall. I accepted it the first time as a quirk of seating, but.every.time.since.  So I get it - I'm not family and will be accommodated, but barely.

No thanks. It's Christmas Day. I'd like to dine with with husband and kids. So now they are very upfront about inviting just our children.  :P
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: weeblewobble on October 25, 2011, 06:37:07 AM
Dogzard, I get that.  When my parents lived close by, we agreed DH's family got Christmas Eve, since that was their big celebration. and my family got Christmas Day, since that was when we celebrated.  I thought that was a pretty good solution.  Imagine my surprise on our first married Christmas, when my DH got a call about 1 p.m. on Christmas Day from MIL, telling him we should come over for dinner, to help his family eat the leftovers from the previous night.

DH wanted to get up and leave immediately! In his mind, it was reasonable, because we'd had lunch and done gifts already with my family, and at this point, we were just sitting around talking as the kids in the family (we didn't have any) played with their new toys. I told him I wasn't cutting my time short with my family so his could "double dip." They'd had their time the night before and frankly, I was looking forward to going home that afternoon for some quiet time with DH.  He went to his mom's, I stayed with my family. Mom gave me a ride home. DH came home that night to a very unhappy wife.

It didn't happen again. I think once he was outside of the "mom is calling me on Christmas day and wants to see me, I feel so guilty" moment, he saw this wasn't OK. And MIL is normally a very nice woman, I just don't think she thought this through as to how it might put stress on us.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: camlan on October 25, 2011, 07:03:14 AM
My hill to die on was the 1st Christmas with DD.  She was 4 days old on Christmas Eve, and after an exhausting day of visiting with family, DH allowed his parents, sibs, and one sib's violent SO to invite themselves over, after 10pm, to open presents.  Because "its the DHname family tradition!".  Did I mention that we had seen them every day that week because we had a newborn? 

They didn't leave until after midnight, and SIL had the nerve to say that I wasn't being a good hostess since I didn't have food ready or enough seats, and shouldn't I give up my seat for MIL?  Maybe because I wasn't expecting to a. go into labor several weeks early and have the baby, b. have 7 extra people crammed into my living room which seated 6, and c. have them stay until after midnight because their traditions were more important than us getting to bed at a decent hour. 

I told SIL that she was welcome to let her mom sit in her spot, but I wasn't moving from my seat since "I just had a baby.  She's not even a week old, and they don't just crawl out on their own.  But thanks for asking, I'm quite fine sitting right here." 

Not my best moment, but again *4 days postpardum with a house full of demanding ILs after 10pm*. 

I solved this by telling DH, "Never, ever again.  I'm not hosting a gift swap in our tiny apartment, especially since SIL was rude to me in my own home."

You had a 4 day old premature baby and people did this to you? Unbelievable. You should have been able to stay at home, with your feet up, with people coming to visit for a half hour or so, respectfully tiptoeing into the nursery to see the sleeping baby, dropping off a meal for the freezer and some gifts and then leaving. I'm just shocked that anyone would consider a family tradition more important than the health and well-being of a new mom and baby.

The stories I read here continue to amaze me.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Perfect Circle on October 25, 2011, 07:11:51 AM
It's coming this year.

My husband's brother and his wife host a get together every year around Christmas time, usually on Boxing Day. It's great, but they generally invite us on Christmas Day or Boxing Day morning.

No more. I want to know well in advance so we can make any other plans for the day. We won't be able to go. DH has finally realised why this bothers me.

It's even easier this year because my parents are coming on Boxing Day morning, so we have a very valid excuse, but even if it was just us, we would not go on such a short notice.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Shopaholic on October 25, 2011, 07:20:31 AM
This was a good number of years ago, before I met my husband:
I was an undergrad, but living at home. My parents decided to spend the holiday dinner with my sister's boyfriend's family. My sister and her boyfriend (now husband) weren't even engaged or living together at this point.
I can't stand my BIL, and his family is not the people I'd choose to spend the holiday with. My parents even took my favorite aunt and uncle with them, along with my grandfather.
I said no thanks, and spent the evening with my best friend's family.

I haven't spent the last three holidays with my family (one was with DH's family, one my parents were abroad, one I was abroad). I told my mom that I would really really like to do the holiday with them this year, but that I really wouldn't want to spend it with BIL's family.
Maybe that's immature of me, but I've seen these people enough in the past year. I didn't make it into "it's them or me", I just told her that if they're coming, I'm going to my ILs. Or abroad.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: MindsEye on October 25, 2011, 08:07:02 AM
My hill to die on is that I want to have at least one completely relaxing holiday a year.

I do not find driving all over hither and yon, sleeping on the floor in someone else's house, having no privacy,  or scrambling several days in advance to prepare my food contribution, to be at all relaxing.  I am very much an introvert, and I find all of the above very stressful.

So what DH and I did when we started to live together is that we informed our families, that each family would get one (Christmas or Thanksgiving) holiday every other year.  And that for the other holiday DH and I would happily spend it in blissful peace and solitude at our own home. 

So, say, one year his family requests Thanksgiving, so we go to visit them for that, and spend Christmas at home.  The next year, my family gets pick of the holidays, and we spend the other at home.  (Yes, we do plenty of family visiting at other times of the year.)

There was some grumbling when we announced our plans, for sure, but we made it clear that while they didn't have to like how we were going to handle the big holidays, they did have to accept that that was our plan going forward. 
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Giggity on October 25, 2011, 08:21:09 AM
I had to draw the line at multiple celebrations for the same occasion. My family would hold three or four Christmases for various parts of the family starting around December 21. It got difficult to work my ex-husband's family in just once, so I regretfully declined to attend more than one Christmas per family per year.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: violinp on October 25, 2011, 08:53:33 AM
Once I get my own place, my hill to die on will involve behavior.

I understand it's the holidays, Relative. I understand it's the time to be merry. However, it's better for everyone if you're not "merry." It is perfectly acceptable to decline certain beverages - everyone will understand, and no one will be mad or anything. I'd rather not hear you bawl out Mom and tell her she's an awful parent simply because she didn't press food upon us. Frankly, she's a sight better at parenting than you are, and I feel confident that I was not screwed up as a child because I wasn't made to eat my veggies.

I really love my relatives, but that one in particular tests every bit of patience I have. I would rather have my cousin as a five year old again, and on a sugar high, than deal with this relative when having imbibed.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Lisbeth on October 25, 2011, 09:14:39 AM
I am not able to host anyone for the holidays.  Maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaybe, I'll be able to do so in the future, but my hill to die on is that nobody will be allowed to criticize the rules of my home or be rude to me.  Period.  Also, I won't let anyone voluntell me to host someone or invite guests to my home without my permission.

Actually, that goes for whether it's a holiday or not.

One more that I just thought of: I will not participate in any plans made, changed, or cancelled behind my back that involve me.  If someone tries to pull this, I will just tell them, "See you later," and go about what was originally planned.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Sabbyfrog2 on October 25, 2011, 10:20:54 AM
I started implementing my hills two years ago, after DH and I got married. I am not close with my family and don’t have any desire to spend Holiday’s with them so it’s not a matter of “sharing” in our case. It’s the fact that because the in-laws know that, it’s “expected” that we spend it with them. Frankly, sometimes I don’t want to be social on Holidays. I've decided that just because we aren't going to my family's doesn't mean we are automatically obligated to spend every Holiday with his. And, I’d like the chance for DH and I to start our own traditions.

Now, let me say that I am lucky to have married into a warm and generous family but FIL is also kind of high maintenance. He is a good man but he’s also got money and uses it. Not in that smarmy arrogant way but in that “I can’t be bothered to do this so I’ll just pay someone else to do it for me way”. Hey, it’s his money so I suppose he can do what he wants with it but this often relates back to how his children (SIL, BIL, and DH) react to him*.

DH and I are the only kids in town (his brother and sister live out of state). We’ve only been married three years but since becoming engaged, FIL has made “requests” of our time on whatever random whim he happens to be having at the moment that I do not feel inclined to go along with most of the time. So I don’t. So far, there haven’t been any bumps about it but this Christmas ALL the kids are in town and that’s when FIL starts in on his “traditions”. 

One of FIL’s quirks is his Christmas tree. He’s very very VERY specific about how he wants it done. And he insists that DH and I come over whenever HE is ready to decorate it and do so with big joyous smiles on our face while he micro manages every single piece of tinsel (that he orders from Germany). He’s not nasty about it, just “specific”. Decorating a tree is supposed to be a fun thing. It’s stressful with FIL. So, last year, I just didn’t go over. The tree got decorated just the way FIL liked and no one (meaning DH and I) felt like burying him under the ornaments by the end of the day. FIL still likes to bring this up, (jokingly but still) and I bean dip him every time. 
And, that generally leads to the conversation about Christmas Eve midnight mass at FIL’s church…

FIL is the groundskeeper at his church. He does this voluntarily as he’s very much into nature and does an outstanding job of it. The grounds are gorgeous and I say that as someone who doesn’t “do” nature. And, his loyalty to that church is quite deep though he doesn’t actually attend that church as a member. (I honestly don’t understand it but it makes him happy.) He also runs the parking on the very well attended midnight mass on Christmas Eve. Now, it use to be that every other year, or whenever they were in town, the “kids” were enlisted to help act as parking attendants at midnight mass. That means the spouses as well. Apparently, this is just sort of the understanding. Our first year as a married couple, I was told that this was happening with no more than a day’s notice. I went along with it because I was still new to the family and didn’t want to make waves. We didn’t get out of there until after 2 am and then had to be back at the in-laws house for coffee cake and presents the next morning at 8 am as that’s also tradition. I was not happy. DH and his siblings and their spouses have just sorta of accepted that this was how it was going to be from now on. I do not. This year, all the kids and spouses are back in town again for Christmas and FIL has already started talking about it. I told DH all that I would not be “helping” with parking this year. DH said, “But it’s tradition.” I said, “No. It’s FIL’s tradition. I would like for us to start our own Christmas Eve traditions this year. They won’t miss us. We’ll see them all on Christmas morning and throughout the week while they are in town.” So far, no one has tried to argue with me about it.

My next hill is having every Thanksgiving Holiday hijacked by his MIL. FIL often goes away on long nature trips and MIL is often left to fend for herself when those trips overlap holidays. She isn’t exactly amubulatory on a good day and she’s lonely because she doesn’t have a lot of friends so DH feels guilt about leaving her alone for Thanksgiving. Now, I don’t mind spending them with her sometimes. She’s lovely,  but I just want a Thanksgiving where I don’t have to spend my time worrying about MIL. I want to stay home and do nothing. Or, maybe just have some friends over and have a casual party and drink lots of wine. The last three years, DH and I had plans to do something on our own for Thanksgiving and every year, we end up at his parent’s house eating bad food (she’s a terrible cook) because “Well it’s Thanksgiving and mom’s lonely. ” (he also plays the "she's old and might not be around much longer" card). FIL is also a notoriously picky eater so that on top of the bad food make for a very bland boring meal. This year I said, “Your mom is a big girl. She’s not your responsibility. Besides, she got Easter this year, every Thanksgiving and Christmas for three years, and she’s getting Christmas again this year. We are NOT giving her Thanksgiving again. I’ll compromise and say that she can come over here if your adamant she not be alone but I am cooking my menu the way I want, I’ll invite who I want, and it will be at the time I want to eat. It’s that or we do nothing at all. If FIL happens to be in town, then the same will apply to him.”

*The reason I suspect that kids all go along with FIL’s “whims” is because they are genuanly terrified he will leave them out of his will if they don’t. What makes them think that is beyond me because I’ve never even heard a peep from FIL about it. I guess they’ve just conditioned themselves to this thinking. I am reconditioning them.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Maujer on October 25, 2011, 10:33:05 AM
This will sound a little petty,  but if we're spending Christmas Eve with my in-laws, we won't arrive until it's time for dinner. Two years ago my husband had to work on Christmas Eve morning so we weren't going to be able to travel to the in-laws until mid-afternoon. I briefly thought maybe I'd grab lunch with my father while my husband was at work since we used Christmas shop on Christmas eve together. Somehow this was mentioned to my in-laws (along with the fact that no matter what happened we would be arriving at the same time). My normally lovely FIL wrote my husband a very nasty e-mail about how we needed to learn how to handle family obligations. In the end, lunch with my father didn't work out and my husband got out of work - but we still arrived right before dinner like we orginally planned. And we always will (partially for cabin fever issues too, my in-laws are major homebodies).

I'm still disturbed by the e-mail, but in a way I'm glad I know now my in-laws have weird jealousy issues with my parents. My family is the polar opposite so this attitude is completely foreign to me.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Redneck Gravy on October 25, 2011, 10:48:06 AM
My hill for all future years  -

Drawing names for Christmas.  It's always drama, drama.  Someone can't afford to buy, someone didn't buy appropriately, someone shipped late, someone opened early.   I'm through.

I send cards to siblings, nieces & nephews (usually with our family photo enclosed) and gifts to the children in high school or younger.

I usually mail either the Friday or first Monday after Thanksgiving.  I don't care if I don't get anything in return, it's not about that, it's about me giving what I feel is appropriate to those I love and staying within my budget.  Sometimes it's homemade & sometimes it's store bought, my budget & moods vary from year to year, I try to please each recipient.  Sorry if I didn't, everyone should know the effort was there.   

I feel like my kids have been shafted by various givers for years.  I want my kids to be respected and treated fairly - they haven't always been and I'm tired of dealing with the fallout.  If my kids want to give gifts, they have to come up with a list and a budget - again, whether handmade or store bought and I try to help them accomplish their goals.  If it's a relative or non-relative, it's their choice to give or not.   
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: MummySweet on October 25, 2011, 11:03:53 AM
The turkey became my hill to die on one Thanksgiving.   

 The first year I was married to my exDH, we invited the whole family and SOs to Thanksgiving as our home was by far the largest and most centrally located.   I was looking forward to it as I didn't know my in-laws well.  We had dated and married on the opposite side of the country.   My BIL was bringing his long term girlfriend, whom I had never met.  I was informed well ahead of time that she was a vegetarian, and had planned a meatless entree in addition to the bird.   In addition, all of the sides were meatless.

The evening before Thanksgiving I received a call from the GF, informing me that because she was vegetarian I could not serve a turkey at all.  She went on to say that she was afraid the "family" had forgotten to tell me that meat was not allowed at any function she attended.    I was sort of startled by this, but did tell her that we were definitely having a turkey, but that I was also preparing a vegetarian option.  She said that it "wouldn't do" so she was going to call MIL... and she did.   MIL called me and I learned that the family had acquiesced to this demand for several years, despite that fact that they were all meat-eaters, and admitted to missing the turkey/goose/ham, etc. on holidays.    My MIL never asked me not to serve the turkey, but did say that this was very important to GF.   I was not willing to give up that turkey (thawed and ready to go), so I had my then-DH call his brother and tell him that the menu was not changing, and we would understand if they didn't come, but they were still very welcome.   BIL and GF didn't come to the meal and actually broke up a short time later.  ILs attended many more holiday meals at our home until we split, and always seemed to enjoy the food.     I've always wondered if I was the family's way of getting their bird back? 
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Tai on October 25, 2011, 01:09:53 PM
The turkey became my hill to die on one Thanksgiving.   

 The first year I was married to my exDH, we invited the whole family and SOs to Thanksgiving as our home was by far the largest and most centrally located.   I was looking forward to it as I didn't know my in-laws well.  We had dated and married on the opposite side of the country.   My BIL was bringing his long term girlfriend, whom I had never met.  I was informed well ahead of time that she was a vegetarian, and had planned a meatless entree in addition to the bird.   In addition, all of the sides were meatless.

The evening before Thanksgiving I received a call from the GF, informing me that because she was vegetarian I could not serve a turkey at all.  She went on to say that she was afraid the "family" had forgotten to tell me that meat was not allowed at any function she attended.    I was sort of startled by this, but did tell her that we were definitely having a turkey, but that I was also preparing a vegetarian option.  She said that it "wouldn't do" so she was going to call MIL... and she did.   MIL called me and I learned that the family had acquiesced to this demand for several years, despite that fact that they were all meat-eaters, and admitted to missing the turkey/goose/ham, etc. on holidays.    My MIL never asked me not to serve the turkey, but did say that this was very important to GF.   I was not willing to give up that turkey (thawed and ready to go), so I had my then-DH call his brother and tell him that the menu was not changing, and we would understand if they didn't come, but they were still very welcome.   BIL and GF didn't come to the meal and actually broke up a short time later.  ILs attended many more holiday meals at our home until we split, and always seemed to enjoy the food.     I've always wondered if I was the family's way of getting their bird back? 

We've had something similar happen in my family.  Im not a vegetarian, nor are any of my immediate family members.  After about 6 months of doing "meatless Mondays" and my discovery of a powdered veggie boullion, I'm now comfortable making vegetarian meals.  Vegan, on the other hand, I'm not set up to do nor am I comfortable doing.  Same with most of the "whatever" free, like gluten or casein or nut free, as I know that I personally can't guarantee that a particle of "allergen/item" is not in the food, and I know that is very important. 

If I invite people over for a holiday (may be doing that this year) or party, then I get to pick the menu.  If someone lets me know about an allergy or intolerance or other food issue, I will figure something out, but if someone tries to dictate the menu... nope.  Not in my house, thank you very much!
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: heartmug on October 25, 2011, 01:13:06 PM
My hill.... the assumption.  We live about 1200 miles away from my ILs.  For about the first 5 years of our marriage, DH was the only child to live out of state.

So, my Dh would make his obligated call on Thanksgiving and MIL would announce "We bought plane tickets and we are coming for Christmas."  Dh accepted this the first year of our marriage.  That is what he was used to.   His parents also dropped in on people in their town that they wanted to visit, so why should we be any different?  I was young and didn't want to make waves (i.e. my backbone had not grown in).  About the 3rd time I said to DH "They picked a week (they were coming the week before) that we and the kids have a lot of plans.  I am not changing plans."  When they barely got to see us, they learned to ask if we were free the week they wanted to come visit.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: LadyL on October 25, 2011, 01:23:02 PM
My hill: if I am cooking dinner, it is served on time and we will not wait for latecomers.

This was a direct result of the year we got tricked into cooking TDay dinner for all my inlaws, and AngryUncle came two hours late - and they made us wait for him for fear he would throw a fit if we didn't. For two hours the food stayed in the oven and crockpots where it all dried out by the time it was served. I was furious! And yes, I did ask repeatedly why we couldn't just serve the food when it was ready, to no avail.

The year that we *agreed* to cook, we also decided we were waiting no more than 15 minutes past dinner time for Angry Uncle and family. They arrived an hour late to us just putting out dessert. Not only did they eat the plates we'd put aside for them without complaint, they actually apologized. They seemed completely perplexed that we didn't wait, but not upset, just utterly surprised. Everyone else was shocked that they were contrite about it. The world didn't end, what a shock!
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: RainhaDoTexugo on October 25, 2011, 01:45:28 PM
Mine is Christmas morning with my husband (long term boyfriend at the time).  This comes from two different issues.  My family rotates hosting, but usually whoever hosts does it for a few years in a row.  When it was my mom's turn, she always expected me to be at her house bright and early on Christmas morning to help her.  Now, I know it's pretty normal for daughters to help moms out on Christmas morning, but my mother makes it very unpleasant.  Extremely unpleasant.  I'd rather she just go have a cup of coffee and leave me a list of directions and let me do ALL the work, that kind of unpleasant.  Not to mention, I was always called upon because DH doesn't have local family that he's in touch with, whereas my brother's wife does, so he had a nice, easy out (I don't think it was a sexist thing - my brother is a chef, so he'd probably be the idea helper for Christmas dinner ;)).

In addition to that, DH used to work for a petstore, and part of his job was coming in for an hour or two on days they were closed to clean animal cages and feed everyone.  I have no idea why it was always his job, on every holiday.  I have no idea why the store manager couldn't do it now and then.  Probably because DH is a workaholic and has a hard time saying no ::) 

So, for years, it was me being tortured at mom's, while he was off cleaning hamster cages.  One year, I was sick on Christmas.  I still ended up going to mom's, along with BF.  I sat there, miserable, clearly sick, and mom had the absolute gall to accuse me of faking it to get out of helping her.  This after years of getting up early on Christmas and giving up my Christmas morning time to help her.  I found myself unavoidably busy the next time she hosted.  DH ended up in a new job a year or two later, and we are DONE with dealing with other people Christmas morning.  He does a lot of petsitting now, and that's one of maybe two or three days in the year when I tell him that I don't care HOW much they're offering him, no petsitting.  We will wake up at our leisure, drink coffee, eat a nice breakfast, open presents, and actually have a chance to check out our presents and spend some time together before going to the family thing.  I would be willing to sacrifice it if he wanted to travel to New York and see his family for Christmas, but that's the only exception, and so far it hasn't really been in the budget anyway.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Luci on October 25, 2011, 01:56:58 PM
I will not wait to serve dinner. I send out printed invitations to the family, about 14 invitations for 40 people, no word of mouth invitations, so they know that dinner is served at a certain time. If someone promises to bring something and isn't here, we eat anyway. Once someone didn't arrive with a major dish until dessert was being served. She had a lot of green bean casserole (NOT the soup one) to take home. (We supply the home and placesettings and turkey, potatoes and gravy. Everyone else brings stuff that I coordinate - they volunteer, I approve.)

We have and 'angry uncle', too. Once he got no roast at a birthday party because everyone had gone back for seconds before he arrived. Too bad.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Amara on October 25, 2011, 02:32:26 PM
My holiday hill hasn't arrived yet but it will. Either this year or next.

My parents are 87 and while they are in relatively decent health there are serious problems. I will probably lose them in the nost-too-distant future. Thankfully, we have had plenty of opportunites (of which we take advantage) to tell each other how much we love each other. So at least regrets will be few.

The hill comes in the form of my siblings. Two brothers, two sisters, all younger. Only one sister and brother are really relevant, though. Brother is rigid. When I say rigid I mean a boulder has more flexibility than he does about anything. Sister is ... noisy and controlling. The phrase "silence is golden" is, I am sure, unknown to her.

So at Thanksgiving and Christmas it's still the way it has always been, especially around the meal. My sister wants to do everything--I mean everything--at the last minute the way my mother had to before microwave ovens, etc. You need a carving knife to cut the tension in the kitchen. Add to that my brother's extreme rigidity that dinner has to be by 1:00 so he can get home at some time he has defined in his mind. (Never mind that he lives around the corner from my parents' home, a 30-second walk if he strolls.) The turkey has to be carved up the second it comes out of the oven, no less. He cannot let a moment pass, no enjoyment of a pretty brown bird. It's as if the Marines have regimented the meal to the minute, and I am NOT going to continue this when I no longer have my parents here.

I like to relax on T-Day so I do a lot of work ahead of time. lots of cranberry sauce is made in October/early November and frozen. The dressings are made the weekend before and cooked. The gravy--because I always use the previous year's frozen de-fatted stock--is also done that weekend. Salad greens and veggies are washed, cut up and stored in glass canning jars then too. I order a custom-made pie from a speciality pie company here and get it on Tuesday afternoon. The only thing done the day of is cooking the turkey (and warming up or laying out the rest of the items). I let my turkey rest while I admire and toast it with a good Cabernet.
 
It's a holiday, for dog's sake. Eat when it's ready? In the meantime, have fun.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: cheyne on October 25, 2011, 10:37:29 PM
My Hill was 1999 with DH's family.  Every holiday had to be at his grandparents farm.  There were at least 9 adults and 5 children at these holidays.  GMIL is a hoarder so there is very little room in the farmhouse.  The kitchen table is designed for 6 so even 9 adults was impossible to eat at (much less trying to squeeze kids in). 

GMIL is a messy cook and doesn't believe in pre-soaking cooking pots, pans, or roasters.  She likes to use plastic glasses (think Frat party beer glasses, $1.98 for 20 at Wallyworld), and plastic "silverware" at holiday dinners.*

My job was always to wash the dishes after the meal was over.  I don't mind helping-out, but if I am voluntold to do a chore I expect to be able to do it my way. GMIL would darn near hang over my shoulder telling me how to wash dishes!  Some of the pots and pans had food sticking in them that had been there for hours and was tough to get off, so I would spend at least 1.5 hours doing dishes from the holiday meal.

After 3 years of these wonderful "holidays" I told my DH he was welcome to go to his grandparents but I would not be attending.  He told his family that we would be going to Tday that 4th year, but I called his bluff and we did not go.  From that day forward we do our own holidays, or I host our friends, the kids friends, and random "strays" we pick-up.

*Remember the plastic kegger kups and silverware?  I had to wash those too, as they needed to be replaced in the hoard.  GMIL almost had a heart attack the first year when I threw the plastic stuff out.  She actually dug in the trash to retrieve every piece.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: bigozzy on October 26, 2011, 05:39:19 AM
My hill is far away in another country now but still in my memory.

For me, I got tired of Booze with a capital 'B'. I like to take a drink and I am definitely not against it but I got sick of my normally sensible brothers and father using Christmas as an excuse to hit the booze and eventually do silly things/fight/argue/fall asleep/vomit whatever.

Combine bucket loads of booze with standard Australian Christmas temps (30c +) and you get the picture.

I also like to model decent behaviour to my kids so now they get to see us enjoying a celebratory drink or two but never overboard. I don't miss that aspect.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: suzieQ on October 26, 2011, 06:09:46 AM
My hill came a couple of years ago and it is that I Don't Get Involved in Holiday Planning. Period. At all. DH is the social one and I am decidedly not. I'm happy just staying home. I don't mind visiting people, but I don't feel a need to visit, either.

DB and his family live next door to us and we take turns hosting T'giving/Christmas. One year we host one holiday and they host the other, the next year we switch.

Until a couple of years ago. DB is divorced and he was getting his kids for Christmas that year so my Mom asked me if we could let them do Thanksgiving at DB's house,  (2nd year in a row) and us do Christmas, so DB and wife could relax and not have to serve dinner the year they had the kids. I said that was fine. Boy, was that a mistake!

DH had a FIT! He actually told me to "do whatever you want, I'll celebrate T'giving with my family here!  Wow, thanks for letting me know the kids and I are not part of your family, DH! (and FTR, DH repeatedly invited his family to our house for years and they would say they would come, but hardly ever did so.) He spent T'day complaining about how late we were eating (only to me), what was on the menu, etc.

So since then, when DB or Mom ask if we can change up the schedule, I tell them to talk to DH. It's totally up to him = he does the cooking so he makes the decision about when/where we celebrate. I don't care in the least about where/when we get together.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: StarDrifter on October 26, 2011, 10:56:09 AM
Christmas Eve sleepover at the PIL's.

No way in e-hell am I doing that again, this year. Last year was a nightmare on acid and this year is shaping up to be worse, but I don't care!

Ace and I live 25 minutes away from both sets of parents - my mother is a direct care provider for adults with intellectual disabilities - she works most Christmases because she wants to. My brother is in the same field and is working this Christmas because he'll get paid double-time-and-a-half and is saving for a house. My Dad will be on call with the tow truck, so Christmas as far as my family is concerned will probably end up being me, Ace and Dad meeting up at Mum and Bro's work to  help out with breakfast and sneaking in a bacon and egg sandwich each.

Ace's family, on the other hand, is his parents, a brother in Melbourne (2 hours away), one in Canberra (9 hours) and one in Perth (other side of the country. 3-hour flight then a two-hour drive from Melbourne).

Last year, all four brothers were at PIL's house by the 23rd.
Melbourne Brother slept in the study because he was single, he's the youngest and he (literally) drew the short straw.
Canberra Brother and his partner were in the spare room with twin beds because they weren't, still aren't, don't want to be! married.
Perth Brother and his partner got the spare room with the queen bed because they were getting married at New Years.

Ace and I got to sleep on the couch in the lounge room. I'm still not entirely clear on how I was coerced into sleeping over when our house is less than half an hour away, but this year no way no how am I sleeping over. Ace is welcome to it, but I find being woken up by cousins I've only met twice coming into the lounge at 8AM a little disconcerting, especially when it's summer and my pyjamas are a tank top and short-shorts. Not exactly the best look or impression. Then I got hustled through the shower and shoved into the kitchen to 'help' with breakfast, without any coffee... the rest of the day is kind of hazy but I do remember hiding out with Melbourne Brother in the study on the uncomfortable futon, thanking him profusely for buying me a cocktail kit and ingredients (Campari, Vickers Gin, Cinzano Vermouth - we were drinking iced Negroni's all afternoon) so that I could recover from the shock.

I'm used to slow, easygoing Chirstmases - this one was hectic and rushed and people were shouting.

I asked Ace and Melbourne Brother if it was usually like this - apparently it's happened before. MIL's sister (Pushy Aunt) shows up to PIL's house with her four (adult) sons, their four partners and five children under four years old, having told MIL that they'll be there 'for lunch' - they all arrive at 8AM and expect breakfast. I woke up to this after a night on a fold-out couch on a night where the temperature never dropped below 30 degrees.

Since then there's been three more babies born and Ace's parents have moved into a different house (it's about the same size as the old one but has fewer bedrooms... yay...)

So we're staying at home until about noon this year, in case Pushy Aunt and family pull that trick again. Plus, this year I'm pulling Melbourne Brother out of the melee, too, we've got a queen sized bed in our spare bedroom and I've already told him he's welcome to it if he doesn't mind sharing with the cats.

He's promised me Tanqueray gin and Martini & Rossi vermouth if I'll mix the cocktails.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: gingerzing on October 26, 2011, 01:31:32 PM
I didn't realize this would be the year I would have a hill to die on. 
My mom - bless her heart - is incredibly easygoing.  DH & I were not able to go down last Thanksgiving or this one*, but she is cool with that.  (We don't try for Christmas anymore since travel has been so nasty the last few years.
Until last year, DH's family is pretty scattered and we would occasionally go to his mom's or for Thanksgiving go to friends.  Last year his sister (S1) moved back with her three teenaged kids to the area.  I actually get along pretty well with S1, so I was wondering what might be in the works for the holidays.  (Last year we invited MIL, S1 and the kids to our Christmas Eve service.  Which apparently went over pretty well with the kids.) 
DH told me that S1 called the house while we were out last night and she invited us to T-Day. At Ryan's Buffet.  Now I have no problem with going out to eat on the holidays.  We have done it a couple times.  However, I looked at DH and said in a very flat tone. "no, not happening."  He grinned, "I knew you would say that, but I thought I would tell you. You know if they had picked <sit down family style restaurant>  I probably would have agreed." 
Ryan's is one of the few restaurants that has gotten me sick.  Plus I am becoming less of a fan of buffets as I get older.  Letting him deal with that one.  I may just make something nice for the two of us.  Last year I think I did Trader Joe's for either Thanksgiving or Christmas.

*We just found out that DH will be able to get the day after Thanksgiving off, but not sure what time he will be off Wednesday so not sure that we will have time to get down to Mom's. Or if she will have the space for us.  *

Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: HelenB on October 26, 2011, 02:04:01 PM
I think I'm hiking up to the top of my hill this year.

My husband has three step-brothers.  This summer it became obvious to me that his step brothers and (most of) their families are quite content to treat his mother like their father's housekeeper and caterer, not a part of their family.  I also realized that we (my husband and I) had fallen into a pattern where we would arrive early to events and help his mother set up, help out during the meal, and then clean up afterwards, while the brothers arrive late, sit and socialized and leave early.

I started doing it again for a Thanksgiving meal. We showed up on time, the others showed up an hour to an hour and a half late. After they did arrive, they chatted while we brought the food out. 

I will not be their unpaid wait-staff this year at Christmas. If they're not willing to put some work into an event that is held so that they can see their dad, and their children can have a holiday experience with their cousins, then I don't want to be there. 

Only took me 6 years to work up to this.  Wow, this hill is really steep!
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: MERUNCC13 on October 26, 2011, 02:05:58 PM
Mine was with my MIL and SFIL (both have now passed on).  They would insist on me and my LTB (now hubby) to spend EVERY holiday with them even if we invited them to our house (which was always declined - it had to be at THEIR house  ::)).  Now, my parents are both in good health and live in the same state, just 3 hours up the road from our house but are pretty laid back.  It got so bad that I finally had to stop going over to their house and let my DH handle his parents which he did until they both passed away.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: WhiteTigerCub on October 26, 2011, 02:21:43 PM
I live about 100 miles away from the bulk of my family hense I must travel about 2 hours drive to reach the house where everyone is visiting.

About 6 years ago we drew names to give presents to one other person in the family. Present exchange was planned for 11AM Christmas morning with a big Christmass dinner shortly thereafter. Perfect especially since I worked Christmas eve until 6 PM. 

Got off work Christmas Eve when my mom calls me and says toxic aunt had everyone who was there already open gifts.  (it was just her sons there)  Since I had drawn one of her son's name he had no present to open except what she gave him  ::).   Anyway at this point I am told the rest of the family will still be there Christmas day.  They had decided about 9PM Christmas eve to change dinner to breakfast. Ok fine, except they didn't tell my mom, so my mom did not call and tell me about the change. It would have been a big hardship to me to get up super early to travel there for it, but I probably would have anyway.

 I show up at 10:45 AM on Christmas day, the only people there are my grandma and my mom. Everyone else had gone back to their house or motel location. I sat down and opened presents from my mom, gave her my exchange present to my cousin and then opened the one from my exchange person which was left under the tree with no name tag.....a white towel and wash cloth (looked like they were the kind used in motels)   ::)    I cried in the car all the way home that Christmas. And because I had planned on Christmas dinner at grandma's I had not gone shopping that week. There were no stores open and I had nothing in house except canned ravioli for dinner.

At that point I decided that if no one was really going to notice my presence at family get together's I decided I would plan to have Christmas at my house the next year, my way. I invite everyone to come to my house and tell them the plan. If they choose to come great, if not, I have Christmas solo or with my mom. We have a blast watching the kitties knock over the christmas tree and play with the ribbon we take off our presents while we drink spiked coffee  and watch the Christmas parades on TV, ;D
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: HeebyJeebyLeebee on October 26, 2011, 02:47:45 PM
Christmas 2009 we flew back to Chi and stayed at DH's sister's home.  In general, I've never liked staying at her home, even when we lived closer and could drive.  Her home is filthy and there's always a lot of yelling.  This particular year, the house was still disgusting and it was affecting my asthma.  We spent the entire day watching football, and since I'm not a fan, I spent the bulk of the day hiding in our room and reading and was then accused of being unsocial (at which point I moved to the living room and was ignored).  We also got food poisoning from her cooking.  The food poisoning was the last straw. 

I told DH that I'm not staying over there for any event ever again, and that goes triple for when future kids are in the picture.  I'm not putting my health or our future kids' health in danger. 

Fortunately, our current circumstances mean we can only afford 1 trip back home per year, and between graduations and weddings, we've managed to avoid holiday travel since. 
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: yellowpaint on October 27, 2011, 12:49:01 AM
We used to go to my parents for Christmas Eve. It was always stressful but one year my mother and sister chewed me out because a gift for one of my daughters was not finished. ( I wrapped it up anyway. Like my daughters don't know what I'm like! I had the week off after Christmas to finish it) I decided that my daughters and I were starting a new tradition and we were staying home and ordering in and watching movies. We really enjoyed it and have kept it up for almost 20 years. My daughters won't be home for Christmas this year. But I still stay home and order in and watch movies. I took over 10 years to get through to my mother that we weren't coming over for dinner on Christmas Eve. We also tried decorating a gingerbread house the first few years but that didn't work out so well!
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: hannahmollysmom on October 27, 2011, 01:37:31 AM
I work every other holiday and it changes every year. This year I am off for Thanksgiving, but working Christmas. I do have Christmas Eve off.  I have to say my children (now adults) are very accomodating with my holidays as is my Ex. He will celebrate with them at Christmas on whichever day I have to work. As far as Thanksgiving goes, he is also fine with an every other year thing. They do make a point to stop at his mothers (where he celebrates) before coming over to my house. I also try to plan the time of meal to accomodate them visiting there.

It wasn't always that way though. My hill to die on was when my kids were little. I wanted them home for Christmas morning. My mom understood that and always said she would come to us, except she passed when my youngest was 2 weeks old. When my Dad remarried, his wife wanted us to come up, (3 hours away) and I said no. She didn't like that much but Dad didn't say anything, and amazingly, they came to visit us. Her kids lived in my area too. But I was the only one who made sure we had a nice dinner. Her kids just wanted the gifts. So they adjusted their visit to around our dinner time.

Compared to other posters, I have nothing to complain about, and am not. I am lucky that my holidays work out well and I am hoping all of you have nice ones and stick to your hills!
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Bethalize on October 27, 2011, 02:10:57 AM
I had wonderful Christmases at my childhood home for 32 years. Then my mother died in November and my cousin hosted me, DH and my father for two Christmases running. I will be grateful to her forever.

The second Christmas I was looking forward to seeing my father. When I asked him if he had brought my present from his sister for me to open he said he thought we would have another Christmas at family home tomorrow. When we arrived at his house the next day there was nothing festive what so ever. No decorations, not even cards up, no special food or drink, nothing. I spent the afternoon of Boxing Day crying because I missed my beloved mother and my father had retired to bed. I didn't expect anything but to be promised a Christmas celebration and for that promise to be a lie hurt me deeply. I shall never spend Christmas in my mother's house again. She would have been ashamed of the way we were treated that year. My father was preoccupied with his health but his selfishness and lack of thought means I feel quite comfortable in prioritising myself and DH.

If Christmas isn't enough of a special day for you to spend time with your loved ones or to do festive things then you won't mind if I spend it elsewhere.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Luci on October 27, 2011, 08:31:10 AM
I had wonderful Christmases at my childhood home for 32 years. Then my mother died in November and my cousin hosted me, DH and my father for two Christmases running. I will be grateful to her forever.

The second Christmas I was looking forward to seeing my father. When I asked him if he had brought my present from his sister for me to open he said he thought we would have another Christmas at family home tomorrow. When we arrived at his house the next day there was nothing festive what so ever. No decorations, not even cards up, no special food or drink, nothing. I spent the afternoon of Boxing Day crying because I missed my beloved mother and my father had retired to bed. I didn't expect anything but to be promised a Christmas celebration and for that promise to be a lie hurt me deeply. I shall never spend Christmas in my mother's house again. She would have been ashamed of the way we were treated that year. My father was preoccupied with his health but his selfishness and lack of thought means I feel quite comfortable in prioritising myself and DH.

If Christmas isn't enough of a special day for you to spend time with your loved ones or to do festive things then you won't mind if I spend it elsewhere.

I'm sorry you felt hurt by this.

In this case, I really feel for your father. He probably wanted things to be like they used to be, but just didn't know how to start. When my dad wanted Christmas at his house, my sister-in-law and I made it happen. She lived in town so put up a few decorations. My husband and I drove the 5 hours with some food prepared and then bought and finished what was needed there. Dad didn't do anything but sign the gift checks and show his gratitude. We did that for several years.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: siamesecat2965 on October 27, 2011, 09:09:40 AM
I'm lucky in that my immediate family is just my mom and I.  We do different things each year for TDay and Christmas, and don't really have any traditions, aside from opening our gifts on Christmas Eve.  We try different things, and if they work, we keep it up, and if not, we do something else.  The last few years on Christmas have been tough as my dad passed away on Christmas Day 2007. 

Last year for TDay we went out.  It was lovely!  No worrying about cooking dinner, who's coming, etc. and neither one of us really cares much for turkey.  Mom had duck and I had a steak.  For Christmas it was just her and me, and it was so nice again not to have to rush around and make sure stuff was done at x time.  Also, we got that major blizzard that hit the East Coast, in VA, where it rarely snows more than an inch or two.  So we were cozy and relaxed.

This year, my hill to die on is that since I'm not going to my mom's for TDay, I'm staying home.  Alone.  Doing what I want.  I alrady have multiple invites, and while my close friends get why I want to stay home, others think I'm nuts. I'm really not.  I will be working both black friday and the folllowing day, all day, so I want to stay home, cook something yummy for me, and watch football in my jammies.  I can't wait.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: HelenB on October 27, 2011, 09:22:17 AM
...
This year, my hill to die on is that since I'm not going to my mom's for TDay, I'm staying home.  Alone.  Doing what I want.  I alrady have multiple invites, and while my close friends get why I want to stay home, others think I'm nuts. I'm really not.  I will be working both black friday and the folllowing day, all day, so I want to stay home, cook something yummy for me, and watch football in my jammies.  I can't wait.

Just to let you know, I don't think you're nuts.  My first job was 600 miles away from my parents' home. That first Thanksgiving, I drove there all night Wednesday to be there. And it was the same ol' parents screaming at my sibling, someone stomps out in anger, everyone else watches football all weekend (not my thing).

The next year I just stayed home, and it was glorious.   Every year, someone would extend a pity invitation ("You just can't spend Thanksgiving alone!") but I turned them all down, and had Thanksgivings I was actually thankful for.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Miss March on October 27, 2011, 09:44:23 AM
We do the 'draw a name gift exchange' with my in-laws every Christmas. So we'll buy the gifts, wrap them up, and ship them to my in-law's house so that they can be opened by those people on Christmas Day. And every year - without fail- the people who drew our names will simply leave our gifts at our in-law's house so that we can 'pick them up the next time we visit' which may be months later.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: MindsEye on October 27, 2011, 09:48:11 AM
I thought of another holiday hill...   the gift exchange. 

Don't wanna do it. 

DH and I will still exchange gifts with each other.  DH and I will still get gifts for our parents. 

Everyone else?  Forget it.  I am tired of the stress of trying to pick out the 'perfect' thing, I am tired of the expectation that everyone has to get something from everyone else, I am tired of being handed wishlists, and I am tired of sending packages and receiving no thanks, I am just tired of it all.

If we decide to do any gifting beyond each other and our parents, we will give each family unit some kind of home made goodie - sweet chili sauce, marinara sauce, hot salsa, sweet pickles, etc... - from the produce from our garden this summer.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Ruelz on October 27, 2011, 11:02:55 AM
Some of your stories sound very familiar!
Mine came several years ago.  Long story short:

We always travelled home for Christmas (no one would travel to visit us).  At our last move (to our currrent location) we drove, with 3 kids, for 9 hours, to be on time for Christmas gift-opening. 

Keep in mind that leaving the acerage is also a big deal...I need to board the dogs, get a horse-sitter, worry about pipes freezing if it's -40C...etc.

One year we did our usual mad-rush, arrived on time (2:00 in the afternoon), to find out that FIL decided that the other 2 cousins just couldn't wait to open their Christmas presents (they live close by)!   My 3 kids were crushed that they 'missed' the present opening.

This year might be another hill...last year was a fiasco (regards to gift-giving)...so I think I will remove myself as much as possible from hubby's family.  He can look after them.  I will look after my side.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: kudeebee on October 27, 2011, 12:53:09 PM
We do the 'draw a name gift exchange' with my in-laws every Christmas. So we'll buy the gifts, wrap them up, and ship them to my in-law's house so that they can be opened by those people on Christmas Day. And every year - without fail- the people who drew our names will simply leave our gifts at our in-law's house so that we can 'pick them up the next time we visit' which may be months later.

I would opt out of the gift exchange if you are so far away that you can't be there and noone will ship your gifts to you. Seems like a lot of work and expense for nothing.  Use that money to go out and do something fun or buy an extra gift for yourselves.   If they draw names for you and email/call you with the info,  "We aren't doing the gift exchange anymore.  You will need to send out an email to find out who has our names and  give the names you drew for us to the them."  Repeat over and over and over.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Reader on October 27, 2011, 01:01:04 PM
Driving 3 hours to see Aunts and Uncles that never have come to visit me since I moved to my current city back in 1995.  (Both parents were deceased before I was 17) I have a dog and 2 cats which I have to board or get a sitter for, unless I can bring my dog which isn't always the case depending on who I stay with.  All my relatives know this and yet they have no contact with me over the year until about a week before Christmas and then starts the guilt trips to come down.  When I was younger and before I had the dog I would always go so I wouldn't have to be alone on the holidays.  Never made if for Thanksgiving because I always have to work the day after and I'm not driving a total of 6 hours just to have turkey.  This year I have decided to put my foot down and not go, especially after last year when I tried to contact my Aunt who used to have custody of me during my senior year in high school.  I had been told earlier the extended family was not getting together (division of loyalties since my Uncle S and Aunt M got divorced and she was spreading untrue rumors to cause the division a year prior).  Played phone tag with my Aunt till my last message went unanswered, and I still have not heard from her to this day.  Found out a few months later from Uncle S that the family did get together for Christmas I just wasn't notified this time  ???.  So thanks in part to this wonderful site I will be flexing my spine in case this year they try to run the guilt trip on me again.  I'd rather spend the holidays comfortable in my own home, with my fur babies, a few good movies, and some yummy food.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Zilla on October 27, 2011, 01:49:30 PM
Mine would be Christmas Morning.  It's private time for my girls and dh only.  No one else.  I have had many offers of breakfast, spend the night etc, nope and nope.

I got flamed for it but this is my hill.

Everything else is gravy.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Perfect Circle on October 27, 2011, 01:57:42 PM
Mine would be Christmas Morning.  It's private time for my girls and dh only.  No one else.  I have had many offers of breakfast, spend the night etc, nope and nope.

I got flamed for it but this is my hill.

Everything else is gravy.

That's the same for me too. That's exactly how I spend Christmas morning and as long as we are spending the day in our house, it's not changing.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: BeagleMommy on October 27, 2011, 02:31:01 PM
My hill is that no one is allowed to police what I eat.  FIL used to do this because he truly believed diabetics don't eat like everyone else  ::).  One aunt actually made me cry when I was younger.

My doctor has said he doesn't care what I eat during holidays or vacations because it's only once a year or so that I "cheat".  No one is going to tell me I can't have pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving or my mother's pressed cookies on Christmas.  Not happening.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: guihong on October 27, 2011, 02:39:27 PM
Mine is coming this year, for myself.

For 13 years, it's been plastic silverware and paper plates (the chinet kind) for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner.  Those plastic picnic cups, too.  I'm tired of that.  I want to use the china and crystal I inherited from my mother and that is still in boxes.  She died in 1996 :(.  I'll gladly wash every piece by hand (as she did).

Further, in order to use the china, we need to get to our dining room table, which is overrun by my son's Legos.  I want a real set dinner table, with cloth.  I don't want us serving ourselves out of pots on the stove or pulling turkey meat like hyenas.

And then, I don't want the dishes to be in the same old cardboard boxes stacked in our room.  I want a hutch, and/or sideboard for our dining room.  My mother had beautiful pieces-I want to show them off.  I guess it's Craigslist or estate sale time.

ETA: I think I love anna_garny's BIL.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Shea on October 27, 2011, 02:40:50 PM
Mine is no political talk, at least with my mom's side of the family. My grandfather is pretty far over to one end of the political spectrum, and is unfortunately the type of person who doesn't really think through his opinions, just has a sort of knee-jerk reaction to things and automatically believes whatever politicians and pundits on his side of the aisle say (I don't wish to imply that all people of this political persuasion are like that, it's just how he is. One of my uncles also leans that way, but he's informed about his opinions and you can have an intelligent, friendly debate with him). He will not tolerate any kind of dissent. The rest of us are on the opposite end of the spectrum, but we tend to be quiet about it, except for my mom, who is both politically opinionated and well-educated on most political topics. In years past, there would be at least one massive fight between Mom and Grandpa sometime during their Christmas visit, leading to hurt feelings and a whole lot of awkwardness.

In the last few years, I have developed many strategies to avoid this sort of situation, because I couldn't take it anymore. Fortunately Mom agrees with me and has managed to avoid reacting to Grandpa's more out-there comments (he's not racist or religiously bigoted or anything like that, which is good because I don't think I could ignore that). This Christmas, I am going to attempt to get into the TiVo and block access to a particular channel he likes to watch non-stop, which would definitely ease the tension. He's just as happy to watch sports anyway ;).
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: fluffy on October 27, 2011, 06:03:59 PM
Mine is no political talk, at least with my mom's side of the family. My grandfather is pretty far over to one end of the political spectrum, and is unfortunately the type of person who doesn't really think through his opinions, just has a sort of knee-jerk reaction to things and automatically believes whatever politicians and pundits on his side of the aisle say (I don't wish to imply that all people of this political persuasion are like that, it's just how he is. One of my uncles also leans that way, but he's informed about his opinions and you can have an intelligent, friendly debate with him). He will not tolerate any kind of dissent. The rest of us are on the opposite end of the spectrum, but we tend to be quiet about it, except for my mom, who is both politically opinionated and well-educated on most political topics. In years past, there would be at least one massive fight between Mom and Grandpa sometime during their Christmas visit, leading to hurt feelings and a whole lot of awkwardness.

In the last few years, I have developed many strategies to avoid this sort of situation, because I couldn't take it anymore. Fortunately Mom agrees with me and has managed to avoid reacting to Grandpa's more out-there comments (he's not racist or religiously bigoted or anything like that, which is good because I don't think I could ignore that). This Christmas, I am going to attempt to get into the TiVo and block access to a particular channel he likes to watch non-stop, which would definitely ease the tension. He's just as happy to watch sports anyway ;).

I have two relatives who are about as far apart from each other on the political spectrum as you can get. We've outlawed political talk at family gatherings, but these two always seem to manage to pick at least one political fight with each other. And then complain that the other one is unreasonable.  ::)

Last year, I changed the subject several times when they got into it and they both managed to bring things back to politics. Other family members actually commented that they were astounded by how dogged these two were in refusing to let me change the subject. 

This year, I will change the topic once. If they don't let it drop, I'm going to get up and walk out of the room. I love my family, but I think that I'll love them even more if I don't have to listen to them fight with each other.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: auntiem on October 27, 2011, 06:52:13 PM
Family Thankgiving was my first hill of my life actually. I had to learn how to not play the game "Outrage"tm.
The rules of "Outrage"tm : The following things are fair game 1) everyone at the adult's table 2) every event / past wrong (real and percieved) 3) religion (nearly every family group was a different religion or non-religion) 4) politics 5) scientific opinions 6) what you eat / don't eat. The person who wins is the person who riles up the most people - if you can rile the entire table and have someone stomp away from the table then you are an Outrage Master.
Now, I leaned to play from observing the adult's table from the kid's table and when I felt old enough I asked to sit at the adult's table. If you sat at the adult's table you could have wine. I quickly learned why. Regardless of my age (I think I was 14 at the time) I was a player in the game and I lost - badly.
It took years (and getting past teen hormones) but I finally patented my "I'm Switzerland" stand in the game. You can't win or lose a game you aren't participating in.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: SPuck on October 27, 2011, 08:19:42 PM
I have two relatives who are about as far apart from each other on the political spectrum as you can get. We've outlawed political talk at family gatherings, but these two always seem to manage to pick at least one political fight with each other. And then complain that the other one is unreasonable.  ::)

Last year, I changed the subject several times when they got into it and they both managed to bring things back to politics. Other family members actually commented that they were astounded by how dogged these two were in refusing to let me change the subject. 

This year, I will change the topic once. If they don't let it drop, I'm going to get up and walk out of the room. I love my family, but I think that I'll love them even more if I don't have to listen to them fight with each other.

My grandfather is like this though the only person who really riles him up is my dad's best friend, basically my dad's surrogate brother. One summer they left both of them alone with me, brother, and cousin (I think we were around ten at the time). I don't remember the argument but I do remember it was about 5 hours and went past sunset.

Anyway to stop the political shenanigans you don't change the subject you stop the subject. Use words like "you are ruining the holiday." At least thats what my mom does to get my grandpa to stop.

Mind you it doesn't help when other relatives purposely antagonize him.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: weeblewobble on October 28, 2011, 06:05:03 AM
I have two relatives who are about as far apart from each other on the political spectrum as you can get. We've outlawed political talk at family gatherings, but these two always seem to manage to pick at least one political fight with each other. And then complain that the other one is unreasonable.  ::)

Last year, I changed the subject several times when they got into it and they both managed to bring things back to politics. Other family members actually commented that they were astounded by how dogged these two were in refusing to let me change the subject. 

This year, I will change the topic once. If they don't let it drop, I'm going to get up and walk out of the room. I love my family, but I think that I'll love them even more if I don't have to listen to them fight with each other.

My grandfather is like this though the only person who really riles him up is my dad's best friend, basically my dad's surrogate brother. One summer they left both of them alone with me, brother, and cousin (I think we were around ten at the time). I don't remember the argument but I do remember it was about 5 hours and went past sunset.

Anyway to stop the political shenanigans you don't change the subject you stop the subject. Use words like "you are ruining the holiday." At least thats what my mom does to get my grandpa to stop.

Mind you it doesn't help when other relatives purposely antagonize him.

We have an Angry Uncle in my family who has extreme views about well... everything.  Religion, politics, sexuality, TV, gun control, international adoption, the recipe for Twinkie filling- any conversational topic can turn in to an all-out screaming rant.  The funny thing is, no one IS actually arguing with him.  We all learned a long time ago not to engage. But still, every holiday is marked by ranting and raving loud enough to wake sleeping babies three roooms away, before the pie can even be served. 

Last Thanksgiving I'd had enough. Uncle was yelling about education funding and I got up and left the dining room table in the middle of the meal to eat in the living room to eat with the kids.  He wasn't ranting at me, just his "general audience."  It was one of those weird, out of body moments where you haven't necessarily made a decision, but your limbs are moving you in a certain direction. I was just so tired of it and upset and frustrated, the next thing I knew, I was walking with a plate in my hands.

Was I rude? Possibly.  To be honest, Uncle barely noticed I left and as soon as I was settled at the kids table, started his education funding rant anew.  A few minutes later husband joined me in the living room, as did two aunts. If the meal had gone on longer, I think Uncle would have been the only person left at the table.

This year, we won't have to worry about it, as Angry Uncle has divorced out of the family. (A megathread unto itself.)
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: iradney on October 28, 2011, 08:42:37 AM
This is a possible future hill - Christmas dinner, we eat it together around a table. Currently our groundfloor apartment doesn't have any space for a dining room table, so we sit on the couch and precariously balance plates on our knees. Hopefully next year we'll have a proper house, and I would dearly like to be able to deck the table out with good china, cutlery, a posy of pretty flowers and sit around and eat. Even if it's just the two of us. And set up a christmas tree - we have one, but the aforementioned tiny apartment doesn't allow for it.

Oh, and if people want to drop by unannounced, they will be firmly and politely turned away. (FIL has a terrible habit of just showing up. Even 24 hours notice would be incredibly awesome).
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Thipu1 on October 28, 2011, 09:41:15 AM
A possibility for the Christmas Tree.

I assume it's artificial. If so, does it come in parts?  Would it be possible to set up the top section as a small table tree?  We've done that when space or time is tight.  It's not a perfect solution but it does make the place feel like Christmas.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Scritzy on October 28, 2011, 09:53:26 AM
My hill to die on is Thanksgiving. I'm spending it at the beach. It had been Chip's and my tradition since 2000, and when Chip and I split up, I decided something had to go normal in my life. So last year I went alone for the first time and survived it quite well, thank you. I'm looking forward to this year.

Every year Mother has tried to guilt me out of going. The upshot is, she doesn't want to have Thanksgiving with my sister and Sissie's in-laws, but she doesn't want to say no to my sister, either. So she expects ME (and before the split, me and Chip) to drop our tradition and either come eat with Sissie (and I won't because I can't stand her SIL) or let Mother cook us a big Thanksgiving dinner (which she is no longer able to do).

So sorry, Mother, I'm going to the beach and will continue to do so every Thanksgiving that God lets me live.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Kimblee on October 28, 2011, 10:11:05 AM
I have two relatives who are about as far apart from each other on the political spectrum as you can get. We've outlawed political talk at family gatherings, but these two always seem to manage to pick at least one political fight with each other. And then complain that the other one is unreasonable.  ::)

Last year, I changed the subject several times when they got into it and they both managed to bring things back to politics. Other family members actually commented that they were astounded by how dogged these two were in refusing to let me change the subject. 

This year, I will change the topic once. If they don't let it drop, I'm going to get up and walk out of the room. I love my family, but I think that I'll love them even more if I don't have to listen to them fight with each other.

My grandfather is like this though the only person who really riles him up is my dad's best friend, basically my dad's surrogate brother. One summer they left both of them alone with me, brother, and cousin (I think we were around ten at the time). I don't remember the argument but I do remember it was about 5 hours and went past sunset.

Anyway to stop the political shenanigans you don't change the subject you stop the subject. Use words like "you are ruining the holiday." At least thats what my mom does to get my grandpa to stop.

Mind you it doesn't help when other relatives purposely antagonize him.

We have an uncle who is like this. But he'll argue with anyone about anything. But there's an easy way to shut it down... get a kid to demand his attention. He's a sucker for little ones and their presence magically softens his tone.

Thankfully he's also great with kids so they flock to him. Its a family joke that "Uncle A is getting loud... Hey BabyCousin, Uncle has a cupcake for you, go get a bite!"
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: pierrotlunaire0 on October 28, 2011, 10:23:09 AM
Family Thankgiving was my first hill of my life actually. I had to learn how to not play the game "Outrage"tm.
The rules of "Outrage"tm : The following things are fair game 1) everyone at the adult's table 2) every event / past wrong (real and percieved) 3) religion (nearly every family group was a different religion or non-religion) 4) politics 5) scientific opinions 6) what you eat / don't eat. The person who wins is the person who riles up the most people - if you can rile the entire table and have someone stomp away from the table then you are an Outrage Master.
Now, I leaned to play from observing the adult's table from the kid's table and when I felt old enough I asked to sit at the adult's table. If you sat at the adult's table you could have wine. I quickly learned why. Regardless of my age (I think I was 14 at the time) I was a player in the game and I lost - badly.
It took years (and getting past teen hormones) but I finally patented my "I'm Switzerland" stand in the game. You can't win or lose a game you aren't participating in.

This is priceless.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Xallanthia on October 28, 2011, 11:10:09 AM
A possibility for the Christmas Tree.

I assume it's artificial. If so, does it come in parts?  Would it be possible to set up the top section as a small table tree?  We've done that when space or time is tight.  It's not a perfect solution but it does make the place feel like Christmas.

It's hard to set up just part of an artificial tree, the way they come together.

That doesn't rule out a small tree, though.  My artificial tree is 3' tall and cost $10.  Perfect for tiny apartments.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Xallanthia on October 28, 2011, 11:13:31 AM
My "hill" has so far not been argued by family: I will spend Christmas at my own church.  This means that whatever family we live closer to, within a reasonable drive (not requiring overnight stay) will have DH and me for Christmas.  End of story.

It was DH's family for the first three years of our marriage.  It was my family last year and will be my family this year.  In the future, it may be neither!
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: SPuck on October 28, 2011, 12:14:28 PM
My grandmother had a foot tall Christmas tree/direction that she used for years. My mom had the artificial tree for years when she was younger, and getting a real tree was her hill to die on after she married my dad. They tried getting a potted tree a few years ago to off set the price of buying a tree, but it died.  ::)
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: iradney on October 28, 2011, 12:39:13 PM
Our tree is about 2 foot tall, so it's not ginormous. And I would love to set it up, but we literally have no counter space to put it (the kitchen is titchy tiny. Hubster and I have to do a dance routine to be in the kitchen at the same time), and anywhere we put it on the floor will be in the way. And we don't even have that much stuff :( So this time next year, new house, the tree is going up! :)
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Glaceon on October 28, 2011, 12:53:45 PM
My hill has been "no running around on Christmas."  We go to my mom's in the late morning/afternoon but she lives in the same area.  If we lived further apart we'd stay home all day. Luckily I haven't had to die on it because my parents instituted it back when I was a kid so they get it.  And my inlaws have been ten hours from their own families for thirty years so they're used to nontraditional or flexible holidays.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: veryfluffy on October 28, 2011, 01:19:14 PM
Our tree is about 2 foot tall, so it's not ginormous. And I would love to set it up, but we literally have no counter space to put it (the kitchen is titchy tiny. Hubster and I have to do a dance routine to be in the kitchen at the same time), and anywhere we put it on the floor will be in the way. And we don't even have that much stuff :( So this time next year, new house, the tree is going up! :)


Ah, but why does the tree need to stand on the floor, or the counter? A solution can be found on the ceiling...

http://www.westendevents.co.uk/john-lewis-introduces-upside-down-christmas-tree-category-1185898982.html
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Nora on October 28, 2011, 05:42:01 PM
Family Thankgiving was my first hill of my life actually. I had to learn how to not play the game "Outrage"tm.
The rules of "Outrage"tm : The following things are fair game 1) everyone at the adult's table 2) every event / past wrong (real and percieved) 3) religion (nearly every family group was a different religion or non-religion) 4) politics 5) scientific opinions 6) what you eat / don't eat. The person who wins is the person who riles up the most people - if you can rile the entire table and have someone stomp away from the table then you are an Outrage Master.
Now, I leaned to play from observing the adult's table from the kid's table and when I felt old enough I asked to sit at the adult's table. If you sat at the adult's table you could have wine. I quickly learned why. Regardless of my age (I think I was 14 at the time) I was a player in the game and I lost - badly.
It took years (and getting past teen hormones) but I finally patented my "I'm Switzerland" stand in the game. You can't win or lose a game you aren't participating in.

This is priceless.

And so very painfully true!
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: missmolly on October 28, 2011, 06:06:55 PM
Mine is that I will only attend one mass at Christmas time. My mother used to make us go on Christmas Eve, as well as 10am the next day. Last year I attended midnight mass by myself after watching Carols by Candlelight and wrapping presents. I was a little tired the next morning but I still found it a lot more practical than going to church Christmas morning and then scrambling to get everything ready to head over to my aunt's house.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: poundcake on October 29, 2011, 02:28:13 PM
I'm in the same boat with those of you who want to have a nice meal, eaten on real china, with real cutlery, and no plastic anything. I'm fine with doing all of the set-up and clean-up and wash-up, and I don't care that it's "so much work." We have that plastic garbage for summer BBQs and birthdays and every other possible occasion. Let's let Thanksgiving and Christmas be special.

My biggest issue is the meal itself. Both my husband and I love to cook, and we're good at it, mostly because our families hate to cook and stink at it. So we want to have a nice sit-down holiday dinner with conversation and leisurely second helpings. We like to try new recipes and have different courses. My family, however, is of the "pile it on your plate and gobble it down as fast as you can" variety, so before we'd even finished bringing things to the table, my mother and grandma were already clearing things and doing dishes. This made our other guests very uncomfortable, too, like they shouldn't be finishing their own meals, but should be helping my eighty-year-old grandma in the kitchen. Finally, after jokes, polite requests and anger, I put my foot down: yes, I appreciate that you want to be helpful, but sit at the table until we're all finished eating the holiday meal! The dishes will be there in a half-hour.

I swear, it nearly kills my mother every year.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Lorelei_Evil on October 29, 2011, 02:35:27 PM
Oh, I HATE that!  We do a lot of clean up as you go so we can have a nice long leisurely dinner.

My hill?  Please turn off the television during the meal.  I want to hear what people have to say.  I'll DVR the game, even the movie you've seen eleventy times so you can watch it AFTER we eat.  After. 
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: weeblewobble on October 29, 2011, 04:30:01 PM
Oh, I forgot one.  I'll supervise MY kids during the meal, but not yours.

My inlaws divide the family into smaller groups to make dining space more manageable. About eight people can fit around the dining room table.  Everybody else is situated at smaller card tables spread through the living room and den. The first few years after we had DD, MIL would always put the special Disney place settings out for DD and her second cousin and let the moms put them wherever we planned on sitting. There weren't enough kids for a kids table.  Second Cousin is a loud, rambunctious kid who is really hard to manage at the table.  When DD was 2-4, Second Cousin's mom would watch where I put my place setting and DD's, put Second Cousin's at that table, and then fix her plate and sit at a table far away, so I ended up managing her kid.  DH tried to help, but it always ended up being a divide and conquer thing. He took DD, I ended up with Second Cousin.

I finally figured out that I had to wait until Second Cousin and Mom went through the buffet line and seated themselves, then get our plates and sit somewhere else.  It sounds petty, but it's really cut down on my stress and resentment.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: auntiem on October 29, 2011, 04:52:00 PM
Family Thankgiving was my first hill of my life actually. I had to learn how to not play the game "Outrage"tm.
The rules of "Outrage"tm : The following things are fair game 1) everyone at the adult's table 2) every event / past wrong (real and percieved) 3) religion (nearly every family group was a different religion or non-religion) 4) politics 5) scientific opinions 6) what you eat / don't eat. The person who wins is the person who riles up the most people - if you can rile the entire table and have someone stomp away from the table then you are an Outrage Master.
Now, I leaned to play from observing the adult's table from the kid's table and when I felt old enough I asked to sit at the adult's table. If you sat at the adult's table you could have wine. I quickly learned why. Regardless of my age (I think I was 14 at the time) I was a player in the game and I lost - badly.
It took years (and getting past teen hormones) but I finally patented my "I'm Switzerland" stand in the game. You can't win or lose a game you aren't participating in.

This is priceless.

And so very painfully true!
Don't get me wrong, I was no angel the second year. I pulled off an Outragetm hat trick (with an assist from an Outrage Master) - I could have been a contender as they say. You had to prove you could play the game to be let out of it.
Any wonder why my Thanksgiving mantra is "Open the wine. Open it early. Open a lot."
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Gumbysqueak on October 29, 2011, 05:24:37 PM
Marriage was my hill to die on. Thanksgiving.  Growing up, our family has huge (think 30 relatives) family Thanksgiving dinner.  It was great fun.  DH's Jewish family has their once a year celebration on Thanksgiving.  Family fly in from all over the country. 

No more maternal family thanksgiving, but a wonderful new family celebration.  It works out perfect, Thanksgiving with Dh's family and Christmas with mine. 

Sometimes the Hill to Die On is a blessing.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Dindrane on October 29, 2011, 06:21:19 PM
I may be approaching one after this Christmas.  The trick is that if things go the way I'm afraid they will, it will be such a gradual process that I might have a very hard time resisting the trend without looking overly sensitive and like the resident family killjoy.

Basically, I live on one coast, my brother lives on the other, and my sister and parents live in the middle of the country.  My mom's family also mostly lives in the same area my parents live in, so family gatherings when I was growing up were always very large.  My dad's family is not close, so we only spent a handful of holidays with them.  My personal ideal is to spend holidays with my parents where they live, because that way I get to see my aunts and uncles and cousins, and because for me, that's a traditional holiday (no matter what we actually end up doing).

Last year, my parents and sister decided to visit my brother for Christmas, because he lives in a part of the country that is pretty spectacular in the winter.  I decided to visit as well, because I couldn't resist the chance to see all of my immediate family at once, and because my parents offered to pay for my and my husband's airfare as our Christmas presents.  It was fun, but the travel was difficult (they live in a small town, and the winter weather made a long and challenging trip that much more complex), and we basically had a SIL Family Christmas.  Despite the fact that my family outnumbered hers (even with her parents, who live in the area), her family's traditions were the ones that held sway.

As a sometimes thing, I wouldn't mind all of that.  It was fun, but at the same time, I don't want to do it every year.  I want to celebrate my own family's traditions, I want to have actual Christmas presents and not just airfare (and I can't afford the airfare on my own), and I want to see my extended family.  On top of that, I do have a husband and his family and his traditions to consider, and Christmas is the one holiday that both of our families celebrate (he is not American, so Thanksgiving is pretty much whatever I want to do).

But it's beginning to sound like my brother and SIL expect us to visit them every year.  They don't like the weather where my parents live for Christmas (understandable, since it's sometimes actually hot), and now that they have a baby daughter, I'm sure travel will be that much more difficult for them.  But I swear, if it starts to become the My Family "thing" to visit my brother and have a SIL Family Christmas, that will become my hill to die on.  And whether I choose to participate in that style Christmas or not, I will resent the heck out of everyone for making me choose between the traditions I value and seeing my actual family.

Of course, you have to add in the fact that my brother and I both moved away from my parents' city 4 years ago, and I have visited him 4 times.  He's never once visited me.  My sister has never visited me.  My parents do visit, but not as often as they visit my brother.  I know the reason is because I have a one-bedroom apartment, so visiting me is a lot more expensive than visiting my brother (he owns a house with extra bedrooms).  But no matter how logical that argument, it still hurts that because I have less money than my brother (basically), I'm always the one who has to travel.  Having to give up my holiday traditions on top of that is just too much.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: doodlemor on October 29, 2011, 09:03:44 PM
Oh, I forgot one.  I'll supervise MY kids during the meal, but not yours.

My inlaws divide the family into smaller groups to make dining space more manageable. About eight people can fit around the dining room table.  Everybody else is situated at smaller card tables spread through the living room and den. The first few years after we had DD, MIL would always put the special Disney place settings out for DD and her second cousin and let the moms put them wherever we planned on sitting. There weren't enough kids for a kids table.  Second Cousin is a loud, rambunctious kid who is really hard to manage at the table.  When DD was 2-4, Second Cousin's mom would watch where I put my place setting and DD's, put Second Cousin's at that table, and then fix her plate and sit at a table far away, so I ended up managing her kid.  DH tried to help, but it always ended up being a divide and conquer thing. He took DD, I ended up with Second Cousin.

I finally figured out that I had to wait until Second Cousin and Mom went through the buffet line and seated themselves, then get our plates and sit somewhere else.  It sounds petty, but it's really cut down on my stress and resentment.

You are not being petty, weeblewobble, you are outsmarting the entitled mom. 

You are under no obligation to care for an extra child during a holiday meal.  If you get roped in again I think that you just need to go tell her politely that the seating arrangement needs to be changed, because her child doesn't respond well to you.  [She apparently plotted this in the first place, she may be plotting again for this year.]
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: cocacola35 on October 30, 2011, 11:27:01 AM
Our "hill" was the family gift-exchange.  For the past few years, our in-laws would draw names so each person would supposedly have to only get one gift- however most of the people involved here were SIL's family.  We get along with most of them okay, but everyone only sees each other twice a year at most so getting a gift for someone here was hit or miss.  DH and I would always get presents for his immediate family and SIL's two small nieces regardless of who we chose.  On top of that, we had the added stress (and scrounging for extra finances) of getting a couple more gifts for people we didn't really know.  Both DH and I hated this but didn't know how to get out of it.

For a couple years, my parents had been coming with us to DH's family for Christmas.  This worked out beautifully.  However the next year, SIL called me and asked if my parents wanted to be involved in the gift exchange.  I told her (knowing how my parents felt) that they didn't want to be a part of it and just enjoyed spending time with everyone.  I told her to that while we were talking about it that DH and I really didn't want to be involved with the gift exchange this year and to please take our names out of the drawing.  SIL accepted this gracefully and we hung up.  A few weeks later, DH informed me that apparently he and I started a new trend: it turned out that most everyone else felt the same way we did about the gift exchange and they decided to get rid of it all together!     

Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Danismom on October 30, 2011, 03:29:20 PM
Our hill has been Christmas morning at home.  Growing up, my parents were divorced and my dad remarried my SM when I was still in elementary school.  My mom's family celebrated Christmas on Christmas eve since my grandfather's birthday was Christmas day.  That meant that mom's family had gift exchange and snacks Christmas eve followed by the big Christmas dinner on Christmas day.  We lived within 15 minutes (all of the family did) so travel wasn't a problem.  Dad's family lived 30 minutes away and SM's family was about 45 minutes.  Dad's family did their celebration on Christmas late afternoon which wasn't a problem as mom's family did theirs for lunch.  SM's family did Christmas eve though which caused a lot of friction.  Truthfully, I never liked SM (who passed away last year) so I was happy to get out of her family's gatherings in favor of going to my mom's.  That was my first experience with a hill.  I wanted to be with mom's family and stood firm on it.

When I married, things got hairier.  DH's family lives 2 hours away from mom's family and also about 2 hours away from Dad's.  We live just 20 minutes from DH's family.  My mom's parents died over 10 years ago and mom and my aunts decided to consolidate the activities to lunch on Christmas day followed by gift exchange.  DH's family seems to change what they want from year to year and I'm never sure what is expected very far in advance.  Last year, DH's family was insistent on getting together on Christmas eve in the evening.  We stood firm that we would be attending services at our church and we could either get together before or after that.  There was some pushback but it wasn't too bad.

We are clear with everyone that we will not be traveling all over creation on Christmas day.  We want to enjoy our children on Christmas morning without being rushed.  My mom died 4 years ago and one of my aunts insists on doing Christmas on Christmas day.  That means we may not get to enjoy time with my aunts.  Everyone knows they are welcome to come to brunch on Christmas day at our house if they'd like.  My dad usually comes which is awesome.  I just wish the rest of the family would be more flexible about the entire family gathering time.  But I'm my mother's only child.  Aunt that is insistent about the gathering being on Christmas day has 2 sons, 1 of whom is married with 2 children.  I'm sad that we won't get to see everyone for the holiday but it just isn't possible this year.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: GreenEyedHawk on October 30, 2011, 05:24:56 PM
I have a feeling mine's coming up this Christmas.  I've mentioned my sister before, her bad attitude and how bad she is at accepting gifts without complaining/criticising.  I saw her at Thanksgiving dinner earlier this month (I'm Canadian, Thanksgiving is in October here) and the first words out of her mouth were, "Don't you own ANY nice clothes?"  I didn't bother to answer; I didn't want to start a fight at my aunt's house before I'd even taken my shoes off. (For the record, I was wearing clean black jeans, no rips or tears, and a clean, plain t-shirt with no logos or anything offensive on it.  And believe me, I own some OFFENSIVE t-shirts.  I admit, not the fanciest outfit, but it's what I have and it's how I'm comfortable.)

However, I've decided that wherever Christmas dinner is, if she says one rude thing to me...ONE...I'm getting up and leaving.  I'm done putting up with her *censored*.  And if anyone asks why I left, she can explain it.  If I end up leaving, fine.  I'll come home to my house and do what I want, which will probably be napping, drinking wine, and playing with my dogs out in the snow. 
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: LilacGirl1983 on October 30, 2011, 06:21:01 PM
My hill to die on was when my daughter was born. Previously we went to my mom's Christmas eve night and spent the night. Then Christmas day we opened gifts and had breakfast. It was always crunched since I used my old bedroom which had a twin bed so one of us was stuck on the bed and one was on the air mattress. We told my mom that when our daughter was born we would come Christmas morning after we opened our own gifts. There was a lot of guilt trips and I just kept explaining its time to start our own tradition. She finally accepted it. We now go to my mom's in the morning. We go to my husband's dad's house in the afternoon. It gets to be a bit much but with just one kid and everything within a 15 minute drive we can't complain to much ^_^
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: snowdragon on October 31, 2011, 01:20:33 PM
The turkey became my hill to die on one Thanksgiving.   

 The first year I was married to my exDH, we invited the whole family and SOs to Thanksgiving as our home was by far the largest and most centrally located.   I was looking forward to it as I didn't know my in-laws well.  We had dated and married on the opposite side of the country.   My BIL was bringing his long term girlfriend, whom I had never met.  I was informed well ahead of time that she was a vegetarian, and had planned a meatless entree in addition to the bird.   In addition, all of the sides were meatless.

The evening before Thanksgiving I received a call from the GF, informing me that because she was vegetarian I could not serve a turkey at all.  She went on to say that she was afraid the "family" had forgotten to tell me that meat was not allowed at any function she attended.    I was sort of startled by this, but did tell her that we were definitely having a turkey, but that I was also preparing a vegetarian option.  She said that it "wouldn't do" so she was going to call MIL... and she did.   MIL called me and I learned that the family had acquiesced to this demand for several years, despite that fact that they were all meat-eaters, and admitted to missing the turkey/goose/ham, etc. on holidays.    My MIL never asked me not to serve the turkey, but did say that this was very important to GF.   I was not willing to give up that turkey (thawed and ready to go), so I had my then-DH call his brother and tell him that the menu was not changing, and we would understand if they didn't come, but they were still very welcome.   BIL and GF didn't come to the meal and actually broke up a short time later.  ILs attended many more holiday meals at our home until we split, and always seemed to enjoy the food.     I've always wondered if I was the family's way of getting their bird back? 

We've had something similar happen in my family.  Im not a vegetarian, nor are any of my immediate family members.  After about 6 months of doing "meatless Mondays" and my discovery of a powdered veggie boullion, I'm now comfortable making vegetarian meals.  Vegan, on the other hand, I'm not set up to do nor am I comfortable doing.  Same with most of the "whatever" free, like gluten or casein or nut free, as I know that I personally can't guarantee that a particle of "allergen/item" is not in the food, and I know that is very important. 

If I invite people over for a holiday (may be doing that this year) or party, then I get to pick the menu.  If someone lets me know about an allergy or intolerance or other food issue, I will figure something out, but if someone tries to dictate the menu... nope.  Not in my house, thank you very much!


Tai,, I've been trying to read the archives and just ran across that epic last week, is she still with you brother? How do you handle now, if she is?

This would so be my hill to die ~ I love my turkey.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: snowdragon on October 31, 2011, 01:23:51 PM
...
This year, my hill to die on is that since I'm not going to my mom's for TDay, I'm staying home.  Alone.  Doing what I want.  I alrady have multiple invites, and while my close friends get why I want to stay home, others think I'm nuts. I'm really not.  I will be working both black friday and the folllowing day, all day, so I want to stay home, cook something yummy for me, and watch football in my jammies.  I can't wait.

Just to let you know, I don't think you're nuts.  My first job was 600 miles away from my parents' home. That first Thanksgiving, I drove there all night Wednesday to be there. And it was the same ol' parents screaming at my sibling, someone stomps out in anger, everyone else watches football all weekend (not my thing).

  I don't think you're nuts either - I've skipped easter dinner because my family is nuts , many folks would be comfortable with their loud conversation and play arguing - I am not,,and I don't see the "fun" in mocking those you love, they do.  I live with my mom, she hosts family dinners, I have stayed in the basement all day more than once to avoid these dinners.

The next year I just stayed home, and it was glorious.   Every year, someone would extend a pity invitation ("You just can't spend Thanksgiving alone!") but I turned them all down, and had Thanksgivings I was actually thankful for.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: GreenEyedHawk on October 31, 2011, 07:29:06 PM
One of my friends once up and took a trip to Mexico over Christmas, all by herself.  She said it was the most liberating and peaceful holiday ever.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: gingerzing on November 01, 2011, 09:14:59 AM

My hill?  Please turn off the television during the meal.  I want to hear what people have to say.  I'll DVR the game, even the movie you've seen eleventy times so you can watch it AFTER we eat.  After.

Heh.  I just remembered a year that my grandmother didn't even bother with the PLEASE.  There was a group of people in the living room watching the game.  (I think this was the day after Thanksgiving, so Texas/Texas A&M) and she had called everyone in for dinner.  None of the football watchers moved.  My grandmother walked calmly out to the living room and turned off the TV mid-play and said mildly, "Dinner" with the LOOK.  Not one person muttered and dinner was served.    She was a force of nature.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Nora on November 01, 2011, 11:31:48 AM

My hill?  Please turn off the television during the meal.  I want to hear what people have to say.  I'll DVR the game, even the movie you've seen eleventy times so you can watch it AFTER we eat.  After.

Heh.  I just remembered a year that my grandmother didn't even bother with the PLEASE.  There was a group of people in the living room watching the game.  (I think this was the day after Thanksgiving, so Texas/Texas A&M) and she had called everyone in for dinner.  None of the football watchers moved.  My grandmother walked calmly out to the living room and turned off the TV mid-play and said mildly, "Dinner" with the LOOK.  Not one person muttered and dinner was served.    She was a force of nature.

BTDT. Prying people from the tv around dinnertime is always my job. My mom says I have a special ability to convey how mad I might get if you don't listen when I say it is time to eat. Comes from working really hard to time all the components to be done at the same time, well spiced and hot. For it to sit there and congeal because of tv makes me absolutely furious.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on November 01, 2011, 11:46:35 AM
Thankfully with DH's family there isn't a real need for "hills to die on" but when we were still speaking to my family and spending Tgiving with my dad's side of the family every other year, there was one year that gave me a "hill to die on."

BG: For years my grandparents always hosted Tgiving but when they both ended up going into a facility and sold their house, that wasn't possible so other family members had to host, which wasn't much of a problem until 2008.   Which is the year that everyone waited until practically the week before to decide who would be hosting the dinner. 

Now most of my dad's side of the family lives at least 3 hours away, and I was working and would not have Black Friday off.  And since everyone dragged their heels making the decision, everyone else at work who had the time to take the day off had already asked off so I would have to be working on Black Friday.  As it turned out, my dad's twin brother and his wife, who live in northern PA, decided to host it so it meant 2 1/2 hours drive up the day of Tgiving and the same distance back that same night so we were thinking of saying "Sorry everyone, we'll be eating with DH's family this year."

But as it happened I ended up getting laid off just before TGiving so we could go after all and stay for Black Friday.   I decided from then on that if no one told us prior to November 1st, we'd be eating with the IL's who lived 15 minutes away from us.    Ironically I ended up cutting off my parents and haven't been part of Tgiving with that side of the family since.  We do both Tgiving and Christmas with DH's family every year and it's wonderful.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: magician5 on November 01, 2011, 03:28:22 PM
Hill to die on? Yeah ... and I died.

Until about 8 years ago, it was mandatory ... we HAD to go on the 4-hour drive to be at my wife's childhood home with her family ON CHRISTMAS DAY. It did no good to point at the radio and say "see, they're playing 'It's So Nice to Be Home For The Holidays', we're married with 2 children, so why can't we be home?"

My FIL had been trading on his frail health for years ... can't upset or worry 'The Holy Father' 'cause he has a heart condition and he might diiiiieeee. That led to a few instances (it wasn't constant, but it was repeated) of him running roughshod over boundaries, and you can't tell him 'no' because he might diiiiieeee. I couldn't even disagree with the old so-and-so without a kneejerk screaming session from my wife because he might get upset and diiiiieeee. I never got her to understand that gentlemen of good character may disagree on occasion. I never got her to understand that I didn't hate my FIL (even though neither he nor I went with the women to late Christmas Eve church, and we would chat away the evening and he confided numerous things about his health and his history that he had never told anyone else in the family).

I never once got to have Christmas at home because he'd get upset if he didn't see the children come running down the stairs to tear into presents. I never once saw that at my house. Not that I wanted it that badly, I just wanted to come FIRST for once in my marriage. Until I had a stroke 10 years ago plus 'The Holy Father' finally dropped the other shoe and diiiiieeeed. Then we agreed that, between my disability and my attitude, we could stay home on The Big Day and they could go without me on the following weekend.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Luci on November 01, 2011, 04:26:50 PM
We pulled that off by going to my husband's hosting for Christmas eve then traveling 5 hours on Christmas day, visiting 3 groups of realtives for about an hour each, then driving an hour north to spend the night at my dad's and having Christmas dinner the 26th with my family, then coming home that night. That slowed down after the southernmost relative died, my maternal grandmother who only had one child, deceased.

The way we managed the children's Christmas gifts and playing with the new toys was simply asking Santa to come a day early. We got away with it.

Oh yes, the weekend before Christmas (usually near the 15th) we traveled to visit husband's extended family about 5 hours away - round trip in one long day. Did this for only a few years, but we were young and wouldn't trade those memories for the world.

Most importantly, my husband really liked to drive. A couple of years snow made it kind of dicey, but we managed, thank goodness. Also, we all get along really well, so there is never all that family angst that so many of you post about.

I truly understand why so many of you want just a quiet nuclear family or private day at home on these traditionally "family" days. It really gets me down from time to time so I know why you make it your hill. I imagine I will have alone days in the future, and be glad of it. Sometimes we sort of wished for that, but we didn't hate it enough to make a big deal out of it.

Now, fortunantly, the only hill for me is not drawing names, and we even have convinced one family we visit not to have the grab bag. I HATE that! One year we didn't know the oldest grandchildren were going to participate and he ended up with a whiskey flask.......his grandpa traded with him.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Miss Misha on November 01, 2011, 05:21:45 PM
<snip>
ETA: I think I love anna_garny's BIL.

Me too.  Does he have a girlfriend?   ;D ;D ;D

I have two major hills this holiday season.  Hill #1:

Mr.#2's family is heeeeuuuuyyyyge and they get together and insist we come on every holiday, semi-holiday and non-holiday.  And every occasion has the same script: 

Everyone arrives at least 1/2 hour late. 

Hors d'ouevres are served and too many are eaten, so no one is hungry for dinner.  Bonus points if there are no vegetarian options.

Dinner is served two hours into the party, and is lukewarm.  No one has a table large enough to fit us all, so seating is catch as catch can.  No one cares because they're all too full from too many hors d'ouevres.  Except for the vegetarians, who are bravely eating the lukewarm side dishes and filling up on bread.  (For those of you playing along at home, repeated offers to bring a vegetarian dish to share have been turned down.)

Dessert is served and someone objects to the whipped cream/pie/frosting/napkin colors.   ::)

Wives, mothers and aunts trample each other in too-small kitchen to clean up.  Men folk wander off and do not help.  Kids wander off and play.

Uncle B. starts to rant about latest political scandal/minority group/the price of tea in China.

Uncle K. puts on loud music to drown him out.  It's usually greatest hits of the 80s. 

Uncle B., who just *has* to be the center of attention, asks various aunts to dance.  Some say yes, some say no.
When he runs out of aunts, he dances in the center of the room while others jeer at him (He's not even drunk! He doesn't drink!  I wish that was his excuse!  :P)
I look pointedly at my watch and then Mr. #2, repeatedly.  Nevertheless, we never leave before midnight.

This happens to.the.letter.  Every.time. This year I got a bye because Great-niece is turning 1 the Sunday before Thanksgiving and Jr. and I are flying to Niece's house to celebrate and stay for Thanksgiving.  But I really, really, really don't want to do this for the December holidays.  The problem is too many hurt feelings if we don't go at all or if we go Christmas Eve and not Christmas Night or some other reduced combination.  I may get a week long sickness called aversiontolargeloudfamilyholiday.

Still with me?   :D  Second hill:

My mother has always been, er, um, well, difficult.  She has a hair trigger temper and looks to take offense where none is meant.  She is entitled and diety forbid, never wrong.  The stories I could tell would fill up any remaining bandwidth on eHell's server, trust me. ::)  She also has begun to slip into senior dementia.  Big time.  Because my only remaining sibling lives out of state, helping Mom has fallen to me.  But she doesn't want help.  She wants to belittle, yell at and argue with me, then 10 minutes later forget that she was belittling, yelling and arguing with me.  And then start the cycle all over again.  I really, really, really don't want to have her over for Christmas Day (before we go to Mr.#2's family).  Yes, I'm a bad daughter.


Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Chivewarrior on November 01, 2011, 08:27:43 PM
No, Miss Misha, you're not a bad daughter. You're someone who has toxic-sounding family-- and it's not a bad thing to cut off toxic family or insist that they treat you well. If they're not even feeding you adequately not going sounds entirely reasonable.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: doodlemor on November 01, 2011, 09:24:33 PM
Miss Misha, you're not a bad daughter.  You are someone doing her best in a difficult situation.  It is very difficult to be a care taker to a mother with dementia - I know.

PS Is there any chance that your mother still likes to dance?
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Lovemykids on November 02, 2011, 05:38:24 AM
I never once got to have Christmas at home because he'd get upset if he didn't see the children come running down the stairs to tear into presents. I never once saw that at my house. Not that I wanted it that badly, I just wanted to come FIRST for once in my marriage. Until I had a stroke 10 years ago plus 'The Holy Father' finally dropped the other shoe and diiiiieeeed. Then we agreed that, between my disability and my attitude, we could stay home on The Big Day and they could go without me on the following weekend.

I'm sorry to hear your FIL died, but -- you had to have a STROKE to get to stay home on Christmas?  Man.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Luci on November 02, 2011, 06:21:53 AM
I do remember my other hill to die on. When I host or at least provide the place for the event, I emphatically will use china or at least Corelle, silver or stainless flatware, cloth napkins and tablecloths.

We are providing the place for about 40 for pre-Thanksgiving dinner. I am doing very little cooking and am not able to do heavy cleaning because the recovery from my back surgery is not complete, but I can decorate, dust, vacuum, clean the bathrooms, and set tables that have been set up for me, and spend three or four days cleaning up and doing laundry. I enjoy doing it even if I have little stamina right now. 

We only use paper and plastic at the campground, and even then only for groups larger than seven.

Lots of people hate this aspect of entertaining. and when I visit them, all I ask expect is enough food and clean bathrooms.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Klein Bottle on November 02, 2011, 12:12:11 PM
Magician 5, I am sorry for the loss of your FIL, and sorry you had a stroke, but the way you wrote that was hilarious!  "Diiiiieeeee". 

Misha, you need to capture phone video of your Uncle dancing alone.  Since he seems to love 80s hits, bonus poits if you can get him dancing to Billy Idol's "Dancing With Myself."    ;D  Our family seems to have such...staid holidays anymore, and I miss stuff like this. 

(Well, there was a little 'excitement" last year, when BIL & SIL made their extended stay, but that was a one-off.)
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: HelenB on November 02, 2011, 12:26:51 PM
Turns out to be easier than I thought. There was a major screaming match between members of the family, and Christmas is cancelled this year!
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Miss Misha on November 02, 2011, 12:52:06 PM
Miss Misha, you're not a bad daughter.  You are someone doing her best in a difficult situation.  It is very difficult to be a care taker to a mother with dementia - I know.

PS Is there any chance that your mother still likes to dance?

Ok, Doodlmor, now my fellow cube farm inhabitants are wondering why I'm laughing so hard!!!!  :D :D :D

<snip>Misha, you need to capture phone video of your Uncle dancing alone.  Since he seems to love 80s hits, bonus poits if you can get him dancing to Billy Idol's "Dancing With Myself."    ;D  Our family seems to have such...staid holidays anymore, and I miss stuff like this.  <snip>

2LittleYorkies, I'm soooooo going to download that and give it to Uncle for "dance time".
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Outdoor Girl on November 02, 2011, 01:29:29 PM
My hill is upcoming in a few years (hopefully quite a few!)

My Mom passed 8 years ago.  My Dad is now 77.  There is only my brother and I.  My brother is married with two sons, 17 and 19.  I'm single.

Right now, we get together at my brother's house or my Dad's for most of the major holidays.  No matter where we are, I'm coordinating the cooking.  I get help with all the prep work but I'm the one cooking the turkey and doing the gravy and so on, mainly because I'm the only one who is organized enough to have it all out on the table at the same time.  I don't really mind because then once the table is cleared and the leftovers are put away, I'm done.  No dishes for me.

But once my Dad passes, I'm not sure what I'm going to do.  My nephews may well have families of their own by then and have to coordinate with their wives families, too.  And I'm not sure I want to spend holidays with just my brother and SIL.  My brother and I have never really been close - he's five years older - and I'm not over fond of my SIL, who is six years older again than my brother.  Don't get me wrong; in a crisis, my brother would be right there and vice versa but we're not buds, ya know?
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Arrynne on November 02, 2011, 02:33:00 PM
A possibility for the Christmas Tree.

I assume it's artificial. If so, does it come in parts?  Would it be possible to set up the top section as a small table tree?  We've done that when space or time is tight.  It's not a perfect solution but it does make the place feel like Christmas.

It's hard to set up just part of an artificial tree, the way they come together.

That doesn't rule out a small tree, though.  My artificial tree is 3' tall and cost $10.  Perfect for tiny apartments.

My SIL had one that was 6 ft tall, but was super skinny so it didn't take up a lot of space.    When I was growing up we had a 3 or 4 ft tall tree that we would put on an end table to make it look taller.   It also gave us extra space to put presents underneath.  Since there were frequently 11 of us at Christmas, and the house was under 900 sq. feet, space was at a premium.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: WhiteTigerCub on November 03, 2011, 11:43:31 AM
Ohhhhh my mom just had a hill to die on moment....

In the past Thanksgiving had been at grandma's. Grandma lives across the street from a church where we set up the food in the fellowship hall so we can all sit together.

Mom was talking with toxic aunt about thanksgiving this year. Toxic aunt is going to make the turkey. Mom says she will bring over the mashed potatoes and that her friend, NiceLady, will bring some veggie dishes. Toxic aunt says "Well NiceLady is NOT family so she is not invited to our FAMILY thanksgiving!"  Note, NiceLady is like a 2nd mom to me, helps the family during rough times, and generally keeps my mom sane as her Best Friend.   

Mom asked me if she could make thanksgiving dinner at my house and bring NiceLady along too. WIN!
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: violinp on November 03, 2011, 12:07:34 PM
Ohhhhh my mom just had a hill to die on moment....

In the past Thanksgiving had been at grandma's. Grandma lives across the street from a church where we set up the food in the fellowship hall so we can all sit together.

Mom was talking with toxic aunt about thanksgiving this year. Toxic aunt is going to make the turkey. Mom says she will bring over the mashed potatoes and that her friend, NiceLady, will bring some veggie dishes. Toxic aunt says "Well NiceLady is NOT family so she is not invited to our FAMILY thanksgiving!"  Note, NiceLady is like a 2nd mom to me, helps the family during rough times, and generally keeps my mom sane as her Best Friend.   

Mom asked me if we she could make thanksgiving dinner at my house and bring NiceLady along too. WIN!

Yes! Very much win! I'm sorry you have a pill of an aunt, though.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: WhiteTigerCub on November 03, 2011, 12:15:52 PM
Ohhhhh my mom just had a hill to die on moment....

In the past Thanksgiving had been at grandma's. Grandma lives across the street from a church where we set up the food in the fellowship hall so we can all sit together.

Mom was talking with toxic aunt about thanksgiving this year. Toxic aunt is going to make the turkey. Mom says she will bring over the mashed potatoes and that her friend, NiceLady, will bring some veggie dishes. Toxic aunt says "Well NiceLady is NOT family so she is not invited to our FAMILY thanksgiving!"  Note, NiceLady is like a 2nd mom to me, helps the family during rough times, and generally keeps my mom sane as her Best Friend.   

Mom asked me if we she could make thanksgiving dinner at my house and bring NiceLady along too. WIN!

Yes! Very much win! I'm sorry you have a pill of an aunt, though.

Thank you. It's a wonderful thing I live about 100 miles away from her so I don't have to see her except once a year. Even then she gets a modified version of the direct cut. She is like a ghost, I don't see or hear her most of the time. I think I have maybe said just two words to her over the last couple of years. "Yep" and "Bye"   ;D
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: heartmug on November 03, 2011, 12:32:33 PM
Ohhhhh my mom just had a hill to die on moment....

In the past Thanksgiving had been at grandma's. Grandma lives across the street from a church where we set up the food in the fellowship hall so we can all sit together.

Mom was talking with toxic aunt about thanksgiving this year. Toxic aunt is going to make the turkey. Mom says she will bring over the mashed potatoes and that her friend, NiceLady, will bring some veggie dishes. Toxic aunt says "Well NiceLady is NOT family so she is not invited to our FAMILY thanksgiving!"  Note, NiceLady is like a 2nd mom to me, helps the family during rough times, and generally keeps my mom sane as her Best Friend.   

Mom asked me if she could make thanksgiving dinner at my house and bring NiceLady along too. WIN!

Geez, sounds like the one year I was hosting Christmas Day at my house.  My sister's best friend, Kari, lives in our state and all of her family lives in the mid-west.  She was due to fly out Christmas Eve but her state got socked with snow.  The next day, she was still going no where so sister asked if she could come along.  Of course!  Lovely girl but mom had a fit.  She is not "family" and I replied "Because she is not blood related she should be home alone on Christmas Day?"  She came and we all had a good time.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: magician5 on November 03, 2011, 01:34:22 PM
The next day, she was still going no where so sister asked if she could come along.  Of course!  Lovely girl but mom had a fit.  She is not "family" and I replied "Because she is not blood related she should be home alone on Christmas Day?"  She came and we all had a good time.

Sometimes, for me, there are advantages to being adopted. Whoever is family, is family because I say they're family. Whenever someone says I have to go to an event, or invite someone, "because they're family", I decide whether they're family to me or not. Others may disagree, but I make my own decisions, and I'm perfectly prepared to live with any consequences. Haven't regretted any such decisions yet.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: darling on November 03, 2011, 03:23:32 PM
My hill to die on this year? Convincing my granny to add another table in the living room, so that 11 of us don't end up crowded into a corner of the dining room at a table meant for six. There is nothing more miserable than being stuck at the kids' table when you are 39, and your "child" is 17, and you've got nephews and cousins' children practically in your lap, knocking over stuff, and putting fingers into the butter and each other's plates. Since two tables have "always been enough before", this may not be successful.

Also, how the person with the oldest child STILL ends up at the kids table, while those with the younger children are at the adult table, nowhere near THEIR OWN children, is an entirely different hill. My aunt S always takes pity on me and sits nearby, so I at least get some socialization, but jeesh, at 39 and 50, you'd think we'd get a break from that, what with our kids being 17 and 16 and all.

To be clear, sitting at the kids' table wouldn't be a problem at all if there was ROOM for all of us, and if my cousins would just sit with their small children for a change. I gave up eating almost completely last Thanksgiving, since I was stuck on the side of the table that bordered the path to the kitchen and the leftovers. After getting up and smooshing myself smaller and smaller to let others through, I decided enough was enough. 

I'm just hoping I don't lose it this year, though. Something happened to me over the summer, and my brain-to-mouth filter is mostly just gone.  ;)
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Outdoor Girl on November 03, 2011, 03:40:27 PM
Jane, in your place, I think I'd just take my chair and my plate and eat on my lap in a quiet corner somewhere!  I might not get to socialize but at least I could eat my meal in peace.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Wendy Moira Angela Pan on November 03, 2011, 04:32:22 PM
Been lurking in this thread and just popped in to say hi to janedarling. I see I have a descendent I did not know about.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: JeanFromBNA on November 03, 2011, 06:36:26 PM
Hill to die on? Yeah ... and I died.

Until about 8 years ago, it was mandatory ... we HAD to go on the 4-hour drive to be at my wife's childhood home with her family ON CHRISTMAS DAY. It did no good to point at the radio and say "see, they're playing 'It's So Nice to Be Home For The Holidays', we're married with 2 children, so why can't we be home?"

My FIL had been trading on his frail health for years ... can't upset or worry 'The Holy Father' 'cause he has a heart condition and he might diiiiieeee. That led to a few instances (it wasn't constant, but it was repeated) of him running roughshod over boundaries, and you can't tell him 'no' because he might diiiiieeee. I couldn't even disagree with the old so-and-so without a kneejerk screaming session from my wife because he might get upset and diiiiieeee. I never got her to understand that gentlemen of good character may disagree on occasion. I never got her to understand that I didn't hate my FIL (even though neither he nor I went with the women to late Christmas Eve church, and we would chat away the evening and he confided numerous things about his health and his history that he had never told anyone else in the family).

I never once got to have Christmas at home because he'd get upset if he didn't see the children come running down the stairs to tear into presents. I never once saw that at my house. Not that I wanted it that badly, I just wanted to come FIRST for once in my marriage. Until I had a stroke 10 years ago plus 'The Holy Father' finally dropped the other shoe and diiiiieeeed. Then we agreed that, between my disability and my attitude, we could stay home on The Big Day and they could go without me on the following weekend.
Am I a bad person because I find this post hilarious?
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Chivewarrior on November 03, 2011, 08:46:38 PM
The next day, she was still going no where so sister asked if she could come along.  Of course!  Lovely girl but mom had a fit.  She is not "family" and I replied "Because she is not blood related she should be home alone on Christmas Day?"  She came and we all had a good time.
Sometimes, for me, there are advantages to being adopted. Whoever is family, is family because I say they're family. Whenever someone says I have to go to an event, or invite someone, "because they're family", I decide whether they're family to me or not. Others may disagree, but I make my own decisions, and I'm perfectly prepared to live with any consequences. Haven't regretted any such decisions yet.
"Chosen family" is a big deal in my social circle, because many of us have actively toxic family and the ones that don't have a lot of friends that do and get it. So it's been made clear to me many times that I have somewhere to go on any holiday, if I decide I can't deal with my blood family anymore-- and one of my friends hosts every year an Orphan Thanksgiving, for all the "people who have no place to go or don't want to go there." I've gone twice and I'm planning to go again this year, and is it ever more enjoyable! Go see my friends, hang out around the crock pot of mulled cider, have potluck dinner with everyone bringing their own specialty...

My holiday hill to die on happened the year my mother came up with the needlessly complicated plan to get my grandfather from the nursing home, take him to his house (which has remained in our family's possession despite him not living there), have Thanksgiving in this house that at the time no one was living in full time (and since Grandpa didn't cook at all, and neither did Grandma when she was alive, in a kitchen that had been redone a number of years ago but never really used beyond the microwave) while transporting all the ingredients to make it from home to that house, and then take him back to the nursing home and come home. Did I mention that the reason Grandpa is in the nursing home is because he had a stroke and has Alzhiemer's and is going senile?

I was actually going along with it despite foreseeing utter disaster until my father yelled at me "Are you lazy or stupid? Hurry up!" for reading while waiting for other people to get done. (They had all left the house without telling me while I was in the bathroom and were waiting for me in the car.) At that point I flat-out refused to go; it was just the last straw.

The part that continues to confuse the heck out of me is that while my mother called me up screaming several times while I was at home recovering from the screaming match that followed my refusal to go, by the time she actually got home and the event had been an utter disaster (and my sister mutinied and said I had been right sometime during it), she insisted that she had never yelled at all, just been a little angry and was now over it. How do you forget repeatedly screaming at someone?

The whole incident was my hill and I just refuse to spend Thanksgiving dinner with my family anymore. My mother acquiesces to this as long as she or my father drives me to and from my friend's house because it's in a "dangerous area" and if I take public transportation I could get murdered. Or something.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: gramma dishes on November 03, 2011, 08:57:33 PM
She wants to belittle, yell at and argue with me, then 10 minutes later forget that she was belittling, yelling and arguing with me.  And then start the cycle all over again.

And there's your solution.  "Why of COURSE I came to visit you, Mom!  Don't you remember?"

You are not a bad daughter.  You just didn't get lucky in the good mother lottery.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Bluenomi on November 03, 2011, 09:37:32 PM
My hill climb started last year and I'm still climbing it this year. My parents had a rule when my sisters and I were young that they wouldn't travel on Christmas day when the kids were small. They would stay at home so us little ones could open and play with our presents.

I decided this was a great rule and DH and I enforced it when DD was born last year. We had previously had a pattern of visiting one set of parents one year, the other set the next and then the third year at home (we live 5 hours from mine and 13 hours or a flight away from the ILs) The year before DD was born we changed the pattern so we could have christmas with the ILs since we knew we wouldn't make it over there the next year.

Last year we stayed home. MIL chucked a hissy fit because she couldn't spend Christmas with DD. We told her she was welcome to come over to visit us for Christmas but we were having it at home. That wasn't good enough, didn't we know she had to be at her house for Christmas and everyone should come to her. She ended up coming over a few days after Christmas instead by car since she didn't want to pay for the airfares though she was perfectly happy for us to fly over  ::) My parents on the other hand we fine with us staying home since they completely understood our reasoning for it.

We haven't had the discussion with MIL about this year yet and I'm expecting another lot of pouting from her when she hears we are going to be at home again. She's still holding a grudge about the fact DH had Christmas with me and my family on year after we got engaged since it was his first Christmas away from home and he should know he has to come home every year. She grew up with her whole family in one village so hasn't really adjusted her thinking to the fact we live in different parts of a huge country!



Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: christmascarol on November 04, 2011, 12:52:54 AM
My hill came when I was 26 and asked my Mum if I could come home for Christmas and she wouldn't have me.  It was the last time I asked.

I asked in October and her reaction was so toxic, I didn't dare mention the subject again.  I made myself a solitary meal and was just sitting down to it when she arrived with my stepfather to collect their presents, two hours later than we'd arranged as it suited her better.  You see they were on their way to my aunt's and she hadn't wanted to make two journeys.  My aunt cried when I told her as she would have invited me as well if she'd known but my Mum didn't tell her.  My mother just picked her presents up and left looking smug.

Happy ending: my friends were appalled and I was inundated with invites the next year.  We've been to DH's family every year since.  My mother was infuriated!

Happiest ending: I stood up to her 13 years ago and she hasn't spoken to me since.  The afore-mentioned aunt took over as surrogate mother and I couldn't have asked for a better one ;D

And I still LOVE Christmas!!!


Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: momof2bratz on November 04, 2011, 06:03:50 AM
I actually had my hill to die on moment in the past couple of weeks, and boy did it feel good! Every year we spend Christmas day running here there and everywhere trying to fit everyone in, then boxing day at SIL's and the 27th everyone comes to ours. This year, I will be 37 weeks pregnant on Christmas day. Thankfully, MIL and FIL are coming early this year (they live abroad) and so we're doing Christmas with them between the 8th and the 16th of December, so that they can then travel back again at the end of January to meet the new arrival.

I kept getting texts from SIL about boxing day, what are we doing, when will we be there, etc. which was driving me nuts! Eventually, I told SIL that while I would love to commit to boxing day, there are no guarantees that baby won't show early, plus my consultant has been talking about admitting me early because of some complications, so I may on bed rest in hospital, so I just cannot make a firm commitment. I then got the whine about needing to know numbers, how can she plan if she doesn't know whether or not we are coming? So I told her if you want a definite answer, it will have to be a no this year. Of course, suddenly the need to plan is no longer a problem, just let her know nearer the time if we can make it.

I think to save the peace and give me a break I'll send DH and the kiddos to SILs and I'll spend the day at Mums, as it's near my hospital, but this year I am not bending to their wishes in order to keep the peace, so SIL will have to just do without me.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Klein Bottle on November 04, 2011, 05:48:10 PM
My hill came when I was 26 and asked my Mum if I could come home for Christmas and she wouldn't have me.  It was the last time I asked.

I asked in October and her reaction was so toxic, I didn't dare mention the subject again.  I made myself a solitary meal and was just sitting down to it when she arrived with my stepfather to collect their presents, two hours later than we'd arranged as it suited her better.  You see they were on their way to my aunt's and she hadn't wanted to make two journeys.  My aunt cried when I told her as she would have invited me as well if she'd known but my Mum didn't tell her.  My mother just picked her presents up and left looking smug.

Happy ending: my friends were appalled and I was inundated with invites the next year.  We've been to DH's family every year since.  My mother was infuriated!

Happiest ending: I stood up to her 13 years ago and she hasn't spoken to me since.  The afore-mentioned aunt took over as surrogate mother and I couldn't have asked for a better one ;D

And I still LOVE Christmas!!!

Whoa.  I'm glad that worked out for you, but... ???

I can't imagine ever being so cruel to my child, or not wanting to spend a major holiday with him.  He's just 15, but I'm already mentally preparing myself for the day he spends his holidays with his wife, or her family, or friends, or wherever he wants to be, if he can't or doesn't want to come home. 

Glad your aunt RAWKS!    ;D
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: violinp on November 04, 2011, 06:29:46 PM
My hill came when I was 26 and asked my Mum if I could come home for Christmas and she wouldn't have me.  It was the last time I asked.

I asked in October and her reaction was so toxic, I didn't dare mention the subject again.  I made myself a solitary meal and was just sitting down to it when she arrived with my stepfather to collect their presents, two hours later than we'd arranged as it suited her better.  You see they were on their way to my aunt's and she hadn't wanted to make two journeys.  My aunt cried when I told her as she would have invited me as well if she'd known but my Mum didn't tell her.  My mother just picked her presents up and left looking smug.

Happy ending: my friends were appalled and I was inundated with invites the next year.  We've been to DH's family every year since.  My mother was infuriated!

Happiest ending: I stood up to her 13 years ago and she hasn't spoken to me since.  The afore-mentioned aunt took over as surrogate mother and I couldn't have asked for a better one ;D

And I still LOVE Christmas!!!

Whoa.  I'm glad that worked out for you, but... ???

I can't imagine ever being so cruel to my child, or not wanting to spend a major holiday with him.  He's just 15, but I'm already mentally preparing myself for the day he spends his holidays with his wife, or her family, or friends, or wherever he wants to be, if he can't or doesn't want to come home. 

Glad your aunt RAWKS!    ;D

POD! I'm glad you have an aunt who cares for you as your mom should be doing.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: christmascarol on November 04, 2011, 10:36:56 PM
Thanks!!!  ;D  I lucked out with both my aunt and uncle, I really did.  And I have a fantastic hubby.  And I have a lovely lady who calls herself my Mama Felizitas.  I'm a much much happier person than my Mum will ever be.  And I LOVE Christmas  ;D
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: violinp on November 04, 2011, 10:55:05 PM
Thanks!!!  ;D  I lucked out with both my aunt and uncle, I really did.  And I have a fantastic hubby.  And I have a lovely lady who calls herself my Mama Felizitas.  I'm a much much happier person than my Mum will ever be.  And I LOVE Christmas  ;D

Really? Couldn't imagine that.  ;)  :P
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Bijou on November 05, 2011, 09:00:59 AM
This was not a hill to die on, but my Mother was the one who handled Thanksgiving, it was always at the family home of my folks and people brought stuff, paid a share of the groceries, if they could, and shared in it that way.  The day following Thanksgiving, my mom would have a repeat of Thanksgiving with everyone over again for turkey soup and left overs.  (Exhausting, even to think about!)
When I became the one who seemed to be the head of Thanksgiving and was in control of having it at the family home, the first thing I did was distribute the leftovers as people left on Thanksgiving, and did no soup or anything else on The Friday following.  I don't know how mom did it, but I just didn't have that kind of energy.  Everyone is happy this way, too.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: camlan on November 05, 2011, 02:44:42 PM
My hill came when I was 26 and asked my Mum if I could come home for Christmas and she wouldn't have me.  It was the last time I asked.

I asked in October and her reaction was so toxic, I didn't dare mention the subject again.  I made myself a solitary meal and was just sitting down to it when she arrived with my stepfather to collect their presents, two hours later than we'd arranged as it suited her better.  You see they were on their way to my aunt's and she hadn't wanted to make two journeys.  My aunt cried when I told her as she would have invited me as well if she'd known but my Mum didn't tell her.  My mother just picked her presents up and left looking smug.

Happy ending: my friends were appalled and I was inundated with invites the next year.  We've been to DH's family every year since.  My mother was infuriated!

Happiest ending: I stood up to her 13 years ago and she hasn't spoken to me since.  The afore-mentioned aunt took over as surrogate mother and I couldn't have asked for a better one ;D

And I still LOVE Christmas!!!

Thank goodness this post has a happy ending, because that first sentence kind of broke me heart a little bit.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Nora on November 05, 2011, 07:10:32 PM
Mine too! I don't understand how someone could do that!
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Tai on November 05, 2011, 09:38:39 PM
The turkey became my hill to die on one Thanksgiving.   

 The first year I was married to my exDH, we invited the whole family and SOs to Thanksgiving as our home was by far the largest and most centrally located.   I was looking forward to it as I didn't know my in-laws well.  We had dated and married on the opposite side of the country.   My BIL was bringing his long term girlfriend, whom I had never met.  I was informed well ahead of time that she was a vegetarian, and had planned a meatless entree in addition to the bird.   In addition, all of the sides were meatless.

The evening before Thanksgiving I received a call from the GF, informing me that because she was vegetarian I could not serve a turkey at all.  She went on to say that she was afraid the "family" had forgotten to tell me that meat was not allowed at any function she attended.    I was sort of startled by this, but did tell her that we were definitely having a turkey, but that I was also preparing a vegetarian option.  She said that it "wouldn't do" so she was going to call MIL... and she did.   MIL called me and I learned that the family had acquiesced to this demand for several years, despite that fact that they were all meat-eaters, and admitted to missing the turkey/goose/ham, etc. on holidays.    My MIL never asked me not to serve the turkey, but did say that this was very important to GF.   I was not willing to give up that turkey (thawed and ready to go), so I had my then-DH call his brother and tell him that the menu was not changing, and we would understand if they didn't come, but they were still very welcome.   BIL and GF didn't come to the meal and actually broke up a short time later.  ILs attended many more holiday meals at our home until we split, and always seemed to enjoy the food.     I've always wondered if I was the family's way of getting their bird back? 

We've had something similar happen in my family.  Im not a vegetarian, nor are any of my immediate family members.  After about 6 months of doing "meatless Mondays" and my discovery of a powdered veggie boullion, I'm now comfortable making vegetarian meals.  Vegan, on the other hand, I'm not set up to do nor am I comfortable doing.  Same with most of the "whatever" free, like gluten or casein or nut free, as I know that I personally can't guarantee that a particle of "allergen/item" is not in the food, and I know that is very important. 

If I invite people over for a holiday (may be doing that this year) or party, then I get to pick the menu.  If someone lets me know about an allergy or intolerance or other food issue, I will figure something out, but if someone tries to dictate the menu... nope.  Not in my house, thank you very much!


Tai,, I've been trying to read the archives and just ran across that epic last week, is she still with you brother? How do you handle now, if she is?

This would so be my hill to die ~ I love my turkey.

Gone gone gone!  Even if she weren't I'd be done with her, anyways.  My new attitude is "Don't be silly, dear, you don't have to eat the turkey!  We won't be offended if you don't try it?  What's that, the cat is stuck in the sink again?"  and a quick exit.  Then she'd have the "out" there of a misunderstanding.  Not that she'd take it, but I would then feel a lot better about saying "we're not changing our menu to suit your desires, if you want to have a Tday dinner without turkey, you're welcome to host".
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: GreenEyedHawk on November 06, 2011, 08:23:53 AM
As far as I'm concerned, having one vegetarian main and meatless sides is plenty to accommodate ONE vegetarian in a crowd of carnivores.  When my cousin was dating a vegetarian, they even went so far as to bring their own Tofurkey to the dinner, which I think was good of them.  I even tried it myself.  It's not bad, just  don't expect it to taste like turkey, because it doesn't.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on November 06, 2011, 09:49:38 AM
My hill climb started last year and I'm still climbing it this year. My parents had a rule when my sisters and I were young that they wouldn't travel on Christmas day when the kids were small. They would stay at home so us little ones could open and play with our presents.

I decided this was a great rule and DH and I enforced it when DD was born last year. We had previously had a pattern of visiting one set of parents one year, the other set the next and then the third year at home (we live 5 hours from mine and 13 hours or a flight away from the ILs) The year before DD was born we changed the pattern so we could have christmas with the ILs since we knew we wouldn't make it over there the next year.

Last year we stayed home. MIL chucked a hissy fit because she couldn't spend Christmas with DD. We told her she was welcome to come over to visit us for Christmas but we were having it at home. That wasn't good enough, didn't we know she had to be at her house for Christmas and everyone should come to her. She ended up coming over a few days after Christmas instead by car since she didn't want to pay for the airfares though she was perfectly happy for us to fly over  ::) My parents on the other hand we fine with us staying home since they completely understood our reasoning for it.

We haven't had the discussion with MIL about this year yet and I'm expecting another lot of pouting from her when she hears we are going to be at home again. She's still holding a grudge about the fact DH had Christmas with me and my family on year after we got engaged since it was his first Christmas away from home and he should know he has to come home every year. She grew up with her whole family in one village so hasn't really adjusted her thinking to the fact we live in different parts of a huge country!

My parents used to do this once my brother and I got to be a certain age.  When I was really little (infant and toddler) we spent Christmas day with my mother's family but once my brother was born we started spending Christmas Day at home and then the next day we'd drive down to my grandparent's house (3 1/2 hours away) and Gigi and Grandaddy would have waited to have "Christmas" till we arrived. 

We do the same thing, have Christmas at home in the morning and since thankfully my IL's are only an hour and a half away instead of 3 hours, we hang out at home for a bit and then drive down to their place for dinner and come back the same night.

Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: KenveeB on November 06, 2011, 02:39:20 PM
My parents used to do this once my brother and I got to be a certain age.  When I was really little (infant and toddler) we spent Christmas day with my mother's family but once my brother was born we started spending Christmas Day at home and then the next day we'd drive down to my grandparent's house (3 1/2 hours away) and Gigi and Grandaddy would have waited to have "Christmas" till we arrived. 

We do the same thing, have Christmas at home in the morning and since thankfully my IL's are only an hour and a half away instead of 3 hours, we hang out at home for a bit and then drive down to their place for dinner and come back the same night.

We always did the same in my family.  Christmas morning is for the nuclear family, period.  We did our gatherings with the extended family on Christmas Eve or Christmas afternoon, or even another day close by. (We've even had a Christmas sleepover on New Year's Eve.) 
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: bluhairfreak on November 06, 2011, 06:53:44 PM
Another possibility for the Christmas tree.  Do you have any clear empty wall space?  Create a tree out of construction paper and decorate with stickers.  You may even find a way to attach lights.  Not a perfect solution but sounds like a way to decorate without sacrificing floor or counter space.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: MacadamiaNut on November 06, 2011, 07:11:20 PM
Another possibility for the Christmas tree.  Do you have any clear empty wall space?  Create a tree out of construction paper and decorate with stickers.  You may even find a way to attach lights.  Not a perfect solution but sounds like a way to decorate without sacrificing floor or counter space.

I'm not the poster who had this problem but I'm really liking this!  Even though I have the space for my small tree, I might consider doing this!  Maybe a tree of styrofoam will accommodate lights AND the stickers.  Oh and dare I say even pinning regular decorations into the styrofoam.  You have me thinking of the possibilities! Thank you!!   :D
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: JoW on November 06, 2011, 08:52:47 PM
I've also seen a 1/2 tree.  Its artificial, about 5 feet tall, green, and looks like a tree was cut vertically down the trunk.  It hangs on the wall sticking out less than a foot.  I don't remember where I saw it. 

I'm another one who refuses to see Mom over the holidays or any other time.  We live 1000 miles apart and I have cats so I always have an excuse for not going out to see her.   
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: magdalena on November 07, 2011, 06:22:42 AM
I finally had a hill this year.

Up to now things have been really easy for us. My parents live in my home country, my ILs in the country we live in now, but still about 3 hours away from us. For the 13 years we've been a couple, we've always alternated Christmases. It started when we were still on a long distance relationship and could only see each other during Christmas and the Summer Break. No protests were ever made and we set a precedent. Perfect.

However, during the past 12 months, we've bought and renovated a house and become proud parents of the Froglet. We asked our parents almost a year ago if they could imagine coming to our place for Christmas, so we could all celebrate together. Both sets agreed.

A couple of months ago, my ILs revealed to us that they would not be coming over Christmas "but we'll be there the week before, so we can do Christmas early".
Well, no, sorry. That will not be possible. I'm not doing 2 Christmasses. They are welcome to come and stay the weekend, but there will be no tree, no Christmas dinner and we are not opening gifts. It may sound hard and cold but we're working hard to establishing boudaries and on getting them to come to us from time to time now that travelling isn't exactly easy on us anymore and they are still very well able to travel... so far, his mom has visited us maybe 4 times in the 5 years we've been married and we visit them at least 5-6 times a year...

As it turns out, my parents will arrive the weekend my ILs are here, and the Froglet's christening will be that Sunday, so there's going to be celebrating after all. Just not Christmas. If they want Christmas with us, they need to stick to the shared plans...
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: christmascarol on November 07, 2011, 07:58:18 AM
I'm another one who refuses to see Mom over the holidays or any other time.  We live 1000 miles apart and I have cats so I always have an excuse for not going out to see her.

Sometimes cats are the better people  ;D
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: poundcake on November 07, 2011, 02:39:52 PM
Ohhhhh my mom just had a hill to die on moment....

In the past Thanksgiving had been at grandma's. Grandma lives across the street from a church where we set up the food in the fellowship hall so we can all sit together.

Mom was talking with toxic aunt about thanksgiving this year. Toxic aunt is going to make the turkey. Mom says she will bring over the mashed potatoes and that her friend, NiceLady, will bring some veggie dishes. Toxic aunt says "Well NiceLady is NOT family so she is not invited to our FAMILY thanksgiving!"  Note, NiceLady is like a 2nd mom to me, helps the family during rough times, and generally keeps my mom sane as her Best Friend.   

Mom asked me if she could make thanksgiving dinner at my house and bring NiceLady along too. WIN!

Geez, sounds like the one year I was hosting Christmas Day at my house.  My sister's best friend, Kari, lives in our state and all of her family lives in the mid-west.  She was due to fly out Christmas Eve but her state got socked with snow.  The next day, she was still going no where so sister asked if she could come along.  Of course!  Lovely girl but mom had a fit.  She is not "family" and I replied "Because she is not blood related she should be home alone on Christmas Day?"  She came and we all had a good time.

This is a toughie because it's rude to just invite your own guests to someone else's house, especially on the holidays. I suppose you can ask, but that puts the host in a tough spot. I keep thinking of the Ehell Classic about the guest who wanted to bring a poor lady friend and her little daughter who didn't have anyone to spend Christmas with. And the host ended up having to wrangle a very drunk stranger and even find Christmas gifts for the daughter.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: WhiteTigerCub on November 07, 2011, 02:59:48 PM
Ohhhhh my mom just had a hill to die on moment....

In the past Thanksgiving had been at grandma's. Grandma lives across the street from a church where we set up the food in the fellowship hall so we can all sit together.

Mom was talking with toxic aunt about thanksgiving this year. Toxic aunt is going to make the turkey. Mom says she will bring over the mashed potatoes and that her friend, NiceLady, will bring some veggie dishes. Toxic aunt says "Well NiceLady is NOT family so she is not invited to our FAMILY thanksgiving!"  Note, NiceLady is like a 2nd mom to me, helps the family during rough times, and generally keeps my mom sane as her Best Friend.   

Mom asked me if she could make thanksgiving dinner at my house and bring NiceLady along too. WIN!

Geez, sounds like the one year I was hosting Christmas Day at my house.  My sister's best friend, Kari, lives in our state and all of her family lives in the mid-west.  She was due to fly out Christmas Eve but her state got socked with snow.  The next day, she was still going no where so sister asked if she could come along.  Of course!  Lovely girl but mom had a fit.  She is not "family" and I replied "Because she is not blood related she should be home alone on Christmas Day?"  She came and we all had a good time.

This is a toughie because it's rude to just invite your own guests to someone else's house, especially on the holidays. I suppose you can ask, but that puts the host in a tough spot. I keep thinking of the Ehell Classic about the guest who wanted to bring a poor lady friend and her little daughter who didn't have anyone to spend Christmas with. And the host ended up having to wrangle a very drunk stranger and even find Christmas gifts for the daughter.

I think it's important to note that in both cases quoted above, the host of the dinner was asked if the person could be invited before an invitation was given to the additional guest. This was also my mom doing the asking and as such it does not put me in any kind of 'spot'. I had the option of saying "No" without an issue.

In my case above, since food is being served and eaten at the fellowship hall, of which NiceLady is also a member of the church there was no reason she could not be included except toxic aunt's affirmation that it be a 'family' dinner. Frankly, if other non family showed up at the fellowship hall during the time we were eating there, we would have shared with them too no question about it. That's what happens when you plan the meal at the fellowship hall where all church members are perfectly welcome.  This was toxic aunt just being her normal self in exerting control over the guest list.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: poundcake on November 07, 2011, 04:01:20 PM
Found it!

http://www.etiquettehell.com/content/eh_everyday/holidayhell/holiday_hell2004-1arc.shtml

WhiteTigerCub, I'm afraid to ask, but, if a church friend sat down at the same table as your family at the fellowship hall, would toxic aunt force them to move since they aren't "family"?  :o How on earth is she going to police "family" dinner at a fellowship hall?!
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: kudeebee on November 07, 2011, 04:14:16 PM
I finally had a hill this year.

Up to now things have been really easy for us. My parents live in my home country, my ILs in the country we live in now, but still about 3 hours away from us. For the 13 years we've been a couple, we've always alternated Christmases. It started when we were still on a long distance relationship and could only see each other during Christmas and the Summer Break. No protests were ever made and we set a precedent. Perfect.

However, during the past 12 months, we've bought and renovated a house and become proud parents of the Froglet. We asked our parents almost a year ago if they could imagine coming to our place for Christmas, so we could all celebrate together. Both sets agreed.

A couple of months ago, my ILs revealed to us that they would not be coming over Christmas "but we'll be there the week before, so we can do Christmas early".
Well, no, sorry. That will not be possible. I'm not doing 2 Christmasses. They are welcome to come and stay the weekend, but there will be no tree, no Christmas dinner and we are not opening gifts. It may sound hard and cold but we're working hard to establishing boudaries and on getting them to come to us from time to time now that travelling isn't exactly easy on us anymore and they are still very well able to travel... so far, his mom has visited us maybe 4 times in the 5 years we've been married and we visit them at least 5-6 times a year...

As it turns out, my parents will arrive the weekend my ILs are here, and the Froglet's christening will be that Sunday, so there's going to be celebrating after all. Just not Christmas. If they want Christmas with us, they need to stick to the shared plans...

I can understand that you might not have your tree up or want to make a big meal, but don't get why you can't open the presents.  Many people have Christmas early with one side of the family. 
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: WhiteTigerCub on November 07, 2011, 04:24:56 PM
WhiteTigerCub, I'm afraid to ask, but, if a church friend sat down at the same table as your family at the fellowship hall, would toxic aunt force them to move since they aren't "family"?  :o How on earth is she going to police "family" dinner at a fellowship hall?!

Unfortunately the answer is just what you would expect from someone toxic. She would unceremoniously speak up in front of all and sundry and proclaim they could not partake of our family's food. The remainder of the family would pretty much pass it off as if she was joking, that there is plenty of food for all and would fetch more plates and get more chairs for people to sit at.

Last year we had a similar plan, but toxic aunt decided at the last minute we would not be taking the food over to the fellowship hall because some other family had asked if they could use it as well. Kicker is that they were not going to eat until 2 hours after we would have been done. Double kicker, the family never even showed up to use the hall. Triple kicker, she purposely set the table at grandma's house one short because other aunt had invited her son's friend, but because he was not family he could not sit at the 'family' table, or even in the same room as the 'family' as there just wasn't room for one more  ::) . She complained bitterly about having to sit at a card table set in the middle of the small kitchen with the 'kids' because  there was not enough room at the family table for just her.  In order to compensate, myself and several other family members took our food into the living room to eat with him. We treated it like it was something we did all the time. Incidentally the 'family' table that could seat 8, had 2 people at it after we left so she didn't have to sit at the card table for long. 

I could write a whole book about her toxic antics unfortunately.  :-\
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: TeamBhakta on November 07, 2011, 05:37:20 PM
My hill to die on is that I insist we skip the "what I'm thankful for" portion of Thanksgiving. I had to do that at relatives' houses as a kid, but I have put my foot down as an adult and said "No, Mom, we are not going to take up that tradition now. I don't care how lovely it was to you at so-and-so's house last year, it's not happening." Two reasons: Half the things I'm truly grateful for, I would prefer not to share publicly, let alone with a table full of relatives. Those things are my own private joy, not something for everyone else to hem and haw over. And besides that, what else can you share that isn't trite, fake, cheesey or embarassing after everyone has already gone through "I'm grateful for all of you  :-*....for freedom...for our hostess...for second helpings of pie, har har!" Blech.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: VorFemme on November 07, 2011, 06:01:18 PM
I've seen people hang a small (3 foot or about one meter) tree from the ceiling over a table so that the presents could be place under the tree - but on the table............made an interesting display, I'm sure.  Or even wire the tree to hang from the ceiling in the normal fashion - but apparently floating in the air...........

Felt cut out or quilted fabric tree shape on the wall.  Glue, embroider, or use friction to hold various ornaments on it (a flannel tree would hold lightweight ornaments also cut from flannel or paper - such as the old flannel story boards used to - or more modern flannel quilt design walls do).  Paper ornaments with a small Velcro (tm), sandpaper, or flannel piece glued on the back would work & be easy to rearrange (just to boggle the minds of visitors who think that the "tree" is permanently decorated ONE way). 

Make several sets and redecorate every couple of days..........just for fun!
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Figgie on November 07, 2011, 08:45:59 PM
Our cats refused to leave the Christmas ornaments our children made when they were little alone on our regular Christmas tree.  So my spouse puts up what we call a garland tree on the wall.  At the top of the wall in the middle, he puts in a push pin and then two other push pins down lower and out to each side (shape of a triangle).  Then he takes a garland (we use silver now, but have used gold and green in the past) and outlines a tree, draping the garland back and forth from side to side to make places to hang the ornaments. 

And that is where all of the precious ornaments our kids made many, many years ago are hung.  :)  The bottom of the tree is too high for the cats to reach and they now ignore those ornaments.  We hang the ornaments with regular tree ornament holders or pulled open paper clips.  The beauty of it is that the tree can be as large or as small as you want.  All it takes is wall space and the spot we use has a mirror behind it.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: magdalena on November 08, 2011, 02:03:47 AM


I can understand that you might not have your tree up or want to make a big meal, but don't get why you can't open the presents.  Many people have Christmas early with one side of the family.

We have Christmas early or late with them every other year. For this once, we invited them to come to our house so we could all celebrate baby's first christmas together. They said they'd love to. I know the baby won't understand it's christmas (she'll be under 3 months at the time) but it's important to me... having them visit us at times is important to me, it makes me feel loved and accepted. We've told them that much.

After having promised to come and celebrate with us and my parents, they decided they couldn't, for reasons I won't get into but which really are no reasons at all (husband agrees). They have the annoying habit of accepting invitations and then cancelling at the last minute for really strange reasons. A lot. It hurts my husband and it hurts me. We've told them that. Gently.

So, when that happened again, about baby's first Christmas - and they went on to invite themselves to our house one week before Christmas... so I'll have to have the place clean earlier, will have to cook and bake for more people that week as well (all the while caring for a 2.5-month-old) my husband and I just decided that "sorry, no, there will be no christmassy stuff that weekend. If they want Christmas with us, they need to honor their commitments with us". We've gone along with the changed plans for years, I've done all I've could to make sure I have time to take care of them when they're here - I'm a freelancer and last-minute-changes really can screw up my plans - and we've come to the conclusion that we cannot change them, but we will stick to our plans at all times. Including Christmas.

Next year, we'll be travelling again, most likely to my family (abroad). We'll do Christmas early or late with the ILs then, at their place, at the time of their choosing. And once we've agreed on a weekend, we will not change plans on them in the last minute  ;)
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: iradney on November 08, 2011, 02:05:35 AM
Another possibility for the Christmas tree.  Do you have any clear empty wall space?  Create a tree out of construction paper and decorate with stickers.  You may even find a way to attach lights.  Not a perfect solution but sounds like a way to decorate without sacrificing floor or counter space.

 :o you're brilliant. Why didn't I think of that? Thank you!  ;D   ;D  ;D
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: bluhairfreak on November 08, 2011, 03:20:32 AM
Another possibility for the Christmas tree.  Do you have any clear empty wall space?  Create a tree out of construction paper and decorate with stickers.  You may even find a way to attach lights.  Not a perfect solution but sounds like a way to decorate without sacrificing floor or counter space.

 :o you're brilliant. Why didn't I think of that? Thank you!  ;D   ;D  ;D

^_^  You're welcome.  Please post pictures when you're done.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: amylouky on November 08, 2011, 09:45:13 AM
Hill to die on? Yeah ... and I died.

Until about 8 years ago, it was mandatory ... we HAD to go on the 4-hour drive to be at my wife's childhood home with her family ON CHRISTMAS DAY. It did no good to point at the radio and say "see, they're playing 'It's So Nice to Be Home For The Holidays', we're married with 2 children, so why can't we be home?"

My FIL had been trading on his frail health for years ... can't upset or worry 'The Holy Father' 'cause he has a heart condition and he might diiiiieeee. That led to a few instances (it wasn't constant, but it was repeated) of him running roughshod over boundaries, and you can't tell him 'no' because he might diiiiieeee. I couldn't even disagree with the old so-and-so without a kneejerk screaming session from my wife because he might get upset and diiiiieeee. I never got her to understand that gentlemen of good character may disagree on occasion. I never got her to understand that I didn't hate my FIL (even though neither he nor I went with the women to late Christmas Eve church, and we would chat away the evening and he confided numerous things about his health and his history that he had never told anyone else in the family).

I never once got to have Christmas at home because he'd get upset if he didn't see the children come running down the stairs to tear into presents. I never once saw that at my house. Not that I wanted it that badly, I just wanted to come FIRST for once in my marriage. Until I had a stroke 10 years ago plus 'The Holy Father' finally dropped the other shoe and diiiiieeeed. Then we agreed that, between my disability and my attitude, we could stay home on The Big Day and they could go without me on the following weekend.
Am I a bad person because I find this post hilarious?

Well, if you are then I am too.. I was thinking it sounds like the plot to a comedy. "A Focker Christmas", maybe??
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Ambrosia Hino on November 08, 2011, 11:40:49 AM
DH and I have several agreements as to holidays, due to the fact that while his family (sister, father & step-mom) live half an hour or less away, my family live half a continent away.

#1 - there shall be no decorating for holidays we will not be home for (awwww :-\ )

#2 - Thanksgiving with his family, Christmas & New Year's with mine when possible (my hill-to-die-on)

We had a 4-day weekend from work for Thanksgiving. That is not long enough to be worth a 1,000+ mile round-trip to my parents' house, and since FIL got remarried, Thanksgiving has really become SMIL's thing.

Christmas & New Years, we try to arrange for a 2 week vacation, and have the 3,000+ mile "Tour de Texas" in which we spend Christmas in Waco and New Year's in San Angelo, with stops in Houston, Dallas/Fort Worth, and a few other places. DH has family out there too, and stops to visit them do get factored in, but the actual holidays still land us with my family.

SIL and MIL used to argue about how I was being selfish to "make Christmas all about me and my family" nevermind we lived nearby them and could see them any day of the week we chose, much less any and all other holidays if plans were mentioned.

They thought they won in 2008 & 2009, due to health problems eating the vacation-time needed. There was a royal fit thrown (by MIL) because we *gasp* were spending Christmas Day '08 with my parents when they drove from Texas to Georgia to see us for Christmas. 2009 was just a bad year overall, and I don't really remember much about that Christmas.

Luckily, when Christmas 2010 rolled around, MIL was in jail for bad behavior, and we took Baby Hino down to Florida for a week in a condo with my parents and brother. Plans get modified when you have an 8-week old ;D

This year, SIL has seen the light, and instead of trying to go to both her father's house (FIL) and her in-law's house for both occasions, they will also be splitting Thanksgiving & Christmas (Turkey Day with FIL, Xmas with BIL's family). No one is speaking to MIL anymore, both of her children (SIL and my DH) have given her the cut-direct, so she has become a non-issue.

Yeah, we haven't made it to see my family every year, due to extenuating circumstances. But starting out with that as the plan, that is my hill-to-die-on.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: darling on November 08, 2011, 11:44:53 AM
Luckily, when Christmas 2010 rolled around, MIL was in jail for bad behavior, and we took Baby Hino down to Florida for a week in a condo with my parents and brother. Plans get modified when you have an 8-week old ;D

Wait... what??? Your MIL was in jail over Christmas for bad behavior??? I must have missed that story...
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Ambrosia Hino on November 08, 2011, 11:56:35 AM
Luckily, when Christmas 2010 rolled around, MIL was in jail for bad behavior, and we took Baby Hino down to Florida for a week in a condo with my parents and brother. Plans get modified when you have an 8-week old ;D

Wait... what??? Your MIL was in jail over Christmas for bad behavior??? I must have missed that story...

Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's if you want to more accurate >:D

Not sure if I posted anything about it, but long story short, SIL called the cops on 'Mommy Dearest' and gave her the cut direct behind that. After some more soul-searching (and a few arguements with me) DH blocked her on Facebook and started ignoring her calls as well. Without MIL to instigate things, SIL and I are actually quite capable of getting along beautifully now and life with my various in-laws has become amazingly more pleasant. There is still some light drama with DH's step-brother vs step-mom, but we are on the outskirts of that, and its nothing compared to the toxic problems of the past few years.

I will have to see if I can remember all the drama for the original story for a full-on post. Its kinda tied up in my maternity leave/post-partum/new mommyhood experiences and kinda goes by in a blur unless I start dwelling. There was a lot going on there for awhile!
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: kudeebee on November 08, 2011, 02:06:12 PM


I can understand that you might not have your tree up or want to make a big meal, but don't get why you can't open the presents.  Many people have Christmas early with one side of the family.

We have Christmas early or late with them every other year. For this once, we invited them to come to our house so we could all celebrate baby's first christmas together. They said they'd love to. I know the baby won't understand it's christmas (she'll be under 3 months at the time) but it's important to me... having them visit us at times is important to me, it makes me feel loved and accepted. We've told them that much.

After having promised to come and celebrate with us and my parents, they decided they couldn't, for reasons I won't get into but which really are no reasons at all (husband agrees). They have the annoying habit of accepting invitations and then cancelling at the last minute for really strange reasons. A lot. It hurts my husband and it hurts me. We've told them that. Gently.

So, when that happened again, about baby's first Christmas - and they went on to invite themselves to our house one week before Christmas... so I'll have to have the place clean earlier, will have to cook and bake for more people that week as well (all the while caring for a 2.5-month-old) my husband and I just decided that "sorry, no, there will be no christmassy stuff that weekend. If they want Christmas with us, they need to honor their commitments with us". We've gone along with the changed plans for years, I've done all I've could to make sure I have time to take care of them when they're here - I'm a freelancer and last-minute-changes really can screw up my plans - and we've come to the conclusion that we cannot change them, but we will stick to our plans at all times. Including Christmas.

Next year, we'll be travelling again, most likely to my family (abroad). We'll do Christmas early or late with the ILs then, at their place, at the time of their choosing. And once we've agreed on a weekend, we will not change plans on them in the last minute  ;)

Ahh, that bit o fbolded  background is good to know as it makes it easier to understand your decision. Probably should have included that in the original post.

Knowing what you have said about the way they always change plans to meet their needs, I think you are fine to go ahead and do things the way that you have them planned.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Jaelle on November 08, 2011, 02:39:36 PM
Add me to those whose holiday hill to die on involves spending Christmas Day at home. We informed both sides that this would happen when we had children and we've stood by it. We both want our kids to enjoy their Christmases, and not be hauled hither and yon by increasingly stressed parents. We have our morning as a little four-person family, and MIL (if she's not with SIL & Co.) and my folks show up in early afternoon and spend the rest of the day with us, with a big dinner, etc.

Christmas Eve, we alternate one year with my folks, one year with MIL ... although the latter now happens at our house anyway, since MIL discovered it was far more fun to play with the kids while I did all the cooking. ;) This is fine with me, BTW. I've even put a new spin on her ethnic tradition's holiday recipes, which I cook for that evening despite being from an entirely different tradition. I think she was a little amazed that she liked the new way, but now it's part of our own new tradition! :)

It's nice to know that things like that can work out.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: VorFemme on November 09, 2011, 07:37:21 AM
Luckily, when Christmas 2010 rolled around, MIL was in jail for bad behavior, and we took Baby Hino down to Florida for a week in a condo with my parents and brother. Plans get modified when you have an 8-week old ;D

Wait... what??? Your MIL was in jail over Christmas for bad behavior??? I must have missed that story...

While I was there to doula for the newborn - Crazy MIL went, well, crazier and the bovine excrement hit the rotary air distribution device big time.

Her two kids saw their mother's behavior in a whole new way..............and it was NOT going to pass for "normal" or even "nearly normal"............so, yeah, she was held in jail for a while.  The crazy is no longer allowed near their spouses or other family members - because she is too crazy to trust - and has demonstrated it in public in front of witnesses big time.............
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: HermioneGranger on November 09, 2011, 12:41:46 PM
We're not setting foot out of the house on Christmas this either, and I rather like the idea of Christmas at home anyway.  I remember opening all of my toys, then getting dragged away from them to visit all day and not getting to play with them until the next day.  I don't want those kind of memories for my daughter.  They can either come to us, or we'll see them a day or two before or after. 
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: CaffeineKatie on November 09, 2011, 04:13:01 PM
My holiday last stand came 20+ years ago, when we were newly married and broke.  My DH got  a teaching job 1000 miles away from my parents, and since he had winter break they INSISTED we come for Christmas.  We set out in a near blizzard in a rusty VW bug with no heat.  We made it 60 miles and pulled in to see if anything could be done to fix it.  After 3 hours of unsuccessful tinkering and $100 we couldn't afford, my DH mentioned he had lost all feeling in his feet.  We turned around for home in heavy blowing snow, barely made it back and then spent several hours thawing his feet.  I called my mom and got an earful of screaming about my ingratitude and how my selfishness would give my father another heart attack (obesity/3 packs a day/stress of living with her had nothing to do with his first one, of course).  That was it--no more travelling on the worst weeks of the year.  Of course, no one was willing to come to visit US--it's too far/too icy/too hard to fly on the holidays--and that ended any tiny guilt pangs I had left.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: MOM21SON on November 09, 2011, 05:09:52 PM
My hill came when I was 26 and asked my Mum if I could come home for Christmas and she wouldn't have me.  It was the last time I asked.

I asked in October and her reaction was so toxic, I didn't dare mention the subject again.  I made myself a solitary meal and was just sitting down to it when she arrived with my stepfather to collect their presents, two hours later than we'd arranged as it suited her better.  You see they were on their way to my aunt's and she hadn't wanted to make two journeys.  My aunt cried when I told her as she would have invited me as well if she'd known but my Mum didn't tell her.  My mother just picked her presents up and left looking smug.

Happy ending: my friends were appalled and I was inundated with invites the next year.  We've been to DH's family every year since.  My mother was infuriated!

Happiest ending: I stood up to her 13 years ago and she hasn't spoken to me since.  The afore-mentioned aunt took over as surrogate mother and I couldn't have asked for a better one ;D

And I still LOVE Christmas!!!

Are you my sister?  OOPs, forgot to add  ;D
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: cabbagegirl28 on November 09, 2011, 11:56:41 PM
I will not go to church late.

Going to church on Christmas Eve is important to me, but it's not so important that it messes up other important (at least to me) family traditions, such as Christmas Eve snack. Also, the last time that I happened, I was stressing out so much about all the stuff I had to do in the service that I passed out.

Also, when I have my own place, Christmas decorations are going up on Black Friday (no shopping; it's too crazy), and they're not coming down until January 6th.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: magdalena on November 10, 2011, 01:28:03 AM


I can understand that you might not have your tree up or want to make a big meal, but don't get why you can't open the presents.  Many people have Christmas early with one side of the family.

We have Christmas early or late with them every other year. For this once, we invited them to come to our house so we could all celebrate baby's first christmas together. They said they'd love to. I know the baby won't understand it's christmas (she'll be under 3 months at the time) but it's important to me... having them visit us at times is important to me, it makes me feel loved and accepted. We've told them that much.

After having promised to come and celebrate with us and my parents, they decided they couldn't, for reasons I won't get into but which really are no reasons at all (husband agrees). They have the annoying habit of accepting invitations and then cancelling at the last minute for really strange reasons. A lot. It hurts my husband and it hurts me. We've told them that. Gently.

So, when that happened again, about baby's first Christmas - and they went on to invite themselves to our house one week before Christmas... so I'll have to have the place clean earlier, will have to cook and bake for more people that week as well (all the while caring for a 2.5-month-old) my husband and I just decided that "sorry, no, there will be no christmassy stuff that weekend. If they want Christmas with us, they need to honor their commitments with us". We've gone along with the changed plans for years, I've done all I've could to make sure I have time to take care of them when they're here - I'm a freelancer and last-minute-changes really can screw up my plans - and we've come to the conclusion that we cannot change them, but we will stick to our plans at all times. Including Christmas.

Next year, we'll be travelling again, most likely to my family (abroad). We'll do Christmas early or late with the ILs then, at their place, at the time of their choosing. And once we've agreed on a weekend, we will not change plans on them in the last minute  ;)

Ahh, that bit o fbolded  background is good to know as it makes it easier to understand your decision. Probably should have included that in the original post.

Knowing what you have said about the way they always change plans to meet their needs, I think you are fine to go ahead and do things the way that you have them planned.

You're right, I should've added it, sorry. My only - and not very good - excuse is that I've been venting about this habit so much lately that I forgot not everyone in the world knows about it (coming to see our baby was a thread of it's own, really... the only reason I'm not posting is that I've found my solution which is to try and not take it personally...)
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: lady_disdain on November 10, 2011, 11:10:18 AM
Another possibility for the Christmas tree.  Do you have any clear empty wall space?  Create a tree out of construction paper and decorate with stickers.  You may even find a way to attach lights.  Not a perfect solution but sounds like a way to decorate without sacrificing floor or counter space.

 :o you're brilliant. Why didn't I think of that? Thank you!  ;D   ;D  ;D

^_^  You're welcome.  Please post pictures when you're done.

I think cutting it from foam core would work well. You could poke small Christmas lights through it, hiding the ugly wiring behind it, and use pins to hold ornaments up, as long as they aren't too heavy.

Another alternative would be to cut it from green felt - it would look great, reusable and still cheap.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: MrTango on November 10, 2011, 11:40:23 AM
Another possibility for the Christmas tree.  Do you have any clear empty wall space?  Create a tree out of construction paper and decorate with stickers.  You may even find a way to attach lights.  Not a perfect solution but sounds like a way to decorate without sacrificing floor or counter space.

 :o you're brilliant. Why didn't I think of that? Thank you!  ;D   ;D  ;D

^_^  You're welcome.  Please post pictures when you're done.

I think cutting it from foam core would work well. You could poke small Christmas lights through it, hiding the ugly wiring behind it, and use pins to hold ornaments up, as long as they aren't too heavy.

Another alternative would be to cut it from green felt - it would look great, reusable and still cheap.

Not a bad idea.  Just be careful that the lights don't melt the foam.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Seven Ate Nine on November 10, 2011, 03:13:25 PM
Another possibility for the Christmas tree.  Do you have any clear empty wall space?  Create a tree out of construction paper and decorate with stickers.  You may even find a way to attach lights.  Not a perfect solution but sounds like a way to decorate without sacrificing floor or counter space.

 :o you're brilliant. Why didn't I think of that? Thank you!  ;D   ;D  ;D

^_^  You're welcome.  Please post pictures when you're done.

I think cutting it from foam core would work well. You could poke small Christmas lights through it, hiding the ugly wiring behind it, and use pins to hold ornaments up, as long as they aren't too heavy.

Another alternative would be to cut it from green felt - it would look great, reusable and still cheap.

Not a bad idea.  Just be careful that the lights don't melt the foam.

Try LED lights.  They almost don't give off any heat at all.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: gmatoy on November 10, 2011, 10:41:18 PM
My hill came when I was 26 and asked my Mum if I could come home for Christmas and she wouldn't have me.  It was the last time I asked.
I asked in October and her reaction was so toxic, I didn't dare mention the subject again.  quote]

Thank goodness this post has a happy ending, because that first sentence kind of broke me heart a little bit.
My MIL did something like that to my DH. We live 3000 miles away from DH's family. He called her and said something about coming home. She said she wasn't up to having company. She called her own son "company."  She did ask him if he knew something about her health that she didn't know. (No, MIL, but did you think to ask about his health?)  Yeah, there is a reason we live so far away, why did you ask?
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: gmatoy on November 10, 2011, 10:58:23 PM
Our hill to die on was my DH telling my mother (who he loves very much) that we would be at her house when our children had finished opening their gifts and not before. He pointed out that all gift giving stops when someone was on the telephone and so repeated calls delayed our arrival. Boom! No more calls! ( He can say anything and she won't say "boo" to him...so when she tries to bring it up with me, I say, "You need to talk to DH about that.") ;D
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: GreenEyedHawk on November 11, 2011, 11:44:12 AM
So, get this now.  Normally our family Christmas dinner on Christmas day is several of the families that live in the same area, gathered at my parents' house and there are usually enough of us that I can avoid dealing with my sister altogether and it's a relatively stress-free and enjoyable experience because at the very least, I get to catch up with my cousins who I don't see nearly enough throughout the year.

But this year, we're having a small dinner on the 17th, because my parents are jetting off to Palm Springs this year for Christmas.  So it'll be just the four of us.  Which means no avoiding my sister and her constant stream of passive-aggressive comments, degradation and rudeness.  To be honest, I don't think I can handle it.  I have a mild anxiety attack every time I think about it.

So I'm thinking of chickening out and talking to my mother and explaining to her that while I definitely want some Christmas time with my parents and I want to see them before they go on holiday, I just don't think I can handle an evening with my sister with no one else around.  I hope we can come to some kind of alternate arrangement, because frankly it'd be a total Christmas-ruiner for me to have to deal with my sister and her behaviour. She was nasty to me at Thanksgiving so I have no doubt her attitude will not have improved for Christmas time.

And I know a lot of people...probably you folks as well...will probably say something like "try not to let it get to you" or something to that effect, but I've been putting up with this for many years and just cannot take it any more.  I know that if I have to deal with her, I'll say something nasty that will be far far worse than just avoiding the whole situation.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: gramma dishes on November 11, 2011, 12:23:46 PM
We wouldn't say that.  We all know you've done the "try not to let it get to you" thing and it hasn't worked.  So I say avoid away!  No point ruining a whole perfectly good holiday! 
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: blue2000 on November 11, 2011, 12:54:33 PM
It is perfectly polite to say in advance that you'd rather not hear that kind of talk. Sometimes "not letting it get to you" involves walking away.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: DCGirl on November 11, 2011, 02:59:16 PM
Some of you may know this store from elsewhere on the web (an in-laws board on iVillage)....

My FIL refuses to hire professionals to do any work on his house, on the assumption that all plumbers, electricians, carpenters, and other specialties are crooks who are out to cheat you by telling you that something is wrong when it really isn't it.  So, my ILs house is in deplorable condition after decades of FIL's half-a$$ed amateur repairs.  In particular, the house has a serious mold and mildew probelm, in large part because the roof has never been replaced (built in 1964, the house has its original roof with multiple layers of bad patch jobs).   One year, I ended up in Urgent Care the day after Thanksgiving and the day after Christmas because of an allergic reaction to all the mold in the house.  In particular, I develped an allergic reaction called atopic dermatitis which is a weeping rash. I then developed a secondary bacterial infection in the rash. 

The ILs' attitude ranged from "there's no mold problem here" to treating me like the heroine in "The Princess and the Pea".  ("Well, maybe there's a teeny little bit of mold, but the only reason that it brothers you is because you're such a high-maintenance princess.")

So, my hill was that I not have to attend events in that house.  It took about six months in marriage counseling to bring DH around to the point where he would stand up to his parents.

We did a couple of Thanksgivings and Christmases in restaurants, then when DH and I bought a house large enough to host everyone, we started holding things at our house.  Even at that, we still have to listen to FIL say that it just isn't Christmas if he can't open presents in his own home.  One year I smiled sweetly and told him he was welcome to cart his presents home and do so if he wanted.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: weeblewobble on November 11, 2011, 05:56:57 PM
DCGirl, I'm so glad you and DH have worked this out!

And frankly, I think I would tell FIL that it doesn't feel like the holidays if you have to spend them in the emergency room!
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Luci on November 11, 2011, 06:18:00 PM
So, get this now.  Normally our family Christmas dinner on Christmas day is several of the families that live in the same area, gathered at my parents' house and there are usually enough of us that I can avoid dealing with my sister altogether and it's a relatively stress-free and enjoyable experience because at the very least, I get to catch up with my cousins who I don't see nearly enough throughout the year.

But this year, we're having a small dinner on the 17th, because my parents are jetting off to Palm Springs this year for Christmas.  So it'll be just the four of us.  Which means no avoiding my sister and her constant stream of passive-aggressive comments, degradation and rudeness.  To be honest, I don't think I can handle it.  I have a mild anxiety attack every time I think about it.

So I'm thinking of chickening out and talking to my mother and explaining to her that while I definitely want some Christmas time with my parents and I want to see them before they go on holiday, I just don't think I can handle an evening with my sister with no one else around.  I hope we can come to some kind of alternate arrangement, because frankly it'd be a total Christmas-ruiner for me to have to deal with my sister and her behaviour. She was nasty to me at Thanksgiving so I have no doubt her attitude will not have improved for Christmas time.

And I know a lot of people...probably you folks as well...will probably say something like "try not to let it get to you" or something to that effect, but I've been putting up with this for many years and just cannot take it any more.  I know that if I have to deal with her, I'll say something nasty that will be far far worse than just avoiding the whole situation.

I tried to clip this, but couldn't do it that made sense.

Good for your parents for jetting off and yet still planning a nice seasonal get to gether for you. PLEASE, whatever you do, don't make your parents feel guilty about abandoning you. They are doing what they need to do to enjoy the family and each other. Isn't that wonderful?

Why do you feel that you must see your sister on Christmas? You will have had it already with the whole family. If she pushes, just say you have plans for that day and be done with it.

I'm not saying 'get over it'. I'm saying 'just say no'. And again, please don't guilt your parents. If they ask why you didn't see Sis on Christmas, beandip, ignore, change the subject. My favorite answer is something I learned from our daughter when she was 2 :
Because I didn't.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Wendy Moira Angela Pan on November 11, 2011, 06:50:26 PM
Luci45, I think GreenEyedHawk means that her parents are having a family dinner on the 17th before they leave and GEH knows that her sister will be there. It's not that she believes she must visit her sister on Christmas Day, it's that she doesn't want to see her at all.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: GreenEyedHawk on November 11, 2011, 07:22:40 PM
Luci45, I think GreenEyedHawk means that her parents are having a family dinner on the 17th before they leave and GEH knows that her sister will be there. It's not that she believes she must visit her sister on Christmas Day, it's that she doesn't want to see her at all.

Yes, that's right.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Klein Bottle on November 11, 2011, 09:49:03 PM
Some of you may know this store from elsewhere on the web (an in-laws board on iVillage)....

My FIL refuses to hire professionals to do any work on his house, on the assumption that all plumbers, electricians, carpenters, and other specialties are crooks who are out to cheat you by telling you that something is wrong when it really isn't it.  So, my ILs house is in deplorable condition after decades of FIL's half-a$$ed amateur repairs.  In particular, the house has a serious mold and mildew probelm, in large part because the roof has never been replaced (built in 1964, the house has its original roof with multiple layers of bad patch jobs).   One year, I ended up in Urgent Care the day after Thanksgiving and the day after Christmas because of an allergic reaction to all the mold in the house.  In particular, I develped an allergic reaction called atopic dermatitis which is a weeping rash. I then developed a secondary bacterial infection in the rash. 

The ILs' attitude ranged from "there's no mold problem here" to treating me like the heroine in "The Princess and the Pea".  ("Well, maybe there's a teeny little bit of mold, but the only reason that it brothers you is because you're such a high-maintenance princess.")

So, my hill was that I not have to attend events in that house.  It took about six months in marriage counseling to bring DH around to the point where he would stand up to his parents.

We did a couple of Thanksgivings and Christmases in restaurants, then when DH and I bought a house large enough to host everyone, we started holding things at our house.  Even at that, we still have to listen to FIL say that it just isn't Christmas if he can't open presents in his own home.  One year I smiled sweetly and told him he was welcome to cart his presents home and do so if he wanted.

You could also mention that atopic dermatitis is also very painful and hard to get rid of.  (I had a horrible case of it all over my hands back in the nineties.  My dermatologist never did determine what was causing it, but it sort of abated on its own after a couple years, and now I only ever get a small patch of it, from time to time.)

Sorry you had to go through that, and I don't blame you a bit for not wanting to return to that house of horrors.  (Seriously. a roof from 1964?  I can't wrap my head around that number.)
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Luci on November 11, 2011, 10:33:52 PM
Luci45, I think GreenEyedHawk means that her parents are having a family dinner on the 17th before they leave and GEH knows that her sister will be there. It's not that she believes she must visit her sister on Christmas Day, it's that she doesn't want to see her at all.

Yes, that's right.

I'm confused. You said there would be just the four of you. Oh! Mom, Dad, and two sisters! Got it.

Good luck with that!
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: artk2002 on November 11, 2011, 11:52:15 PM
I've also seen a 1/2 tree.  Its artificial, about 5 feet tall, green, and looks like a tree was cut vertically down the trunk.  It hangs on the wall sticking out less than a foot.  I don't remember where I saw it. 

I'm another one who refuses to see Mom over the holidays or any other time.  We live 1000 miles apart and I have cats so I always have an excuse for not going out to see her.

For many years, my parents would buy a small, lopsided tree and trim one side off completely and hang it on the wall.  We'd get it fairly late, so watering wasn't an issue.  It kept the tree out of the cats' reach.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: veryfluffy on November 22, 2011, 08:18:39 AM
"When the tradition becomes a burden, it's time to change the tradition".  

Very wise words.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: bopper on November 22, 2011, 02:40:34 PM
My  holiday hill to die on was one Christmas Eve...

My stepmom would host Christmas Eve.  Our children were in the 8-10 year old range, I think.  Still kids, anyway.  She kept putting off the opening of presents...I think it was to "heighten the anticipation."  But what it really did was create some bored kids with nothing to do.  But then we finally started opening presents at 9:30pm they were tired and it was getting late and we still had an hour and a half drive still had "Santa Duties" of our own (putting out presents and what not). The next year I told her that her method was not working for us and we were going to be leaving at 10:00pm so she needed to plan for that.  She moved everything earlier and we have not had a problem since.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: goldilocks on November 22, 2011, 04:43:30 PM
Definitely gift exchange.  For years my mother would spend money she didn't have buying me things I didn't want.  At the same time my siblings are wearing ourselves out buying for each other, spouses and kids.  I finally woke up to her financial situation and put my foot down.   She is allowed to buy the grandchildren 2 present each, but nothing for myself and my siblings.  My brother sister and I do not exchange but we buy for the kids.  She complained to her sister that her Christmas was just miserable.  Aunt called me to bless me out and I replied, Really?  Christmas with her entire family together enjoying the day and a great meal was miserable? 

But I stood my ground.   I can't enjoy Christmas knowing she is running up credit cards over it, and it's wrong to think that Christmas is about how much money you spend.

Oh, and I threw DH into this as well.  Trying to buy him a gift every year was stressing me out to the point of affecting our marriage (and he apparently felt the same way) so he and I no longer exchange.   Last year I bought myself a Kindle, wrapped it up and put it under the tree, and I was delighted by my thoughtfulness!
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Yvaine on November 22, 2011, 04:52:44 PM
Some of you may know this store from elsewhere on the web (an in-laws board on iVillage)....

My FIL refuses to hire professionals to do any work on his house, on the assumption that all plumbers, electricians, carpenters, and other specialties are crooks who are out to cheat you by telling you that something is wrong when it really isn't it.  So, my ILs house is in deplorable condition after decades of FIL's half-a$$ed amateur repairs.  In particular, the house has a serious mold and mildew probelm, in large part because the roof has never been replaced (built in 1964, the house has its original roof with multiple layers of bad patch jobs).   One year, I ended up in Urgent Care the day after Thanksgiving and the day after Christmas because of an allergic reaction to all the mold in the house.  In particular, I develped an allergic reaction called atopic dermatitis which is a weeping rash. I then developed a secondary bacterial infection in the rash. 

The ILs' attitude ranged from "there's no mold problem here" to treating me like the heroine in "The Princess and the Pea".  ("Well, maybe there's a teeny little bit of mold, but the only reason that it brothers you is because you're such a high-maintenance princess.")

So, my hill was that I not have to attend events in that house.  It took about six months in marriage counseling to bring DH around to the point where he would stand up to his parents.

We did a couple of Thanksgivings and Christmases in restaurants, then when DH and I bought a house large enough to host everyone, we started holding things at our house.  Even at that, we still have to listen to FIL say that it just isn't Christmas if he can't open presents in his own home.  One year I smiled sweetly and told him he was welcome to cart his presents home and do so if he wanted.

You're married to my brother? Hi SIL, fancy meeting you here!  ;D (Seriously, I could fill a whole forum with tales of my dad's bad repairs, crumbling house, and the resulting ailments that he insists are just every single person who ever visits being a SS.)
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: kherbert05 on November 22, 2011, 05:39:36 PM
Some of you may know this store from elsewhere on the web (an in-laws board on iVillage)....

My FIL refuses to hire professionals to do any work on his house, on the assumption that all plumbers, electricians, carpenters, and other specialties are crooks who are out to cheat you by telling you that something is wrong when it really isn't it.  So, my ILs house is in deplorable condition after decades of FIL's half-a$$ed amateur repairs.  In particular, the house has a serious mold and mildew probelm, in large part because the roof has never been replaced (built in 1964, the house has its original roof with multiple layers of bad patch jobs).   One year, I ended up in Urgent Care the day after Thanksgiving and the day after Christmas because of an allergic reaction to all the mold in the house.  In particular, I develped an allergic reaction called atopic dermatitis which is a weeping rash. I then developed a secondary bacterial infection in the rash. 

The ILs' attitude ranged from "there's no mold problem here" to treating me like the heroine in "The Princess and the Pea".  ("Well, maybe there's a teeny little bit of mold, but the only reason that it brothers you is because you're such a high-maintenance princess.")

So, my hill was that I not have to attend events in that house.  It took about six months in marriage counseling to bring DH around to the point where he would stand up to his parents.

We did a couple of Thanksgivings and Christmases in restaurants, then when DH and I bought a house large enough to host everyone, we started holding things at our house.  Even at that, we still have to listen to FIL say that it just isn't Christmas if he can't open presents in his own home.  One year I smiled sweetly and told him he was welcome to cart his presents home and do so if he wanted.

You could also mention that atopic dermatitis is also very painful and hard to get rid of.  (I had a horrible case of it all over my hands back in the nineties.  My dermatologist never did determine what was causing it, but it sort of abated on its own after a couple years, and now I only ever get a small patch of it, from time to time.)

Sorry you had to go through that, and I don't blame you a bit for not wanting to return to that house of horrors.  (Seriously. a roof from 1964?  I can't wrap my head around that number.)

WAIT - I've had both atopic and contact dermatitis for 40+ years.  No one ever told me you could "get rid of it" (I had my first outbreak less than an hour after I was born and have never been itch free for more than a month or so at a time.)
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: hannahmollysmom on November 22, 2011, 05:46:24 PM
I now have a small living room but had a huge artificial tree from the past. I set it up but left all the back side branches off. It was a 1/2 tree but you really couldn't tell and only stuck out a couple of feet. Did have to anchor it with wire to the window. But it worked well.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: blue2000 on November 22, 2011, 05:55:52 PM
You could also mention that atopic dermatitis is also very painful and hard to get rid of.  (I had a horrible case of it all over my hands back in the nineties.  My dermatologist never did determine what was causing it, but it sort of abated on its own after a couple years, and now I only ever get a small patch of it, from time to time.)

Sorry you had to go through that, and I don't blame you a bit for not wanting to return to that house of horrors.  (Seriously. a roof from 1964?  I can't wrap my head around that number.)

WAIT - I've had both atopic and contact dermatitis for 40+ years.  No one ever told me you could "get rid of it" (I had my first outbreak less than an hour after I was born and have never been itch free for more than a month or so at a time.)

If you find out what is causing it (or contributing to it) you can sometimes get rid of it. If the answer is that you are allergic to everything... not so much. :( Mine still drives me bonkers no matter how many things I try.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: VorFemme on November 22, 2011, 06:23:10 PM
I had a friend who realized that her father was "loosing it" when the retired banker bought a house with mold & mildew issues then tried to move his allergic, elderly wife and himself into it because he didn't recognize the smell & sight of the mold & mildew as stuff that his wife was highly allergic to.

She had to put them up in temporary quarters while getting the place deep cleaned (apprently being shut up was 90% of the issue - replacing the carpet & padding, priming, and repainting did wonders).  But she's had to get her sister and brother in on rotation to help with them because her husband had to move his parents close to them as his brother's health was poor enough that her BIL could not help.

The icing on that cupcake was that her ILs had never accepted her even though they'd been married thirty years and had three kids.................but are now living across the street from her so she can keep an eye on them (works from home).
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Auntie Mame on November 22, 2011, 07:00:37 PM
Definitely gift exchange.  For years my mother would spend money she didn't have buying me things I didn't want. 

I have a sister?   ;)

Seriously though, how did you get your mom to stop.  I've been trying for years to stop the endless flow of rubbish she buys for the daughter shwants, not the one she has.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: furrcats on November 22, 2011, 09:07:28 PM
I'm another one who refuses to see Mom over the holidays or any other time.  We live 1000 miles apart and I have cats so I always have an excuse for not going out to see her.

Sometimes cats are the better people  ;D

Much better people!  ;D
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: SCAJAfamily on November 22, 2011, 09:16:09 PM
We went to the ILs for Christmas eve and day for a few years.  The last year was when C was 2.  There were 12 of us opening presents together (the 4 of us, SIL and husband, MIL and FIL, dh's grandparents).  It took over 4 hours to open presents.  All C wanted to do was play with his toys.  He had a complete meltdown.

After that I told dh that we need to stay home Christmas morning and open presents as a core family.  Just the 4 (and later 5) of us.  And that is what we do.  We go to my parents for dinner (they are 15 minutes away) and then drive the 2 hrs to dh's family the day after.  It has been that way for 10 years now and we are happy.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: bluhairfreak on November 22, 2011, 09:41:07 PM
We went to the ILs for Christmas eve and day for a few years.  The last year was when C was 2.  There were 12 of us opening presents together (the 4 of us, SIL and husband, MIL and FIL, dh's grandparents).  It took over 4 hours to open presents.  All C wanted to do was play with his toys.  He had a complete meltdown.

After that I told dh that we need to stay home Christmas morning and open presents as a core family.  Just the 4 (and later 5) of us.  And that is what we do.  We go to my parents for dinner (they are 15 minutes away) and then drive the 2 hrs to dh's family the day after.  It has been that way for 10 years now and we are happy.

4 hours opening presents?   :o  At my grandfather's house there can be 15-19 people opening presents(depends on if my brother's family is there or not) and I don't think gift exchange has ever gone taken even two hours. 
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Klein Bottle on November 22, 2011, 09:43:18 PM
Some of you may know this store from elsewhere on the web (an in-laws board on iVillage)....

My FIL refuses to hire professionals to do any work on his house, on the assumption that all plumbers, electricians, carpenters, and other specialties are crooks who are out to cheat you by telling you that something is wrong when it really isn't it.  So, my ILs house is in deplorable condition after decades of FIL's half-a$$ed amateur repairs.  In particular, the house has a serious mold and mildew probelm, in large part because the roof has never been replaced (built in 1964, the house has its original roof with multiple layers of bad patch jobs).   One year, I ended up in Urgent Care the day after Thanksgiving and the day after Christmas because of an allergic reaction to all the mold in the house.  In particular, I develped an allergic reaction called atopic dermatitis which is a weeping rash. I then developed a secondary bacterial infection in the rash. 

The ILs' attitude ranged from "there's no mold problem here" to treating me like the heroine in "The Princess and the Pea".  ("Well, maybe there's a teeny little bit of mold, but the only reason that it brothers you is because you're such a high-maintenance princess.")

So, my hill was that I not have to attend events in that house.  It took about six months in marriage counseling to bring DH around to the point where he would stand up to his parents.

We did a couple of Thanksgivings and Christmases in restaurants, then when DH and I bought a house large enough to host everyone, we started holding things at our house.  Even at that, we still have to listen to FIL say that it just isn't Christmas if he can't open presents in his own home.  One year I smiled sweetly and told him he was welcome to cart his presents home and do so if he wanted.

You could also mention that atopic dermatitis is also very painful and hard to get rid of.  (I had a horrible case of it all over my hands back in the nineties.  My dermatologist never did determine what was causing it, but it sort of abated on its own after a couple years, and now I only ever get a small patch of it, from time to time.)

Sorry you had to go through that, and I don't blame you a bit for not wanting to return to that house of horrors.  (Seriously. a roof from 1964?  I can't wrap my head around that number.)

WAIT - I've had both atopic and contact dermatitis for 40+ years.  No one ever told me you could "get rid of it" (I had my first outbreak less than an hour after I was born and have never been itch free for more than a month or so at a time.)

Mine has never 100% gone away, not completely, but I do only ever get small patches of it now and again.  There were years there in which both my hands were a mess.  I never found out what caused it, but I have a few clues. 
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: goldilocks on November 23, 2011, 08:33:36 AM
Definitely gift exchange.  For years my mother would spend money she didn't have buying me things I didn't want. 

I have a sister?   ;)

Seriously though, how did you get your mom to stop.  I've been trying for years to stop the endless flow of rubbish she buys for the daughter shwants, not the one she has.

fortunately, my brother and sister backed me up.  We found out my mother was in serious, serious, financial trouble and that opened all our eyes.   Christmas had become more of a stress than a joy.  You know, the old, "I  have to get something for Uncle Joe even though he has everything and I have no idea what he wants well I'll just buy something"!

Dont get me wrong - I love giving gifts if I know it's something the recepient will truly love.   I just don't like wasting money buying something that I'm not sure they'll care for, just because I HAVE to get them something.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: starbuck on November 23, 2011, 05:25:31 PM
My hill is broad and it is that DH and I get to have our schedules considered as well, even though we are the only child-free people in the family. Nobody was doing anything to be malicious but it got to the point where every last thing of the holidays - or just extended family time together - was decided around kids and their schedules. At one point every meal during holiday week was taking place at 8pm or later b/c my sibs wanted their kids to be in bed before we ate. Now, I don't mind doing that even most of the time but SOME of the time people needed to consider that DH and I were traveling an hour each way, every day, that week, and weren't on vacation or stay at home parents or retired. Luckily my family is basically awesome and when I gently pointed this out one night everyone agreed it wasn't fair and things were adjusted, including the fact that DH and I don't always have to be the ones to travel. Thanks, fam. =)
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: loopyluna on November 24, 2011, 10:22:55 PM
My hill is that I will not travel twice for the same holiday.

I went to school out of state and would fly home for Christmas (usually about two weeks). Since I needed public transportation to get to and from the airport, this made for very long, uncomfortable travel days. Three out of four years, I finally arrived at home to be informed that we were going to drive 8 hours to see relatives I barely knew, usually leaving the day after I arrived. It's very hard to catch up with my parents/brother when their attention is split catching up with people I don't know. I also did not appreciate being simply informed with a few hours notice that I was going to have a full day of travel immediately after flying home. Once, and only once, I was criticized for not having dressy enough clothes to visit people; I was living out of a suitcase and had no idea I needed to bring something suitable, and I said as much (and was never bothered about it again).

Four years is enough. I've made it very clear to my parents that when I travel around holidays, I'm traveling to see them and to be home. Since I started working, I can't control my schedule, and my time off is extremely limited and all the more valuable to me. If I have 5 days off, I want to spend 2 traveling and 3 visiting, not 4 traveling and 1 visiting. Not worth my time/money/days off. The fact that I can't travel this year for Christmas has helped my parents see my side of it; I so rarely see them these days that they don't want to "share" me by throwing a sudden extra trip into the mix and letting other relatives take away from the time they get to spend with me. I don't care if they want to have Christmas in Home State, out in Brother's State, in My State, or Exotic Sunny Island; once they choose a location, I will travel to that place and nowhere else.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: TeamBhakta on November 26, 2011, 12:29:10 PM
My hill is that I'm taking over Thanksgiving cooking next year. And any other holidays. Because my sister is not respectful of my dad's diabetes + high blood pressure medicine when cooking. I've tried explaining it to her. My parents have tried explaining it to her. We've all offered to bring dishes, to help in the kitchen and to teach her easy, fast, healthy recipes. Doesn't do any good, because the same thing keeps happening over and over: the only healthy things are whatever gets brought by us. My parents don't want to eat at her house anymore, it's that bad. Last Thanksgiving she served  TGIF frozen potato skins, frozen breaded chicken patties, frozen cheesey potatoes and more frozen, high salt food but no veggies, to give you an idea of what it's like.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: gramma dishes on November 26, 2011, 12:51:37 PM
Last Thanksgiving she served  TGIF frozen potato skins, frozen breaded chicken patties, frozen cheesey potatoes and more frozen, high salt food but no veggies, to give you an idea of what it's like.

*whine, whine*

"But it's trad-i-tion!!!"  LOL!   ;D
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: something.new.every.day on November 26, 2011, 01:49:41 PM
Last Thanksgiving she served  TGIF frozen potato skins, frozen breaded chicken patties, frozen cheesey potatoes and more frozen, high salt food but no veggies, to give you an idea of what it's like.

*whine, whine*

"But it's trad-i-tion!!!"  LOL!   ;D

It's like she's trying to make things as unhealthy as humanly possible.  I was thinking she was adding too much butter and salt to the fresh potatoes and veggies--but wow!   I'm cringing at all of the salt and chemicals in the meal she's "preparing".  Good for you for not going along with it anymore. 
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: blue2000 on November 26, 2011, 03:02:35 PM
Last Thanksgiving she served  TGIF frozen potato skins, frozen breaded chicken patties, frozen cheesey potatoes and more frozen, high salt food but no veggies, to give you an idea of what it's like.

*whine, whine*

"But it's trad-i-tion!!!"  LOL!   ;D

It's like she's trying to make things as unhealthy as humanly possible.  I was thinking she was adding too much butter and salt to the fresh potatoes and veggies--but wow!   I'm cringing at all of the salt and chemicals in the meal she's "preparing".  Good for you for not going along with it anymore. 

Ugh! I agree! Even if she doesn't want to spend much time cooking, there are better choices than that for a nice holiday meal. :( A deli would have some healthy choices, and you can get good frozen food too.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Dindrane on November 26, 2011, 10:39:09 PM
My hill is that I'm taking over Thanksgiving cooking next year. And any other holidays. Because my sister is not respectful of my dad's diabetes + high blood pressure medicine when cooking. I've tried explaining it to her. My parents have tried explaining it to her. We've all offered to bring dishes, to help in the kitchen and to teach her easy, fast, healthy recipes. Doesn't do any good, because the same thing keeps happening over and over: the only healthy things are whatever gets brought by us. My parents don't want to eat at her house anymore, it's that bad. Last Thanksgiving she served  TGIF frozen potato skins, frozen breaded chicken patties, frozen cheesey potatoes and more frozen, high salt food but no veggies, to give you an idea of what it's like.

Frozen food for Thanksgiving dinner might be enough to drive me to take over the food prep even without the health considerations your family is working with.  I don't think I'd be all that interested in eating that much frozen food for any meal, and certainly not a holiday one!
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: GreenEyedHawk on November 27, 2011, 10:48:09 AM
You all make me that much more grateful that my mom is such a spectacular cook.  Her holiday meals would never include frozen anything of any kind.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Ambrosia Hino on November 28, 2011, 09:32:34 AM
well, my Thanksgiving went well, how about everyone else? ;D

SIL had gotten details mixed up and ended up spending the holiday with her husband's family 2 hours away. She is a bit put-out that we won't rearrange Christmas to make-up for her mistake, but after a quick explanation of the logistics (like the point that DH, Baby Hino, & I will be in Texas and step-sibs will be in Virginia) she understood that it was on her. She and I did go out for sushi on Sunday, while DH went with SIL's hubby and his dad to Hooters to watch the ATL Falcons game. So she did get some holiday time, but not with her dad & his household (came down with colds Saturday night).

Bonus, just got a year's warning that we're on our own for Thanksgiving next year, because SMIL is taking them (FIL, SSIL, and SBIL) down to Puerto Rico for the holiday, for her parents' 50th anniversary. Hey, at least we have plenty of warning!
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: darling on November 28, 2011, 11:26:27 AM
Here's my update:

My cousin's 10 year old decided that she was too old for the kids table, as did my 16 year old cousin and her boyfriend. They went through the line first with the rest of the kids, and plopped down at the adult table, taking up 3 of the available spots. My granny apparently decided to not put the other two leaves in the table, which meant there were only 6 spots left for 12 adults. My mom, sister, sister's DH, ended up at a card table in the dining room with my niece. I ended up at the kid's table, which was thankfully moved to the living room, and as I sat down with my aunt and my son, I decided to make the best of it. "Alright!!! I get to sit at the COOL table!!!", which cracked up the little ones, and made the 10 yo look wistfully at the kids' table, which was now full. I wonder how she enjoyed the lively discussion about health insurance? The boyfriend left right after dinner, since all we were going to do was talk.

As usual, one aunt and uncle's adult children brought NOTHING to share. This aunt always brings one small bowl of coleslaw to each and every family dinner. This apparently covers the 10 of them. I brought my beer bread and spinach dip (which is being consumed by everyone, even as I uncover it, LOL), my parents brought a big casserole dish of green bean casserole, the sweet potatoes and the buns, which my sister helped make. My other aunt made two pies, a huge pan of brownies, and helped my granny cook the turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, and the corn, and another salad, plus a snack tray. I wanted to ask my cousins if they seriously thought that it was fair to never once bring a potluck contribution in the 11 & 8 years they've been married. They seriously all showed up with their kids, and ate. No cleanup help from them at all.

I did have a good time, though. The little kids thought my son was hysterically funny. He's really, really tall, and he could get his head to touch the archway between the living room and dining room by barely going up on his toes. They thought that was the funniest thing they had ever seen (ages 2-7). In fact, that's how we got my nephew to eat his turkey, instead of just buns. "Eat two more bites, and I'll do it again..." It's great having all of the little kids around again, and they adored my 17 yo son because he actually took the time to play with them (even if it consisted of them asking him for the zillionth time to touch the ceiling with his hand, or his head to the archways).

I look forward to a repeat at Christmas, although at least we'll be at my aunt's house, which is much larger (and she is, seriously, the BEST HOSTESS, and my role model!). Although, with their well going dry, we may end up hosting at my parents' house, on Christmas day. Oh well, whatever doesn't kill you, makes you stronger!

Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: lilfox on November 29, 2011, 03:17:14 PM
My hill to die on will be where we spend next Christmas.

This will be the fourth year in a row that I have spent Christmas with DH's extended family (every year since we got married).  The primary reason is that his family lives within driving distance (7 hours, but drivable) and mine is a 6 hour flight away.  My parents have been surprisingly laid back about it and rather than insisting that we alternate (which I was prepared to do but DH was not), we have met up at another time in the year (DH didn't even go the last trip).

A few days ago my mom says they'd like to 'reserve' next Christmas with us.  I haven't responded but I mentioned to DH that this is my family's request.  He's already said he doesn't like being left out of the decision (that, er, hasn't been made yet) and has he mentioned lately how expensive and hassle-prone holiday flights will be?  FWIW, cost is not a legit issue in our case.

Well, I say the decision hasn't technically been made but that is what I'm doing and by extension DD too.  DH's family will understand, they're great and appreciate the effort and sacrifice I've made to be part of their celebrations at the expense of my own.  It's DH that will be the holdout.  His idea of a compromise is to put my parents and brother on a plane (at their expense of course) + a 3 hour drive on country roads to spend the holidays with us and DH's family at the big cabin in the woods, so that he won't miss the holidays with his family/at the cabin, or have to spend money, or be hassled at the airports.

The way I see it, Christmas next year with my family is not only a totally reasonable request, it is also (in my mind) non-negotiable.  In other words, if DH opts out of that trip, it won't just be a holiday hill to die on.   :'(
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: MsOverThinker on November 29, 2011, 04:08:15 PM
Wow, just read the whole thread!  My holiday hill to die on was not eating Grandma's cooking for Christmas ever again.  She graciously volunteered to cook for us Christmas 2009 and it was terrible.  She's never been a good cook and the meal was inedible.  The next year I told my BF that I was going to cook something (thinking simple casserole or anything but grandma's instant foods that always disappoint) and he amazingly volunteered to host Christmas dinner 2010 for my parents, sister, and grandparents last year.  It was a fabulous meal (he's a trained chef) and we haven't stopped talking about it yet.

That 2009 dinner had other factors that caused me to lose my appetite, including some guests Grandma invited over to my parents' rented beach condo who decided hers was the only conversation that could happen in the room and shushed me (I was 27 at the time and had never met this woman) when I made an aside to my Grandfather, who was not participating actively in their conversation.  I should point out that in my family, in a room with more than 6 people in it, there can easily be 3 conversations going on and is considered perfectly acceptable behavior.  I excused myself from the room for the rest of her visit. 

That's my other hill to die on.  Holidays, whether spent with family or friends, should be laid-back affairs.  I shouldn't have to dress up (not-holey jeans and a decent shirt/sweater should be acceptable attire) or make stilted conversation with people I barely know.  I prefer to be with family and friends I know well who don't stand on  ceremony.  After that Christmas and a Thanksgiving with relatives-of-a-friend that was WAY more formal than I was lead to believe it would be (generous of them to invite me but never again), I am very careful about how I plan my holiday participation.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: JacklynHyde on November 29, 2011, 05:14:30 PM
Sadly, mine was a couple of years ago to refuse to spend holidays with my father's side of the family.  While I miss my solo surviving grandfather desperately at times, my uncle and aunt (Dad's brother and SIL) had made holidays something to be endured rather than enjoyed. 

Aunt breeds dogs of a yippy variety and there have been up to a dozen of them howling in the laundry room or running through the house.  My oldest cousin abused me when we were kids and I'm still waiting for an apology.  I'm told the entire family is aware of his past behavior but never did anything.  His younger brother is a little kinder but has given me a lot of grief for being childless, as if my infertility is a personal affront to the rest of the family.

The topper is that every time I was dragged to Christmas or Thanksgiving, my side of the family (including my grandparents) were seated away from the rest of the family in the sun room, sharing space with a hot tub.  The seats in the dining room were for Aunt, her sisters and her dog irresponsible parent of the human variety friends.  By the time dinner was served, I was usually defensively tippled.

Things are much easier now that I am living in another state.  Slowly, my brother and even my parents have followed my lead.  My grandfather still enjoys the holidays with his elder son, but he tends to turn off his hearing aids when the dogs get out and into the party.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: blueyzca01 on December 06, 2011, 05:13:40 PM
I was able to fully recognize my hill after my little sis showed me her hill… and lo, it was the Same Hill.

Growing up, my father insisted on the same glorious basic dinner for both Thanksgiving and Christmas:  turkey, gravy, oyster dressing, and mashed potatoes.  But Mom always made all this other food too: that dreadful diety-awful Green Bean Casserole, salad, bread, and corn (because diety-awful Green Bean Casserole and mashed potatoes weren’t reeeeeally veggies).  Sometimes she’d substitute Brussels sprouts for the corn.

Now, on any given day, I’m perfectly fine eating veggies, salad, corn, even Brussels sprouts.  But we ONLY get turkey and oyster dressing on those 2 days.  And I’m a mighty 5’0 tall person…there just isn’t a lot of room in the tummy and I hate stuffing myself.  But Mom always insisted that we eat some of everything and every year we all had tummy aches.  And because we were little kids we really couldn’t say anything, and as we got older we just put up with it and stuffed ourselves.

So, my sister grows up, marries, and has her own family.  And she told me that one of the first things she did on her first married Thanksgiving was to 86 all the other stuff and stick to the core menu that everyone loved:  turkey, gravy, oyster dressing, and mashed potatoes.  Two days a year without veggies wouldn’t hurt anyone.  She never made her 3 kids eat any veggies on those 2 days.  My mouth dropped  open, I was so impressed with her!  I guess becoming a wife and mom made her stand up for herself. 

So I finally stood up to my mom and told her that I wasn’t going to eat everything.  A tummyache-free Thanksgiving!!  Wow.  It was a whole new world. 

Now, hubby and I go to my SIL’s house for TG and I eat  4 things.  I’m sure you can guess what they are. 
Everyone keeps insisting that I can’t eat just turkeymashedpotatoesgravystuffing.  I insist otherwise.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: blueyzca01 on December 06, 2011, 05:19:17 PM
Sadly, mine was a couple of years ago to refuse to spend holidays with my father's side of the family.  While I miss my solo surviving grandfather desperately at times, my uncle and aunt (Dad's brother and SIL) had made holidays something to be endured rather than enjoyed. 

I've always said that Life is too short to endure holidays.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: JoyinVirginia on December 06, 2011, 08:38:39 PM
I was able to fully recognize my hill after my little sis showed me her hill… and lo, it was the Same Hill... Mom always insisted that we eat some of everything and every year we all had tummy aches.... I finally stood up to my mom and told her that I wasn’t going to eat everything.  A tummyache-free Thanksgiving!!  Wow.  It was a whole new world...  Now, hubby and I go to my SIL’s house for TG and I eat  4 things.  I’m sure you can guess what they are. Everyone keeps insisting that I can’t eat just turkeymashedpotatoesgravystuffing.  I insist otherwise.

Yea for you! The most fun part of Thanksgiving for me is cooking a bunch of stuff so everyone has a selection of their favorites, but I know not everyone will eat anything. I am the only one of the family who will eat purple food - beets, that cranberry sauce from a can that is so yummy and other people make fun of here. My kids like peas and I will not even touch one (they have to cook their own). And you can never eat too many mashed potatoes!
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Lynda_34 on December 09, 2011, 03:34:42 PM
This was a great thread.  I just want to add that there is a craft Christmas tree that is a flat board and has holes drilled in it.  It is available iln craft stores, it needs to be sanded, (the holes are rough) and it needs to be stained or painted.  The holes fit Christmas lights and it stands alone.  It is about two feet tall.

When my daughter was in college she lived with two other women in a tiny one bedroom apartment.  Two of them slept in the bedroom and one of them slept on the couch.  I bought and made the tree and they put it up against the wall in the living room.  Didn't take up any room and she is a Christmas nut so was quite happy.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Garden Goblin on December 10, 2011, 05:42:29 PM
Mine is simple.

My house.  My guest list.  Strict no jerks allowed policy.

Which means since Uncle can't bring himself to not torment my critters (and those other guests are permitted to bring, like my cousin's seeing-eye dog), he doesn't get to come, and Grandfather cannot cope with the fact that my beloved nephew has a parent of a different ethnicity than everyone else in the family, he will not be invited. 
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: DoubleTrouble on December 12, 2011, 12:57:06 PM
My hill to die on came this year. We leave town on the 23rd to drive 3 hours to see the ILs (who I do adore but have a tiny house), then drive 3 hrs on Christmas to see my family (hopefully the location 20 miles from our house, otherwise it's another 2 hour drive back home). Then my family stays for two days, we get less than one day alone then have to drive 5 hours (with a time change) on the 29th for my Dad's extended family's celebration on the 30th, then drive 5 hours home early on the 31st.

My parents are giving me grief for deciding not to add an extra 6 hours of driving on the 31st to see her extended family, in the middle of Ohio, in a church basement for 3 hours during what should be the boys' nap time & then drive home on New Year's Eve just when things will start getting crazy out. Nope, not gonna do it. I love my Mom's family but we are way closer (& have more fun!) with my Dad's family plus we just saw my Mom's family over the summer (same location but easier to do since it was summer) whereas I haven't' seen some of my Dad's family since the boys were born 3 years ago.

I also laid down the law with DH that from now on Christmas would be at our house. It's hard to travel & then stay in a tiny house with only one bathroom for four adults & two rapidly growing children. I hated traveling at Christmas & as DH never did he doesn't get how awkward it can be to stay at someone else's house (as we're going to his old house it's not an issue for him). Quite frankly if DH can't agree to travel at least one year to my parent's for Christmas Day (he refuses as that would be too far from his parents on Christmas *sigh*) & make them travel every year then his parents can travel as well (we're smack dab in between both sets of grandparents). It's hard to do anything at the ILs during the winter because (a) there's just not much to do outside there in the winter because (b) MIL & FIL just don't do much in general but go to the casino & watch TV & do you know how insane two preschoolers get when they're cooped up for three days straight? And how insane their mother gets becuase no one will do anything? It's not fun at all.

He also tries to pull the "must be with his mother on her birthday" which happens to be December 25 but I keep pointing out that I haven't been with my mother on her birthday in at least 10 years & in his family Christmas is celebrated on Christmas Eve so the 25th is just a birthday to his family & unless it's a milestone birthday, his Mom won't care (she's told me this). I think DH thinks that the world will end if he's not with his Mom but I also point out that for the boys' first Christmas (when I refused to travel with preemies) & his parents were supposed to come to us, they didn't because of the weather. And somehow MIL was A-OK with not having us there on her birthday & we had a lovely time the next weekend ::)

Plus, the boys are getting into the whole Christmas thing & I would love to see them come down the stairs to a pile of gifts under our tree on Christmas morning. We'd still get to see both sides of the family with the benefit of doing it in our home! I understand traditions are important but it's also important to make new traditions. So from now on we agreed that his family would come out & stay with us through Christmas morning then after they leave, we go to my Aunt & Uncle's house to be with my family & spend the nights in our own beds.

Oh, that felt good letting that all out!
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: philliesphan on December 12, 2011, 12:57:21 PM
Mine is simple.

My house.  My guest list.  Strict no jerks allowed policy.

Which means since Uncle can't bring himself to not torment my critters (and those other guests are permitted to bring, like my cousin's seeing-eye dog), he doesn't get to come, and Grandfather cannot cope with the fact that my beloved nephew has a parent of a different ethnicity than everyone else in the family, he will not be invited.

On behalf of your nephew, thank you. I'm of two races and as I was growing up I started to notice how poorly my grandmother treated my mother, and how my dad did nothing about it. I was her only grandchild, so she was nice to me, but she made my mom miserable. It really made me rethink my relationship with both my grandmother and my father, and I wish he had stood up to her for us. Good for you for refusing to tolerate that nonsense from YOUR family.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: GreenEyedHawk on December 14, 2011, 07:12:11 PM
Mine is simple.

My house.  My guest list.  Strict no jerks allowed policy.

Which means since Uncle can't bring himself to not torment my critters (and those other guests are permitted to bring, like my cousin's seeing-eye dog), he doesn't get to come, and Grandfather cannot cope with the fact that my beloved nephew has a parent of a different ethnicity than everyone else in the family, he will not be invited.

On behalf of your nephew, thank you. I'm of two races and as I was growing up I started to notice how poorly my grandmother treated my mother, and how my dad did nothing about it. I was her only grandchild, so she was nice to me, but she made my mom miserable. It really made me rethink my relationship with both my grandmother and my father, and I wish he had stood up to her for us. Good for you for refusing to tolerate that nonsense from YOUR family.

Yeah, I agree.  Both reasons you listed for not inviting folks are perfectly acceptable in my book too.  I have two dogs and three cats and if you can't be nice to animals...or at the very least, just ignore them....you're not welcome in my house.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: FauxFoodist on December 15, 2011, 02:56:49 PM
I have two small hills...

Hill #1 -- Was two Christmases ago, and my first Christmas with DF.  Prior to Christmas, DF had told me about FBIL's money and procrastinating woes, often turning to DF for a money "loan" (often not paid back).  Anyway, one of the things FBIL had done previously was called DF, often last-minute, and asked DF to add FBIL's name to the Christmas presents DF bought for their relatives and that FBIL would pay DF a portion to cover (also not always done).  On CHRISTMAS EVE, DF is contacted by FBIL asking to add his name to our gifts (gift baskets that I'd thought about for a month and had already put together).  DF looked stricken, and I was pretty irritated that DF would even consider it (FBIL was out finally doing his Christmas shopping when he contacted DF and wanted to get out of shopping for their relatives).  I sternly looked DF in the eye and said, "No, FBIL could buy something that goes with the theme of each basket, but he doesn't get to add his name to the gifts.  We [DF and I] are now a social unit and are giving these gifts as a social unit.  I also put a lot of time, thought and energy into these gift baskets and am not FBIL's personal shopper.  However, if you really want to add his name to the gifts, then you take my name off the gifts so you may give them with your brother instead."  I know I was a bit harsh with DF, but DF doesn't know how to say no, which is why FBIL has had so many years of taking advantage of him where money is concerned (I adore FBIL, but this is one of his really weak areas).  Unless DF had a clear consequence where I was concerned, he would've given in.  Also, we'd already had a situation earlier in the year when FBIL was dating a woman and on Valentine's Day borrowed money from DF to give her a good Valentine's Day dinner out.  I pointed out that FBIL's girlfriend didn't get to have HER boyfriend and mine and that money that DF can't actually spare that goes to FBIL is taken away from DF being able to spend on our own relationship (I know there are those who will disagree with me having any say in how DF spends money, but I needed him to see the path of how FBIL spending DF's money frivolously, too, affected our ability to afford to go anywhere or do anything).  I've always thought FBIL a great guy, but until he got together with FSIL a couple of years ago, he was busy living the expensive single guy life he can't afford then supplementing with DF's money (and FBIL makes more money than DF and has less debt; DF has student loans he's paying off over the next 5-6 years).  After that Christmas, I never heard another peep about FBIL wanting to add himself to anything DF was giving as a present.

Hill #2 -- Came about just last night.  DF and his two best friends have an annual holiday gathering where DF (and now me), BF1 and wife and BF2, wife and kids get together for a holiday lunch.  This year, another friend of theirs is invited to join us but is only available Fri, 12/30 so that's when it was scheduled, even though a few of the attendees (BF2 and DF) are working that day.  I'm not, and the gathering is about 15-20 minutes away so getting together that night was okay with me (again, at the convenience of ONE person).  Last night, DF told me that BF1's wife has to be up early the next morning to be two hours away (they live 1.5 hours from us so she has to be somewhere 30 minutes away from their house really early on the morning on Sat, 12/31).  Anyway, BF1 offered to have the gathering at his house -- normally a 1.5 hour drive but keep in mind that this is the Friday before a holiday weekend.  DF opened the dialogue with me by stating, "BF2 said he'd pack up himself and the kids and pick up you and me, drive us all out to BF1's house then bring us back" and then told me what was going on.  I looked at DF and said, "Well, hope you guys have a good time."  DF understood, and I proceeded with laying out what the evening would look like going with this change (which, again, is for ONE person and inconveniencing almost everyone else).  DF works until 5pm so I figured we wouldn't actually be on the road until 6pm.  Drive would likely take about two hours so arrival wouldn't be until 8pm.  We've always done appetizers first so dinner would be at, what, 9pm???  So dinner's over at 11pm, we'd chat a little bit then have dessert at 11:30pm then drive back to be home MAYBE around 1-1:30am (and BF2 would be very tired by then so we'd probably have to stop for caffeine or a rest along the way).  Oh and should I mention that they have an annual New Year's Eve afternoon tea so the travelers would need to be up early to prepare for that, especially DF who is hosting it this year and is a total slob and procrastinator so his place is a big mess right now that I'm sure wouldn't be clean on the morning of Sat, 12/31???  Also, I don't live with DF; I live 15-20 minutes away so I'd still have to drive myself home AFTER returning from a very late night.  BF2's wife isn't going either if this change happens so, right now, it looks like the plan to change the location is not a done deal. (part of the reason that the schedule is back-to-back days for annual celebrations is because BF1, who suggested this latest change to accommodate his wife, has been procrastinating big time this year).

I'm ahead of the game for next year, though, due to our wedding taking place in January 2013.  I told DF that (a little tongue-in-cheek) I'm "reserving the right to bring out the bridezilla in me" and, outside of Christmas Eve, Christmas and New Year's Eve, holding all of December for our wedding preparations (it's DIY and extremely low budget so, yeah, I need to have both of us available to take care of anything last-minute -- and I haven't been bridezilla at all this whole time; DF is more into the wedding planning than I am).  I've given DF a series of dates in November that we will hold in place as options for their annual holiday celebration and the annual birthday celebration for BF2 (they do one for each of them).
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Elfmama on December 16, 2011, 03:53:14 AM
Ohhhhh my mom just had a hill to die on moment....

In the past Thanksgiving had been at grandma's. Grandma lives across the street from a church where we set up the food in the fellowship hall so we can all sit together.

Mom was talking with toxic aunt about thanksgiving this year. Toxic aunt is going to make the turkey. Mom says she will bring over the mashed potatoes and that her friend, NiceLady, will bring some veggie dishes. Toxic aunt says "Well NiceLady is NOT family so she is not invited to our FAMILY thanksgiving!"  Note, NiceLady is like a 2nd mom to me, helps the family during rough times, and generally keeps my mom sane as her Best Friend.   

Mom asked me if she could make thanksgiving dinner at my house and bring NiceLady along too. WIN!

Geez, sounds like the one year I was hosting Christmas Day at my house.  My sister's best friend, Kari, lives in our state and all of her family lives in the mid-west.  She was due to fly out Christmas Eve but her state got socked with snow.  The next day, she was still going no where so sister asked if she could come along.  Of course!  Lovely girl but mom had a fit.  She is not "family" and I replied "Because she is not blood related she should be home alone on Christmas Day?"  She came and we all had a good time.
Gee, I wish my MIL had pulled that one; it was very clear that she didn't consider me "family", just that woman her son married.  I could have stayed home and done what *I* wanted to do, instead of spending all those holidays in her freezing house being barely tolerated. 

And that leads me to my hills, long in the past; my parents-in-law did not have veto power over what we gave our children for Christmas.  They tried, though.  I remember one epic hissy fit when we gave our 5-year-old the Lite-Brite that she had been yearning for.  "It's TOO DANGEROUS to give a child that young AN ELECTRICAL TOY!!!"  ::)  Mom, it's a light bulb behind a screen.  It's no more dangerous than the lamp there on your table.  Even though we got it, DD's pleasure in it was completely spoiled by her grandmother.  >:(  She quietly packed it back into its box and never touched it again.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: weeblewobble on December 16, 2011, 05:46:39 AM
Ohhhhh my mom just had a hill to die on moment....

In the past Thanksgiving had been at grandma's. Grandma lives across the street from a church where we set up the food in the fellowship hall so we can all sit together.

Mom was talking with toxic aunt about thanksgiving this year. Toxic aunt is going to make the turkey. Mom says she will bring over the mashed potatoes and that her friend, NiceLady, will bring some veggie dishes. Toxic aunt says "Well NiceLady is NOT family so she is not invited to our FAMILY thanksgiving!"  Note, NiceLady is like a 2nd mom to me, helps the family during rough times, and generally keeps my mom sane as her Best Friend.   

Mom asked me if she could make thanksgiving dinner at my house and bring NiceLady along too. WIN!

Geez, sounds like the one year I was hosting Christmas Day at my house.  My sister's best friend, Kari, lives in our state and all of her family lives in the mid-west.  She was due to fly out Christmas Eve but her state got socked with snow.  The next day, she was still going no where so sister asked if she could come along.  Of course!  Lovely girl but mom had a fit.  She is not "family" and I replied "Because she is not blood related she should be home alone on Christmas Day?"  She came and we all had a good time.
Gee, I wish my MIL had pulled that one; it was very clear that she didn't consider me "family", just that woman her son married.  I could have stayed home and done what *I* wanted to do, instead of spending all those holidays in her freezing house being barely tolerated. 

And that leads me to my hills, long in the past; my parents-in-law did not have veto power over what we gave our children for Christmas.  They tried, though.  I remember one epic hissy fit when we gave our 5-year-old the Lite-Brite that she had been yearning for.  "It's TOO DANGEROUS to give a child that young AN ELECTRICAL TOY!!!"  ::)  Mom, it's a light bulb behind a screen.  It's no more dangerous than the lamp there on your table.  Even though we got it, DD's pleasure in it was completely spoiled by her grandmother.  >:(  She quietly packed it back into its box and never touched it again.

Aw, that stinks!! I'm sorry her fun was ruined.  Lite Brites are awesome. 

Christmas was always a tense time between my mom and my grandma.  Mom bought us safe, but fun, toys that encouraged our imaginations.  I got a lot of art sets, dress up clothes, books on myths and legends (a big area interest for me), etc. Same for my siblings. Grandma said that Mom was encouraging us to be "frivilous" and "flighty."  I, in particular, was a problem case because I was always telling stories and pretending.  She "just didn't know what weeblewobble was going to grow up to be, because her heads always in the clouds." I was 9.  It was hardly time for me to be buckling down and doing my own taxes.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: alkira6 on December 16, 2011, 08:52:38 AM
I guess it's not so much a hill as a personal choice that others are just going to have to live with.  I will not be traveling.  I will be staying home, enjoying the first tree that I have put up in over 6 years. I will be baking/cooking what pleases me, not everyone else. I will not be doing anything for tradition's sake that bothers me - no cooking things that neither DH or I can eat, no going to the inlaws or my family's house, no drinking with breakfast - just no.

I want peace this year, not PA swipes from my MIL and SIL. I will not be sleeping in a barely heated basement on a cat urine soaked ottoman pushed up next to a chair.  I will not be wrapping other people's gifts only to get dollar store rejects for my gifts.  I will not drive 6+ hours to arrive in pain at a place hwere I am barely welcome and used as some sort of indentured servant.  Nor will I be going to may family so that I can sit there for hours and listen to people complain about money problems and snipe about how "lucky" I am.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Elfmama on December 16, 2011, 09:11:07 AM

Christmas was always a tense time between my mom and my grandma.  Mom bought us safe, but fun, toys that encouraged our imaginations.  I got a lot of art sets, dress up clothes, books on myths and legends (a big area interest for me), etc. Same for my siblings. Grandma said that Mom was encouraging us to be "frivilous" and "flighty."  I, in particular, was a problem case because I was always telling stories and pretending.  She "just didn't know what weeblewobble was going to grow up to be, because her heads always in the clouds." I was 9.  It was hardly time for me to be buckling down and doing my own taxes.
As far as I'm concerned, your mother was absolutely RIGHT.  A lively imagination and the love of reading are the best things you can give your children.   Every time I watch Miracle on 34th Street I think what a dreary life that little girl had.  No pretending, no imagination = no way to cope with a unique problem, because the necessary thought processes to look at something a bit skewed are just not developed.  I had an internet friend who was raised like that, in a very dictatorial fundamentalist home.  She wasn't even allowed to read fiction, because fiction = made up and made up = LYING  :'(
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Petticoats on December 16, 2011, 01:01:30 PM
I guess it's not so much a hill as a personal choice that others are just going to have to live with.  I will not be traveling.  I will be staying home, enjoying the first tree that I have put up in over 6 years. I will be baking/cooking what pleases me, not everyone else. I will not be doing anything for tradition's sake that bothers me - no cooking things that neither DH or I can eat, no going to the inlaws or my family's house, no drinking with breakfast - just no.

I want peace this year, not PA swipes from my MIL and SIL. I will not be sleeping in a barely heated basement on a cat urine soaked ottoman pushed up next to a chair.  I will not be wrapping other people's gifts only to get dollar store rejects for my gifts.  I will not drive 6+ hours to arrive in pain at a place hwere I am barely welcome and used as some sort of indentured servant.  Nor will I be going to may family so that I can sit there for hours and listen to people complain about money problems and snipe about how "lucky" I am.

It sounds like you are overdue for a positive Christmas! I'm glad you're not going to put up with such abominable treatment this year.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: weeblewobble on December 16, 2011, 01:38:27 PM
I guess it's not so much a hill as a personal choice that others are just going to have to live with.  I will not be traveling.  I will be staying home, enjoying the first tree that I have put up in over 6 years. I will be baking/cooking what pleases me, not everyone else. I will not be doing anything for tradition's sake that bothers me - no cooking things that neither DH or I can eat, no going to the inlaws or my family's house, no drinking with breakfast - just no.

I want peace this year, not PA swipes from my MIL and SIL. I will not be sleeping in a barely heated basement on a cat urine soaked ottoman pushed up next to a chair.  I will not be wrapping other people's gifts only to get dollar store rejects for my gifts.  I will not drive 6+ hours to arrive in pain at a place hwere I am barely welcome and used as some sort of indentured servant.  Nor will I be going to may family so that I can sit there for hours and listen to people complain about money problems and snipe about how "lucky" I am.

It sounds like you are overdue for a positive Christmas! I'm glad you're not going to put up with such abominable treatment this year.

No kidding.  Is this coming from both sides of the family?  Yours and DH?
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: alkira6 on December 16, 2011, 01:45:13 PM
I guess it's not so much a hill as a personal choice that others are just going to have to live with.  I will not be traveling.  I will be staying home, enjoying the first tree that I have put up in over 6 years. I will be baking/cooking what pleases me, not everyone else. I will not be doing anything for tradition's sake that bothers me - no cooking things that neither DH or I can eat, no going to the inlaws or my family's house, no drinking with breakfast - just no.

I want peace this year, not PA swipes from my MIL and SIL. I will not be sleeping in a barely heated basement on a cat urine soaked ottoman pushed up next to a chair.  I will not be wrapping other people's gifts only to get dollar store rejects for my gifts.  I will not drive 6+ hours to arrive in pain at a place hwere I am barely welcome and used as some sort of indentured servant.  Nor will I be going to may family so that I can sit there for hours and listen to people complain about money problems and snipe about how "lucky" I am.

It sounds like you are overdue for a positive Christmas! I'm glad you're not going to put up with such abominable treatment this year.

Really, family is - family I guess.  Both DH and I are radically different that everyone else in both of our families, in regards to religious beliefs, reproduction choices, attitudes about sexuality, race, and politics, and just about everything else.  We are not contentious, but we will not follow along blindly when someone else is hammering away at us for a responce.  Both of us are rather quiet people ( for the most part), so getting either one of us to respond takes work, and then we are jumped on in a huge dogpile for what we believe. This happens in both families. 

For example, my new SIL was very upset when I ate a peanut butter cup in front of her. She is by choice gluten free, nut free, lactose free, etc.  This is not a medical issue, but a personal choice. Apparently I was a horrible person blah blah blah rude to eat things that she could not have moan moan moan. I just said "sorry you feel that way." and walked away. she followed me, not only in the hospital, which is where we were, but she brought it up repeatedly at home.  I finally told her that that horse not only had been beaten to death but that she had flayed its corpse for the hide and boiled the bones for soup.  DH's family jumped on that as me being rude and evil blah blah.

This is also the same woman who diagnosed both me and DH with Aspergers on the first meetign and proceeded to make sickly sweet comments about how nice it was that two people like us found each other. His family jumped on this and have totally bought in to this.  DH and I just rolled our eyes and said that this gives us a free pass to be mildly socially inapproriate and refer them back to the Aspergers.

There are 12 years worth of stories about his family and mine that are boiling to get out such as

This, and many many more.

(and WOW, I thought that I worked through this in therapy, but it seems that I have some lingering issues  ::) )
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Hopefull on December 16, 2011, 08:55:33 PM
alkira I sure hope you dont' go to their house anymore!!! No one deserves that kind of garbage.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: VorFemme on December 17, 2011, 04:37:58 PM
With the additional background that Alkira6 has mentioned - I think that their families could be finding themselves waiting a LONG time for Alkira6 and her SO to join them again for the holiday season.............

Even if the family thinks that they are normal & supportive - it sounds rather like they are normally rude and supportive of getting you to see a therapist to find out why your self esteem is so low................

But they could be just the world's worst at phrasing questions....................and to steal a line from a tv show's theme song "but I don't think so".
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Luci on December 17, 2011, 04:46:21 PM
I think that their families could be finding themselves waiting a LONG time for Alkira6 and her SO to join them again for the holiday season.............

I certainly hope so!
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: VorFemme on December 17, 2011, 05:01:14 PM

A line from Star Trek just seems the correct thing here................"blah, blah, blah for TWO HUNDRED years!"

"That ought to be just about right........." whether said by Kirk or Alkira6 & her SO - two hundred years sounds about right.......or possibly the twenty second century would work out just as well as the twenty third...............but not THIS decade of this century.

eta - I messed up the quotes - so I removed them
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: wheeitsme on December 17, 2011, 06:28:55 PM
We will not take our puppy that gets carsick on a 10-12 hour road trip (each way).  If that means that we spend Christmas by ourselves, we'll deal with that.  Luckily, in appears that my MIL is willing to accept that. <fingers crossed>


...oh, and my sisters holiday hill to die on?  Jello is not a salad.   :D
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Hillia on December 17, 2011, 06:31:05 PM
I am cooking Christmas dinner to my menu, my way, without the addition of giant globs of bacon grease (the IL's favorite cooking method).  I will also be serving it on my nice china (Eschenbach, which my mom received as wedding gifts in 1961), with the food placed in serving dishes, and a tablecloth on the table.  Maybe even a centerpiece.

Thanksgiving was at my ILs, served from the pans on paper plates to reduce 'bother'.  That's MIL's method, and in her house, she has the right to do it any way she chooses.  But just because FIL and BIL regard meals as an interruption in their busy lives, and take the approach of 'cram in as much as possible as fast as possible' doesn't make me high maintenance or snooty or anything else because I like to have nice things on the table for one day out of the year.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Minmom3 on December 17, 2011, 09:49:55 PM
Alkira, if I were you (which I'm not, just sayin') I would never go near those people again. Sounds like they've been nothing but hateful to you over the years.  Their hate has caused you enormous pain over the years, and there is no reason to subject yourself to it anymore.  You sound like a text book case of "I'll make my OWN family, TYVM, and get people who love me as I am, and think I'm wonderful".  Because your blood family certainly doesn't treat you that way.

I have all your future holidays are at the very least peaceful and happy for you and your husband, and that you have only loving friends and family around you.  You deserve that!   Reading your posts here just brings out all my nasty verbiage that is forbidden on this site.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: alkira6 on December 18, 2011, 01:57:26 PM
Thank you for the sentiment. I really have dealt with the families and things have gotten better but will never be perfect.  I didn't visit my family for about 6 years, and rarely spoke to them.  DH cut his family off after the visit to the apartment to tell us how useless we are.  One thing that is very much a button for DH is attacking me.  He really let them have it on that one  >:D . Unfortunately, he's not as good at standing up for himself, but he's gotten better. 

DH's dad died last year, so most of our contact was during the months before he died and right after he died. The last time he visited before this he went (by himself), drove 6+ hours, stayed for 45 minutes, and then turned around and drove 6+ hours home.  He had warned then that he would leave if they started in on either of us, so he did.

The lack of holliday celebrations for the two of us was mostly my doing. After a while I had such a bad attitude about Christmas that we stopped trying.  This year I just decided to do what I want to.  I am not bothering with my family and DH's family is his problem.  I have not bought a single gift this year that is not for DH, myself, a friend, or a family member of my choosing.  DH has bought nothing for his side,, he didn't even send cards.

Huh, I guess my hill has come and passed and this is the aftermath of victory.  Off to try a nummy recipe for shortbread - it contains cornstarch of all things to make it light and flakey. We'll see. It works for coating chicken to fry, so why not.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: weeblewobble on December 18, 2011, 02:31:33 PM
Alkira6, I want to be you when I grow up.  Just sayin.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: blue2000 on December 18, 2011, 05:30:41 PM
My hill? I will not sleep at my DB and SIL's house on Christmas Eve. Just won't do it. In fact, I try to avoid that house from 1st December because my SIL turns into a crazy Christmas monster. She tried to tell me she didn't want me to be alone on Christmas Eve, which is nice, but I like alone. Alone means sitting on the couch with a beer watching Muppets Christmas Carol, rather than stayig at DB/SIL's house counting the hours until I can escape from the crazy.

LOL! Sounds a little like my mother. "We have to spend the holidays together! You can't stay home - it's just not the same!"

No. No it isn't. Thank goodness!
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: purplemuse on December 18, 2011, 08:02:49 PM
I will not watch National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. Anyone at my parents' house who wants to do so is more than welcome, but I will be elsewhere.

Also, if my mom refers to us having a "Griswold Family Christmas" (when no one in the immediate family, extended family or even family by marriage has a name that's even close to Griswold), I may actually scream.

I really, really hate that movie.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: LadyClaire on December 19, 2011, 09:31:31 AM
Mine is simple.

My house.  My guest list.  Strict no jerks allowed policy.

Which means since Uncle can't bring himself to not torment my critters (and those other guests are permitted to bring, like my cousin's seeing-eye dog), he doesn't get to come, and Grandfather cannot cope with the fact that my beloved nephew has a parent of a different ethnicity than everyone else in the family, he will not be invited.

On behalf of your nephew, thank you. I'm of two races and as I was growing up I started to notice how poorly my grandmother treated my mother, and how my dad did nothing about it. I was her only grandchild, so she was nice to me, but she made my mom miserable. It really made me rethink my relationship with both my grandmother and my father, and I wish he had stood up to her for us. Good for you for refusing to tolerate that nonsense from YOUR family.

I agree, too. My dad's family despised my mother because she's turkish and made her life a living hell at times because of it. They also treated me and my sister differently than all the other kids. My father never once stood up for Mom or for us. I now have nothing to do with my father (for more reasons than that) or his side of the family.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: tiggnduff on December 21, 2011, 07:59:07 PM
This year is my hill to die on.  Every holiday for the last 3 yrs hubby and I (well mostly me as I do all of the cooking) have hosted.  Easter, Thanksgiving, birthdays and Christmas.  The excuse always being that I like to cook and that we have room.  I'm just done. It's too much work! I've asked for people to bring sides or do a pot luck but nope...what I get is sister in law or mother in law passing hubby 20 bucks and saying this is to help out for dinner.

And the $$$ is not the point. I'm tired. It's a lot of work cooking dinner for 13 to 20 people. I don't enjoy one bit of it any more but hubby is whining that there is no where else to have it.  So I'm doing Christmas this year and politely asking who is doing Easter!!
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: diesel_darlin on December 21, 2011, 08:33:53 PM
I will not watch National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. Anyone at my parents' house who wants to do so is more than welcome, but I will be elsewhere.

Also, if my mom refers to us having a "Griswold Family Christmas" (when no one in the immediate family, extended family or even family by marriage has a name that's even close to Griswold), I may actually scream.

I really, really hate that movie.


My sentiments exactly.
 But unlike you, I made one major decision in my life that results in my being tortured with this movie constantly. I married a Griswold.  ;D Drat!
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Sanity Lost on December 21, 2011, 08:47:36 PM
And the $$$ is not the point. I'm tired. It's a lot of work cooking dinner for 13 to 20 people. I don't enjoy one bit of it any more but hubby is whining that there is no where else to have it.  So I'm doing Christmas this year and politely asking who is doing Easter!!

So.....Hubby is the one doing the cleaning, shopping, budgeting and cooking this year correct? After all, he who whines must therefore serve the wine. I would hand him the menu, shopping list and to do list and tell him to have fun; oh and if he needs help to be sure to call his Mom and Sis to come over. After he finishes sputtering; calmly inform him you will ASSIST him this year due to the short notice; but that other arrangements are needed for Easter.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: JoyinVirginia on December 22, 2011, 02:52:44 AM
And the $$$ is not the point. I'm tired. It's a lot of work cooking dinner for 13 to 20 people. I don't enjoy one bit of it any more but hubby is whining that there is no where else to have it.  So I'm doing Christmas this year and politely asking who is doing Easter!!

So.....Hubby is the one doing the cleaning, shopping, budgeting and cooking this year correct? After all, he who whines must therefore serve the wine. I would hand him the menu, shopping list and to do list and tell him to have fun; oh and if he needs help to be sure to call his Mom and Sis to come over. After he finishes sputtering; calmly inform him you will ASSIST him this year due to the short notice; but that other arrangements are needed for Easter.
It is also not too late to order prepared food from someplace. Kentucky fried chicken will give you a big bucket and sides, many Chinese and asian restaurants will be open, get big frozen containers of lasagna or whatever your want, and get paper plates, plastic cups and cutlery, and keep the clean up to a minimum!
The year that youngest DD was born, DH and I ordered Thanksgiving dinner from local grocery. DH picked it up day before, and on Thanksgiving my mother and DH heated stuff up and we enjoyed our dinner on fancy paper plates.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: rose red on December 22, 2011, 08:48:22 AM
^ Oh that's good.  And $20 (maybe throw in a few more bucks) can buy enough for a party at KFC or Chinese food.

eta: Since I know how families are and if you do end up cooking, you don't have to slave and suffer.  Just throw a ham in the oven and buy frozen/canned sides.  If anyone complains, tell them that you look forward to their fresh homecooked, made from scratch meal at Easter.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: darling on December 22, 2011, 09:08:47 AM
Ham's a great idea, because it's awesome without much work at all! And leftovers! (Sorry, I just love a good ham!)
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Luci on December 22, 2011, 01:38:22 PM
Ham's a great idea, because it's awesome without much work at all! And leftovers! (Sorry, I just love a good ham!)

What! Cutting up the darn thing is not fun. I'll take the bone if someone wants to get rid of it.

I love a good ham, but the sliced, boneless thing is just not worth more than lunchmeat.

Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Shoo on December 22, 2011, 02:04:26 PM
Ham's a great idea, because it's awesome without much work at all! And leftovers! (Sorry, I just love a good ham!)

What! Cutting up the darn thing is not fun. I'll take the bone if someone wants to get rid of it.

I love a good ham, but the sliced, boneless thing is just not worth more than lunchmeat.



That is why they invented spiral cut hams.  :)
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Xallanthia on December 22, 2011, 02:30:03 PM
I will not watch National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. Anyone at my parents' house who wants to do so is more than welcome, but I will be elsewhere.

Also, if my mom refers to us having a "Griswold Family Christmas" (when no one in the immediate family, extended family or even family by marriage has a name that's even close to Griswold), I may actually scream.

I really, really hate that movie.

I feel the same way about A Christmas Story.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: JoyinVirginia on December 22, 2011, 06:11:16 PM
Our family holiday hill is that we will always find time on christmas eve or christmas day, to all sit together and watch A Christmas Story. With the leg lamp older dd gave us prominently displayed in the front window! You'll shoot your eye out!
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Auntie Mame on December 22, 2011, 07:08:44 PM
I will not watch National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. Anyone at my parents' house who wants to do so is more than welcome, but I will be elsewhere.

Also, if my mom refers to us having a "Griswold Family Christmas" (when no one in the immediate family, extended family or even family by marriage has a name that's even close to Griswold), I may actually scream.

I really, really hate that movie.

I feel the same way about A Christmas Story.

I refuse to watch "It's a Wonderful Life".  I am so sick of that movie I could scream.  I would rather listen to an album of bad Christmas music sung by Nickelback and Kathy Lee Gifford.

ETA: No offense to those who enjoy Christmas music.  I worked retail for many many years and my love of Christmas music was destroyed.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Redneck Gravy on December 23, 2011, 09:23:51 AM
Apparently, another hill arrived this week...

No, I will not stand in an hour long line at the grocery store today because at the last minute my kids have decided I should cook a traditional turkey & dressing dinner for Christmas eve!  There are restaurants open that evening - pick one. 

We will have the smoked turkey (I already own), mashed potatoes and green bean casserole for Christmas day lunch.  You girls want more, get your fannies into the kitchen and prepare it.  We have over 100 cookbooks and internet service - find the recipe you want to deal with.

I work 60 hours a week and took college classes, spring and fall and both summer semesters - I'm tired and I am happy with a cold sandwich and tomato slices.  And I have a very, very stiff spine!
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: diesel_darlin on December 23, 2011, 01:41:24 PM
Redneck Gravy, I would just like to say that your screen name is awesome.  ;D

Now back to thread already in progress.  8)
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Auntie Mame on December 23, 2011, 10:57:01 PM
Apparently, another hill arrived this week...

No, I will not stand in an hour long line at the grocery store today because at the last minute my kids have decided I should cook a traditional turkey & dressing dinner for Christmas eve!  There are restaurants open that evening - pick one. 

We will have the smoked turkey (I already own), mashed potatoes and green bean casserole for Christmas day lunch.  You girls want more, get your fannies into the kitchen and prepare it.  We have over 100 cookbooks and internet service - find the recipe you want to deal with.

I work 60 hours a week and took college classes, spring and fall and both summer semesters - I'm tired and I am happy with a cold sandwich and tomato slices.  And I have a very, very stiff spine!

You know to this day my mom still gives everyone two choices for dinner.  Take it, or leave it!  ;D
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Klein Bottle on December 24, 2011, 02:12:35 AM
I will not watch National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. Anyone at my parents' house who wants to do so is more than welcome, but I will be elsewhere.

Also, if my mom refers to us having a "Griswold Family Christmas" (when no one in the immediate family, extended family or even family by marriage has a name that's even close to Griswold), I may actually scream.

I really, really hate that movie.

I feel the same way about A Christmas Story.

I refuse to watch "It's a Wonderful Life".  I am so sick of that movie I could scream.  I would rather listen to an album of bad Christmas music sung by Nickelback and Kathy Lee Gifford.

ETA: No offense to those who enjoy Christmas music.  I worked retail for many many years and my love of Christmas music was destroyed.

I am LOL at the thought of a Nickleback and KLG holiday collaboration... I think I'd have to own it just for the sheer randomness!  My best friend/current housemate has this "Crossroads" DVD of Train with Martina McBride.   It's off-key, bland, and just all kinds of wrong, but she loves it and watches it over and over and over... :P
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: sevenday on December 26, 2011, 10:55:17 AM
New holiday hill to die on, as decided yesterday afternoon... I will not carpool with my parents to my sister's house for Christmas Morning anymore.  I am generally ready to leave before everyone else, but Dad promised we wouldn't stay long.  Mom and I were ready to leave to make room for the next batch of arriving guests (my BIL's side of the family) -- and then Dad decided to hand his $FancyPresent to my youngest nephew.  More than half an hour later, I convinced my sister to get the kid to put the thing down.  Mom asks him, "Are you ready to go?" And Dad says, "Where are we going?"  I promptly scooped it up handed it to Dad.  Thankfully he got the hint at that point and we left - JUST in time, because as we pulled out of the only available parking space left - the car containing my BIL's sister and mother came up the road.  They would have had to park about a block away, and his mom has difficulty walking.   I don't mind telling you I was ready to strangle him.  So yes, icy roads and snow or not, I'm driving myself next year!!
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: KenveeB on December 26, 2011, 11:41:54 AM
My dad is like that, sevenday.  He'll announce we're absolutely leaving in ten minutes, then wait nine and a half minutes and start to get ready. Or he'll say we're leaving right now and then spend twenty minutes saying goodbye to people. Drives me nuts!
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Kariachi on December 26, 2011, 07:39:54 PM
So's my dad. He wonders why, when he says we're leaving someone's house, we make ourselves comfortable. We keep having to explain that whenever he says that he spends another hour or two talking to people.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: LadyClaire on December 27, 2011, 02:39:57 PM
I will never host DH's family at our house for Christmas eve again.

We had no plans for Christmas eve, so DH suggested that we have his parents over. Ok, that's fine. He asks me to make a particular dish that is a kind of soup made with pasta noodles. This dish is very soothing, very easy to eat, and he asked for it because his dad had just had the rest of his teeth pulled and couldn't wear dentures just yet. So I buy the ingredients for the soup as well as a few appetizer things that his dad could manage. Two days after that, DH said he invited his brother and SIL as well, since they had no plans, either. Ok...I can accommodate them as well, no huge deal, though I am not exactly thrilled by the addition of extra people.

The day before Christmas eve, DH texts me to tell me that he has also invited his sister, her two teenaged sons, and her boyfriend. Now this, I have an issue with. This particular soup is not exactly something you serve to so many people. I don't have enough ingredients to stretch it to that many extra people. I had to ask my sister to pick up another pack of chicken for me from the store when she went, since I could have no time to do it myself.

Christmas eve, I spend the day cleaning the house like mad and sweating over dinner, which I turned into the soup with roast chicken for the main course. DH had told his family dinner would be served at 7:00. It gets to be later, and later, and..no one is there. Half an hour passes. No one. No calls. No texts. The soup, by is point, is no longer a soup..it is now bloated, mushy pasta that has soaked up every bit of broth. The roast chicken is cold. Finally, his parents show up. His sister and her brood show up nearly an hour later, and his brother and SIL are nearly two hours late. His sister's boyfriend tracked dirt on the carpet, they all left the kitchen and living room a wreck, and when everyone left I realized my expensive kitchen scissors were missing. Last time his sister was here a nearly brand new box of tampons vanished from my bathroom cabinet, so...I am guessing it was probably her.

His mother asked if this would be a new family tradition. I told her "no, I don't think so. Perhaps DH's brother/SIL will want to do something next year since they will have the baby then".
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: gramma dishes on December 27, 2011, 02:57:13 PM
^^^  I know this is not funny, but sorry, I had to laugh.  It sounds like one of those "everything that could possibly go wrong went wrong" events.

How rude of your inlaws!  Do they not know what happens to food when it has to be 'held'?  I think I'd be having a discussion with my DH sometime before next Christmas so this doesn't become a repeat performance though.  Nothing like planning a wonderful, quiet, peaceful snuggling Christmas Eve home alone and then having it turn into bloat soup and cleptomania village!  Perhaps next year you'll get your scissors back as a Christmas gift from your SIL.   ;D
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: rose red on December 27, 2011, 03:01:43 PM
I will never host DH's family at our house for Christmas eve again.

*snip*

His mother asked if this would be a new family tradition. I told her "no, I don't think so. Perhaps DH's brother/SIL will want to do something next year since they will have the baby then".

I think next year, the person who invites people without asking the spouse should do the cleaning, shopping, and cooking.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Luci on December 27, 2011, 03:20:55 PM
I'm so sorry. How disappointing for you that no one would enjoy your efforts. How rude of your family.

A new hill to die on, for you, I guess. Be sure to remind us next year, please.

Honestly, though. We have learned long ago to just go ahead and dine at the designated time. Clean up, put things away. Don't apoligoze. Admittedly, it was never parents.

Also, I usually just cook the pasta or rice separately, then add it to the soup at the last minute. In your case, I would cook the pasta in boullion water (1/2 strength). I hope you never have to use these tips!
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: suzieQ on December 27, 2011, 03:56:47 PM
That sounds like my DH but thankfully he does all the cooking, so he can invite anyone he wants - as long as he cooks!  :-*

I spend days getting the house clean but I know my family will come, so that effort is not wasted. His family was invited again this year, and again they never called and didn't show up. DH called them to find out what was going on and was told his DB woke up sick that morning. You know, if it was a one-time thing I might fall for that. But that's the way it always is with them. It's the very rare occasion they are invited that they actually show up. And anyone with any manners would have called to cancel when they woke up sick, not waited until DH called them to find out where they were!

I quit inviting them the year DH turned 30. I called them all and begged them to come to his surprise party. Told them not to bring a gift, their presence would be enough. They all said they would come and not a one of them showed or even called to cancel. I had bought enough pizza for all of them and I'm not a fan of leftover pizza.
My family was there, but his - nothing. As usual.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Morticia on December 27, 2011, 08:29:22 PM
I will never host DH's family at our house for Christmas eve again.

*snip*

His mother asked if this would be a new family tradition. I told her "no, I don't think so. Perhaps DH's brother/SIL will want to do something next year since they will have the baby then".

I think next year, the person who invites people without asking the spouse should do the cleaning, shopping, and cooking.

POD
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Klein Bottle on December 27, 2011, 09:42:16 PM
Lady Claire, I'm sorry that your husband's family were so rude.  Sounds to me like you really went the extra mile for them, (making the foods his dad could eat was especially sweet of you), and they treated you and your efforts with blatant disregard.  That's so not cool.  I hope y'all had an otherwise lovely Christmas to compensate for that nonsense.    ;)
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: MC Clapyohanz on December 28, 2011, 02:51:45 AM
Lady Claire, are you ever invited over to his sister's place at all? Because I'm thinking it's time to reclaim  the scissors. Also, would it embarrass her if she knew you took them back when she can't find them in her house? Probably not, huh.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: LadyClaire on December 28, 2011, 07:27:31 AM
Lady Claire, are you ever invited over to his sister's place at all? Because I'm thinking it's time to reclaim  the scissors. Also, would it embarrass her if she knew you took them back when she can't find them in her house? Probably not, huh.

We're very rarely invited over to her house. She lives nearly an hour away from us, and her work causes her to travel a lot, so we see her maybe..oh...two or three times a year, and most times it's when she comes over to our house or there is something at another family member's place.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: philliesphan on December 28, 2011, 10:29:53 AM
I've decided my new hill to die on is gifts for my dad. I will no longer put any effort into picking out something nice, or caring whether he likes what I chose.

My family always demands a wish list from me at birthdays and Christmas. Not the way I like to give or receive gifts -- I'd much rather pick out something special, and get things that show that the giver knows me and was thinking of me. But I can't make them give presents the way I give presents, so I hand over the lists. But I continue to pick out presents for my family myself, no wish lists. Everyone is cool with this except my dad.

Usually at Thanksgiving my dad will approach me and say "If you want to get me something for Christmas, you could get me..." and I stop him to let him know I've already picked out his gift. This year was no different. Then when he opens the gift (which I have usually put a lot of thought into), I get a grunted, "Okay." No smiles, not even "thank you." Contrast this with my 17-year-old niece, who can't keep the delight off her face when she opens her presents. (Gee, Dad, that might be why we give her three times as many presents as we give you.) Oh, yeah, and my parents just ended up giving me a gift card because they didn't feel like looking for the items on the wish list they asked for.

So, if dad doesn't want to put any effort into getting me something I like, or politely receive the gifts I pick out especially for him, I'm not going to put any effort in either. He can have whatever books are in the bargain bin at the bookstore. I will continue not to listen to his flat out requests for gifts. (In the past, I tried listening to what he wanted in an effort to try and please him; best case scenario, I would get him what he wanted and STILL get no thank-you; worst case, he would ask for a gift I found objectionable, I wouldn't buy it, and then I'd have to hear for the next six months "why didn't you buy me X?") I wish I could just stop gift exchanges altogether, but boy, would it start a mess of complaining if I exchange gifts with every member of my family but my dad. I think no-effort gifts are the way to go to keep him quiet without investing time and energy only to have it ignored.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Snooks on December 28, 2011, 12:34:16 PM
I will no longer make an effort for my ILs.  I took time and effort to make them a Christmas present this year and as yet no acknowledgement of it.  We made sure it arrived with them before Christmas day yet when we spoke to them on Christmas day there was no mention of it (we know it got there as there was a mention of the other gift in the parcel for another family member).  We're due to see them tomorrow but I suspect there will be no thanks then either.  Also, given that I have always made sure their presents arrived with them to open on Christmas day I'm a little hurt that they couldn't be bothered to let us know that our present wasn't going to be with us on Christmas day.  I'm not even sure where our present is going to, us or them.  If it's going to them it would have been nice to know that we were going to do presents when we saw them as I wouldn't have bothered sending theirs to them if it's just going to sit unopened until we see them.  Given that they rarely let us know when they're going to be in the country then guilt trip us for not visiting them this will also be the last year I put plans in place to see them over Christmas.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: gmatoy on December 28, 2011, 04:31:34 PM
Apparently, another hill arrived this week...

No, I will not stand in an hour long line at the grocery store today because at the last minute my kids have decided I should cook a traditional turkey & dressing dinner for Christmas eve!  There are restaurants open that evening - pick one. 

We will have the smoked turkey (I already own), mashed potatoes and green bean casserole for Christmas day lunch.  You girls want more, get your fannies into the kitchen and prepare it.  We have over 100 cookbooks and internet service - find the recipe you want to deal with.

I work 60 hours a week and took college classes, spring and fall and both summer semesters - I'm tired and I am happy with a cold sandwich and tomato slices.  And I have a very, very stiff spine!

You know to this day my mom still gives everyone two choices for dinner.  Take it, or leave it!  ;D

My mother always said, "The one who complains makes the next meal." So, if you complained about dinner, the next dinner was on you. Not one of us ever complained a second time, and several of the younger ones never complained a first time.

(I will admit that it was fun watching everyone try not too complain about the meal I made.) ;D
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Nora on December 29, 2011, 05:24:27 AM
Apparently, another hill arrived this week...

No, I will not stand in an hour long line at the grocery store today because at the last minute my kids have decided I should cook a traditional turkey & dressing dinner for Christmas eve!  There are restaurants open that evening - pick one. 

We will have the smoked turkey (I already own), mashed potatoes and green bean casserole for Christmas day lunch.  You girls want more, get your fannies into the kitchen and prepare it.  We have over 100 cookbooks and internet service - find the recipe you want to deal with.

I work 60 hours a week and took college classes, spring and fall and both summer semesters - I'm tired and I am happy with a cold sandwich and tomato slices.  And I have a very, very stiff spine!

You know to this day my mom still gives everyone two choices for dinner.  Take it, or leave it!  ;D

My mother always said, "The one who complains makes the next meal." So, if you complained about dinner, the next dinner was on you. Not one of us ever complained a second time, and several of the younger ones never complained a first time.

(I will admit that it was fun watching everyone try not too complain about the meal I made.) ;D

Your mother is brilliant! If I did not have such grateful eaters in my household, that would totally be what I'd tell them. "Don't like it? Fine, you make dinner for everyone tomorrow then."
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Redneck Gravy on December 29, 2011, 09:05:34 AM
I think I will refrain from answering the telephone if it is someone that is habitually negative that I don't want to deal with on Christmas Day.

My former MIL called and spent half an hour chewing me out & complaining.  She is very PA and negative, I should have ignored the call but I knew she would just call back later in the evening. 

I was polite and attentive, but I do not want to hear that junk on Christmas Day.  She's not just venting, these are complaints she thinks I "should" do something about - but I have absolutely no control over her issues. 
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: TootsNYC on December 29, 2011, 10:27:20 AM

My mother always said, "The one who complains makes the next meal." So, if you complained about dinner, the next dinner was on you. Not one of us ever complained a second time, and several of the younger ones never complained a first time.


Your mother is brilliant! If I did not have such grateful eaters in my household, that would totally be what I'd tell them. "Don't like it? Fine, you make dinner for everyone tomorrow then."

So, wait--you taught your kids manners, how to be appreciative, and THIS is the thanks you get? You can't ever dump dinner on them and feel self-righteous about it? Bummer!
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: heartmug on December 29, 2011, 11:21:11 AM
I think I will refrain from answering the telephone if it is someone that is habitually negative that I don't want to deal with on Christmas Day.

My former MIL called and spent half an hour chewing me out & complaining.  She is very PA and negative, I should have ignored the call but I knew she would just call back later in the evening. 

I was polite and attentive, but I do not want to hear that junk on Christmas Day.  She's not just venting, these are complaints she thinks I "should" do something about - but I have absolutely no control over her issues.

Yes, caller i.d. - one of the best inventions ever!  Good for you.  You don't need that.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: gmatoy on December 29, 2011, 02:45:42 PM

My mother always said, "The one who complains makes the next meal." So, if you complained about dinner, the next dinner was on you. Not one of us ever complained a second time, and several of the younger ones never complained a first time.


Your mother is brilliant! If I did not have such grateful eaters in my household, that would totally be what I'd tell them. "Don't like it? Fine, you make dinner for everyone tomorrow then."

So, wait--you taught your kids manners, how to be appreciative, and THIS is the thanks you get? You can't ever dump dinner on them and feel self-righteous about it? Bummer!

The bolded made me laugh! And yes, my mother is brilliant! She had a lot of subtle ways to raise "keeper' kids!
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: sparksals on December 29, 2011, 06:12:40 PM
Ham's a great idea, because it's awesome without much work at all! And leftovers! (Sorry, I just love a good ham!)

What! Cutting up the darn thing is not fun. I'll take the bone if someone wants to get rid of it.

I love a good ham, but the sliced, boneless thing is just not worth more than lunchmeat.

Costco sells a fabulous spiral cut ham that I get a couple times per year.  Very easy to heat up, comes with a great sauce and very easy to pull the slices off. 
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: dietcokeofevil on December 29, 2011, 06:42:56 PM
DH actually made a stand this year.  It seems like every holiday we celebrate with my in-laws at their houses, I end up cooking a large portion of the meal and taking it over.  It started out where I would offer to bring a dish, but has gotten to the point where I am being assigned to bring the majority of the meal, even when it's something that doesn't travel well. 

This year MIL decided we were just going to have soup and sandwiches and expected me to make soup and bring it while she just provided the lunch meat and bread.  To make matters worse, she only decided on this two days before we were getting together.  DH told her that we couldn't do it, and instead we're bringing some store bought appetizers.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: gmatoy on December 29, 2011, 09:53:25 PM
DH actually made a stand this year.  It seems like every holiday we celebrate with my in-laws at their houses, I end up cooking a large portion of the meal and taking it over.  It started out where I would offer to bring a dish, but has gotten to the point where I am being assigned to bring the majority of the meal, even when it's something that doesn't travel well. 

This year MIL decided we were just going to have soup and sandwiches and expected me to make soup and bring it while she just provided the lunch meat and bread.  To make matters worse, she only decided on this two days before we were getting together.  DH told her that we couldn't do it, and instead we're bringing some store bought appetizers.

Hurray for your DH!!!
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Nora on December 30, 2011, 08:15:48 AM

My mother always said, "The one who complains makes the next meal." So, if you complained about dinner, the next dinner was on you. Not one of us ever complained a second time, and several of the younger ones never complained a first time.


Your mother is brilliant! If I did not have such grateful eaters in my household, that would totally be what I'd tell them. "Don't like it? Fine, you make dinner for everyone tomorrow then."

So, wait--you taught your kids manners, how to be appreciative, and THIS is the thanks you get? You can't ever dump dinner on them and feel self-righteous about it? Bummer!

I know! Don't you feel bad for me?  ;)
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Clockwork Banana on December 30, 2011, 11:17:14 AM
Well, I guess I have a new hill.  I will never, never plan a holiday meal (or maybe any other) with my adult stepchildren.  I stood on this hill a few days ago, but I was unsure if it was made of quicksand or not.  It now seems to be a granite mountain.

I know I react badly (emotionally) when my ire is up.  I do try to give myself cool down time before making pronouncements etc.  Sometimes it helps/works.  This time, not so much.

On to my story:

My SO has been away for Christmas four out of the six years we have been together, due to his overseas contract work.  I have always stepped into the breach with regard to his adult children.  I buy gifts (whereas Dad is the cheque and gift card type dude), I bake cookies, I have them over for a gift exchange (well exchange is a misnomer since it implies a two-way street.......).  I make an awesome dinner. Yah, Yah, aren't I wonderful.

It has always been like pulling teeth to get them to commit to a day to come.  There is ever a reason that they cannot decide.  "I don't have my work schedule yet"  "I am not sure what mom is planning"  "I have to wait to see what boyfrienddujour is doing" "I am not sure what stepgrandchild's family is planning".  So I try to plan food that has wiggle room as far as preparation, because it is always last-minute notification that they can fit me in to pick up their gifts.

Insertion 1:  Both girls KNOW that I am a planner and need advance notice for things.  I make jokes about it to try not to be overbearing with my needs. I can sometimes do the 'spontaneous' thing, which works out, but it is not easy for me.

Insertion 2: Both girls also complain that they do not get enough face-time with Dad.  I do my best to encourage him to have a separate relationship with them, along with trying to create 'family-time' by inviting them for dinners either in-home or out.

So this year Dad was home for the holidays.  Huzzah!  I spoke to both of them in early December about making plans.  I called Dad's ex-wife (with whom I get along just fine) to see what her plans were.  She stated that she was having them both on Christmas Day.  No biggie and expected.  They were also both busy Christmas Eve.  So I gave them a three day window (26th through 28th) to come over for dinner.  I explained (again) that I needed lead time in order to plan and cook the meal.


It has always been like pulling teeth to get them to commit to a day to come.  There is always a reason that they cannot decide.  "I don't have my work schedule yet"  "I am not sure what mom is planning"  "I have to wait to see what boyfrienddujour is doing" "I am not sure what stepgrandchild's family is planning".  So I try to plan food that has wiggle room as far as preparation, because it is always last-minute notification that they can fit me in to pick up their gifts.

Does the previous paragraph look familiar?  I just copied and pasted.  Cue (not) new reasons for their inability to commit.  Even on goldingitydang Christmas Day they still were unsure about their respective schedules. Vague promises etc.

So this past Monday Daughter #1 called.  She is just too busy to fit us in.  Could I possibly do lunch instead of dinner? (She works at two-o'clock so she would have time to roar in, plow down on carefully prepared food, grab her gifts and run.)  I reminded her that her sister works during the day, so that would not work for her.  "Oh, yeah."  So anyway there was a whack of backing and forthing with no result (keep in mind I already had the turkey thawing in the fridge, so there was a smallish window).  I ended up just saying that this was not working out, but perhaps we could get together for leftovers on the weekend.  End of call.

On to Daughter #2.  Daughter #2 is the one who has been the most vocal about not seeing Dad enough.  She and I had a rocky start.  I made mistakes.  BIG mistakes.  She was a bit of a horror show. But at the same time she is awesome, funny, smart and really cool at times.  Anyway, she is the one who blames me for not being daddy's little girl anymore. 

So this time, she got put first.  Daughter 1 is too busy, but my thought was that does not mean we are cancelling a holiday dinner for daughter 2.  At my behest, my SO got in touch with her and invited her over for dinner - this time with a specific date.  We knew her work schedule so we were confident that she would be able to make it.  I heard no response back* so at that point I just wrote off the entire endeavor.

*(This bit was second-hand because I don't do facebook).  According to my SO, she waffled a bit with no commitment.

So Wednesday (the last day of the three day window I gave them) the phone rang with daughter #2 wanting to know what time she could come over for dinner (read - get my gear).  By this time I was totally checked out.  I let SO respond and I was not privy to their conversation, nor did I ask.  I finally asked him this morning what he had talked with to both girls, and it did not sound like they were particularly disappointed about not having a celebration/gathering at Chez Us,

So, I am done.  I am finished buying these children (adults) gifts where they tell me to my face that they are wonderful, and then I find out later that they were disparaged. ('cos D1's exmghmf was slightly larger than D2's exmghmf)**

**Of course when I told them since SO was home this year and my/our finances were tight, I would be out of the gift buying/selection process, I got a roar of protest because "You buy the most awesome gifts ever!!!"  Too bad you could not have mentioned that back when.

So, in conclusion.  My hill to die on is to stop trying to force, form, or forge relationships with people who give lip-service but do not follow through.  I love those girls a great deal.  Right now I don't like them a whole lot.

And, my apologies.  I turned my post into a vomit of hurt.  But it is what it is.

The good news is that I have a freezer full of delicious cookies that me and the boy will be enjoying for some time to come.........

Thanks for reading.  I am actually feeling a heck of a lot better for putting this down.

 

 
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: sparksals on December 30, 2011, 11:33:36 AM
<snip>

Quote
Insertion 1:  Both girls KNOW that I am a planner and need advance notice for things.  I make jokes about it to try not to be overbearing with my needs. I can sometimes do the 'spontaneous' thing, which works out, but it is not easy for me.

Insertion 2: Both girls also complain that they do not get enough face-time with Dad.  I do my best to encourage him to have a separate relationship with them, along with trying to create 'family-time' by inviting them for dinners either in-home or out.

So this year Dad was home for the holidays.  Huzzah!  I spoke to both of them in early December about making plans.  I called Dad's ex-wife (with whom I get along just fine) to see what her plans were.  She stated that she was having them both on Christmas Day.  No biggie and expected.  They were also both busy Christmas Eve.  So I gave them a three day window (26th through 28th) to come over for dinner.  I explained (again) that I needed lead time in order to plan and cook the meal.


It has always been like pulling teeth to get them to commit to a day to come.  There is always a reason that they cannot decide.  "I don't have my work schedule yet"  "I am not sure what mom is planning"  "I have to wait to see what boyfrienddujour is doing" "I am not sure what stepgrandchild's family is planning".  So I try to plan food that has wiggle room as far as preparation, because it is always last-minute notification that they can fit me in to pick up their gifts.

Oh Kramer,

I'm so sorry your Stepkids are so dang non-committal and unappreciative.  Like you, I need lead time to plan, shop and prepare.  That is not too much to ask.  The fact you try so hard and they don't stop to think how much you are trying or consider the time and effort everything takes is reprehensible.

Next year, check out.  Completely.  You can probably buy gifts, but don't chase anyone down, don't call them to arrange a gift exchange.  Don't plan any meals or festivities.  Nothing. 

You can't change them, but you can change how you react to their lack of sensitivity.   They WILL notice and most likely will ask.  At this point, you or your DH can then say that it has always been difficult to arrange a time when everyone can come and you just decided not to bother.  Since they make no effort, you won't either.  Then follow through.  Just.Don't.Do.It. 

I am appalled DD2 called at the last minute asking what time to come for dinner.  She obviously has no clue how much time and effort you put into it.  I'm glad you and DH stood your ground on that one. 

Do you have family or friends with whom you can spend the holiday?  It sounds like you go to so much effort for them with nothing in return.  They sound like ungrateful spoiled brats. Is there something you can do so you can enjoy the holiday?  Do something nice for yourself for a change.  I can tell you are very hurt and rightfully so.  Take charge and ensure you are not hurt next year. 
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Clockwork Banana on December 30, 2011, 11:46:02 AM
Thank-you Sparksals, for your kind words.

After I finished the post, I printed it out and gave it to my SO.  There was nothing in it that was a surprise to him, but just the writing down and acknowledging my feelings was helpful to both he and I.

And I agree about dropping the rope (you did not quite say that, but it was the implication).  I mean it that I am checked out.  They will eventually notice.  Mainly because they are not horrible kids, just unthinking and currently selfish.

We will see what the future holds. 

Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: heathert on December 30, 2011, 12:13:36 PM
Thank-you Sparksals, for your kind words.

After I finished the post, I printed it out and gave it to my SO.  There was nothing in it that was a surprise to him, but just the writing down and acknowledging my feelings was helpful to both he and I.

And I agree about dropping the rope (you did not quite say that, but it was the implication).  I mean it that I am checked out.  They will eventually notice.  Mainly because they are not horrible kids, just unthinking and currently selfish.

We will see what the future holds.

I vote for going on vacation somewhere next year and not even mention it till they call to see what you're doing.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: BarensMom on December 30, 2011, 01:06:00 PM
Thank-you Sparksals, for your kind words.

After I finished the post, I printed it out and gave it to my SO.  There was nothing in it that was a surprise to him, but just the writing down and acknowledging my feelings was helpful to both he and I.

And I agree about dropping the rope (you did not quite say that, but it was the implication).  I mean it that I am checked out.  They will eventually notice.  Mainly because they are not horrible kids, just unthinking and currently selfish.

We will see what the future holds.

I vote for going on vacation somewhere next year and not even mention it till they call to see what you're doing.

I agree.  My sister and her DH finally got tired of the back and forth similar to what you went through and booked a two-week cruise for Xmas.  Both his and her kids let out a howl of protest, but Sis told them too bad, so sad.  I think they're going to make it an tradition from now on.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: nyoprinces on December 31, 2011, 10:24:15 AM
My hill to die on this year was Extra People.

My family has always been pretty open and welcoming to friends-of-cousins who drop in on Christmas, or boyfriends'-roommates who don't have a place to go for Thanksgiving. To be honest, this was mainly started by my cousin's high-school friends, who wanted to be together for the holidays so they could all get high. It wasn't as cozy and sweet as it seems - it was mostly uncomfortable.

This year, though, was our first in a house, and we decided to host both sides of the family, for a total of 20 people. Many more than our family gatherings usually have, but we figured out exactly enough seating and china for everyone, and we were happy that having it at our house would mean no cousin-adjacents.

Sure enough, the week before Christmas, my sisters start calling - "There's a guy at church I met yesterday and I don't really understand his language, but I think that means he might be new to the country and what if he doesn't have a place to go for Christmas?" "I met a girl whose family doesn't celebrate Christmas - can I bring her to show her what it's all about?"

No. Just... No. It made me feel like a total Grinch, but I was already overwhelmed with arrangements for my first holiday hosting, with more people than had ever been to a family gathering before. "Just one more" from everyone that asked would have meant cramming another table into the entryway. And, oddly enough, once I put my foot down, they actually talked to the people they were so gung-no about inviting and found out that they each already had their own plans. I think sometimes my family is so sold on the idea of welcoming in holiday orphans that they forget to check first and find out if they actually are.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: o_gal on December 31, 2011, 11:11:20 AM
My SIL and I built our hill, stood on it, and waved the flag of victory, all in the matter of a couple of hours  :)

DH has 3 brothers and 3 sisters. The oldest sister is a very, very difficult person to get along with and have around. She has given rude and awful behavior to many members of the family (usually the married-in spouses), plus she always wants to be able to do her own thing, time-wise, and does not care how much it affects other people. She has sown the seeds of a crop that she is now reaping.

This Christmas, the youngest sister had the more locally oriented siblings and their families over to her house for an afternoon of hanging out, eating dinner, and opening presents. She chose Friday Dec 23 because that was when everyone either said they could make it, or did not get back in touch with her that they couldn't make it. Oldest SIL decided to wait until the evening of Thursday Dec 22 to tell youngest SIL that she had to work and would not be down until sometime between 5 and 6 that evening. OK, everyone can deal with that.

Dec 23 comes and we arrive around 3, BIL and his family around 4 (middle SIL is already there as is FIL.) We hang out, talk, kids make gingerbread houses, we eat really yummy food, start watching "Elf" after dinner, etc. Around 7, still no sign of oldest SIL and we were wondering whether to wait to open presents. So BIL calls her and finds out that she and her boyfriend are 2 hours away. She worked a full day, then went home and did whatever, then they just started driving down at 6:30. BIL and his wife have a 3 year old daughter - wife/SIL speaks up and says no way are they waiting. They will be leaving about when oldest SIL is getting there and there is NO WAY they are hanging around for another hour or so. They have a 2.5 hour drive back to their house. We were also planning to leave around 9 because although I have an 11 year old DS who can stay up later, I broke my leg (fibula) on Dec 2 and I just get really, really tired and have been going to bed around 8:30 to 9 every night. And we have a 1.5 hour drive.

Shortly before 9 we all started packing up presents and the kids' gingerbread houses to leave. Naturally, just then oldest SIL arrives as we are putting on coats. She obviously wanted everyone to stay but could only watch and ask a few questions as we all gathered everything up and headed out to the cars. We were driving our van away as BIL and wife/SIL were getting stuff into theirs. Victory was ours!
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Thipu1 on January 01, 2012, 11:44:06 AM
Mom provided us with a new one just this week. 

We visited her for three days in the week between Christmas and the New Year.  Mom is quite pushy and, on the last day, asked us about our New Year's Eve plans.  They were simple.  we planned to stay home, eat junk food, watch TV and the local fireworks.

This was terrible!
  We must stay with her for a few more days and attend the big New Year's Eve blowout. We're about the same size so she would loan me one of her formal dresses.  Mr. Thipu could also wear one of her late husband's suits.  Yes, they were about the same size too. We would have a wonderful time.

No, we wouldn't.  The party sounded quite nice but we couldn't stand Mom for any longer.  We took the bus home at the appointed time and breathed a sigh of relief.   

Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: bopper on January 01, 2012, 05:53:52 PM
This year is my hill to die on.  Every holiday for the last 3 yrs hubby and I (well mostly me as I do all of the cooking) have hosted.  Easter, Thanksgiving, birthdays and Christmas.  The excuse always being that I like to cook and that we have room.  I'm just done. It's too much work! I've asked for people to bring sides or do a pot luck but nope...what I get is sister in law or mother in law passing hubby 20 bucks and saying this is to help out for dinner.

And the $$$ is not the point. I'm tired. It's a lot of work cooking dinner for 13 to 20 people. I don't enjoy one bit of it any more but hubby is whining that there is no where else to have it.  So I'm doing Christmas this year and politely asking who is doing Easter!!

The other thing to do is if you do want to host but want others to bring side dishes, then send an email saying I will be providing the Ham (or whatever) and green veggies, and the following items need to be brought by someone.  If no one signs up, it doesn't get made.  Send me your choices and I will make sure there are no duplicates.  Make enough to serve 20 people.  THe items we need are: Green salad, Potato dish, etc. etc.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: UpdatedName on January 03, 2012, 08:31:38 AM
DH doesn't know it yet, but my hill is that I will not spend Christmas at his mother's house. Every year, she starts in about how awful it will be to be alone on Christmas, and how she will spend the whole day depressed. Every other year (we go to his dad's family's Christmas every second year) DH caves in and we head down there last minute. And every year we end up doing the same thing we do every time we're at her house: watch TV literally from the time we get up in the morning til the time we go to bed, not speaking at all, and watch MIL eat chicken salads while she tells us (vegetarians) there's a bad of frozen vegetables in the freezer. After all the complaining about being alone on Christmas, she never wants to do a single thing to mark that the day even is Christmas. Drives me nuts.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Nora on January 03, 2012, 10:12:09 AM
That feel a lot like my ILs who don't believe in celebrating anything (they are Witnesses), but still want us over for Christmas. Yeah no, we're not going to sit there and not eat our turkey dinner and not unwrap presents. Just won't happen. I can't even believe they asked that of us when they know quite clearly where we stand on the matter (aka: yaaaay Christmas). DH shut them down immediately.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: NyaChan on January 03, 2012, 12:48:10 PM
That feel a lot like my ILs who don't believe in celebrating anything (they are Witnesses), but still want us over for Christmas. Yeah no, we're not going to sit there and not eat our turkey dinner and not unwrap presents. Just won't happen. I can't even believe they asked that of us when they know quite clearly where we stand on the matter (aka: yaaaay Christmas). DH shut them down immediately.

Sounds like the ILs thought they found a way to keep you from celebrating Christmas too, yay for DH for putting his foot down.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: UpdatedName on January 03, 2012, 12:53:05 PM
That feel a lot like my ILs who don't believe in celebrating anything (they are Witnesses), but still want us over for Christmas. Yeah no, we're not going to sit there and not eat our turkey dinner and not unwrap presents. Just won't happen. I can't even believe they asked that of us when they know quite clearly where we stand on the matter (aka: yaaaay Christmas). DH shut them down immediately.

This is how I am, too. And, to be honest, I would have been fine not doing anything overtly "Christmas-y", but she doesn't even really interact with us while we're there--we just spend the whole time in front of the TV.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: gramma dishes on January 03, 2012, 01:30:23 PM
UpdatedName ~~  If you invited her to your house for Christmas would she come?

Also I notice that you say every other year you go to his Dad's house and every year in between you end up going to hers.  When you do spend Christmas with your own family? 
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: UpdatedName on January 03, 2012, 05:17:53 PM
UpdatedName ~~  If you invited her to your house for Christmas would she come?

Also I notice that you say every other year you go to his Dad's house and every year in between you end up going to hers.  When you do spend Christmas with your own family?

No, she wouldn't come if we invited her--she can't travel that often, and when she can, she visits the BIL with children (her grandkids). One visit (not Christmas, just a regular visit) I tried to bring some groceries to cook for the three of us, since I always go hungry at her house, only to find that she had no cutting knives, no measuring cups/spoons, no cooking utensils, and only one small pot. There's not even room in her freezer to store a frozen pizza. So no real chance of taking Christmas dinner into our own hands.

My family lives in the same city as his dad, so we see them every other year when we go to his place--however, my family is toxic, and we just stop in for a brief visit, which is more than enough. I actually really enjoy the years at his dad's (actually DH's grandparents, as FIL lives with them). His aunts, uncles, and cousins all come, and we all sit around and talk, go for walks, eat a ton of food, and sometimes play a board game.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: weeblewobble on January 03, 2012, 06:28:40 PM
That feel a lot like my ILs who don't believe in celebrating anything (they are Witnesses), but still want us over for Christmas. Yeah no, we're not going to sit there and not eat our turkey dinner and not unwrap presents. Just won't happen. I can't even believe they asked that of us when they know quite clearly where we stand on the matter (aka: yaaaay Christmas). DH shut them down immediately.

That makes my brain hurt.  Either you celebrate Christmas, or you don't.  You can't have it both ways.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Nora on January 04, 2012, 09:33:17 AM
That feel a lot like my ILs who don't believe in celebrating anything (they are Witnesses), but still want us over for Christmas. Yeah no, we're not going to sit there and not eat our turkey dinner and not unwrap presents. Just won't happen. I can't even believe they asked that of us when they know quite clearly where we stand on the matter (aka: yaaaay Christmas). DH shut them down immediately.

That makes my brain hurt.  Either you celebrate Christmas, or you don't.  You can't have it both ways.
[/b]

That is coincidentally the exact same thing DH told them.

Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Morticia on January 04, 2012, 09:48:44 AM
That feel a lot like my ILs who don't believe in celebrating anything (they are Witnesses), but still want us over for Christmas. Yeah no, we're not going to sit there and not eat our turkey dinner and not unwrap presents. Just won't happen. I can't even believe they asked that of us when they know quite clearly where we stand on the matter (aka: yaaaay Christmas). DH shut them down immediately.

That makes my brain hurt.  Either you celebrate Christmas, or you don't.  You can't have it both ways.
[/b]

That is coincidentally the exact same thing DH told them.

It sounds like they're trying to enforce their religious beliefs on you.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: heathert on January 05, 2012, 05:48:29 PM
UpdatedName ~~  If you invited her to your house for Christmas would she come?

Also I notice that you say every other year you go to his Dad's house and every year in between you end up going to hers.  When you do spend Christmas with your own family?

No, she wouldn't come if we invited her--she can't travel that often, and when she can, she visits the BIL with children (her grandkids). One visit (not Christmas, just a regular visit) I tried to bring some groceries to cook for the three of us, since I always go hungry at her house, only to find that she had no cutting knives, no measuring cups/spoons, no cooking utensils, and only one small pot. There's not even room in her freezer to store a frozen pizza. So no real chance of taking Christmas dinner into our own hands.

My family lives in the same city as his dad, so we see them every other year when we go to his place--however, my family is toxic, and we just stop in for a brief visit, which is more than enough. I actually really enjoy the years at his dad's (actually DH's grandparents, as FIL lives with them). His aunts, uncles, and cousins all come, and we all sit around and talk, go for walks, eat a ton of food, and sometimes play a board game.

Man, I think I would even tell DH he had to drop me off first if he even tried to go to her house due to "feeling guilty." No way I would go.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Softly Spoken on January 06, 2012, 05:28:46 PM
I was forced to choose my hill just last year (you know last month? :P).

While many posters on this thread stand up for their right not to slave away in the kitchen on Christmas, I actually had to defend my right to do so.

BG: 2011 had been quite trying. The biggest thing was my widowed father introducing me for the first time (as in I had no knowledge of her whatsoever up to this point and my father lives with me) to his "special friend" in April (on my birthday) and they were married  :o in September. It wasn't just adjusting to new gf-->FSM-->SM it was doing it do frickityfrackin FAST. Cue emotional roller coaster, counseling etc. etc. New SM seems nice for someone who is still for all intents and purposes a complete stranger. *sigh* End BG

Dad and I are out to lunch in early December. He says something (stated as fact not as a request for plans/feedback) about spending Xmas day with SM and her family (she has 4 grown kids, 2 or which are married so lots of ILs on their side). I was absolutely crushed. I managed to speak past the knot in my chest and inform my father that the traditional Christmas breakfast I have been making for him, myself, my mother when she was alive, and my 3 older brothers for the past 10 years is my gift to the family and I was deeply hurt that he didn't want to attend. I told him that this was the first Christmas celebration I was looking forward to since Mom had died, and I was hurt because it felt as if he was abandoning me to be with his "new" family. I made a point to stress that I was not asking him to choose and that I had been looking forward to having SM come over to share our tradition as well (this invite and the result is another thread for another time :P).

I am proud of myself that I managed to convey my feelings to him w/out being too emotional, or putting him on the defensive.

When he realized it was important to me, he talk to SM and they arranged to celebrate with her family on Xmas Eve and then come to be with us on Xmas Day.

I don't know what will happen this year, but last year felt like it was far less of a disaster then it could have been, had I not chosen my holiday hill to die on.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: sparksals on January 06, 2012, 08:38:53 PM
It sounds like you conveyed your feelings very well.  It also sounds like your FAther's wife is an understanding woman and willing to share the holiday.  We have heard many nightmares here, so I think yours is a happy ending. 

Please post the other thread about the invite and the result!@

Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: amylouky on January 06, 2012, 10:13:16 PM
I am proud of myself that I managed to convey my feelings to him w/out being too emotional, or putting him on the defensive.

When he realized it was important to me, he talk to SM and they arranged to celebrate with her family on Xmas Eve and then come to be with us on Xmas Day.

And you should be.. it sounds like you, your dad, and your SM handled things very well and I'm glad it worked out. It's a refreshing difference from the usual holiday horror stories on here!
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: gramma dishes on January 07, 2012, 09:21:55 AM
... I had no knowledge of her whatsoever up to this point and my father lives with me ...

Does your father still live with you?

And congratulations on handling this issue with such finesse!
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Softly Spoken on January 07, 2012, 11:27:16 AM
... I had no knowledge of her whatsoever up to this point and my father lives with me ...

Does your father still live with you?

And congratulations on handling this issue with such finesse!

As a matter of fact his has just found a house to buy with his new wife (and not a moment too soon bc she was *not* going to move in with us and I can't afford to move out).

Since I was never able to move out bc of finances (and would probably have ended up moving back in anyway to help take care of mom when she was sick), we now have a kind of reverse 'empty nest' thing happening where the baby bird is watching the parent fly away.  ;) Very exciting/scary/big adjustment for all of us...
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: gramma dishes on January 07, 2012, 12:01:43 PM
...   we now have a kind of reverse 'empty nest' thing happening where the baby bird is watching the parent fly away.  ;) Very exciting/scary/big adjustment for all of us...

That really is kind of a change of pace from the "usual and customary"! 

So his wife has been living separately from him during this time period?  Interesting marriage too!  Yes, I agree this is going to be a huge adjustment for all of you, but it could be lots of fun too, especially if New Wife really is a nice person.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: zyrs on January 08, 2012, 04:38:59 PM
Considering what happened this year with presents for my FIL, my holiday hill to die on will be not to buy him clothing.  All of it has 'disappeared for alterations'.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Softly Spoken on January 08, 2012, 11:27:36 PM
Considering what happened this year with presents for my FIL, my holiday hill to die on will be not to buy him clothing.  All of it has 'disappeared for alterations'.

 ??? Does that mean they got rid of them and don't want to admit it or they are just being picky or what?
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: zyrs on January 09, 2012, 04:01:11 AM
Considering what happened this year with presents for my FIL, my holiday hill to die on will be not to buy him clothing.  All of it has 'disappeared for alterations'.

 ??? Does that mean they got rid of them and don't want to admit it or they are just being picky or what?

We had a very specific set of measurements, sizes, fasteners and colors we were given that everything had to be, so we special ordered him these items.

 He unwrapped them Christmas day and seemed pleased.   We hung them up for him so he wouldn't have to.  The next day, my SIL came and took everything "because they were the wrong size".
She didn't bother to tell him.  So he called for a few days wondering where his clothes were.  He still doesn't have them back.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: otterwoman on January 09, 2012, 07:55:25 AM
Considering what happened this year with presents for my FIL, my holiday hill to die on will be not to buy him clothing.  All of it has 'disappeared for alterations'.

 ??? Does that mean they got rid of them and don't want to admit it or they are just being picky or what?

We had a very specific set of measurements, sizes, fasteners and colors we were given that everything had to be, so we special ordered him these items.

 He unwrapped them Christmas day and seemed pleased.   We hung them up for him so he wouldn't have to.  The next day, my SIL came and took everything "because they were the wrong size".
She didn't bother to tell him.  So he called for a few days wondering where his clothes were.  He still doesn't have them back.

I'd send your SIL the bill to replace everything.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Shoo on January 09, 2012, 08:53:42 AM
Considering what happened this year with presents for my FIL, my holiday hill to die on will be not to buy him clothing.  All of it has 'disappeared for alterations'.

 ??? Does that mean they got rid of them and don't want to admit it or they are just being picky or what?

We had a very specific set of measurements, sizes, fasteners and colors we were given that everything had to be, so we special ordered him these items.

 He unwrapped them Christmas day and seemed pleased.   We hung them up for him so he wouldn't have to.  The next day, my SIL came and took everything "because they were the wrong size".
She didn't bother to tell him.  So he called for a few days wondering where his clothes were.  He still doesn't have them back.

So your SIL stole them?  Have you called her about this and demanded them back?
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: violinp on January 09, 2012, 01:05:23 PM
Considering what happened this year with presents for my FIL, my holiday hill to die on will be not to buy him clothing.  All of it has 'disappeared for alterations'.

 ??? Does that mean they got rid of them and don't want to admit it or they are just being picky or what?

We had a very specific set of measurements, sizes, fasteners and colors we were given that everything had to be, so we special ordered him these items.

 He unwrapped them Christmas day and seemed pleased.   We hung them up for him so he wouldn't have to.  The next day, my SIL came and took everything "because they were the wrong size".
She didn't bother to tell him.  So he called for a few days wondering where his clothes were.  He still doesn't have them back.

How horrible! Hugs to your FiL.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: zyrs on January 09, 2012, 01:09:25 PM
Considering what happened this year with presents for my FIL, my holiday hill to die on will be not to buy him clothing.  All of it has 'disappeared for alterations'.

 ??? Does that mean they got rid of them and don't want to admit it or they are just being picky or what?

We had a very specific set of measurements, sizes, fasteners and colors we were given that everything had to be, so we special ordered him these items.

 He unwrapped them Christmas day and seemed pleased.   We hung them up for him so he wouldn't have to.  The next day, my SIL came and took everything "because they were the wrong size".
She didn't bother to tell him.  So he called for a few days wondering where his clothes were.  He still doesn't have them back.

So your SIL stole them?  Have you called her about this and demanded them back?

No, I expect they will get back when they celebrate Christmas with him.  She is the apple of his eye and can do no wrong. 
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Shoo on January 09, 2012, 01:11:04 PM
Considering what happened this year with presents for my FIL, my holiday hill to die on will be not to buy him clothing.  All of it has 'disappeared for alterations'.

 ??? Does that mean they got rid of them and don't want to admit it or they are just being picky or what?

We had a very specific set of measurements, sizes, fasteners and colors we were given that everything had to be, so we special ordered him these items.

 He unwrapped them Christmas day and seemed pleased.   We hung them up for him so he wouldn't have to.  The next day, my SIL came and took everything "because they were the wrong size".
She didn't bother to tell him.  So he called for a few days wondering where his clothes were.  He still doesn't have them back.

So your SIL stole them?  Have you called her about this and demanded them back?

No, I expect they will get back when they celebrate Christmas with him.  She is the apple of his eye and can do no wrong. 

Can you tell us exactly WHY your SIL took the clothing?  Was she planning on exchanging them for him?  I'm not really following you here. 
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: AngelicGamer on January 09, 2012, 01:18:14 PM
Considering what happened this year with presents for my FIL, my holiday hill to die on will be not to buy him clothing.  All of it has 'disappeared for alterations'.

 ??? Does that mean they got rid of them and don't want to admit it or they are just being picky or what?

We had a very specific set of measurements, sizes, fasteners and colors we were given that everything had to be, so we special ordered him these items.

 He unwrapped them Christmas day and seemed pleased.   We hung them up for him so he wouldn't have to.  The next day, my SIL came and took everything "because they were the wrong size".
She didn't bother to tell him.  So he called for a few days wondering where his clothes were.  He still doesn't have them back.

So your SIL stole them?  Have you called her about this and demanded them back?

No, I expect they will get back when they celebrate Christmas with him.  She is the apple of his eye and can do no wrong. 

Can you tell us exactly WHY your SIL took the clothing?  Was she planning on exchanging them for him?  I'm not really following you here.

Actually, it sounds like the SIL is controlling and that the FIL can only recieve his presents when she decides he can.  Which would be when he spends Christmas with her and not zyrs. 

zyrs, I would have a talk with SIL about this, especially if you see FIL wearing the clothing later in the year.  It sounds more like you have a problem with her than him. 
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: gramma dishes on January 09, 2012, 02:02:28 PM
I don't understand the story either, although it's certainly an interesting one.

Why did you let the SIL take his clothes in the first place?  Is she in charge of him somehow?  How did that happen?  Would it have been possible for you to have just said "No, you can't take them"?
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: zyrs on January 09, 2012, 04:34:27 PM
I don't understand the story either, although it's certainly an interesting one.

Why did you let the SIL take his clothes in the first place?  Is she in charge of him somehow?  How did that happen?  Would it have been possible for you to have just said "No, you can't take them"?

My FIL completely favors my wife's sister over his other children.  Right now due to an injury, he is in assisted care.  We are lucky to be on the visitor's list.

edited to remove a whole bunch of white space.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Luci on January 09, 2012, 04:47:17 PM
I don't understand the story either, although it's certainly an interesting one.

Why did you let the SIL take his clothes in the first place?  Is she in charge of him somehow?  How did that happen?  Would it have been possible for you to have just said "No, you can't take them"?

My FIL completely favors my wife's sister over his other children.  Right now due to an injury, he is in assisted care.  We are lucky to be on the visitor's list.

How painful. Please hang in there even though you might feel rejected.

As for your hill, I agree. When my dad was in care, another resident actually was signed out to go to a ball game! (15 miles from Busch Stadium - how can you not let the her go?) I hope you can do somethiing like this  - an event, not a solid gift for him. A box of his favorite candy and a note that you carry through, for example. My dad even loved trips to any access park. Easy, cheap and the best thing in the world for him.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Shoo on January 09, 2012, 05:24:05 PM
I don't understand the story either, although it's certainly an interesting one.

Why did you let the SIL take his clothes in the first place?  Is she in charge of him somehow?  How did that happen?  Would it have been possible for you to have just said "No, you can't take them"?

My FIL completely favors my wife's sister over his other children.  Right now due to an injury, he is in assisted care.  We are lucky to be on the visitor's list.

But WHY did your SIL take the clothing? 
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: zyrs on January 09, 2012, 10:18:44 PM
I don't understand the story either, although it's certainly an interesting one.

Why did you let the SIL take his clothes in the first place?  Is she in charge of him somehow?  How did that happen?  Would it have been possible for you to have just said "No, you can't take them"?

My FIL completely favors my wife's sister over his other children.  Right now due to an injury, he is in assisted care.  We are lucky to be on the visitor's list.

But WHY did your SIL take the clothing?

I honestly don't know.  I've just decided no more clothes.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: jibby on January 10, 2012, 04:00:48 PM
That feel a lot like my ILs who don't believe in celebrating anything (they are Witnesses), but still want us over for Christmas. Yeah no, we're not going to sit there and not eat our turkey dinner and not unwrap presents. Just won't happen. I can't even believe they asked that of us when they know quite clearly where we stand on the matter (aka: yaaaay Christmas). DH shut them down immediately.
That makes my brain hurt.  Either you celebrate Christmas, or you don't.  You can't have it both ways.
[/b]
That is coincidentally the exact same thing DH told them.
It sounds like they're trying to enforce their religious beliefs on you.
Or maybe it's just an open invitation to hang out on a particular day that doesn't have any meaning to them.  Like any other invitation, it isn't a summons.  Is telling them, "no thanks, we're celebrating Christmas with our traditions" so difficult (unless you've already done that, then I apologize)?  Do we really need to assume the worst in everyone???
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Nora on January 11, 2012, 04:08:56 AM
That feel a lot like my ILs who don't believe in celebrating anything (they are Witnesses), but still want us over for Christmas. Yeah no, we're not going to sit there and not eat our turkey dinner and not unwrap presents. Just won't happen. I can't even believe they asked that of us when they know quite clearly where we stand on the matter (aka: yaaaay Christmas). DH shut them down immediately.
That makes my brain hurt.  Either you celebrate Christmas, or you don't.  You can't have it both ways.
[/b]
That is coincidentally the exact same thing DH told them.
It sounds like they're trying to enforce their religious beliefs on you.
Or maybe it's just an open invitation to hang out on a particular day that doesn't have any meaning to them.  Like any other invitation, it isn't a summons.  Is telling them, "no thanks, we're celebrating Christmas with our traditions" so difficult (unless you've already done that, then I apologize)?  Do we really need to assume the worst in everyone???

We don't, but in this case it would be accurate. When we lived close they invited us for Christmas and our birthdays, plan it so we would rely on them for transport, and then spend the whole time making sure nobody said or did anything that could be construed as celebrating. They almost never extended an invite on a normal day. Fool us once, shame on you, but fool us 16 times in a row and we simply won't stand for it!  ;)
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: jibby on January 11, 2012, 08:57:18 AM
Oh, they sound lovely!  :o 
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: lady_disdain on November 12, 2012, 08:43:34 PM
Remember all these hills? I am bumping this thread so we can all remember to break the bad traditions and start new, healthy ones!
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: CrochetFanatic on November 13, 2012, 12:26:57 AM
I don't think I have any major holiday-specific ones, but there was one instance over at a relative's house where I refused to discuss something.  Since we were over their house for Christmas dinner and a gift exchange, we had no control over the alcohol, and one family member ended up getting pretty intoxicated.  I had mentioned about a month earlier that I couldn't attend another function because I was meeting up with a male friend I don't see very often.  I made no indication that there was anything going on between me and this guy (there wasn't, and still isn't), so I was sort of blind-sided when Drunk Relative began asking me probing questions to the tune of "So, are you and this guy playing Scrabble?"  Not in a quiet voice, either.

I told him I'd rather not discuss it, and when pressed and teased about how bad it must be if I was so quiet about it I said, "Even if I was, I wouldn't say so, because I think that's very private.  So, are things going well at your new job?"  He mostly let the subject drop, but kept slipping little innuendos into conversation all night.  I kept my cool, but I was imagining steam coming out of my ears by the time we went home.  However!  I got a phone call the next day, him apologizing profusely and saying it was the wine, and there has never been a repeat of this.  I figure everyone makes mistakes, and if this had turned out to be a habit it would have been my holiday hill to die on.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: CL32 on November 13, 2012, 10:19:59 AM
The extended family gift exchange is my hill.

My extended family--grandparents, aunts & uncles, cousins & their families, etc.-- gather every year within the week before or after Christmas. In previous years we've exchanged names for gifts. Aunt and Uncle Moneybags go WAY overboard with the gifts. I'm talking about a $50-$60 gifts when others spend $20-$25. It creates all sorts of awkwardness and resentment. We have tried to set limits and ranges, which everyone follows, except them. Last year the rest of us grew a collective backbone and agreed that there would be no gift exchange. I thought it was great. We shared a meal, talked, played board games, and had a great time without the distraction of gifts. However, Aunt and Uncle have raised the topic for this year and want to reinstate the gift exchange because it was such "a drag" last year. With a group composed on 1 who's unemployed, 2 retired, a few college students/recent graduates, and the rest of us getting by, I don't want anyone to feel obligated to spend money they don't have. Christmas is about family, not stuff.

Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: LadyClaire on November 13, 2012, 03:23:54 PM
I told my husband that I want christmas eve to just be us this year after last year's experience with inviting his family over. They showed up so late to dinner that it was cold and some of it pretty close to ruined, my good kitchen scissors disappeared, and from what I heard later his mother was badmouthing us because my husband called her to ask if she'd seen the scissors (he thought perhaps one of his nephews had used them and mislaid them).

I told him if his family can't be bothered to show up on time for dinner and then have nothing but bad things to say afterwards, then I am not eager to repeat the experience.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Daffydilly on November 13, 2012, 10:30:29 PM
I've been looking forward to this Christmas for a while. Two years ago, I was heavily pregnant and had mobility issues. Our daughter came two days after Christmas, but I was so tired on Christmas itself DH cooked and we played video games all day. Last year I was deployed during Christmas and didn't get to be with DH and our daughter.

This year, I'm home and healthy. We had family asking to come visit, but this year is our private family Christmas. I don't want to cater to anyone but the three of us. We'll hang out in pajamas all day, make a nice meal, open gifts and might skype with family. I had so many family Christmas's growing up where we had to rush through gifts, go to church and visit random distant family. I want one perfect memory with my husband and daughter.

So my hill to die on is no one visiting and no rushing helter skelter on Christmas day this year. It may change next year depending on if I'm deployed or sent to another base. That's military life for us. But this year is mine with my family. And I can't wait.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: twiggy on November 14, 2012, 01:03:45 AM
I am giving up, and throwing in the towel. I will Never Again try to make it out to visit the in-laws for Christmas. 5 years ago, FIL's job moved him cross country. Over the next couple of years, a lot of the family has migrated out as well. YBIL (he was a teen, so had to go with his parents), Middle SIL, OSIL+family, PIL and GMIL all live out there now. Every year PIL, YBIL and SIL+family have made the trip back home around Christmas, usually leaving a day or two after Christmas, and staying about a week and a half.

2 years ago, things were tight. SIL+family couldn't afford to come out, and PIL were wondering if they would make it as well. DH and I pinched pennies, and saved up. We bought the house that year, and closed the last week of October, but we still had the money set aside for our trip. Mid December, MIL starts expressing concern that we won't be able to afford the trip, and that she knows things must be tight since we just bought the house, and we were expecting DD in Feb. it's a long drive, etc. I persisted and told her we had been budgeting all year for the trip, I know what the drive is like, and we were excited to come. It finally came out that SIL+family were driving out after all, and they had asked MIL to come as well to help with their 2 kids, and since MIL was coming anyway, she talked FIL into coming, and YBIL as well. But, they couldn't come out if DH, DS and I were still planning on coming out to visit them. That bugged the crap out of me. We had planned and saved, but at the last minute, SIL changed the gameplan for everyone.

This year SIL is having a baby. On Friday, actually. She is NOT traveling with her 4 kids, one of which will be a month and a half old. DH and I thought it was a good opportunity to travel and visit his family. We've been planning and saving for months. We made it out in August for a family wedding, and MIL, SIL+family came out in Sept for a random visit. DS was devastated when Grammy and cousins left, so we told him that we were going to visit them for Christmas. He has known and been excited about it for 2 months now. He talks about what he will get his cousins for Christmas, and we will get to see snow because it snows at Grammy's house, etc. We let the extended family know that we will be out of town, so we're not participating in the cousin gift exchange, arranged a pet/house sitter for the week, I bought the kids cold weather clothes, and ordered gifts for my nieces/nephews. (I don't usually get them anything bc I HATE shipping. They don't get my kids anything either bc SIL is the same way). So, last week I'm on the phone with MIL telling her about how excited the kids are, and how DS keeps talking about seeing his cousins and Grammy and snow when MIL starts trying to talk me out of coming. It's expensive, and we just made the trip in August, and we're not used to driving in bad weather, and we might have to drive through a storm, etc. It's hard to make such a long drive with the kids, we don't have heavy duty cold weather clothes, etc. Mentally I'm rolling my eyes. I am an adult, capable of budgeting, procuring adequate clothing for my children and safely driving long distances. I felt really disrespected by the whole conversation, like I would never have thought of all these potential problems on my own, much less solved them myself.

At this point, I've wasted a lot of money getting super duper extreme cold weather clothes for 5 people, gifts for people I don't usually shop for, and I have to now pay to ship them. And we're not going out. I have a suspicion that SIL+family might be coming out here after all. BIL was offered a temporary, 10 week position in HomeState, where DH and I live, starting at the beginning of Jan. If SIL+Family come out, MIL will as well. If MIL comes, obviously FIL will too. But they won't make their plans concrete until last minute, so who the heck knows. I wash my hands of the whole thing, and I refuse to plan another holiday trip out there. Also, if they do end up coming out here, I will NOT cancel or change the new plans I'm making for our family.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on November 14, 2012, 09:19:42 AM
Getting DH to come to church with us Christmas Eve so that he can see his older two sing in the choir, and his youngest star as Baby Jesus in the nativity play.  This could be hilarious, actually.  He's now one and walking, and he's been known to babble during service. (Nursery only lasts until just before communion)

I can just see it, the kids are singing "Siiiilent niiiight...hooooly niiiight...all is calm..." then you hear the happy babble of "BA BA BAAAAA!!! DA DA!!!!!!!!" from the Holy Mother's arms....

Dh cannot miss that.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: siamesecat2965 on November 14, 2012, 09:26:17 AM
I've been looking forward to this Christmas for a while. Two years ago, I was heavily pregnant and had mobility issues. Our daughter came two days after Christmas, but I was so tired on Christmas itself DH cooked and we played video games all day. Last year I was deployed during Christmas and didn't get to be with DH and our daughter.

This year, I'm home and healthy. We had family asking to come visit, but this year is our private family Christmas. I don't want to cater to anyone but the three of us. We'll hang out in pajamas all day, make a nice meal, open gifts and might skype with family. I had so many family Christmas's growing up where we had to rush through gifts, go to church and visit random distant family. I want one perfect memory with my husband and daughter.

So my hill to die on is no one visiting and no rushing helter skelter on Christmas day this year. It may change next year depending on if I'm deployed or sent to another base. That's military life for us. But this year is mine with my family. And I can't wait.

That's sounds like a wonderful holiday! I did the same last year at Thanksgiving, although it was just me - I usually visit my mom, but I had just spent 10 days with ehr in Oct, and was going back for Christmas, so I decided to stay home. It was sooo nice.  I made a nice meal (I don't like turkey much) sat in my jammies and watched football.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Yvaine on November 14, 2012, 09:34:41 AM
Getting DH to come to church with us Christmas Eve so that he can see his older two sing in the choir, and his youngest star as Baby Jesus in the nativity play.  This could be hilarious, actually.  He's now one and walking, and he's been known to babble during service. (Nursery only lasts until just before communion)

I can just see it, the kids are singing "Siiiilent niiiight...hooooly niiiight...all is calm..." then you hear the happy babble of "BA BA BAAAAA!!! DA DA!!!!!!!!" from the Holy Mother's arms....

Dh cannot miss that.

You know, I'm sure even Baby Jesus said "ba ba ba" when He was a baby.  ;D
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: HermioneGranger on November 14, 2012, 09:44:43 AM
My hill to die on is not setting foot out of the house on Christmas Day, and no visitors.  The three of us are going to have a nice leisurely day, playing with our new toys.   ;D
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: KenveeB on November 14, 2012, 01:00:05 PM
I've been looking forward to this Christmas for a while. Two years ago, I was heavily pregnant and had mobility issues. Our daughter came two days after Christmas, but I was so tired on Christmas itself DH cooked and we played video games all day. Last year I was deployed during Christmas and didn't get to be with DH and our daughter.

This year, I'm home and healthy. We had family asking to come visit, but this year is our private family Christmas. I don't want to cater to anyone but the three of us. We'll hang out in pajamas all day, make a nice meal, open gifts and might skype with family. I had so many family Christmas's growing up where we had to rush through gifts, go to church and visit random distant family. I want one perfect memory with my husband and daughter.

So my hill to die on is no one visiting and no rushing helter skelter on Christmas day this year. It may change next year depending on if I'm deployed or sent to another base. That's military life for us. But this year is mine with my family. And I can't wait.

That's sounds like a wonderful holiday! I did the same last year at Thanksgiving, although it was just me - I usually visit my mom, but I had just spent 10 days with ehr in Oct, and was going back for Christmas, so I decided to stay home. It was sooo nice.  I made a nice meal (I don't like turkey much) sat in my jammies and watched football.

I've been dying for this Christmas for years. <sigh> My extended family has a tradition of everyone getting together for Christmas. This is great -- I like to see everyone, I like our traditions, and I know how lucky we are to be able to all get together. But I HATE that it must be on Christmas afternoon with no exceptions. I think it would be great to get together on Christmas Eve, Boxing Day, or even the nearest weekend sometimes. We could have our big family celebration but still have Christmas Day for just our immediate families. My biggest Christmas wish is to NOT spend four hours of Christmas Day in the car. I'd love to just bum around in my PJs most of the day, have a more leisurely meal, exclaim over each other's Christmas presents, maybe watch a movie. My dad finally said he's going to bring it up to his family this year, since Christmas is on a Tuesday and most folks will have Christmas Eve Monday off. I don't know if it's going to happen, but I've got my fingers crossed!
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Outdoor Girl on November 14, 2012, 01:56:36 PM
My hill to die on this year was going to be that I didn't want to spend any time with my estranged SIL.  And I thought it would get a little sticky - I'd have to get a hotel room instead of staying at my brother's place so I had somewhere to go when she showed up.  But apparently, my nephews have told my brother that they don't want her in the house.  So I don't think it is going to be a problem.

(There's a thread in the 'I Need A Hug' folder.  She dissappeared for 3 weeks and didn't tell anyone where she was.  Due to mental health history, we thought there was a good possibility she was dead; I'd even baked and frozen about a dozen loaf cakes, expecting to have to contribute to a funeral tea.)
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on November 14, 2012, 02:16:00 PM
Getting DH to come to church with us Christmas Eve so that he can see his older two sing in the choir, and his youngest star as Baby Jesus in the nativity play.  This could be hilarious, actually.  He's now one and walking, and he's been known to babble during service. (Nursery only lasts until just before communion)

I can just see it, the kids are singing "Siiiilent niiiight...hooooly niiiight...all is calm..." then you hear the happy babble of "BA BA BAAAAA!!! DA DA!!!!!!!!" from the Holy Mother's arms....

Dh cannot miss that.

You know, I'm sure even Baby Jesus said "ba ba ba" when He was a baby.  ;D

Oh I'm sure he did too, it's just funny considering so many nativity plays are done in such a serene way, very peaceful, and either Baby Jesus is played by a doll or a live infant.  In fact, the woman who asked me said they usually do use a baby doll if there aren't any little ones in the congregation young enough.  Piratebabe is the youngest of the children so he got the part. 

Point being, baby Jesus is usually silent during these nativity plays and so the thought of my little guy very loudly making himself heard is just funny to think about.  Of course our priest has a sense of humor so I can see her making a joke out of it.

Anyway, well sounds like that was thankfully solved for you, Outdoor Girl, and I think it's good your nephews laid it on the line like that. Sounds like the only sticky thing at the holidays will be the tape on the presents.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Outdoor Girl on November 14, 2012, 02:40:14 PM
I sure hope so!

And I'd love to see your youngest in the play.  I love kids - as long as they are someone else's.   ;)
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: gingerzing on November 14, 2012, 02:58:31 PM
Forgot the main one that will be put into place next week.
After years of working retail, I will not willingly go to any Black Friday (and especially no 8PM on Thanksgiving night) sales.  You cannot bribe me, cajole me, guilt me, or force me to go.  I can’t stand crowds, full parking lots with parking lot vultures, or crazy people who think their "Christmas is ruined" without the latest hyped up media gadget. Added bonus, I may just end up in handcuffs.

And oddly, my very "don't want to get gifts for anyone because that isn't the reason for the season" DH is actually the one who usually fusses about going. Grant you, often he is going because something he wants is on sale. He tricked me into going to Half Price Books last year and I was less than amused when I figured out that he wanted to stop by after we went out for breakfast.  We waited outside in a line for 30 minutes because the store wasn't open yet. 


But overall I am the narrator from Green Eggs And Ham: 
(with all apologies to the good Dr Seuss)

I do not like the Black Friday sale,
I do not like them, Sam's friend Gale.

I do not like going here and there
I do not like going anywhere

I do not like full parking lots
I do not like screaming tots
I do not like crazy lines
I do not like all the whines

I do not like the Black Friday sale,
I do not like them, Sam's friend Gale.

I do not like to go with a crowd
I do not like all that loud

I would not could not travel late
I would not could not go with my mate
I would not try go hit it early
I would not deal with those who are burley

I do not like the Black Friday sale,
I do not like them, Sam's friend Gale.

I will not go for sales so fine
I will not deal with that grind.

I can not see the need for all that stuff
I can not deal with people that rough
I can not afford to buy
I do not see why I should try

I do not like the Black Friday sale,
I do not like them, Sam's friend Gale.

<Takes my bow>



Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: AmethystAnne on November 14, 2012, 03:39:06 PM
^  Loud applause!!!

Very good!
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: pierrotlunaire0 on November 14, 2012, 04:48:42 PM
Bravo!  I love it!
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: VorFemme on November 14, 2012, 05:30:27 PM
You forgot to make one more rhyme with "surly" - along the lines of "I do not deal with the surly" (as well as the burly). 

I don't mind so much the ones who are girly, myself - I guess I didn't work in retail more than two years, though.

Food service, the military, and insurance adjusting - while not retail - you also get to see all the baboons acting up and showing their "true colors" - and I got enough of "that" to know that I don't want to see more.

VorGuy LOVES to get the low prices - but rarely wants to be around the crowds of people enough to go out.  He skips some years and picks the ONE best sale to get in line for, if he goes out.  Or he may get there, look at the line wrapping around the building at 4 am and come home with sausage biscuits from Burger King, instead.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Lexophile on November 14, 2012, 05:40:15 PM
My mother throws a pity party every single year that I live in a faraway state and they never get to see us for the holidays. My MIL lives closeby, so it seems silly not to spend the holidays with her.

We lost my FIL earlier this year and this will be the first holiday season my MIL will have to spend without him. So when my mom started in on me about the holidays, I decided that was enough. I told her that she gets Thanksgiving and Christmas with my brother, neice, and two nephews and that my MIL has nobody else.

She hasn't complained since.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: BatCity on November 14, 2012, 05:50:51 PM
I have a pretty good spine when it comes to my mom, but we have an interesting one about how she wants us to skip Christmas with her and my dad.

See, my folks have pretty much given up on Christmas.  For my family, the big holiday is Thanksgiving, which we always attend.  Since we have lived for the last 16 years in another state, it was easy to draw the line....we take Thanksgiving week off, come out to visit, and spend Christmas at home.  We always throw a party on Christmas Eve.  The few occasions when we have travelled for Christmas, we've regretted it.

In the meantime, my parents have started skipping town on Christmas Day, going to a Bed & Breakfast somewhere, not telling anyone where they went and turning off their cell phones.  Yes, I think that's cute.

This year, we're back in the same state, and my mom keeps trying to convince us to go camping* with them on Christmas Day.

We told them that we're thrilled that they're going camping, and that we hope they have fun, and we look forward to seeing them on Thanksgiving, but we will be having Christmas in our new home.  My dad is fine with this, but my mom will not let this go.  She even went so far as to reserve an extra campsite for us, even though the campground is booked solid and I'm sure someone else would love to have that spot.  We have been more than clear that we will not be joining them.

Keep in mind that this isn't a matter of celebrating Christmas at a campground; this is a matter of camping with the express intent of not celebrating Christmas at all.  Never mind that we have a daughter, who has already been displaced this year, and is really not keen on a Christmas-free Christmas.

*In case you're wondering, they will be in Death Valley, which is apparently a lovely place to camp in the dead of Winter.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: weeblewobble on November 14, 2012, 06:06:35 PM
I will not twist myself into a pretzel and let my inlaws or family "double dip" because one person was not available for scheduled holiday festivities. (For example, my brother in law and his family will not be available on Thanksgiving Day.  While we will go to my inlaws for DH's family dinner, I will not go back the next day, when BIL and his family are available, for a repeat performance.) One, because it makes everything super-complicated to schedule, leaving us all exhausted and stressed.  And two, this would force me to have twice the contact with someone whose actions have led my husband and I have drastically reduce contact with and only see on holidays.  For me, "only on holidays" means one visit, not "as many visits as it takes until everybody is present."

It's not that I don't love my parents-in-law, or my parents, I just have to set some limits to maintain my sanity.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Jaelle on November 14, 2012, 07:30:17 PM
So my hill to die on is no one visiting and no rushing helter skelter on Christmas day this year. It may change next year depending on if I'm deployed or sent to another base. That's military life for us. But this year is mine with my family. And I can't wait.

I signed in just so I could say, I hope you have a wonderful, wonderful family Christmas. :)
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: gramma dishes on November 14, 2012, 08:33:58 PM
So my hill to die on is no one visiting and no rushing helter skelter on Christmas day this year. It may change next year depending on if I'm deployed or sent to another base. That's military life for us. But this year is mine with my family. And I can't wait.

I signed in just so I could say, I hope you have a wonderful, wonderful family Christmas. :)

Me too!!   :)
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: threedogs on November 14, 2012, 09:05:02 PM
I have spent many Christmases and Christmas Eve's with my best friend and her family, going back at least 20 years, but last year was horrible.  It's a two hour drive to her place (have driven much further other years as we have both moved around), and I bowed out of Christmas Eve because I wasn't up to it.  Christmas was three of us, my friend, her Mom and me.  When I got there Christmas day, everything was chaos, so I helped with dinner and we finally sat down to eat at about 9. 

After dinner, Mom retired to bed, and my friend got up and started baking cookies.  The kitchen is small and there wasn't even room for me to hang out and keep her company.  I wanted to sit by the fire, drink some wine and catch up with her, not sit by myself while she played Martha Stewart in the kitchen.  I didn't care if I had cookies to take home the next day, I just wanted to spend Christmas with my friend.  She seemed determined to bake, so I went to bed.  I got up the next morning, shared breakfast and swore that this year, I would stay home and enjoy Christmas with my dogs, rather than rushing around and driving for miles just to be miserable somewhere else.   I'm really looking forward to it.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Daffydilly on November 14, 2012, 09:19:06 PM
So my hill to die on is no one visiting and no rushing helter skelter on Christmas day this year. It may change next year depending on if I'm deployed or sent to another base. That's military life for us. But this year is mine with my family. And I can't wait.

I signed in just so I could say, I hope you have a wonderful, wonderful family Christmas. :)

Me too!!   :)

Thank you! 8)
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: afbluebelle on November 15, 2012, 12:44:59 AM
I will not explain my decisions on who is getting visited where for what holiday. This is the first time in a long time I will be home for 2 consecutive holidays, so it has messed up the rotation. I swear, Christmas is almost easier to deal with when I'm deployed. No one argues about whose house I am going to, and I get to take silly pictures with large thing that go "BOOM"!

ETA - I do love and miss my family, I swear. Just not a fan of the squabbling. I should just tell them to fly out to me next year >:D
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: nuit93 on November 15, 2012, 01:42:27 AM
Count me as another who won't do Black Friday.  I don't like shopping that much as it is, rapid hordes of bargain-crazed shoppers make me want to cocoon myself until February.

My other hills are fairly minor--I refuse to discuss why *I* am not yet marrrrrried (nothing like having a younger sibling marry to bring out the 'concerned' relatives, but that's a whole 'nother post anyways--and on top of that our mother got engaged two weeks ago!) or having a baaaaaaby, or why haven't we bought a hooooouse?  Period, it's not up for discussion.  Instant bean-dip.  I'd rather ask how *random relative* is doing with that nasty ingrown toenail.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: diesel_darlin on November 15, 2012, 01:47:58 AM
I am another who refuses to do Black Friday. I refuse to trample and be trampled by people who just spent the day before supposedly being thankful for what they ALREADY had.


And my hill to die on this year is going to be my separation from my husband. I will not endure sarcasm and nosy questions from people who have zero right to either inquire or comment.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Free Range Hippy Chick on November 15, 2012, 03:10:21 AM
Both my family and DH's are geographically scattered (by UK standards!); I don't get to see mine at all (not a problem, see them at other times) and there is a brief post-Christmas visit by some of DH's in which we cram in as much time together as we can. This usually involves one total-family gathering, usually starting at noon, involving much food and drink, and more often than not this is at our house. One local visitor will offer to bring something, and will bring one dish, sufficient for about one-third of the numbers actually present. Another will offer, and I will usually say no, since she has small children and a large gathering of her own on Christmas Day, and is short on preparation time, and because I like to cook. She always brings wine anyway.

So what's going to be different this year? Firstly, if the travelling part of the family, who aren't in a position to bring food, say 'shall we bring some wine?' I'm going to say yes. Same as I did last year and on previous occasions. If, as on those previous occasions, they turn up without any, and say vaguely 'oh, shall we go over to Shop and get some?' I am going to over-rule DH when he says 'don't bother, we've got enough'. Yes! Do! The vegetarian dish would be best with a very dry white and the beef wants a heavy red. We'll want at least two bottles of each, and you did say you were bringing it so I rather assumed that you meant it.

if I have provided nuts and nibbles, two main courses, a vegetarian option, four sorts of salad, baked potatoes, garlic bread, two desserts, mince pies, cake, Christmas cookies, cheese and biscuits and home made sweets, believe me, there will be enough food. Probably an indication that there is enough food is the fact that people have been eating and drinking for something in the region of five hours, and there is still food on the table.

So if part of the family wants a further meal, less than two hours after they stop eating what I've presented, then that part can go to the local hotel and order an additional three course meal, same as they've done in previous years. The difference this year is that I am not going with them. I am not paying commercial rates for a large meal I don't want and don't need, and that is, in any event, not as good as the one I've just provided which would sustain any normal person for another twelve hours, and I'm not going short on the wine that either they or I have provided just so that I can drive across town to not have a glass of wine there either because I'll have to drive back afterwards.

When I write it down it doesn't look like a very big hill, but there you are, it's my own. 
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: alkira6 on November 15, 2012, 02:12:04 PM
Both my family and DH's are geographically scattered (by UK standards!); I don't get to see mine at all (not a problem, see them at other times) and there is a brief post-Christmas visit by some of DH's in which we cram in as much time together as we can. This usually involves one total-family gathering, usually starting at noon, involving much food and drink, and more often than not this is at our house. One local visitor will offer to bring something, and will bring one dish, sufficient for about one-third of the numbers actually present. Another will offer, and I will usually say no, since she has small children and a large gathering of her own on Christmas Day, and is short on preparation time, and because I like to cook. She always brings wine anyway.

So what's going to be different this year? Firstly, if the travelling part of the family, who aren't in a position to bring food, say 'shall we bring some wine?' I'm going to say yes. Same as I did last year and on previous occasions. If, as on those previous occasions, they turn up without any, and say vaguely 'oh, shall we go over to Shop and get some?' I am going to over-rule DH when he says 'don't bother, we've got enough'. Yes! Do! The vegetarian dish would be best with a very dry white and the beef wants a heavy red. We'll want at least two bottles of each, and you did say you were bringing it so I rather assumed that you meant it.

if I have provided nuts and nibbles, two main courses, a vegetarian option, four sorts of salad, baked potatoes, garlic bread, two desserts, mince pies, cake, Christmas cookies, cheese and biscuits and home made sweets, believe me, there will be enough food. Probably an indication that there is enough food is the fact that people have been eating and drinking for something in the region of five hours, and there is still food on the table.

So if part of the family wants a further meal, less than two hours after they stop eating what I've presented, then that part can go to the local hotel and order an additional three course meal, same as they've done in previous years. The difference this year is that I am not going with them. I am not paying commercial rates for a large meal I don't want and don't need, and that is, in any event, not as good as the one I've just provided which would sustain any normal person for another twelve hours, and I'm not going short on the wine that either they or I have provided just so that I can drive across town to not have a glass of wine there either because I'll have to drive back afterwards.

When I write it down it doesn't look like a very big hill, but there you are, it's my own.

May I come to yours? I promise to bring lots of wine.  ;D
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: AfleetAlex on November 15, 2012, 02:51:35 PM

if I have provided nuts and nibbles, two main courses, a vegetarian option, four sorts of salad, baked potatoes, garlic bread, two desserts, mince pies, cake, Christmas cookies, cheese and biscuits and home made sweets, believe me, there will be enough food.

That sounds incredible! What time should I arrive?  ;D
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: SeptGurl on November 15, 2012, 03:26:41 PM
I will not twist myself into a pretzel and let my inlaws or family "double dip" because one person was not available for scheduled holiday festivities. (For example, my brother in law and his family will not be available on Thanksgiving Day.  While we will go to my inlaws for DH's family dinner, I will not go back the next day, when BIL and his family are available, for a repeat performance.) One, because it makes everything super-complicated to schedule, leaving us all exhausted and stressed.  And two, this would force me to have twice the contact with someone whose actions have led my husband and I have drastically reduce contact with and only see on holidays.  For me, "only on holidays" means one visit, not "as many visits as it takes until everybody is present."

It's not that I don't love my parents-in-law, or my parents, I just have to set some limits to maintain my sanity.

Hear, hear. My holiday hill also involves not twisting myself into a pretzel again to accommodate everyone else's holiday schedules.

My problem with the holidays is that my mother and brother exclude me from the planning and scheduling but expect me to be there regardless. My new mantra for the upcoming holiday season came from a wise eHellion who said, "When you make plans without us, you make plans WITHOUT us."

If there will be pretzels at the holidays, they will be the kind that are dipped in chocolate.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Free Range Hippy Chick on November 15, 2012, 03:37:07 PM

if I have provided nuts and nibbles, two main courses, a vegetarian option, four sorts of salad, baked potatoes, garlic bread, two desserts, mince pies, cake, Christmas cookies, cheese and biscuits and home made sweets, believe me, there will be enough food.

That sounds incredible! What time should I arrive?  ;D

Well.........

I never thought of saying that I couldn't have the family over because the house was full of eHellions, but yes, I can see how that works...

OK, people, the post-Christmas party is at mine. And further to the thread about coming for dinner and what it means, doors open at noon for drinks and nibbles, we'll eat about three, and I expect there will still be people around at midnight. Come when you like, stay as long as you like.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Maggie on November 15, 2012, 03:46:43 PM

if I have provided nuts and nibbles, two main courses, a vegetarian option, four sorts of salad, baked potatoes, garlic bread, two desserts, mince pies, cake, Christmas cookies, cheese and biscuits and home made sweets, believe me, there will be enough food.

That sounds incredible! What time should I arrive?  ;D

Well.........

I never thought of saying that I couldn't have the family over because the house was full of eHellions, but yes, I can see how that works...

OK, people, the post-Christmas party is at mine. And further to the thread about coming for dinner and what it means, doors open at noon for drinks and nibbles, we'll eat about three, and I expect there will still be people around at midnight. Come when you like, stay as long as you like.

Definitely need a like button for this!  :)
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Susiqzer on November 15, 2012, 07:38:56 PM

if I have provided nuts and nibbles, two main courses, a vegetarian option, four sorts of salad, baked potatoes, garlic bread, two desserts, mince pies, cake, Christmas cookies, cheese and biscuits and home made sweets, believe me, there will be enough food.

That sounds incredible! What time should I arrive?  ;D

Well.........

I never thought of saying that I couldn't have the family over because the house was full of eHellions, but yes, I can see how that works...

OK, people, the post-Christmas party is at mine. And further to the thread about coming for dinner and what it means, doors open at noon for drinks and nibbles, we'll eat about three, and I expect there will still be people around at midnight. Come when you like, stay as long as you like.

Definitely need a like button for this!  :)

Agreed! That sounds like my dream holiday: hang out for ours with people I like, drinking wine and eating wonderful food! Sadly, I'm on the wrong continent...
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: gramma dishes on November 15, 2012, 07:47:50 PM

if I have provided nuts and nibbles, two main courses, a vegetarian option, four sorts of salad, baked potatoes, garlic bread, two desserts, mince pies, cake, Christmas cookies, cheese and biscuits and home made sweets, believe me, there will be enough food.

That sounds incredible! What time should I arrive?  ;D

Well.........

I never thought of saying that I couldn't have the family over because the house was full of eHellions, but yes, I can see how that works...

OK, people, the post-Christmas party is at mine. And further to the thread about coming for dinner and what it means, doors open at noon for drinks and nibbles, we'll eat about three, and I expect there will still be people around at midnight. Come when you like, stay as long as you like.

Definitely need a like button for this!  :)

Agreed! That sounds like my dream holiday: hang out for ours with people I like, drinking wine and eating wonderful food! Sadly, I'm on the wrong continent...

I want to come too.  Maybe if we all got together, we could charter a plane!   ;D
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Jelaza on November 15, 2012, 07:50:33 PM
I have never had a holiday hill, but I've decided to climb one this year.  I will not be doing any Christmas shopping at retail stores that are open on Thanksgiving or ridiculously early for Black Friday (i.e. "midnight after Thanksgiving - 6 AM, or even 5 AM, I won't object, although I won't be shopping then myself).  Convenience stores can definitely be open on Thanksgiving; that's why they are "convenience" stores, because they are open extra time.  Grocery stores I can live with, especially those ones that are open because they have a pharmacy (sometimes people need to fill prescriptions unexpectedly).  Target, Kohl's, JC Penney (disclaimer: I don't know if any of these 3 will be doing this) type stores, stay the heck closed and let your employees celebrate Thanksgiving.  Especially do not make someone go to work on Thanksgiving afternoon and work for 12 hours (not that I'd have shopped at Wal-Mart anyway).

My mother disagrees with me on this.  She thinks the convenience stores can be open, and anyone who didn't get off their duff and buy their groceries at least the day before can pay the convenience store prices or go without, and the grocery store employees should get the day off, too.  I was surprised; I thought she'd have the opposite attitude and that the employees should work whenever the stores required them, too.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: doodlemor on November 15, 2012, 07:56:29 PM
I will not be doing any Christmas shopping at retail stores that are open on Thanksgiving or ridiculously early for Black Friday (i.e. "midnight after Thanksgiving - 6 AM, or even 5 AM.....

Good for you, Jelaza.  I plan to do the same thing. 
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: gramma dishes on November 15, 2012, 07:57:38 PM
Two of my kids worked at (competing) grocery stores when they were in high school.  Both stores stayed open from something like 7:00am till 1:00pm for people who ran out of cinnamon for the pumpkin pie and stuff like that.  The people who were willing to work those hours on that day got something like triple overtime pay, so they really didn't mind.  Their families just didn't serve the Thanksgiving meal until the store workers got home.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Jelaza on November 15, 2012, 09:00:00 PM
gramma dishes - That's actually why I have no problem with grocery stores being open for part of the day.  At least one, if not both, of the bigger local grocery chains are union, so there's no way that some kind of pay differential for working the holiday hasn't been negotiated.

I do, however, feel that there's no excuse for running out of cinnamon at any time.  (I have 2 big things of cinnamon at home, and I have a plastic shaker of cinnamon in my desk drawer at work, for the days that take oatmeal in to eat on my morning break.)
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: gramma dishes on November 15, 2012, 09:01:31 PM

I do, however, feel that there's no excuse for running out of cinnamon at any time.  (I have 2 big things of cinnamon at home, and I have a plastic shaker of cinnamon in my desk drawer at work, for the days that take oatmeal in to eat on my morning break.)

LOL!!   ;D
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: amyg on November 16, 2012, 11:07:13 AM
I do, however, feel that there's no excuse for running out of cinnamon at any time.  (I have 2 big things of cinnamon at home, and I have a plastic shaker of cinnamon in my desk drawer at work, for the days that take oatmeal in to eat on my morning break.)

Well, it depends on whether any cinnamon will do, or whether one has developed a taste for Vietnamese cinnamon that's only sold in a tiny store in Murray Hill. (But I tend to obsess. This is why I now have five different kinds of drinking vinegar in the house.)
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: siamesecat2965 on November 16, 2012, 11:59:48 AM
I will not be doing any Christmas shopping at retail stores that are open on Thanksgiving or ridiculously early for Black Friday (i.e. "midnight after Thanksgiving - 6 AM, or even 5 AM.....

Good for you, Jelaza.  I plan to do the same thing. 

I won't either. I will howver, be running errands as that's my optimal time to go. Some grocery shopping, getting new tires on my car, taking some things to the tailor, that kind of stuff. And I will be working on friday ngith of black friday at my retail job.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: gingerzing on November 16, 2012, 12:22:17 PM
I do, however, feel that there's no excuse for running out of cinnamon at any time.  (I have 2 big things of cinnamon at home, and I have a plastic shaker of cinnamon in my desk drawer at work, for the days that take oatmeal in to eat on my morning break.)

Well, it depends on whether any cinnamon will do, or whether one has developed a taste for Vietnamese cinnamon that's only sold in a tiny store in Murray Hill. (But I tend to obsess. This is why I now have five different kinds of drinking vinegar in the house.)

Heh, I was thinking about the same think. I have 4 containers of cinnamon.  Vietnamese, Ceylon, and two jars of the Penzey blend.  My poor DH has no idea why.


Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: magicdomino on November 16, 2012, 01:44:13 PM
I do, however, feel that there's no excuse for running out of cinnamon at any time.  (I have 2 big things of cinnamon at home, and I have a plastic shaker of cinnamon in my desk drawer at work, for the days that take oatmeal in to eat on my morning break.)

Well, it depends on whether any cinnamon will do, or whether one has developed a taste for Vietnamese cinnamon that's only sold in a tiny store in Murray Hill. (But I tend to obsess. This is why I now have five different kinds of drinking vinegar in the house.)

But the grocery store has only McCormicks or the store brand.  They barely qualify as cinnamon.

I don't "do" Black Friday either.  Last year, I needed a new computer, and decided to venture out to Staples.  Got there at 7:00 am, only to find that both of the computers that I wanted were sold out to people who were standing in line when the store opened at 6:00 am.  I didn't even bother asking about the external hard drive.

All was not lost, though.  Just for the heck of it, I went across the street to Home Depot, on the off-chance they still had the 99 cent poinsettias.  They did.  Racks upon racks of poinsettias.  Home Depot even still had some plastic cabinets in stock, although an employee had to run all over the store to find an unopened pallet. When I got to the office that morning, I went to Home Depot's website and praised both the employee and the fact that they actually stocked plenty of their sale items.

Then I went to Staples' website and found my computer -- at the sale price. 
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: MizA on November 16, 2012, 02:52:44 PM
I hadn't heard of Black Friday before reading this thread.  Wowzas.  it sounds terrifying.

My hill is that I shall not be rushing at 7pm from working my 12-hour shift to the relative's house, not showering (ick ick ICK), and watching all and sundry get awfully tippled, then acting as DD, getting home much later than anticipated, before getting up at 0500 on Boxing Day to do it all again.

Cereal for dinner and bed by 9?  Yes, please!
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Outdoor Girl on November 16, 2012, 03:07:49 PM
Boxing Day would be Canada's equivalent to Black Friday.  I'll pass, thanks.  I'd rather pay twice as much than go stand in line with thousands of people.  *shudder*
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Amara on November 16, 2012, 03:19:00 PM
MizA, if you want to see the reality of Black Friday head over to CustomersSuck.com. Beware: there are no restrictions on language there. And it's blunt. But all of the forum participants are in some way in customer service, most often retail. What they endure is both frightening and discouraging. I only rarely check in because it appalls me to no end how they are treated. It makes me want to weep.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: MOM21SON on November 16, 2012, 03:48:54 PM
Two of my coworkers were injured last years black Friday.  One with a broken wrist and one with a badly bruised body.  They were not together and both plan on going this year!  I am in the NOTHING would entice me to shop this day.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: diesel_darlin on November 16, 2012, 04:36:01 PM
MizA, if you want to see the reality of Black Friday head over to CustomersSuck.com. Beware: there are no restrictions on language there. And it's blunt. But all of the forum participants are in some way in customer service, most often retail. What they endure is both frightening and discouraging. I only rarely check in because it appalls me to no end how they are treated. It makes me want to weep.

I just wasted an entire hour and its all your fault!  ;D
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: magicdomino on November 16, 2012, 04:52:25 PM
I hadn't heard of Black Friday before reading this thread.  Wowzas.  it sounds terrifying.


Nah, it's no worse than the Running of the Bulls in Spain.  In fact, the Running of the Bulls would probably be good practice.   ;)
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Amara on November 16, 2012, 04:53:39 PM
I just wasted an entire hour and its all your fault! 


Fault accepted.  ;D

Seriously, though, it is horrifying once the shopping madness starts. The tales those poor workers share is unreal. Check in beginning Friday (Thursday this year I understand) and you might end up passing out.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: lilfox on November 16, 2012, 04:59:12 PM
<snip>
Then I went to Staples' website and found my computer -- at the sale price.

YES.  I used to shop on Black Friday years ago but never really did the whole stand in line before stores opened thing, or even get many great deals.  Just the thought of all the traffic getting over to the stores and malls...  <shudder>

However, since a lot of retailers now do an online version of Black Friday, I'm all about that.  I could plan ahead, make a list, not get panicky from crowds and long waits nor frustrated by stuff sold out hours ago, and scored quite a few deals last year.

My holiday hill to die on this year was not traveling for Thanksgiving.  We usually host here but no one else is able to make it this year.  So DH wanted to go to his parents' place but a) it's an all-day drive, b) they're having construction done, and c) we just saw them a month ago and will see them a month from now.  I said I'd stay here but he's free to go, and bring DD if he wants.  He opted to stay too.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Elfmama on November 16, 2012, 05:23:44 PM
I hadn't heard of Black Friday before reading this thread.  Wowzas.  it sounds terrifying.


Nah, it's no worse than the Running of the Bulls in Spain.  In fact, the Running of the Bulls would probably be good practice.   ;)
Only safer.   The bull will just knock you down, trample you, and gore you.  It won't then tear the last TickleMe Elmo from your bleeding hands.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: PastryGoddess on November 16, 2012, 05:46:26 PM
So we're going shopping for food starting tomorrow. I have nixed several things off of the menu, due to me and my two aunts picking up the bulk of the expenses for food, drinks, utensils, supplies, and no one else helping out.

Turkey
Turkey wings
Bison minced BBQ
Spareribs
Ham
Fried Chicken
Baked chicken
Crab Stuffed Rockfish (striped bass) - I said I wasn't making it, so if they buy it someone else can make it
Collard Greens
Sweet Potatoes
Macaroni and Cheese
Stuffing
Pasta Salad
Green Bean Casserole
Mashed Potatoes

Vanilla Cake
Chocolate Cake
Vanilla Cake with chocolate icing
Sweet Potato Pie - I'm going to get mine from my mother.  Everyone else is on their own
Apple Pie
Handmade Rolls - store bought will be just fine


Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: SPuck on November 16, 2012, 10:19:26 PM
But the grocery store has only McCormicks or the store brand.  They barely qualify as cinnamon.

I don't "do" Black Friday either.  Last year, I needed a new computer, and decided to venture out to Staples.  Got there at 7:00 am, only to find that both of the computers that I wanted were sold out to people who were standing in line when the store opened at 6:00 am.  I didn't even bother asking about the external hard drive.

All was not lost, though.  Just for the heck of it, I went across the street to Home Depot, on the off-chance they still had the 99 cent poinsettias.  They did.  Racks upon racks of poinsettias.  Home Depot even still had some plastic cabinets in stock, although an employee had to run all over the store to find an unopened pallet. When I got to the office that morning, I went to Home Depot's website and praised both the employee and the fact that they actually stocked plenty of their sale items.

Then I went to Staples' website and found my computer -- at the sale price.

I wouldn't blame stores themselves for under stocking on items. Black friday brings out the worst in everyone, it is consumers fault as much as store policy. Even if there is enough stock an item like Tickle Me Elmo will get sold out if it is wanted enough and on sale. As for big ticket items like an gaming system, computer, or television they only stock so many (as little as 4, barely more than 10 if it is really big ticket) so they don't loose an arm and a leg on the sale.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: kherbert05 on November 17, 2012, 01:12:59 PM
I have never had a holiday hill, but I've decided to climb one this year.  I will not be doing any Christmas shopping at retail stores that are open on Thanksgiving or ridiculously early for Black Friday (i.e. "midnight after Thanksgiving - 6 AM, or even 5 AM, I won't object, although I won't be shopping then myself).  Convenience stores can definitely be open on Thanksgiving; that's why they are "convenience" stores, because they are open extra time.  Grocery stores I can live with, especially those ones that are open because they have a pharmacy (sometimes people need to fill prescriptions unexpectedly).  Target, Kohl's, JC Penney (disclaimer: I don't know if any of these 3 will be doing this) type stores, stay the heck closed and let your employees celebrate Thanksgiving.  Especially do not make someone go to work on Thanksgiving afternoon and work for 12 hours (not that I'd have shopped at Wal-Mart anyway).

My mother disagrees with me on this.  She thinks the convenience stores can be open, and anyone who didn't get off their duff and buy their groceries at least the day before can pay the convenience store prices or go without, and the grocery store employees should get the day off, too.  I was surprised; I thought she'd have the opposite attitude and that the employees should work whenever the stores required them, too.
I've already started boycotting the ones that plan to do this - and sending daily e-mails stating that I'm boycotting them and why. Maybe we should set up a petition asking them to stay closed till at least noon on Friday. The fact I know they are doing this means they are heavy on the ads. I rarely watch live TV - mostly Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu.

I also think that when the next person is killed at one of these events the cops should arrest every adult customer, the manager, and every officer in the corporation for murder. The poor retail workers should not be punished they are just trying to put food on their tables.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Wench on November 17, 2012, 01:29:49 PM
Quote
I also think that when the next person is killed at one of these events the cops should arrest every adult customer, the manager, and every officer in the corporation for murder. The poor retail workers should not be punished they are just trying to put food on their tables.

Sorry but to me that seems an incredibly harsh. Basically any customer or manager who happens to be in the wrong place or wrong time could be charged with a very serious crime. I admit I have not read alot about Black Friday but at worse someone could be charged with manslaughter (murder two?)  I don't want to get too political but these shops really need to enforce strict health and safety code or whatever the American equivalent.  We have that sort of mad rush here on Boxing Day and I will agree people who take it to extremes to stampede over people and get in fights should be charged and banned from the shops. 
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Luci on November 17, 2012, 01:48:23 PM
I have never had a holiday hill, but I've decided to climb one this year.  I will not be doing any Christmas shopping at retail stores that are open on Thanksgiving or ridiculously early for Black Friday (i.e. "midnight after Thanksgiving - 6 AM, or even 5 AM, I won't object, although I won't be shopping then myself).  Convenience stores can definitely be open on Thanksgiving; that's why they are "convenience" stores, because they are open extra time.  Grocery stores I can live with, especially those ones that are open because they have a pharmacy (sometimes people need to fill prescriptions unexpectedly).  Target, Kohl's, JC Penney (disclaimer: I don't know if any of these 3 will be doing this) type stores, stay the heck closed and let your employees celebrate Thanksgiving.  Especially do not make someone go to work on Thanksgiving afternoon and work for 12 hours (not that I'd have shopped at Wal-Mart anyway).

My mother disagrees with me on this.  She thinks the convenience stores can be open, and anyone who didn't get off their duff and buy their groceries at least the day before can pay the convenience store prices or go without, and the grocery store employees should get the day off, too.  I was surprised; I thought she'd have the opposite attitude and that the employees should work whenever the stores required them, too.
I've already started boycotting the ones that plan to do this - and sending daily e-mails stating that I'm boycotting them and why. Maybe we should set up a petition asking them to stay closed till at least noon on Friday. The fact I know they are doing this means they are heavy on the ads. I rarely watch live TV - mostly Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu.

I also think that when the next person is killed at one of these events the cops should arrest every adult customer, the manager, and every officer in the corporation for murder. The poor retail workers should not be punished they are just trying to put food on their tables.

As long as the customers show up and they make a profit, your telling them will do no good.

Actually the most you can hope for is that your boycott will make a difference.

Your constant emails will just get you all worked up and they don't care.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: SPuck on November 17, 2012, 02:03:30 PM
Okay so I was looking up Boxing Day on the internet, and why would the day after Christmas be one of the busiest days for shopping for the year? I understand the days before Christmas but the day after kind of throws me off and wikipedia indicates it was historically a gift giving day for superiors to their servants because of the servants working on Christmas day itself.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: lady_disdain on November 17, 2012, 02:05:50 PM
Okay so I was looking up Boxing Day on the internet, and why would the day after Christmas be one of the busiest days for shopping for the year? I understand the days before Christmas but the day after kind of throws me off and wikipedia indicates it was historically a gift giving day for superiors to their servants because of the servants working on Christmas day itself.

Because of sales. Stores have huge sales with all the leftover merchandise.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Outdoor Girl on November 17, 2012, 02:20:24 PM
Boxing Day is very much like Black Friday - line ups out the wazoo, great deals etc.  I have heard of some people giving a picture of the gift then going out and buying it on Boxing Day to save money.  I also know some people who start shopping for next Christmas on Boxing Day, especially in terms of decorations, wrapping paper, cards, etc.  The stores would rather move the merchandise than store it for the better part of the year.

I will not be joining the masses this year - or ever.   :D
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: JenJay on November 17, 2012, 02:21:56 PM
I have never had a holiday hill, but I've decided to climb one this year.  I will not be doing any Christmas shopping at retail stores that are open on Thanksgiving or ridiculously early for Black Friday (i.e. "midnight after Thanksgiving - 6 AM, or even 5 AM, I won't object, although I won't be shopping then myself).  Convenience stores can definitely be open on Thanksgiving; that's why they are "convenience" stores, because they are open extra time.  Grocery stores I can live with, especially those ones that are open because they have a pharmacy (sometimes people need to fill prescriptions unexpectedly).  Target, Kohl's, JC Penney (disclaimer: I don't know if any of these 3 will be doing this) type stores, stay the heck closed and let your employees celebrate Thanksgiving.  Especially do not make someone go to work on Thanksgiving afternoon and work for 12 hours (not that I'd have shopped at Wal-Mart anyway).

My mother disagrees with me on this.  She thinks the convenience stores can be open, and anyone who didn't get off their duff and buy their groceries at least the day before can pay the convenience store prices or go without, and the grocery store employees should get the day off, too.  I was surprised; I thought she'd have the opposite attitude and that the employees should work whenever the stores required them, too.

I'm going to join you! I've never cared to try my luck on Black Friday but it wasn't until I worked retail for a few years that I realized just how nasty customers and employers can be about holidays. Even the people who are trying to be nice say eye-rolling worthy things like "It's not right that you have to work. You should be at home with family!" to which you're not allowed to reply "Well... if people like you didn't show up expecting the doors to be open..." At least they closed at 5pm on Thanksgiving and Christmas eve and were only open Christmas day if they had enough people volunteer to work. (They always did, not everyone celebrates or wants to hang out with extended family. Double overtime looks pretty good when the alternative is to sit around and be bored. lol)

I have a close relative who recently quit working for WalMart and one of her biggest complaints about the place is how they treat employees at holiday times. This year they've decided to kick off the black friday deals starting at 8pm Thanksgiving evening so apparently employees have been split into two shifts - those who will work 5am to 5pm thanksgiving day and those who will work 5pm to 5am overnight for the mad-house that will be the sales. After that it goes back to regular shifts. So basically if you work for walmart you can kiss Thanksgiving goodbye because you'll either be working all day or sleeping in preparation for working all night. She always had to go to work midnight to noon on Dec 26th (as in finish your Christmas dinner and take a nap because you're going to work at midnight) to begin tearing down the Christmas items, moving them to the discount areas and setting up for Valentine's Day. I wish I were joking. This was mandatory and anyone who didn't show up as scheduled would get written up.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: FauxFoodist on November 17, 2012, 05:18:01 PM
I have never had a holiday hill, but I've decided to climb one this year.  I will not be doing any Christmas shopping at retail stores that are open on Thanksgiving or ridiculously early for Black Friday (i.e. "midnight after Thanksgiving - 6 AM, or even 5 AM, I won't object, although I won't be shopping then myself).  Convenience stores can definitely be open on Thanksgiving; that's why they are "convenience" stores, because they are open extra time.  Grocery stores I can live with, especially those ones that are open because they have a pharmacy (sometimes people need to fill prescriptions unexpectedly).  Target, Kohl's, JC Penney (disclaimer: I don't know if any of these 3 will be doing this) type stores, stay the heck closed and let your employees celebrate Thanksgiving.  Especially do not make someone go to work on Thanksgiving afternoon and work for 12 hours (not that I'd have shopped at Wal-Mart anyway).

My mother disagrees with me on this.  She thinks the convenience stores can be open, and anyone who didn't get off their duff and buy their groceries at least the day before can pay the convenience store prices or go without, and the grocery store employees should get the day off, too.  I was surprised; I thought she'd have the opposite attitude and that the employees should work whenever the stores required them, too.

I'm going to join you! I've never cared to try my luck on Black Friday but it wasn't until I worked retail for a few years that I realized just how nasty customers and employers can be about holidays. Even the people who are trying to be nice say eye-rolling worthy things like "It's not right that you have to work. You should be at home with family!" to which you're not allowed to reply "Well... if people like you didn't show up expecting the doors to be open..." At least they closed at 5pm on Thanksgiving and Christmas eve and were only open Christmas day if they had enough people volunteer to work. (They always did, not everyone celebrates or wants to hang out with extended family. Double overtime looks pretty good when the alternative is to sit around and be bored. lol)

I have a close relative who recently quit working for WalMart and one of her biggest complaints about the place is how they treat employees at holiday times. This year they've decided to kick off the black friday deals starting at 8pm Thanksgiving evening so apparently employees have been split into two shifts - those who will work 5am to 5pm thanksgiving day and those who will work 5pm to 5am overnight for the mad-house that will be the sales. After that it goes back to regular shifts. So basically if you work for walmart you can kiss Thanksgiving goodbye because you'll either be working all day or sleeping in preparation for working all night. She always had to go to work midnight to noon on Dec 26th (as in finish your Christmas dinner and take a nap because you're going to work at midnight) to begin tearing down the Christmas items, moving them to the discount areas and setting up for Valentine's Day. I wish I were joking. This was mandatory and anyone who didn't show up as scheduled would get written up.

I despise Wal-Mart with a passion.  I haven't shopped there in years (about ten, I think).  It's stuff like this that makes me despise that corporation.  I recently read a business article in my area where Wal-Mart has blocked the leasing of a space they vacated because the lease would be to one of their competitors.  Wal-Mart is willing to pay the lease until it runs out (14 years) to keep out the competition.  Oh, and the 135,000 SF space is in a depressed area so the big empty anchor space is a deterrent from smaller spaces getting leased in the shopping center since customers are less likely to be drawn to shop there.  Way to support the community, Wal-Mart!

Back on topic -- I don't do Black Friday.  When something is free or deeply discounted, I factor in how much of my time and energy has to be spent to obtain that item.  Many times, it's just not worth it to me.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Sharnita on November 17, 2012, 05:42:07 PM
The Wal-Mart stuff seems to be veering dangerously close to politics.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Jelaza on November 17, 2012, 06:07:29 PM
I've already started boycotting the ones that plan to do this - and sending daily e-mails stating that I'm boycotting them and why. Maybe we should set up a petition asking them to stay closed till at least noon on Friday. The fact I know they are doing this means they are heavy on the ads. I rarely watch live TV - mostly Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu.

I see no problem with them running at normal hours, or even opening a couple hours early, but opening at 12:01 AM on Friday, or 3 AM or some such is just wrong.  I don't watch live TV at home, because I get no reception except if I were to get cable, and I don't watch enough TV to make a cable subscription worth it, so I haven't seen any TV ads.  (I just wait for anything I want to watch to come out on DVD and then rent or buy it.)

I have to start looking around online to see who is open on Thanksgiving, and who is opening in the wee hours.

Thing is, it would be possible to eliminate - or at least reduce - the madhouse atmosphere.  Open at 7 AM (or 6 even), keep an orderly line outside, pass out coupons or something for the super-special-sale items to the people in line, starting at the front, for the specific item(s) they want to buy, each person can get a maximum number of coupons, the coupons are only good for a specific item, only people with coupons can purchase the super-special-sale items, the number of coupons given out must equal the number of that item available.  Anyone caught cutting in line or pushing/shoving when the doors open get escorted out.  People will still show up early, but there would be no mad rush to be first into the store and first to the aisle with the item in, so no one gets trampled.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: JenJay on November 17, 2012, 06:22:23 PM
The Wal-Mart stuff seems to be veering dangerously close to politics.

I apologize. I named the store because, well that happens to be the store, but I'm sure many other places are doing the same. It wasn't my intent to single them out.  :)
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Lady Snowdon on November 17, 2012, 07:53:26 PM

I'm going to join you! I've never cared to try my luck on Black Friday but it wasn't until I worked retail for a few years that I realized just how nasty customers and employers can be about holidays. Even the people who are trying to be nice say eye-rolling worthy things like "It's not right that you have to work. You should be at home with family!" to which you're not allowed to reply "Well... if people like you didn't show up expecting the doors to be open..." At least they closed at 5pm on Thanksgiving and Christmas eve and were only open Christmas day if they had enough people volunteer to work. (They always did, not everyone celebrates or wants to hang out with extended family. Double overtime looks pretty good when the alternative is to sit around and be bored. lol)

One year, I was working Christmas Day at an airport (5 am to 9 am, and then 12 pm to 8:30 pm - just a peach of a way to spend my Christmas!) and some terminally clueless guy asked me, "Why are you even working today?  I don't think you should be required to work on Christmas Day!".  My response was along the lines of "Oh, well, as long as people buy tickets to fly on Christmas Day, we'll need people to run the airline that day".  He paused for a moment and said, "So...the fact that I bought tickets to fly on this day means you have to work?"  ::)  I smiled and said, "Yep!  I'll see you down at the gate for boarding!".  He walked away with a very confused look on his face.  (I ended up being paid triple time - 8 hours holiday pay, my normal hourly rate, and overtime for working over 40 hours in a week - for working that day, so I wasn't complaining too hard...)
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: FauxFoodist on November 18, 2012, 12:17:22 AM
This is a new one for DF and me, but we are in agreement on this.

Every year, because our families live out of town, we end up traveling (driving) for Thanksgiving and Christmas and, sometimes, Easter (we've been ill for a couple of Easters).  This year, my car will need new brakes soon, and we are minimizing travel so that the brakes will not need to be replaced until after our wedding in January when we could afford to replace them.  Anyway, that means we've agreed we are not going anywhere that is really going to put additional wear and stress on the brakes so we are not traveling for the holidays.  DF's aunt, nice lady that she normally is, gets a really fixed idea in her head that things need to be the way she wants them for the holidays so, tonight, when DF told her we won't be able to drive out there for Christmas, she actually suggested we take the stupid train (he said no and pointed out that would be a 2-hr+ trip each way for us).  She then had the audacity to suggest that DF's brother and wife have two cars so we should ask to borrow one.  Again, DF said no, we are not going to ask to borrow one of their cars.  Aunt then told DF that she really wants us there for Christmas so she'll ask FBIL for us (I learned of all of this after he got off the phone since I wasn't really paying attention).  I just looked at DF and requested he contact his brother directly and let him know we have no intention of asking to borrow one of their cars so that FBIL doesn't end up thinking that this is what we wanted.

But, seriously?????  *We* have to make it out here because SHE wants us to so she doesn't care how it happens as long as she gets what she wants????????  I don't think so (and neither does DF).  We'll be staying in town this year.  We know this.  We're not thrilled about it, but that's part of being able to afford our wedding in January.  I'm really peeved right now at his aunt that it's far more important that she gets what she wants (including always hosting the holiday at her house) rather than consider alternatives (like the fact they could all come out here for a change since we bought a house this year).  Incidentally, she hasn't been happy in past years when we've indicated we're going to visit MY family for a specific holiday, but we've ignored her when she's indicated dismay or unhappiness about this.  My feeling is she has no right to be selfish and expect us to spend every holiday with her (my own mother isn't that way and understands and this is my MOTHER, rather than DF's aunt who falls under extended family).
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: nayberry on November 18, 2012, 06:10:26 AM
my hill is a small one but i am firmly camped at the top of it.

i will not spend Christmas with my in-laws, end of.
Firstly, they are more about convenience cooking then actual cooking so it would end up being all ready meal type food (nothing wrong with it but i like fresh for Christmas).

Secondly, and more importantly, FiL is a donkeys rear!  he likes nothing more than starting an argument with me, no matter how much i bean dip he doesn't give it up.
Example - i worked at big franchise widget dealer (not widgets but will do)  i was explaining that there was a massive country wide shortage of part w, very important that all the widgets of type j needed.  he said "rubbish i can get those in 5 minutes on the internet". 
An important note here, the ONLY place i could get this part was by persuading HQ to release them from manufacturing line so that new "widgets" would be delayed so current in use widgets could be fixed. 
He was insistent that i was talking excrement and didn't now how to do my job.  after 20 minutes of my attempting to explain that whilst he may be able to get generic part w, it was not suitable as a long term part on the widget and would cost more in the long run as would need replacing 5 times as much,  that's when i lost it and said that if he couldn't respect me and my knowledge of my job (that he had never EVER done!!) then i was leaving.   oi gathered my stuff whilst hubby told FiL off for upsetting me & we left.
i did go visit again and we made up,  for all of an hour before he started again.  i haven't been back since and it's almost a year now

 i love MiL dearly and if she needs me i will be there like a shot, just so long as i'm not expected to talk to FiL.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: GSNW on November 18, 2012, 02:48:04 PM
I've posted previously about running to and fro (driving 4+ hours) in past years to mollify both MIL and my large family.  DH and I decided that this year we are not doing it.  We have chosen to vacation for a week in lovely Tulum and we are only inviting each other!

I told my mother this in August.  She was pretty accepting at that time (to my surprise).  Two weeks ago I reminded her about this plan, which she acted like she'd never heard about at first, then I reminded her we had already discussed it, she got all sad and quiet on me.  This is her classic guilt technique - "But I'm so, so, so sad.  You know, your Grandfather is getting old - what if this is his last Christmas?  Christmas is a time for family, etc." 

I was very pleased that I kept my cool (hard to do with my own mother) and stood my ground.  Our plans were set in stone, no changing them, and no apologizing for DH and I wanting to spend some of our precious vacation time together alone.  Another thing I reminded my mother about is that we spend a lot - A LOT - of family time together throughout the year because we WANT to, not because of holiday obligations. 

MIL is a different story - she is still whining about how we are abandoning her for Christmas.  I'm no longer listening, because frankly I don't care!  I have much less stress going into the holidays this year than I have in previous years.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: weeblewobble on November 18, 2012, 03:43:01 PM
my hill is a small one but i am firmly camped at the top of it.

i will not spend Christmas with my in-laws, end of.
Firstly, they are more about convenience cooking then actual cooking so it would end up being all ready meal type food (nothing wrong with it but i like fresh for Christmas).

Secondly, and more importantly, FiL is a donkeys rear!  he likes nothing more than starting an argument with me, no matter how much i bean dip he doesn't give it up.
Example - i worked at big franchise widget dealer (not widgets but will do)  i was explaining that there was a massive country wide shortage of part w, very important that all the widgets of type j needed.  he said "rubbish i can get those in 5 minutes on the internet". 
An important note here, the ONLY place i could get this part was by persuading HQ to release them from manufacturing line so that new "widgets" would be delayed so current in use widgets could be fixed. 
He was insistent that i was talking excrement and didn't now how to do my job.  after 20 minutes of my attempting to explain that whilst he may be able to get generic part w, it was not suitable as a long term part on the widget and would cost more in the long run as would need replacing 5 times as much,  that's when i lost it and said that if he couldn't respect me and my knowledge of my job (that he had never EVER done!!) then i was leaving.   oi gathered my stuff whilst hubby told FiL off for upsetting me & we left.
i did go visit again and we made up,  for all of an hour before he started again.  i haven't been back since and it's almost a year now

 i love MiL dearly and if she needs me i will be there like a shot, just so long as i'm not expected to talk to FiL.

Ugh.  I have a "Captain Know-it-All" in my family as well.  I got so sick of being told I was too young, too silly, too ill-informed to know what I was talking about, that when we were discussing an issue that was centered in my professional field and I was told I had no idea what I was talking about, I responded, "You're right, those four years of college majoring in the subject and ten years of working experience clearly left me unprepared to have an informed opinion. Would you like some bean dip?"

And I haven't participated in an issue-oriented conversation with that man in four years.  When he tries to draw me in,  I change the subject or am suddenly needed in the next room. I may not have handled it in the most mannerly way, and yes, I was a bit passive aggressive, but I refuse  to be used for a blowhard's grand-standing or conversational self-gratification.

I think your tactic of simply walking away is the best one. And good for your husband for not condoning the behavior.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: ladyknight1 on November 19, 2012, 08:48:50 AM
My hill for this year and forever more:

I will use my china from our wedding for any and all holidays I deem appropriate. I will cook what I want and the meal will be served when I want. Everyone will start eating at the same time. None of our holiday plans will be centered around any television program, including football games. I lived with that for eighteen years and I will never put up with that again.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Luci on November 19, 2012, 08:54:06 AM
My hill for this year and forever more:

I will use my china from our wedding for any and all holidays I deem appropriate. I will cook what I want and the meal will be served when I want. Everyone will start eating at the same time. None of our holiday plans will be centered around any television program, including football games. I lived with that for eighteen years and I will never put up with that again.

I think I like you more than ever! I also refuse to use paper napkins - I don't mind ironing, even for 40 - well, some of the tables get Corelle instead of china, but still real napkins and tablecloths.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: RebeccainGA on November 19, 2012, 10:01:35 AM
Mine, this year, may be the Christmas tree.

DP would like to have, fully decorated and lit, the Christmas tree up on the Friday after Thanksgiving and have it up until January 1st. This year, thanks to the move, I'm not even sure WHERE the tree is, and if I do get it pulled out, the ornaments may be nearly anywhere in the storage room (which is piled up literally to the ceiling). AND we are going to be leaving after I get off work Wednesday to drive to Florida, where we will be until Saturday evening. It may be another week before I get to the tree (which I know is in the closet in the storage room, but that's behind ten feet of stacked boxes).

I would be perfectly content with a new, small tree decorated with some new ornaments and a few other things. She will not be OK with that (especially since this is our first Christmas without DD, who is still in Arkansas, and who we haven't seen since the move due to her schedule). I'm afraid this might be a big hill.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: ladyknight1 on November 19, 2012, 10:33:25 AM
I have some plain white cloth napkins that I fully intend to embroider before Thursday to match the new forest green table runner I got. I am so excited about my beautiful table!
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Minmom3 on November 19, 2012, 01:03:17 PM
Heh.  I have a tub full of damask napkins and linen tablecloth.  We haven't used them in a few years.  Maybe it's time to break 'em out!  I like having them and they aren't getting more valuable or beautiful sitting in the tub out in the shed!   And I CAN reach them, too!  ;)
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: KenveeB on November 19, 2012, 01:07:01 PM
Heh.  I have a tub full of damask napkins and linen tablecloth.  We haven't used them in a few years.  Maybe it's time to break 'em out!  I like having them and they aren't getting more valuable or beautiful sitting in the tub out in the shed!   And I CAN reach them, too!  ;)

Amen! I hate all this stuff that's "too good" to use. People end up saving it for an occasion and then never use it even on those occasions, so it just gets wasted. I'd rather use my nice stuff and risk the occasional breakage than have it just collect dust somewhere!
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: snowdragon on November 19, 2012, 01:41:41 PM
I have some plain white cloth napkins that I fully intend to embroider before Thursday to match the new forest green table runner I got. I am so excited about my beautiful table!

Post pictures when you are done. I love seeing hand stitched linens - I thought I was the only one who did this anymore. ( my set is packed away and I won't see it this year. )
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: gingerzing on November 19, 2012, 01:53:31 PM
DH just announced his hill to die on. 
It was two years ago when we did T-day at his dad's. We were invited about 2 weeks beforehand.  We drove 3 hours for the lunch and would drive back home in the afternoon.  FIL and his wife were aware of why we needed to be home. 
It ended up being basically all my FIL's wife's family (DH doesn't call her StepMom for various reasons so I will call her FILW). It was going to be FILW's two married children and their families,  her mother, and 4 other friends of her family. 
And while we were invited, we weren't exactly welcomed.   From the seating arrangements -I was basically on the corner with barely room to move- to very few people who would talk to us, it wasn't a nice visit.  About the only people who would acknowledge us was FIL and FILW's 5 year old granddaughter.  That was it. 
Dinner was postponed about half hour since FILW's son was late.  No real reason was ever given.  After lunch, they hung out and talked around us.  So about an hour and a half of no-one really talking to DH and me being the unoffical babysitter of the little granddaughter, we looked at the clock and said that we needed to get on the road. (about 3, which is when we said that we would be going)  Suddenly, we were the center of attention.  We just couldn't go.  They hadn't served pie yet.  Why would we be leaving so soon? 
Pie is served, and oddly, the four friends of the family also had to leave. 
We are whined at that we should stay longer.  I remind them that we had left the dog for the day and needed to get back to her.   I was told that dog would be fine.   >:(    I was the one who then pushed us along to our car (I am sure that I was considered quite rude for not wanting to stay longer)

All the way home DH was fuming.  (Not at leaving, but the fact that it was very uncomfortable.)

*Why, yes, there is some additional background of weirdness with FIL and his wife. But that would take too long.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: snowdragon on November 19, 2012, 02:04:33 PM
One of my holiday hills is my brother's in laws.
 
 We invited them three years ago, they came in and rearranged the place cards to their liking. Leaving me with no where to sit -at my own table! 'There's not enough room for you' was actually said. I was "squeezed in" at the corner, where I did not have enough room even to put my feet at the base of my chair. Then every time I tried to talk to someone they spoke over me and when I asked for plates of food to be passed they would not make the effort to pass to me. They were actually the rudest guests I have ever had - and SIL was not pleased, but "since the family won't accommodate my family by getting reservations somewhere where we all can fit, I will be with my family, if Mark wants to be with you he can but don't expect me." 
 Not sure what's going on there, because usually she's a lovely woman, but I will not go out for dinner just because her family must be at all holidays. She has not come to any holiday with our family since.
 
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: TheBardess on November 19, 2012, 02:53:27 PM
I also think that when the next person is killed at one of these events the cops should arrest every adult customer, the manager, and every officer in the corporation for murder. The poor retail workers should not be punished they are just trying to put food on their tables.

Seriously? How would that even work? The practical logistics alone would make it ridiculous to even attempt.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: stargazer on November 19, 2012, 03:01:47 PM


I also think that when the next person is killed at one of these events the cops should arrest every adult customer, the manager, and every officer in the corporation for murder. The poor retail workers should not be punished they are just trying to put food on their tables.

This is just beyond ridiculous.  Write your letters (but don't think it will do any good).  But I can't even comprehend what is going on in your mind here if you're even slightly serious.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: ladyknight1 on November 19, 2012, 03:40:04 PM
It is a travesty that people get killed working Black Friday, but I think that issue is taking this thread off course.

Another hill for me is the amount of dishes I make. I have pared down my menu for Thanksgiving.

Sweet potato casserole with pecan topping
Crisp-skinned Roast Turkey
Cornbread, sausage, and sage dressing
Gravy
Mashed Potatoes
Green bean casserole
Cranberry Sauce
Sparkling Wine & Apple Juice for DS
Pumpkin-pecan tart
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: CrochetFanatic on November 19, 2012, 03:43:07 PM
Is this the pared down menu?  If so, no wonder you pared it down.  It sounds yummy, though!
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: ladyknight1 on November 19, 2012, 03:49:30 PM
Is this the pared down menu?  If so, no wonder you pared it down.  It sounds yummy, though!

Yes, I usually make a few different desserts. Triple-Chocolate Pecan Pie and Bourbon Pumpkin Pie.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: hobish on November 19, 2012, 04:43:22 PM
Two of my kids worked at (competing) grocery stores when they were in high school.  Both stores stayed open from something like 7:00am till 1:00pm for people who ran out of cinnamon for the pumpkin pie and stuff like that.  The people who were willing to work those hours on that day got something like triple overtime pay, so they really didn't mind.  Their families just didn't serve the Thanksgiving meal until the store workers got home.

That's my sister. We're happy to hold off dinner so she can work until 3 or so, and she does make quite a bit extra.
I can't think of a single holiday hill ... judging by the length of this thread i should consider myself lucky.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Giggity on November 19, 2012, 04:49:18 PM
I will not twist myself into a pretzel and let my inlaws or family "double dip" because one person was not available for scheduled holiday festivities.

The multi-celebration thing makes me NUTS. We used to do December 23 Christmas with my dad's family; Christmas Eve with assorted friends, staying late; Christmas Day morning with the immediate family; Christmas Day evening with my sister's in-laws. Yep, four Christmas celebrations in three days.

For sanity and reason, I had to draw a line and was looked askance at for a time. After all, everyone else just LOVES the multi-celebration.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Giggity on November 19, 2012, 05:00:39 PM
I also think that when the next person is killed at one of these events the cops should arrest every adult customer, the manager, and every officer in the corporation for murder. The poor retail workers should not be punished they are just trying to put food on their tables.

I have to work faire all three days this weekend. If I have to run by Wal-Mart on my way there Friday morning (God forbid and shudder shudder) to pick up toilet paper or a propane tank or whatever, and I just happen to be buying my propane when someone's trampled ... I should get charged with murder? Just because I'm at a store, minding my business, buying a legal product with legal tender?

I'm a big fan of the hyperbole, but this seems excessive.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: snowdragon on November 19, 2012, 05:16:51 PM


I also think that when the next person is killed at one of these events the cops should arrest every adult customer, the manager, and every officer in the corporation for murder. The poor retail workers should not be punished they are just trying to put food on their tables.

I've worked several black Fridays ( both recently and as far back as the first Cabbage Patch Craze) and really the vast majority of people who do this are not guilty of anything chargeable at all - much less murder. Yes, it's sad that SOME people push and shove and such but the vast, vast majority are NOT doing anything but shopping. Most managers also put on extra security - and they can do so because the corporation gives them the extra funding to do so. NO ONE in any store wants to see someone hurt  or killed, but charging 99% of the folks who are merely there shopping because 1% ( probably less than that) misbehaved? Sorry, that's not right?
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: weeblewobble on November 19, 2012, 07:44:28 PM
Could we please curtail the Black Friday discussion before it gets the thread closed?  There's a separate Black Friday thread in the Coffee Break folder.  Thanks.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: weeblewobble on November 19, 2012, 07:54:42 PM
One of my holiday hills is my brother's in laws.
 
 We invited them three years ago, they came in and rearranged the place cards to their liking. Leaving me with no where to sit -at my own table! 'There's not enough room for you' was actually said. I was "squeezed in" at the corner, where I did not have enough room even to put my feet at the base of my chair. Then every time I tried to talk to someone they spoke over me and when I asked for plates of food to be passed they would not make the effort to pass to me. They were actually the rudest guests I have ever had - and SIL was not pleased, but "since the family won't accommodate my family by getting reservations somewhere where we all can fit, I will be with my family, if Mark wants to be with you he can but don't expect me." 
 Not sure what's going on there, because usually she's a lovely woman, but I will not go out for dinner just because her family must be at all holidays. She has not come to any holiday with our family since.
 

The bolded would probably make me angry enough that these people would be invited to vacate the table, if not my house. That is the one of the rudest stories I've ever read here. And shame on your SIL.  1) For letting her family treat you this way.  And 2) For being so inflexible that she makes everyone suffer through her family's boorishness.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Drawberry on November 19, 2012, 10:49:24 PM
Last year I bought myself a Kindle, wrapped it up and put it under the tree, and I was delighted by my thoughtfulness!

I have to say this is the funniest thing I think I've ever read on this board. No one appreciates your thoughtfulness quite like yourself ;)

I think I've had a 'hill to die on' since I was old enough to understand family dynamics, at 23 I highly doubt I'll have the same sort of experiences to tell so I'll leave you to add up an alcoholic uncle, enabling controlling grandmother, and a controlling anxious aunt and see what results you come up with. Needless to say holidays as a child where not always the greatest when family get together's came around.

Now I am with Boyfriend and I am out of touch with many of my own family so we are going to spend Thanksgiving with his mothers side of the family. I also happen to have social anxiety disorder to varying degrees of severity. Sometimes I can muster the energy to get through big events, sometimes I feel like I am having a breakdown and events are emotionally draining. Big family events with my own family where stressful enough, despite thinking fondly of Boyfriends family I foresee a lot of awkwardness and anxiousness this holiday season.

Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Luci on November 19, 2012, 11:21:36 PM
Last Christmas day I was hostess for my children, grandchildren, parents of  daughter-in-law, and Lucas's brother, D - unmarried uncle, no ladyfriend for that day. 15 guests with formal settings. I'm used to that, still a lot of work, planning, supervising. Uncle D is following me around, talking to me, following me into the bathroom (!). He was going on and on and on about the incredible events and vagaries of fate that led up to his parents' marriage and some other really interesting family history. Yes! I do that. Maybe that's why I'm into genealogy so much?

Anyway, I'd had it! I said, "And the most random thing is that one particular spern and one particular egg got together to make each one of us!" I never saw a 70 year old man blush and run before!

I told Lucas that I will host brother D again, but NEVER be alone with him.

It worked a couple of weeks ago for our Harvest Feast. Wish me luck for Christmas day.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: KenveeB on November 20, 2012, 07:06:45 AM
Last year I bought myself a Kindle, wrapped it up and put it under the tree, and I was delighted by my thoughtfulness!

I have to say this is the funniest thing I think I've ever read on this board. No one appreciates your thoughtfulness quite like yourself ;)

I'm always impressed with what excellent taste my pets have when picking out birthday and Mother's Day gifts for me. :D
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: siamesecat2965 on November 20, 2012, 08:56:11 AM
Heh.  I have a tub full of damask napkins and linen tablecloth.  We haven't used them in a few years.  Maybe it's time to break 'em out!  I like having them and they aren't getting more valuable or beautiful sitting in the tub out in the shed!   And I CAN reach them, too!  ;)

Amen! I hate all this stuff that's "too good" to use. People end up saving it for an occasion and then never use it even on those occasions, so it just gets wasted. I'd rather use my nice stuff and risk the occasional breakage than have it just collect dust somewhere!

My mom subscribes to this theory. When I come down to visit, she will use the good silver for regular meals.  Its just the two of us so not a lot of extra work, even though they need to be hand-washed. And it makes it a bit nicer.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: stitchygreyanonymouse on November 20, 2012, 11:52:18 AM
This year, our hill is that we are hosting a family-free Thanksgiving for ourselves and a friend or two.

Last Thanksgiving, we went to his family’s house. We were supposed to eat at 1, so we hadn’t had lunch, and only a light breakfast. We didn’t eat until after 5, and there was no other food in the house. I tried to help, but his mom "wanted it to be perfect" and has her own ways of doing it and didn’t want my help with most things. The same thing happens every time we eat there, although never with so long of a delay.

So, we’re not going there, and since we can’t cook a turkey (no oven), we’re just hosting a small get together with turkey breasts and whatever else we decide to cook.

So much less stressful.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: mumma to KMC on November 20, 2012, 01:23:13 PM
My hill to die on with my husband's family (we used to live near by and they were who we did most of our Holiday-ing with). My MIL expected us all to get together for the "upcoming holiday" but details were not decided until a day or two before the event (and sometimes, not on the holiday itself). One year, I said to my dh* that if we didn't hear about Easter plans at least two weeks before the date, we were doing our own thing.

On the Sunday two weeks before Easter, a good friend invited us to come to her house to celebrate Easter with her family. I checked with my dh and he said it's a great idea, so we agreed. At some point, I think maybe on Holy Thursday, we were told the details of Easter at my in-laws. We informed them that we would be able to stop by for a bit in the afternoon, but we weren't able to come for lunch, because we would be with the H family. That didn't go over well.

On Easter Sunday, we spent a great time with the H family, then headed to my in laws. Everyone was there already, the food was eaten, and we got a few snide comments from one brother.  We stayed for an hour and left. (Mainly because the conversation was really not kid friendly and I stood my ground on that one as well.) It felt good.

The other hill I died on was the Gift Exchange. We have permanently removed ourselves from it and finally gotten my MIL to understand that no gifts will be coming for us. (We aren't cheap, it's just that we want to focus on the Birth of Christ rather than the gift giving.) The last time we participated, we sent gifts out timely to the four people we drew, and our kids got gifts, in August, when we were home to visit.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: ladyknight1 on November 21, 2012, 09:19:21 AM
Another thing I remembered during my commute today.

I will not tolerate people around me criticizing what others eat or how much they eat any time, much less on the holidays. I had forgotten the criticism until I heard a mom telling off her grown son for what he ordered at a restaurant.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Garden Goblin on November 21, 2012, 11:05:20 AM
Current Holiday Hill to Die On -

I am only plucking turkeys that are going into my oven.  You want one of the 4 30+lb monstrosities remaining that we are willing to just give away, pluck it yourself.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: hobish on November 21, 2012, 01:32:23 PM
Current Holiday Hill to Die On -

I am only plucking turkeys that are going into my oven.  You want one of the 4 30+lb monstrosities remaining that we are willing to just give away, pluck it yourself.

Oh, goodness. I've never plucked a turkey, but chicken plucking is pretty much my least favorite farm chore. Gish wants chickens and i have already warned him i am not doing any plucking.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Drawberry on November 21, 2012, 05:03:31 PM
Another thing I remembered during my commute today.

I will not tolerate people around me criticizing what others eat or how much they eat any time, much less on the holidays. I had forgotten the criticism until I heard a mom telling off her grown son for what he ordered at a restaurant.

You and me both, LadyKnight.

Guilt free food? Oh you mean ALL food! Because I am not going to feel guilty, or make others feel guilty, over enjoying their holiday in the manner they chose. Pass me that pie, because I will eat the entire thing and never look back.



Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: ladyknight1 on November 21, 2012, 05:10:43 PM
My boss was telling me she only eats white meat, but cooks a whole turkey. We were talking about what we each make for the feast. When I said that I make a roast crisp-skinned turkey, she mentioned how bad it is to eat poultry skin, then went on to list the all-carb sides and desserts they are having.  ::)

My co-worker and I both think that it is better to enjoy a meal every once in a while that might be "bad" for you than worry about every single thing you put in your mouth.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Drawberry on November 21, 2012, 05:57:26 PM
My boss was telling me she only eats white meat, but cooks a whole turkey. We were talking about what we each make for the feast. When I said that I make a roast crisp-skinned turkey, she mentioned how bad it is to eat poultry skin, then went on to list the all-carb sides and desserts they are having.  ::)

My co-worker and I both think that it is better to enjoy a meal every once in a while that might be "bad" for you than worry about every single thing you put in your mouth.

Boyfriends mother is very very self-conscious about her weight (she is small enough that I once mistook a pair of her pants in the dyer for his 3 year old niece's!) and though she never means any personal harm by her comments has a habit of saying things like your boss.

My mother makes similar comments but with the intent of instilling guilt and shame over what I am eating (I gained weight over the past couple years taking hormone pills and she's decided that if she gets me to just starve myself enough until I am 'normal' I'll be fine  ::) ) and after a while I suppose I came to a 'hill' of my own in that sense.

I'll eat what I please and deal with the results myself thanks! :P
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Nora on November 22, 2012, 12:50:52 PM
Current Holiday Hill to Die On -

I am only plucking turkeys that are going into my oven.  You want one of the 4 30+lb monstrosities remaining that we are willing to just give away, pluck it yourself.

Oh, goodness. I've never plucked a turkey, but chicken plucking is pretty much my least favorite farm chore. Gish wants chickens and i have already warned him i am not doing any plucking.

Can I just interject that it's a darned shame I don't live near you people, because I really enjoy plucking a dead chicken or turkey absolutely bare. It appeals to the perfectionist in me to get rid of every last one of the feathers. Like getting the last bone out of a fish, or cleaning and butterflying shrimp. Something inside me goes "ahhhhh" at the very last little feather/scale. So worth it. I'd totally pluck a bunch of turkeys if I got mine for free!
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Gyburc on November 23, 2012, 05:44:51 AM
OT - Nora, have you ever tried plucking a duck? It's an interesting job - underneath the normal feathers is the down, which is almost impossible to get off unless you singe it off... Our ducks tend to go into the oven looking like little werewolves.  ;D

I suppose my holiday hill is that DH and I spend Christmas Day together at home, not travelling. But fortunately our families have got used to this (although MIL still tells us every year that all she wants for Christmas is to have All Her Children with her...)
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Hunter-Gatherer on November 23, 2012, 08:16:26 AM
There once was a girl from Nantucket
Who hadn't yet kicked the bucket
For dinner, with luck,
She'd be cooking a duck
But first she'd have to pluck it.

(It's not often I can post a limerick about a girl from Nantucket on an etiquette site and have it be semi-appropriate)
 ;) >:D
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Elfmama on November 23, 2012, 08:18:24 AM
OT - Nora, have you ever tried plucking a duck? It's an interesting job - underneath the normal feathers is the down, which is almost impossible to get off unless you singe it off... Our ducks tend to go into the oven looking like little werewolves.  ;D

I suppose my holiday hill is that DH and I spend Christmas Day together at home, not travelling. But fortunately our families have got used to this (although MIL still tells us every year that all she wants for Christmas is to have All Her Children with her...)
Why not just skin them?  (The ducks, that is, not your in-laws.)
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Morticia on November 23, 2012, 08:42:01 AM
Because duck skin is yummy.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Luci on November 23, 2012, 08:45:40 AM
OT - Nora, have you ever tried plucking a duck? It's an interesting job - underneath the normal feathers is the down, which is almost impossible to get off unless you singe it off... Our ducks tend to go into the oven looking like little werewolves.  ;D

I suppose my holiday hill is that DH and I spend Christmas Day together at home, not travelling. But fortunately our families have got used to this (although MIL still tells us every year that all she wants for Christmas is to have All Her Children with her...)
Why not just skin them?  (The ducks, that is, not your in-laws.)

  :D
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: kherbert05 on November 23, 2012, 08:57:27 AM
Turns out this year it is not going to the farm. Normally I love it - but they are mowing today and my head feels like it is going to explode. Even if I feel better by this afternoon - I'll be highly sensitive and the grass and fire will set me off.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Nora on November 23, 2012, 11:13:10 AM
I've never even cooked duck, it is too expensive here. Plucking them sounds like it might be too difficult to be fun, so if I do save up I'll get fillets with the skin on them.  ;)
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: ladyknight1 on November 23, 2012, 02:24:35 PM
With different posters talking about using real silver flatware, I took a gander at prices.  :o

Does anyone know of a place to buy second-hand silverware?
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Deetee on November 23, 2012, 03:55:23 PM
With different posters talking about using real silver flatware, I took a gander at prices.  :o

Does anyone know of a place to buy second-hand silverware?

Plate or sterling?

Plate silver is dirt cheap. I picked up a large collection at second hand shops, thrift stores and antique shops.

Sterling (eg solid silver as opposed to a plate of silver on steel) is more expensive because it is pure silver. Make sure it is actual solid silver (because I think plate is sometimes called sterling when it is plated with sterling silver)

Ebay also has a fairly large selection.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Shoo on November 23, 2012, 04:24:13 PM
I just sold a beautiful service for 12 of silverplate at my garage sale.  It was sure pretty, but a pain in the caboose to care for.  It has to be hand washed and dried, and stored in a lined box to discourage discoloration, just like silver.  No dishwasher.  So I ended up choosing to not use it, and finally get rid of it, because it was just too much of a hassle.

I plan on buying a really really nice set of stainless flatware that will be kept in reserve for holidays and special occasions.  At least I will be able to run it through the dishwasher without worrying about it getting damaged.

Silver and silverplate is very pretty, for sure, but it's also a hassle.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: PastryGoddess on November 23, 2012, 04:29:45 PM
With different posters talking about using real silver flatware, I took a gander at prices.  :o

Does anyone know of a place to buy second-hand silverware?

Get to know your local antique shops.  While they may not have anything in stock for you now, they can educate you on what to look for and they'll know to call you if they do get something in. 

Estate sales are also a good place to find second-hand silver. 

Plate or sterling?

Plate silver is dirt cheap. I picked up a large collection at second hand shops, thrift stores and antique shops.

Sterling (eg solid silver as opposed to a plate of silver on steel) is more expensive because it is pure silver. Make sure it is actual solid silver (because I think plate is sometimes called sterling when it is plated with sterling silver)

Ebay also has a fairly large selection.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: ladyknight1 on November 23, 2012, 05:11:36 PM
I was looking at actual sterling. I found place settings from $500 each to a set of 56 pieces for $8000. I was shocked.

A friend of mine makes some beautiful jewelry out of antique sterling cutlery. I think we will just get a special set of stainless flatware for holidays.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Minmom3 on November 23, 2012, 06:55:44 PM
My late MIL was a card carrying shopaholic.  She LOVED going to the local flea market, where she found a lady who sold sterling and plate.  MIL would buy bits every month, and once she assembled enough, she handed a large set over to me, and another one over to another DIL. I have a serving spoon from 1806!  It's very simple, but beautiful.  I didn't use it this year because everything fancy is still packed away, but that will change, and I will use them again. 

You can put sterling in the dishwasher - I've done it dozens of times for the flatware, BUT, you have to make sure it's not touching anything but other silver.  This means the knife blades cannot touch the rest of the sterling, because the blades are always stainless, as sterling isn't hard enough to use on the blade.  I made myself a lot of storage bags out of the tarnish cloth and as long as I put them away clean, they come back out of the bag equally clean a year later.

Back OT - never again am I going to be the only person cleaning up the mess....  There will be discussion, and changes made for Christmas.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: VorFemme on November 23, 2012, 08:10:45 PM
I'm wondering if you could WAX the down off the duck.......

And wondering what the local salon would think if you brought in your duck for an appointment.....

Snarky and Evil are both howling with laughter at the Nantucket limerick. 
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: schnauzermom on November 23, 2012, 08:25:05 PM
When it comes time to pay for the services they could put  in on his bill. :)
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: JennJenn68 on November 23, 2012, 08:31:21 PM
My hill to die on?

I refuse, point-blank, to be guilted into sending Christmas cards.  I gave it up seven years ago, when my mother died at the beginning of December.  I have never sent them since.  I wish people would quit sending them to me!  They always seem to contain those flippin' "brag letters" that, really, nobody who isn't intimately connected with the family care about even remotely.  If I'm not close enough to you to hear the news as it happens, do you think I really want to get one of those "oh, aren't we so special" epistles during a season where I'm already feeling more than a little cynical?

'Twas bad enough when postage was almost reasonable.  Not now.  Never again!
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Luci on November 23, 2012, 08:54:33 PM
My hill to die on?

I refuse, point-blank, to be guilted into sending Christmas cards.  I gave it up seven years ago, when my mother died at the beginning of December.  I have never sent them since.  I wish people would quit sending them to me!  They always seem to contain those flippin' "brag letters" that, really, nobody who isn't intimately connected with the family care about even remotely.  If I'm not close enough to you to hear the news as it happens, do you think I really want to get one of those "oh, aren't we so special" epistles during a season where I'm already feeling more than a little cynical?

'Twas bad enough when postage was almost reasonable.  Not now.  Never again!

You don't need to open them. Just toss them and don't look back. We are not trying to make you feel guilty, honest.

I drop people after 2 years, and I hope they don't get as upset as you do when I sent that second one!

I am sorry you are getting so stirred up about it, because it really isn't that big a deal to most of us.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: gramma dishes on November 23, 2012, 08:55:35 PM
When it comes time to pay for the services they could put  in on his bill. :)

LOL!   ;D
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: JennJenn68 on November 23, 2012, 08:57:35 PM
My apologies, Luci.  I'm speaking of people who still send them to me, seven years later.  And who have been known to ask me, "Oh, didn't you get my Christmas card?" 

You're an eHellion.  You know how not to offend people--or you wouldn't be here, right? ;D
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: jedikaiti on November 23, 2012, 08:58:31 PM
My hill to die on?

I refuse, point-blank, to be guilted into sending Christmas cards.  I gave it up seven years ago, when my mother died at the beginning of December.  I have never sent them since.  I wish people would quit sending them to me!  They always seem to contain those flippin' "brag letters" that, really, nobody who isn't intimately connected with the family care about even remotely.  If I'm not close enough to you to hear the news as it happens, do you think I really want to get one of those "oh, aren't we so special" epistles during a season where I'm already feeling more than a little cynical?

'Twas bad enough when postage was almost reasonable.  Not now.  Never again!

You don't need to open them. Just toss them and don't look back. We are not trying to make you feel guilty, honest.

I drop people after 2 years, and I hope they don't get as upset as you do when I sent that second one!

I am sorry you are getting so stirred up about it, because it really isn't that big a deal to most of us.

I love getting them - especially the fun ones, like the friend who sends out a little newsletter of random things, including books she read that year, and one time, her campaign platform if she ever ran for president (my favorite was the implementation of a soy sauce packet recycling program).
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Deetee on November 23, 2012, 10:46:31 PM
My apologies, Luci.  I'm speaking of people who still send them to me, seven years later.  And who have been known to ask me, "Oh, didn't you get my Christmas card?" 

You're an eHellion.  You know how not to offend people--or you wouldn't be here, right? ;D

Sending Christmas cards is not a guilt based operation to get people to feel bad about not sending them back. I see nothing wrong with sending cards to someone for 7 years unreciprocated. It seems like a  nice thing to do.

Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Shoo on November 23, 2012, 11:26:28 PM
My apologies, Luci.  I'm speaking of people who still send them to me, seven years later.  And who have been known to ask me, "Oh, didn't you get my Christmas card?" 

You're an eHellion.  You know how not to offend people--or you wouldn't be here, right? ;D

Sending Christmas cards is not a guilt based operation to get people to feel bad about not sending them back. I see nothing wrong with sending cards to someone for 7 years unreciprocated. It seems like a  nice thing to do.



Me too.  I send lots of Christmas cards to people who never send them back to me.  And I don't care!  I just want them to know that I am thinking of them during the holidays.  It's a little thing that may mean nothing to them, but it means something to me.

I don't understand getting so upset about people letting you know they're thinking of you.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: AngelicGamer on November 24, 2012, 01:12:39 AM
I think it's less that people are just sending them and more the bolded:

My apologies, Luci.  I'm speaking of people who still send them to me, seven years later.  And who have been known to ask me, "Oh, didn't you get my Christmas card?"

That, to me, sounds like someone really wants a Christmas card back.  And JennJenn doesn't want to send them or be put on the spot.  I'm not sure what to tell JennJenn about what to do with them, save for thinking that "return to sender" feels rude.  Not sure about anything else.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Garden Goblin on November 24, 2012, 09:08:01 AM
I've never even cooked duck, it is too expensive here. Plucking them sounds like it might be too difficult to be fun, so if I do save up I'll get fillets with the skin on them.  ;)

Giving them a quick scald does help.

I do have meat ducks as well, but the 'I ain't plucking it' policy has been in place for those for a long time.  Technically though, those aren't my ducks, they just live here and their owner comes by for one about once a month. 


Another holiday hill to die on - Thanksgiving dinner is served between 2 and 4 and is followed by an hour or two of various board games.  During that period, I will NOT be answering the phone.  Since everyone who has me as an emergency contact is at my table, whatever you want can wait a couple hours.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: GreenEyedHawk on November 24, 2012, 07:21:23 PM
This year, I'm not putting up with any nonsense from my sister.  If she complains about her gift, I'm taking it back, whether she protests or not. If she is rude or nasty, I'm leaving, even if dinner's only half over.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: KenveeB on November 24, 2012, 08:02:42 PM
I didn't have to die on mine! For years, our extended family gathering has been ON Christmas Day, no exceptions. That makes it a lot harder as the families keep expanding, and it means I get to spend 4 hours in the car on Christmas Day, what fun. This year, we wanted to push to have it on Christmas Eve or the weekend before instead. I was expecting a big fuss and probably not actually getting it moved. Instead, as we were finishing up Thanksgiving dinner and the ladies of the family were mostly all gathered, one of them brought up "We should plan Christmas." I mentioned my idea -- and everyone jumped on it!! We're not doing it at my grandma's house for the first time this year, because of her health problems, and I guess everyone decided if we were going to change that much, we might as well change everything. So we're going to do the afternoon of Christmas Sunday. I'm SO excited!
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Softly Spoken on November 24, 2012, 09:18:04 PM
I was going to start a new thread asking what I should do about the holidays...then I revisited this thread and realized that...

I will most likely

DO

ABSOLUTELY

NOTHING.

And I am giving myself permission to do so.
And anything I will do will be for myself and my own well being and continued sanity.

When my mom was alive she "ran" all family celebrations, because she wanted us to do things as a family.
After she died, my father and I tried to keep the traditions, but some things weren't the same without her.
Now my father is remarried and moved away and celebrated Thanksgiving with his wife's family. He isn't on speaking terms with my brothers, they aren't on speaking terms with him, and I think they all have their heads up their rear ends and I'm sick of being in the middle. >:( So Merry dang Xmas to me: if I feel like a tree I'll put one up for myself - otherwise to heck with it. If my brothers want Xmas breakfast like we've been having through the years, they're welcome to ask for my recipes (or else chip in for groceries and/or go shopping with me, help me clean off the dining room table, and set the dang thing while they're at it).

To paraphrase Lois Griffin, I'm not going to pull a happy family Christmas out of my rear end. I'm going to drink hot chocolate, eat gingerbread, and listen to Christmas songs. I'm going to watch "Home Alone" and laugh my tail off.

I'm going to find my own Christmas, instead of killing myself trying to make everyone else's. ::)

Thank you, ehell, for giving me a candy cane spine!! ;) (helps me stay sweet but strong and a bit 'spicy' lol ;D)
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Venus193 on November 24, 2012, 09:23:49 PM


But overall I am the narrator from Green Eggs And Ham: 
(with all apologies to the good Dr Seuss)

I do not like the Black Friday sale,
I do not like them, Sam's friend Gale.

I do not like going here and there
I do not like going anywhere

I do not like full parking lots
I do not like screaming tots
I do not like crazy lines
I do not like all the whines

I do not like the Black Friday sale,
I do not like them, Sam's friend Gale.

I do not like to go with a crowd
I do not like all that loud

I would not could not travel late
I would not could not go with my mate
I would not try go hit it early
I would not deal with those who are burley

I do not like the Black Friday sale,
I do not like them, Sam's friend Gale.

I will not go for sales so fine
I will not deal with that grind.

I can not see the need for all that stuff
I can not deal with people that rough
I can not afford to buy
I do not see why I should try

I do not like the Black Friday sale,
I do not like them, Sam's friend Gale.

<Takes my bow>

Excellent!  I just copied and pasted that on the FB page of a friend who used to be in retail.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: gramma dishes on November 24, 2012, 09:28:18 PM
I didn't have to die on mine! For years, our extended family gathering has been ON Christmas Day, no exceptions. That makes it a lot harder as the families keep expanding, and it means I get to spend 4 hours in the car on Christmas Day, what fun. This year, we wanted to push to have it on Christmas Eve or the weekend before instead. I was expecting a big fuss and probably not actually getting it moved. Instead, as we were finishing up Thanksgiving dinner and the ladies of the family were mostly all gathered, one of them brought up "We should plan Christmas." I mentioned my idea -- and everyone jumped on it!! We're not doing it at my grandma's house for the first time this year, because of her health problems, and I guess everyone decided if we were going to change that much, we might as well change everything. So we're going to do the afternoon of Christmas Sunday. I'm SO excited!

Good for you! 

It sounds like you weren't the only one not really happy with the status quo.  But it took your making the suggestion to give everyone else the strength to finally admit that they really wanted something different too.

I'm sure they're all just as relieved as you are that finally things are going to be a little less hectic while still having "family time".  It'll be a brand new bonding experience for you all as you start your own new path and reset traditions.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: readingchick on November 25, 2012, 04:00:51 PM
There once was a girl from Nantucket
Who hadn't yet kicked the bucket
For dinner, with luck,
She'd be cooking a duck
But first she'd have to pluck it.

(It's not often I can post a limerick about a girl from Nantucket on an etiquette site and have it be semi-appropriate)
 ;) >:D

LOL that's pretty funny!
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Rusty on November 26, 2012, 04:33:15 AM
How do you cope with in-laws, BIL and SIL who, after spending Xmas Lunch and eating very well, decide to help themselves to the leftovers to take home.  They come armed with tupperware containers specifically for this purpose.  It took me a few years to realise where the food was disappearing to as they always were very helpful about clearing food and bowls and plates back to the kitchen and then waiting till I was preoccupied.    They do bring a couple of side dishes but always take the more expensive offerings.  Last year I actually caught them cutting up the remains of the turkey and stuffing it in the containers, and then the penny dropped and I realised why I never seemed to have leftovers.  Its not like they are poor or anything so I was a bit astounded.  My mother made a lovely Xmas cake and there was over half left and that disappeared too.   They have never hosted a Xmas Day event in over 20 years as SIL says their house is too small. They don't come to us every year, sometimes her sister is blessed with their company and their two teenagers. As its DH's brother I told him he should say something, but he doesn't think its important enough to worry about. I think its just plain rude.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: weeblewobble on November 26, 2012, 05:32:02 AM
Either bar them from "helping" you clean up and chase them into the living room to watch TV or play games or what have you.  "Oh, no, you guys go sit!  I'll take care of it!"  (A mountain of dirty dishes may be the price you pay for keeping your leftovers.)

Or dole out smaller portions of leftovers for them yourself in disposable tupperware, "Oh, here, I put a (more reasonably portioned) package of leftovers together for you."  And then shoo them out of the kitchen.

Or claim your leftovers first, before they can get to them. 

Or flat out tell them, "I would like to take a portion of the leftovers before you start packing yours up."

Or just stop hosting.  Tell them it won't be possible this year. If DH complains, remind him of how much work you put into the holiday (without the benefit of a Black Friday turkey sandwich!!) and it wants to take it over, he's more than welcome to take over the cooking.  It might make him appreciate your efforts more. 

This sounds really frustrating.  What a bunch of gimme pigs.  And it's not unreasonable for you to expect to keep a portion of the food you paid for and prepared.  Shame on your DH for deciding this wasn't "important enough" when it clearly bothers you.  I hope it gets better.
 
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Free Range Hippy Chick on November 26, 2012, 07:33:22 AM
Call them beforehand and say brightly 'now I know you think that you haven't room to entertain for Christmas but that's no reason why you never get a chance to shine! What would you prefer to bring, first course for everybody, or dessert for everybody? And we've all tried mum's cake and Auntie Doris's cake and my cake, but we've never had yours, so you bring that too, right?'

Then as you rise from the table, announce, still brightly, 'I'm sorry, people, but I'm afraid that this year I can't send you all home with leftovers, because I have plans for them.' They don't need to know that your plans are turkey sandwiches, turkey soup, and turkey salad on Boxing Day. Do not leave the kitchen while they are there and if they start boxing anything up, announce cheerfully, 'Oh, it's OK, I have plenty of boxes for my freezer, you don't need to use yours, you'll want to take them home.' Take the boxes from their hands, tip the contents into your own boxes, and hand theirs back, preferably unwashed.

Or you could try, when they say they have no room, "But you can cook here! You can do all the prep work at your own house, it's always easier in your own kitchen, and if you bring the  turkey over on Christmas Eve and tell me what time you want me to put it in the oven, I'll do that. Then you can bring everything else on Christmas Day and I'll just keep out of your way.'

Or stack everything on top of the freezer in the utility room as soon as it leaves the table and put a padlock on the door. Hippy Hawk suggests one of those intruder alarms that screams if it's disturbed, leaning against the carcase of the turkey, and some Indiana Jones style booby-traps, but Hippy Hawk is not a member of this forum  and Hippy Chick tries not to let her out much.

Other than that, I'm with weeblewobble: tell DH to cook.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: VorFemme on November 26, 2012, 07:39:20 AM
Buy two smaller turkeys.  Cook one for the shared dinner.  Let them pack up ALL the scanty leftovers.

Next day, pull out and cook the second turkey.  Enjoy.  Or at least a turkey breast - depending on if you prefer the dark or the white meat.

But don't set out ALL the food if they are going to pack it ALL and take it to their house.  Have enough and a little more for the holiday - but have enough set aside (even if that means uncooked & inaccessible to their storage container stuffing ways) to set up some planned overs for yourself!
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: gingerzing on November 26, 2012, 09:39:25 AM
New hill this weekend. 
I WILL NOT let my DH decide that we need to bring stuff to my mom's for Thanksgiving.  My mom decided to take it easy on herself and do a mostly potluck Thanksgiving.  I was told to bring the pork loin roast and cinnamon rolls.  And then DH decided that we needed to get a pumpkin cheesecake from Trader Joe's and the pumpkin pie that was in our freezer.  Oh, and this artisan bacon and some cheese.   Then he complained on the way home from our weekend there that mom's meals were haphazard.  Not really.  She had a spreadsheet of everything, we just added stuff she wasn't planning on and she had to rearrange.  Plus he messed up one of her breakfast plans by going out early in the morning to get donuts.  (which he wanted and nevermind that she had planned French toast.)
So no more of him deciding on why we take down after I have already talked with Mom about what she needs. 

(DH has a major impluse issue.  He gets something in his head and then is like a terrier with a bone about getting to do it.  For example, Dunkin Donuts opened recently and even though I HATE crowds and don't really care for donuts, we had to go within 2 weeks of it opening up.  Buying Christmas gifts for him is IMPOSSIBLE since he will decide he needs something and then go out and get it...even if Christmas is only weeks away.)
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Venus193 on November 26, 2012, 09:41:09 AM
Buy two smaller turkeys.  Cook one for the shared dinner.  Let them pack up ALL the scanty leftovers.

Next day, pull out and cook the second turkey.  Enjoy.  Or at least a turkey breast - depending on if you prefer the dark or the white meat.

But don't set out ALL the food if they are going to pack it ALL and take it to their house.  Have enough and a little more for the holiday - but have enough set aside (even if that means uncooked & inaccessible to their storage container stuffing ways) to set up some planned overs for yourself!

I love this idea.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: ladyknight1 on November 26, 2012, 11:33:29 AM
I will only take DH' request to buy whole spices vs ground if he knows the exact location of the spice grinder. Grr.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: doodlemor on November 26, 2012, 02:05:10 PM
How do you cope with in-laws, BIL and SIL who, after spending Xmas Lunch and eating very well, decide to help themselves to the leftovers to take home.  They come armed with tupperware containers specifically for this purpose.  It took me a few years to realise where the food was disappearing to as they always were very helpful about clearing food and bowls and plates back to the kitchen and then waiting till I was preoccupied.    They do bring a couple of side dishes but always take the more expensive offerings.  Last year I actually caught them cutting up the remains of the turkey and stuffing it in the containers, and then the penny dropped and I realised why I never seemed to have leftovers.  Its not like they are poor or anything so I was a bit astounded.  My mother made a lovely Xmas cake and there was over half left and that disappeared too.   They have never hosted a Xmas Day event in over 20 years as SIL says their house is too small. They don't come to us every year, sometimes her sister is blessed with their company and their two teenagers. As its DH's brother I told him he should say something, but he doesn't think its important enough to worry about. I think its just plain rude.

This is so incredibly rude and entitled - I would be beyond livid!

I think that you need to be thorough and proactive through every stage of eliminating this grabby behavior.  You also need to have some real conversation with DH about this, because he needs to understand what a big deal this is.

First off, don't let them bring any food to the dinner.  They will use this as an excuse if confronted, ignoring the fact that vegetables vs.  meat are no where near equal.  Tell them that you have everything covered. 

When you first see the bag of plastic containers tell them to take it right back to the car, that you have plans for all of your leftovers. 

Be sure to use real ceramic dishes, so that it would be harder for them to "make a plate" and abscond with food - although this couple has been so devious in the past it sounds like they wouldn't hesitate to steal dishes.

You need to get all of the food, including desserts, out of sight as soon as possible.  Chase them out of the kitchen when they try to help.  Don't leave the leftovers unattended for even a minute.  They have been very sneaky about this in the past, and may be watching for their chance.

This works better if you live in a cooler climate.  We are able to cover our food and  immediately take it out to a side porch to cool down, before we have to deal with it.  We have put things into our car trunks at various times, too, until the party is over.  We also have a "freezerless" fridge in our cellar, which is incredibly useful at all times of the year.

If you don't live in a cool climate, you need to plan ahead for the saving of the leftovers.  Plan what containers each dish is going into, and where in the fridge there will be room.

Once you have gotten your left overs safely put away, I think that you need to keep an eye on SIL and BIL.  I wouldn't put it past them to sneak out to the porch, garage, or whatever and take your food - as they have enjoyed doing this so often in the past.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: MissRose on November 26, 2012, 02:12:04 PM
*My mother insisting on me bringing the same thing for dinner instead of asking me to bring something different besides a fruit tray every time.

*My sister not insisting on her preteen son and daughter helping with holiday meal cleanups at my parents' place.  That means I have to tell the kids privately, the sooner the things are cleared the sooner EVERYONE besides yourself can enjoy the gift exchange at Xmas.  Hopefully, someday I won't have to do that.  Yes, my sister should insist but someone has to set the example.

*My mother complaining about my choice of clothes for holidays.  They are clean, neat and modest.  Not sure why she thinks I should dress a certain way and/or certain colors.

Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: TootsNYC on November 26, 2012, 02:22:12 PM
How do you cope with in-laws, BIL and SIL who, after spending Xmas Lunch and eating very well, decide to help themselves to the leftovers to take home.  They come armed with tupperware containers specifically for this purpose.  It took me a few years to realise where the food was disappearing to as they always were very helpful about clearing food and bowls and plates back to the kitchen and then waiting till I was preoccupied.    They do bring a couple of side dishes but always take the more expensive offerings.  Last year I actually caught them cutting up the remains of the turkey and stuffing it in the containers, and then the penny dropped and I realised why I never seemed to have leftovers.  Its not like they are poor or anything so I was a bit astounded.  My mother made a lovely Xmas cake and there was over half left and that disappeared too.   They have never hosted a Xmas Day event in over 20 years as SIL says their house is too small. They don't come to us every year, sometimes her sister is blessed with their company and their two teenagers. As its DH's brother I told him he should say something, but he doesn't think its important enough to worry about. I think its just plain rude.

At the dinner, announce, "Now, this year I am keeping the leftovers, as I have spent quite a bit of money, and I'm hoping to feed the family for a few days on this."

And yes, definitely don't put it all on the table. Or, make less. So there aren't leftovers.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: faithlessone on November 26, 2012, 02:52:10 PM
*My mother complaining about my choice of clothes for holidays.  They are clean, neat and modest.  Not sure why she thinks I should dress a certain way and/or certain colors.

I don't have many yet, but this!!! In my case, it's my grandmother.

Apparently a long purple skirt and cream/black top with black boots (which I wore last year)  isn't "Christmassy enough".

I have actually already been "warned" to dress in some combination of red/green/gold. I was actually intending to wear a red dress, but now I sort of want to make a stand and wear something else!!!
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: lowspark on November 26, 2012, 02:55:08 PM
Yup! I agree. Just say it, point blank. I don't think there's anything rude about that.

In fact, if it were me, I'd probably lay it right on the line. "SIL, I know you usually help yourself to leftovers on TG but please don't plan on doing that anymore. I count on those leftovers for future meals."

It takes some nerve for her to be doing this and she knows it or she wouldn't be sneaking it when you weren't looking. We always have TG dinner at my sister's house and they do all the cooking -- we aren't allowed to bring anything! And they keep all the leftovers. Makes sense.

I love turkey and leftovers so I cook my own "delayed" TG meal (with all my mother's recipes from my childhood) sometime in December and revel in those leftovers. It's not just the cost of the food, it's all the time and effort that goes into preparing all those dishes.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: FauxFoodist on November 26, 2012, 03:01:21 PM
How do you cope with in-laws, BIL and SIL who, after spending Xmas Lunch and eating very well, decide to help themselves to the leftovers to take home.  They come armed with tupperware containers specifically for this purpose.  It took me a few years to realise where the food was disappearing to as they always were very helpful about clearing food and bowls and plates back to the kitchen and then waiting till I was preoccupied.    They do bring a couple of side dishes but always take the more expensive offerings.  Last year I actually caught them cutting up the remains of the turkey and stuffing it in the containers, and then the penny dropped and I realised why I never seemed to have leftovers.  Its not like they are poor or anything so I was a bit astounded.  My mother made a lovely Xmas cake and there was over half left and that disappeared too.   They have never hosted a Xmas Day event in over 20 years as SIL says their house is too small. They don't come to us every year, sometimes her sister is blessed with their company and their two teenagers. As its DH's brother I told him he should say something, but he doesn't think its important enough to worry about. I think its just plain rude.

I'm sorry you have this experience.  In my ethnic heritage (and it's a practice of DF's family as well), we ALWAYS offer food to take home.  One aunt even provides disposable containers (although it's not frowned upon that family members also bring their own containers to pack food).  However, we also regularly bring more than enough food to feed everyone, and parties last for hours (they could be all day into the night).  This is why I am sorry that, for you and others here, someone helping him/herself to the leftovers has been a bad thing.  I'm always thrilled when people like my food so much they want more of it (please note, though, that I don't have a tendency to ever serve anything expensive; I'd probably be mad, too, if someone decided to take home a big container of an expensive dish).

This aside, I recall a thread a while back when someone didn't know how to deal with a person who kept taking the lion's portion of the main dish (like taking most of the meat and leaving little or nothing for the multiple other individuals who had not yet put together their plates).  I think the solution there was to pre-plate the food, and I think that might work for you -- pre-plate and secure the remaining portions somewhere inaccessible.  If they want more, take their plates and dish up the additional amounts yourself.  Another option would be to see if you could have someone in to guard the food help you in the kitchen for an hour or two (even if it means hiring someone) or to stand watch in the kitchen until they leave.  After this happens a few times, maybe they'll finally give up stealing your leftovers.

Final option -- have ALL the food out somewhere in plain view of everyone at all times.  If they offer to "help put away the leftovers," find any excuse under the sun to keep that from happening (or maybe have an area set up to which you could move the food that can be secured, like a bedroom with a lock -- you don't even have to be clandestine about it; take the food into that room, lock the door and pocket the key so even DH can't hand over to them the key).

And, I agree, if your DH shrugs it off, perhaps he should do the planning, shopping, prepping and cooking next time.  I lo-o-o-o-ove to cook but, sometimes, DF tries to volunteer something that really equals me cooking without checking with me first (sometimes, I just don't feel like cooking or really don't have the time necessary to cook while he thinks any old crappy dish will do...much to the chagrin of the guests).
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: ladyknight1 on November 26, 2012, 03:03:34 PM
*My mother complaining about my choice of clothes for holidays.  They are clean, neat and modest.  Not sure why she thinks I should dress a certain way and/or certain colors.

I don't have many yet, but this!!! In my case, it's my grandmother.

Apparently a long purple skirt and cream/black top with black boots (which I wore last year)  isn't "Christmassy enough".

I have actually already been "warned" to dress in some combination of red/green/gold. I was actually intending to wear a red dress, but now I sort of want to make a stand and wear something else!!!

I won't be seeing my biological family this Christmas, but this has been a hill for me for half my life. No matter what I wear, I will not look like a model and I am over 40, so no one will be allowed to tell me not to slouch (which I don't do).

My standard holiday garb involves a long black velvet skirt and various sweaters/tops/jackets. All worn with tasteful and festive accessories.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: lowspark on November 26, 2012, 03:07:43 PM
I just don't see the point in being sneaky about it - as in guarding the food or hiding it. That only makes you stoop to their level. They are being sneaky, waiting till you are preoccupied so you won't see them or stop them. Well, just put an end to all that by making it clear that you know what they are doing and don't want them to do it anymore. This can be done politely but firmly. Calling them on their impolite behavior doesn't make you rude, nor does it require retaliatory clandestine behavior.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: FauxFoodist on November 26, 2012, 03:10:06 PM
Or, make less. So there aren't leftovers.

This is perfect.  Forget my earlier suggestion.  Make ONLY that which will provide ONE serving per person.  Why spend money and time on preparing more food than you need right then if someone keeps stealing it?  However, you still might want to pre-plate so someone doesn't take a much larger portion than someone else.

I just don't see the point in being sneaky about it - as in guarding the food or hiding it. That only makes you stoop to their level. They are being sneaky, waiting till you are preoccupied so you won't see them or stop them. Well, just put an end to all that by making it clear that you know what they are doing and don't want them to do it anymore. This can be done politely but firmly. Calling them on their impolite behavior doesn't make you rude, nor does it require retaliatory clandestine behavior.

You present a good point.  However, since these are the OP's ILs, it might cause problems with her DH, especially since he doesn't care what they're doing and won't address it with them.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: PastryGoddess on November 26, 2012, 03:12:31 PM
If DH doesn't care what they are doing then he can't complain about OP putting a stop to it.

Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: lowspark on November 26, 2012, 03:21:20 PM
DH won't address it with them because he doesn't have a problem with it. But Rusty does have a problem with it so it's her option to address it. I don't think there's any rule that says that every time you have a problem with something an in-law does, the blood relative has to address it. In a way, I can understand DH not dealing with it as he doesn't want to get involved with an issue he has no interest in. Only Rusty knows if he's going to get upset with her for bringing it up, but it seems to me that if he has no feeling about it either way, his staying out of it leaves the door open for her to deal with as she sees fit.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: magicdomino on November 26, 2012, 03:45:06 PM

I don't have many yet, but this!!! In my case, it's my grandmother.

Apparently a long purple skirt and cream/black top with black boots (which I wore last year)  isn't "Christmassy enough".

I have actually already been "warned" to dress in some combination of red/green/gold. I was actually intending to wear a red dress, but now I sort of want to make a stand and wear something else!!!

You should wear this:

http://tinyurl.com/agz83kz

 :)
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: faithlessone on November 26, 2012, 04:03:08 PM

I don't have many yet, but this!!! In my case, it's my grandmother.

Apparently a long purple skirt and cream/black top with black boots (which I wore last year)  isn't "Christmassy enough".

I have actually already been "warned" to dress in some combination of red/green/gold. I was actually intending to wear a red dress, but now I sort of want to make a stand and wear something else!!!

You should wear this:

http://tinyurl.com/agz83kz

 :)

That is ADORABLE. I will consider it. ;D
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: MissRose on November 26, 2012, 05:33:14 PM
For years, I've been made to come to my mother's place 10 minutes from me and help out with dinner for major holidays EARLY.  I have grown a spine FINALLY, and told my mother that I have to work till 11 am or 12 pm when I don't so I do not have to be in her service to get stressed out & get a migraine.  Better that I lie to save my own sanity.  At least by the time I arrive, people are arriving at her and my dad's place so it I can come over without stress, and Thanksgiving went well.

Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Lynn2000 on November 26, 2012, 08:11:42 PM
This is not exactly a hill yet, I guess. But, I would like to someday spend Christmas Day with just my parents (only child) at home, and not feel like we have to rush through our own celebration, so we can get ready and drive to relatives two hours away... in the US Midwest in possibly bad weather. From my parents' house in the country on a poorly-plowed road.

I floated this to my mom last year (it's her side of the family) and she said yes, that would be nice, but not until after my grandma died.  :P If plans haven't already been set this year, I might at least suggest having the family gathering on a day other than Christmas Day. There are relatives much closer than us to Grandma who can be with her on Christmas Day, if my mom is worried about her being alone on the actual day.

Hmm, sorry, I hope that doesn't sound callous of me... Considering that this Thanksgiving, Grandma asked me what I was up to in my life, then after about four or five sentences told me it was "boring" and started talking about herself again, I just don't get really excited about visiting her.  ::)
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: ladyknight1 on November 26, 2012, 08:52:46 PM
This is not exactly a hill yet, I guess. But, I would like to someday spend Christmas Day with just my parents (only child) at home, and not feel like we have to rush through our own celebration, so we can get ready and drive to relatives two hours away... in the US Midwest in possibly bad weather. From my parents' house in the country on a poorly-plowed road.

I floated this to my mom last year (it's her side of the family) and she said yes, that would be nice, but not until after my grandma died.  :P If plans haven't already been set this year, I might at least suggest having the family gathering on a day other than Christmas Day. There are relatives much closer than us to Grandma who can be with her on Christmas Day, if my mom is worried about her being alone on the actual day.

Hmm, sorry, I hope that doesn't sound callous of me... Considering that this Thanksgiving, Grandma asked me what I was up to in my life, then after about four or five sentences told me it was "boring" and started talking about herself again, I just don't get really excited about visiting her.  ::)

I wouldn't want to visit her either. I moved halfway across the country from my family, so it is just the in-laws to deal with around the holidays.

This hill I have thought about all day: I don't want to go to the in-laws for Christmas lunch, I would rather they come over to our townhouse and spend a few hours. They never decorate for the holidays or wrap presents, and their house isn't quite finished after 31 years of living in it. We do all of the cooking anyway, and will have wrapped presents for everyone to open. That will also require them to be completely dressed, and I will feel more comfortable (long story).
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: KenveeB on November 26, 2012, 09:36:49 PM
This is not exactly a hill yet, I guess. But, I would like to someday spend Christmas Day with just my parents (only child) at home, and not feel like we have to rush through our own celebration, so we can get ready and drive to relatives two hours away... in the US Midwest in possibly bad weather. From my parents' house in the country on a poorly-plowed road.

I floated this to my mom last year (it's her side of the family) and she said yes, that would be nice, but not until after my grandma died.  :P If plans haven't already been set this year, I might at least suggest having the family gathering on a day other than Christmas Day. There are relatives much closer than us to Grandma who can be with her on Christmas Day, if my mom is worried about her being alone on the actual day.

Hmm, sorry, I hope that doesn't sound callous of me... Considering that this Thanksgiving, Grandma asked me what I was up to in my life, then after about four or five sentences told me it was "boring" and started talking about herself again, I just don't get really excited about visiting her.  ::)

I feel your pain. This is the first year I get to spend Christmas Day at home instead of in the car, and I'm SO excited. Maybe bring up the idea earlier next year, before plans are set, and see what people think. I was amazed at how well it went over with my family when I finally brought it up.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: kherbert05 on November 26, 2012, 10:06:49 PM
How do you cope with in-laws, BIL and SIL who, after spending Xmas Lunch and eating very well, decide to help themselves to the leftovers to take home.  They come armed with tupperware containers specifically for this purpose.  It took me a few years to realise where the food was disappearing to as they always were very helpful about clearing food and bowls and plates back to the kitchen and then waiting till I was preoccupied.    They do bring a couple of side dishes but always take the more expensive offerings.  Last year I actually caught them cutting up the remains of the turkey and stuffing it in the containers, and then the penny dropped and I realised why I never seemed to have leftovers.  Its not like they are poor or anything so I was a bit astounded.  My mother made a lovely Xmas cake and there was over half left and that disappeared too.   They have never hosted a Xmas Day event in over 20 years as SIL says their house is too small. They don't come to us every year, sometimes her sister is blessed with their company and their two teenagers. As its DH's brother I told him he should say something, but he doesn't think its important enough to worry about. I think its just plain rude.
Tell your husband he has 2 choices
1. Tell his brother they can't take left overs and then makes sure they don't the day of.
2. His brother's family is banned from your Christmas Lunch.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: caz on November 27, 2012, 04:44:12 AM

I wouldn't want to visit her either. I moved halfway across the country from my family, so it is just the in-laws to deal with around the holidays.

This hill I have thought about all day: I don't want to go to the in-laws for Christmas lunch, I would rather they come over to our townhouse and spend a few hours. They never decorate for the holidays or wrap presents, and their house isn't quite finished after 31 years of living in it. We do all of the cooking anyway, and will have wrapped presents for everyone to open. That will also require them to be completely dressed, and I will feel more comfortable (long story).

I have time!!
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Gyburc on November 27, 2012, 07:15:45 AM
I'm wondering if you could WAX the down off the duck.......

And wondering what the local salon would think if you brought in your duck for an appointment.....

Snarky and Evil are both howling with laughter at the Nantucket limerick.

Actually, one of the recommended ways to pluck a duck (or goose, for that matter) is to dip it in hot wax.  ;D We haven't tried it, though, seems a bit messy. Singing the down off over a gas flame works pretty well, but we've just got rid of our old gas hob...

I *loved* the Nantucket limerick!


Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: weeblewobble on November 27, 2012, 07:16:21 AM

I wouldn't want to visit her either. I moved halfway across the country from my family, so it is just the in-laws to deal with around the holidays.

This hill I have thought about all day: I don't want to go to the in-laws for Christmas lunch, I would rather they come over to our townhouse and spend a few hours. They never decorate for the holidays or wrap presents, and their house isn't quite finished after 31 years of living in it. We do all of the cooking anyway, and will have wrapped presents for everyone to open. That will also require them to be completely dressed, and I will feel more comfortable (long story).

I have time!!

I don't think I could move away from the computer right now if I wanted to.  :o
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: ladyknight1 on November 27, 2012, 07:26:12 AM

I wouldn't want to visit her either. I moved halfway across the country from my family, so it is just the in-laws to deal with around the holidays.

This hill I have thought about all day: I don't want to go to the in-laws for Christmas lunch, I would rather they come over to our townhouse and spend a few hours. They never decorate for the holidays or wrap presents, and their house isn't quite finished after 31 years of living in it. We do all of the cooking anyway, and will have wrapped presents for everyone to open. That will also require them to be completely dressed, and I will feel more comfortable (long story).

I have time!!

My mother-in-law and father-in-law are extremely casual about clothing in their home. Even when having guests or workers over. I don't know if it is a exhibitionist streak they both possess or what. They are both in their 60's and my father-in-law has to be asked to put on a shirt for meals on a regular basis. My mother in law usually wears tank tops that are very tight and revealing with nothing supportive under them. She also wears extremely tight knit short-shorts. I do not consider those as being dressed. MIL and FIL have "work" clothes that involve very old t-shirts with the underarms completely torn out, worn alone as shirts. Even in pajamas, I am wearing more!

I will not let my teenage DS be around them often because of this. All I ask is that everyone wear appropriate clothing that covers them. Especially for celebration meals, I don't think it is too much to ask.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on November 27, 2012, 09:54:14 AM
I hadn't heard of Black Friday before reading this thread.  Wowzas.  it sounds terrifying.


Nah, it's no worse than the Running of the Bulls in Spain.  In fact, the Running of the Bulls would probably be good practice.   ;)
Only safer.   The bull will just knock you down, trample you, and gore you.  It won't then tear the last TickleMe Elmo from your bleeding hands.

LOL!!!!!!!! I have only once shopped Black Friday and that was because my boys were invited to a party and I ran out to Target in the afternoon to get a present for the kid.   Since it was around 3, it wasn't nearly as bad as it probably was in the morning.

We live near a large outlet chain so my brother and his girlfriend and their family came up this way and shopped for a while, then came over to visit.   The GF got him into the Black Friday experience last year at the Ocean City outlets and he wasn't too eager till he got some good deals on pants.  They said it wasn't too bad at the outlets though, as they didn't get there till noon.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: gadget--gal on November 27, 2012, 12:30:11 PM


if I have provided nuts and nibbles, two main courses, a vegetarian option, four sorts of salad, baked potatoes, garlic bread, two desserts, mince pies, cake, Christmas cookies, cheese and biscuits and home made sweets, believe me, there will be enough food.


... and then your guest admit to going out to eat afterwards?? that sounds somewhat ungrateful considering that's a full meal you're serving, not just canapés
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Free Range Hippy Chick on November 27, 2012, 01:40:02 PM


if I have provided nuts and nibbles, two main courses, a vegetarian option, four sorts of salad, baked potatoes, garlic bread, two desserts, mince pies, cake, Christmas cookies, cheese and biscuits and home made sweets, believe me, there will be enough food.


... and then your guest admit to going out to eat afterwards?? that sounds somewhat ungrateful considering that's a full meal you're serving, not just canapés

We'll start eating that maybe around two or three. It is never finished, there are always leftovers, so if they want to go around again at six, there's plenty and I have no problem. Last two years, they've said, at seven or so, that we should all go over to their hotel for dinner. I physically cannot eat two meals of three or four courses in one day. If I've eaten that in the early afternoon, I might want one small sandwich at about nine, but they will go out and eat another three full courses. DH has told them that this year we're not doing it, on the grounds that if we do, then as well as the designated driver from the visitors, one of us has to go without a glass of wine, and that they are welcome to stay all day, and we'll feed them again if they want.

So now I have to plan and serve a second meal and I still think that's the better option. I'll just not eat it myself. But it will need to be different, not just more of the same, or they won't see that they've had the correct number of meals in the day. Personally, I wouldn't be bothered about that, but they're DH's relatives, and he would, so that one isn't a hill to die on. No, the hill is that once that food hits the table, that glass of wine has my name on it, and I will not be leaving my house again today, thank you.

One of the visitors complains that she's overweight. I can't imagine why. /cattishness
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Snooks on November 27, 2012, 02:58:31 PM


if I have provided nuts and nibbles, two main courses, a vegetarian option, four sorts of salad, baked potatoes, garlic bread, two desserts, mince pies, cake, Christmas cookies, cheese and biscuits and home made sweets, believe me, there will be enough food.


... and then your guest admit to going out to eat afterwards?? that sounds somewhat ungrateful considering that's a full meal you're serving, not just canapés

We'll start eating that maybe around two or three. It is never finished, there are always leftovers, so if they want to go around again at six, there's plenty and I have no problem. Last two years, they've said, at seven or so, that we should all go over to their hotel for dinner. I physically cannot eat two meals of three or four courses in one day. If I've eaten that in the early afternoon, I might want one small sandwich at about nine, but they will go out and eat another three full courses. DH has told them that this year we're not doing it, on the grounds that if we do, then as well as the designated driver from the visitors, one of us has to go without a glass of wine, and that they are welcome to stay all day, and we'll feed them again if they want.

So now I have to plan and serve a second meal and I still think that's the better option. I'll just not eat it myself. But it will need to be different, not just more of the same, or they won't see that they've had the correct number of meals in the day. Personally, I wouldn't be bothered about that, but they're DH's relatives, and he would, so that one isn't a hill to die on. No, the hill is that once that food hits the table, that glass of wine has my name on it, and I will not be leaving my house again today, thank you.

One of the visitors complains that she's overweight. I can't imagine why. /cattishness

I find for about three days over Christmas I'm in a general state of full-ness so I just pick at whatever's in the house rather than eating meals at a specific time.  I can't imagine eating three courses on top of the cheese/bread/turkey/ham/Quality Street/soup/stuffing/leftovers I enjoy picking at through those days.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: caz on November 28, 2012, 04:29:04 AM

My mother-in-law and father-in-law are extremely casual about clothing in their home. Even when having guests or workers over. I don't know if it is a exhibitionist streak they both possess or what. They are both in their 60's and my father-in-law has to be asked to put on a shirt for meals on a regular basis. My mother in law usually wears tank tops that are very tight and revealing with nothing supportive under them. She also wears extremely tight knit short-shorts. I do not consider those as being dressed. MIL and FIL have "work" clothes that involve very old t-shirts with the underarms completely torn out, worn alone as shirts. Even in pajamas, I am wearing more!

I will not let my teenage DS be around them often because of this. All I ask is that everyone wear appropriate clothing that covers them. Especially for celebration meals, I don't think it is too much to ask.

Thank you, but I might have made a mistake - I don't think I needed that mental image  :)
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: gingerzing on November 28, 2012, 09:31:07 AM
*My mother complaining about my choice of clothes for holidays.  They are clean, neat and modest.  Not sure why she thinks I should dress a certain way and/or certain colors.

I don't have many yet, but this!!! In my case, it's my grandmother.

Apparently a long purple skirt and cream/black top with black boots (which I wore last year)  isn't "Christmassy enough".

I have actually already been "warned" to dress in some combination of red/green/gold. I was actually intending to wear a red dress, but now I sort of want to make a stand and wear something else!!!

I have a gal at work like this.  I gave her the dead eye one year and told her that this WAS my holiday cheer.   >:D

This year will be amusing since our office party is having "an ugly holiday sweater" contest.  (I have snowflake suspenders and some light up things that I got in my stocking.)
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: siamesecat2965 on November 28, 2012, 09:43:38 AM


if I have provided nuts and nibbles, two main courses, a vegetarian option, four sorts of salad, baked potatoes, garlic bread, two desserts, mince pies, cake, Christmas cookies, cheese and biscuits and home made sweets, believe me, there will be enough food.


... and then your guest admit to going out to eat afterwards?? that sounds somewhat ungrateful considering that's a full meal you're serving, not just canapés

We'll start eating that maybe around two or three. It is never finished, there are always leftovers, so if they want to go around again at six, there's plenty and I have no problem. Last two years, they've said, at seven or so, that we should all go over to their hotel for dinner. I physically cannot eat two meals of three or four courses in one day. If I've eaten that in the early afternoon, I might want one small sandwich at about nine, but they will go out and eat another three full courses. DH has told them that this year we're not doing it, on the grounds that if we do, then as well as the designated driver from the visitors, one of us has to go without a glass of wine, and that they are welcome to stay all day, and we'll feed them again if they want.

So now I have to plan and serve a second meal and I still think that's the better option. I'll just not eat it myself. But it will need to be different, not just more of the same, or they won't see that they've had the correct number of meals in the day. Personally, I wouldn't be bothered about that, but they're DH's relatives, and he would, so that one isn't a hill to die on. No, the hill is that once that food hits the table, that glass of wine has my name on it, and I will not be leaving my house again today, thank you.

One of the visitors complains that she's overweight. I can't imagine why. /cattishness

This reminds me of a former BF. He could eat like there was no tomorrow, and I couldnt. Many times on the weekends, we'd go to the diner for breakfast, and have a huge meal; eggs, bacon, potatoes, bagel, etc. and as it was later in the am, I'd be good until dinner, maybe with a small snack inbetween. Not him. 2-3 hours after he'd wonder what we were doing for lunch, and would sometimes get miffed if I declined to go out and eat ANOTHER huge meal! Um, I don't want to get sick, nor am i hungry!
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: ladyknight1 on November 28, 2012, 09:51:23 AM
I guess I am in the middle between the 3 large meals camp and the 2 medium meals camp.

We tend to eat a small breakfast on the weekdays, with a larger breakfast on the weekends. We then have a small lunch, maybe just a sandwich or bowl of soup and bread. We then eat a medium dinner. Key is, we are eating the meal together at the table, even if it is something small.

My parents and sisters tend to just snack instead of having meals, with everyone scattered around the TV.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Snooks on November 28, 2012, 01:12:55 PM
I have a gal at work like this.  I gave her the dead eye one year and told her that this WAS my holiday cheer.   >:D

This year will be amusing since our office party is having "an ugly holiday sweater" contest.  (I have snowflake suspenders and some light up things that I got in my stocking.)

I totally forgot suspenders in the US are different from suspenders in the UK, made me wonder what sort of office party you were having!
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Elfmama on November 28, 2012, 01:42:13 PM
I have a gal at work like this.  I gave her the dead eye one year and told her that this WAS my holiday cheer.   >:D

This year will be amusing since our office party is having "an ugly holiday sweater" contest.  (I have snowflake suspenders and some light up things that I got in my stocking.)

I totally forgot suspenders in the US are different from suspenders in the UK, made me wonder what sort of office party you were having!
I know that US suspenders = UK braces -- but what are UK suspenders?
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: RingTailedLemur on November 28, 2012, 01:44:26 PM
I have a gal at work like this.  I gave her the dead eye one year and told her that this WAS my holiday cheer.   >:D

This year will be amusing since our office party is having "an ugly holiday sweater" contest.  (I have snowflake suspenders and some light up things that I got in my stocking.)

I totally forgot suspenders in the US are different from suspenders in the UK, made me wonder what sort of office party you were having!
I know that US suspenders = UK braces -- but what are UK suspenders?

They attach to a belt round your waist and hold stockings up.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: KenveeB on November 28, 2012, 01:45:13 PM
This reminds me of a former BF. He could eat like there was no tomorrow, and I couldnt. Many times on the weekends, we'd go to the diner for breakfast, and have a huge meal; eggs, bacon, potatoes, bagel, etc. and as it was later in the am, I'd be good until dinner, maybe with a small snack inbetween. Not him. 2-3 hours after he'd wonder what we were doing for lunch, and would sometimes get miffed if I declined to go out and eat ANOTHER huge meal! Um, I don't want to get sick, nor am i hungry!

Let me give you the other side. My dad loves to do the just two meals thing. I can't do it. I get hungry and my blood sugar goes all out of whack. As I've been working hard on eating well, eating a small amount every few hours is very important.  Invariably, he'll decide that his schedule is just fine for everyone when we're all together. Sorry, I can't wait for hours after getting up before eating anything at all, and I need to eat more than twice a day. I shouldn't have to feel like I'm a pig for wanting to eat more often.

So while he shouldn't force you to eat more than you feel comfortable doing, he also shouldn't be made to go hungry just because you're fine eating less.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Emmy on November 28, 2012, 01:49:04 PM

My mother-in-law and father-in-law are extremely casual about clothing in their home. Even when having guests or workers over. I don't know if it is a exhibitionist streak they both possess or what. They are both in their 60's and my father-in-law has to be asked to put on a shirt for meals on a regular basis. My mother in law usually wears tank tops that are very tight and revealing with nothing supportive under them. She also wears extremely tight knit short-shorts. I do not consider those as being dressed. MIL and FIL have "work" clothes that involve very old t-shirts with the underarms completely torn out, worn alone as shirts. Even in pajamas, I am wearing more!

I will not let my teenage DS be around them often because of this. All I ask is that everyone wear appropriate clothing that covers them. Especially for celebration meals, I don't think it is too much to ask.

Thank you, but I might have made a mistake - I don't think I needed that mental image  :)

Yikes, I wouldn't want to see my in-laws (or parents) in that state.  I don't have adult children, but could not imagine going around the house close to nekkid when they, their spouses, or kids are around.  Couldn't they be comfortable in clothing that covers enough and isn't completely worn out, especially with guests for a holiday meal?
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: RingTailedLemur on November 28, 2012, 01:52:48 PM
My ex-BIL's (that is, my DH's sister's ex) family are naturists.  They invited their DILs on a naturist holiday and they both declined very quickly.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: ladyknight1 on November 28, 2012, 02:14:51 PM
My ex-BIL's (that is, my DH's sister's ex) family are naturists.  They invited their DILs on a naturist holiday and they both declined very quickly.

I once visited a naturist resort that is not far from my house. The horror!

It is not that the in-laws are nudists, just casual to the far extreme. As in, ripped and torn clothing that reveals things best kept covered. I am seen as putting on airs when asking them to wear something that covers everything from neck to knees.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: ladyknight1 on November 28, 2012, 02:18:58 PM
This reminds me of a former BF. He could eat like there was no tomorrow, and I couldnt. Many times on the weekends, we'd go to the diner for breakfast, and have a huge meal; eggs, bacon, potatoes, bagel, etc. and as it was later in the am, I'd be good until dinner, maybe with a small snack inbetween. Not him. 2-3 hours after he'd wonder what we were doing for lunch, and would sometimes get miffed if I declined to go out and eat ANOTHER huge meal! Um, I don't want to get sick, nor am i hungry!

Let me give you the other side. My dad loves to do the just two meals thing. I can't do it. I get hungry and my blood sugar goes all out of whack. As I've been working hard on eating well, eating a small amount every few hours is very important.  Invariably, he'll decide that his schedule is just fine for everyone when we're all together. Sorry, I can't wait for hours after getting up before eating anything at all, and I need to eat more than twice a day. I shouldn't have to feel like I'm a pig for wanting to eat more often.

So while he shouldn't force you to eat more than you feel comfortable doing, he also shouldn't be made to go hungry just because you're fine eating less.

POD.

The last time we visited my parents and stayed in their home, my dad went out super-early and bought donuts as a treat for breakfast. That was great, however he didn't want anyone to cook anything or have cereal, yogurt or fruit. He wanted us to have donuts and coffee, period. He was shocked when I told him I simply can't have donuts for a meal. I must have some fiber, protein and real nutrition with my meals. He and my mom like to eat very early now. They are up at 6, eat breakfast, then eat dinner at 3 or 4. That is it for the day. I can't do that.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: gingerzing on November 28, 2012, 04:12:07 PM
I have a gal at work like this.  I gave her the dead eye one year and told her that this WAS my holiday cheer.   >:D

This year will be amusing since our office party is having "an ugly holiday sweater" contest.  (I have snowflake suspenders and some light up things that I got in my stocking.)

I totally forgot suspenders in the US are different from suspenders in the UK, made me wonder what sort of office party you were having!
I know that US suspenders = UK braces -- but what are UK suspenders?

They attach to a belt round your waist and hold stockings up.

 :-[    (and where is the jaw dropping smilie?) 
Really glad now that I didn't mention above that the family had a picture with all of us wearing our matching suspenders in honor of my late grandfather....

Talk about Awkward Family Photo.  LOL
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Free Range Hippy Chick on November 28, 2012, 05:06:25 PM
This reminds me of a former BF. He could eat like there was no tomorrow, and I couldnt. Many times on the weekends, we'd go to the diner for breakfast, and have a huge meal; eggs, bacon, potatoes, bagel, etc. and as it was later in the am, I'd be good until dinner, maybe with a small snack inbetween. Not him. 2-3 hours after he'd wonder what we were doing for lunch, and would sometimes get miffed if I declined to go out and eat ANOTHER huge meal! Um, I don't want to get sick, nor am i hungry!

Let me give you the other side. My dad loves to do the just two meals thing. I can't do it. I get hungry and my blood sugar goes all out of whack. As I've been working hard on eating well, eating a small amount every few hours is very important.  Invariably, he'll decide that his schedule is just fine for everyone when we're all together. Sorry, I can't wait for hours after getting up before eating anything at all, and I need to eat more than twice a day. I shouldn't have to feel like I'm a pig for wanting to eat more often.

So while he shouldn't force you to eat more than you feel comfortable doing, he also shouldn't be made to go hungry just because you're fine eating less.

Let me assure you that I am making no attempt to limit the amount that my guests eat. But we aren't talking here about 'little and often'. We're talking about lots and often. We're talking about people who have been eating non-stop for four or five hours, and who then after a two hour break, want to eat some more. Fine. See the leftovers on the table? Feel free. Really, even if they want to go and get another meal somewhere else... well, the doctor has used hard words like 'obese' to them but that is after all not my business. These people are not hungry. They admit, out loud, in public, that they aren't hungry. They eat anyway. I end up being pressed to order something I don't want, at restaurant prices, or it's a big deal if I don't. So I'm not going. They want to go out and eat again? Go! I shall take my nice new Christmas book and have a bath.

I know that there are people who for medical reasons need to eat every two hours or whatever. I know there are people with very active lifestyles who need a calorific intake three times what I do as a sedentary middle-aged woman, or even people who find that smaller frequent meals simply suit them better. Believe me, these people fall into none of those categories. They want another full cooked multi-course meal? Fine. But this year I'm not going to be pressured into eating that, with the concomitant factor that because they want it, I have to give up the glass of wine with my meal because we'll have to drive.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Winterlight on November 28, 2012, 07:47:50 PM
I have a gal at work like this.  I gave her the dead eye one year and told her that this WAS my holiday cheer.   >:D

This year will be amusing since our office party is having "an ugly holiday sweater" contest.  (I have snowflake suspenders and some light up things that I got in my stocking.)

I totally forgot suspenders in the US are different from suspenders in the UK, made me wonder what sort of office party you were having!
I know that US suspenders = UK braces -- but what are UK suspenders?

Garter belts- not something that shows up at most office parties!
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: magician5 on November 28, 2012, 09:54:01 PM
I have a gal at work like this.  I gave her the dead eye one year and told her that this WAS my holiday cheer.   >:D

This year will be amusing since our office party is having "an ugly holiday sweater" contest.  (I have snowflake suspenders and some light up things that I got in my stocking.)

I totally forgot suspenders in the US are different from suspenders in the UK, made me wonder what sort of office party you were having!
I know that US suspenders = UK braces -- but what are UK suspenders?

Garter belts- not something that shows up at most office parties!

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought a "garter belt" was a sort of abbreviated underpant-thing designed for suspending female-length stockings by means of short garters that clip the top of the stocking and the buttons on the garter belt, whereas male garters are designed to suspend non-stretchy antique-style (what we would call in America) "socks" much farther down the leg, being held up by looping about the calf.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Luci on November 28, 2012, 10:17:18 PM

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought a "garter belt" was a sort of abbreviated underpant-thing designed for suspending female-length stockings by means of short garters that clip the top of the stocking and the buttons on the garter belt, whereas male garters are designed to suspend non-stretchy antique-style (what we would call in America) "socks" much farther down the leg, being held up by looping about the calf.

When I wore hose (nylons) in the late '50s, the garterbelt was exactly as you described. Before that, my mom had a ring of elastic, called a garter, that she rolled into the top of the hose and hoped it did not roll below the knee. Very uncomfortable! I had to do it that way a couple of times. I do think you are right about the garters for men.

There were garter tabs attached to girdles that I wore. Skirts, girdles, and hose to school every day of my high school career and most of college. Even size 10 girls wore girdles.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: RingTailedLemur on November 29, 2012, 01:20:59 AM
I have a gal at work like this.  I gave her the dead eye one year and told her that this WAS my holiday cheer.   >:D

This year will be amusing since our office party is having "an ugly holiday sweater" contest.  (I have snowflake suspenders and some light up things that I got in my stocking.)

I totally forgot suspenders in the US are different from suspenders in the UK, made me wonder what sort of office party you were having!
I know that US suspenders = UK braces -- but what are UK suspenders?

Garter belts- not something that shows up at most office parties!

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought a "garter belt" was a sort of abbreviated underpant-thing designed for suspending female-length stockings by means of short garters that clip the top of the stocking and the buttons on the garter belt, whereas male garters are designed to suspend non-stretchy antique-style (what we would call in America) "socks" much farther down the leg, being held up by looping about the calf.

Ah, in the UK those are "sock suspenders" and only now seen in comedy farces.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Nora on November 29, 2012, 04:10:57 AM
I have a gal at work like this.  I gave her the dead eye one year and told her that this WAS my holiday cheer.   >:D

This year will be amusing since our office party is having "an ugly holiday sweater" contest.  (I have snowflake suspenders and some light up things that I got in my stocking.)

I totally forgot suspenders in the US are different from suspenders in the UK, made me wonder what sort of office party you were having!
I know that US suspenders = UK braces -- but what are UK suspenders?

They attach to a belt round your waist and hold stockings up.

 :-[    (and where is the jaw dropping smilie?) 
Really glad now that I didn't mention above that the family had a picture with all of us wearing our matching suspenders in honor of my late grandfather....

I laughed so hard at this! Priceless!
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Gyburc on November 29, 2012, 04:44:51 AM
I have a gal at work like this.  I gave her the dead eye one year and told her that this WAS my holiday cheer.   >:D

This year will be amusing since our office party is having "an ugly holiday sweater" contest.  (I have snowflake suspenders and some light up things that I got in my stocking.)

I totally forgot suspenders in the US are different from suspenders in the UK, made me wonder what sort of office party you were having!
I know that US suspenders = UK braces -- but what are UK suspenders?

Garter belts- not something that shows up at most office parties!

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought a "garter belt" was a sort of abbreviated underpant-thing designed for suspending female-length stockings by means of short garters that clip the top of the stocking and the buttons on the garter belt, whereas male garters are designed to suspend non-stretchy antique-style (what we would call in America) "socks" much farther down the leg, being held up by looping about the calf.

Ah, in the UK those are "sock suspenders" and only now seen in comedy farces.

No, they are still around! My DH has some and he says they are really comfortable. They stop your socks from wrinkling round your ankles or under your foot. Mind you, my DH is pretty keen on old-fashioned style, so I can't claim they are very widely used.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Hillia on November 29, 2012, 10:31:10 AM
To add to the mix, there are garters for men that clip to the hem of a dress shirt and the top of the sock, keeping the shirt neatly tucked in and the sock pulled snugly up.  I believe these are often worn by military men with their uniforms.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Auntie Mame on November 29, 2012, 11:35:17 AM
Well well well...I was hoping I could escape this holiday season without traversing any hills.  But no, the family started early. 

I have already put my foot solidly down with both Mom and Dad (they are divorced) in regards to various family gatherings and the like.

BG: I live in Big City and Mom lives in Edge of the Earth Tiny Town (EETT) and Dad lives in Far Flung Suburb (FFS).  I do not have a car, yet I am the one who has to do the traveling.  All the traveling.  Never, not once, has the family (Mom, Dad, Brother all with cars) ever come to visit me.

My hill:  No, I am not bussing out to Dads on the 24th, then taking a ferry to see mom on the 25th.  Then going back to Dad's on the 26th and going back to Mom's on the 29th then going back to Dad's on the 30th (seriously).  I have to work.  I get one day off that week, Christmas.  I put my foot down and said You get this day and you get this day.  That's it.  Cue the whining.  Then I repeated, you get this day and get that day, end of discussion.   Not to mention the hours travelling back and forth via busses and ferries.
 
I spent years building strong boundaries and i don't give a single inch, it fells good.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Lorelei_Evil on November 29, 2012, 11:41:26 AM
Well well well...I was hoping I could escape this holiday season without traversing any hills.  But no, the family started early. 

I have already put my foot solidly down with both Mom and Dad (they are divorced) in regards to various family gatherings and the like.

BG: I live in Big City and Mom lives in Edge of the Earth Tiny Town (EETT) and Dad lives in Far Flung Suburb (FFS).  I do not have a car, yet I am the one who has to do the traveling.  All the traveling.  Never, not once, has the family (Mom, Dad, Brother all with cars) ever come to visit me.

My hill:  No, I am not bussing out to Dads on the 24th, then taking a ferry to see mom on the 25th.  Then going back to Dad's on the 26th and going back to Mom's on the 29th then going back to Dad's on the 30th (seriously).  I have to work.  I get one day off that week, Christmas.  I put my foot down and said You get this day and you get this day.  That's it.  Cue the whining.  Then I repeated, you get this day and get that day, end of discussion.   Not to mention the hours travelling back and forth via busses and ferries.
 
I spent years building strong boundaries and i don't give a single inch, it fells good.

Sing it, sister.  I don't have a car either, have 1 day off, and live 100 miles away.  It's not going to happen.  Someone has to work, and this year it's me as I had all Thanksgiving week in the rotation this year. 

I'll call both days, but I'm staying put.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Amara on November 29, 2012, 12:31:55 PM
Congratulations, Auntie Mame! I like that spine of yours. (I am polishing my up as well since I too am the one expected to travel. I do have a car, but why should I do all the driving?) Have a great Christmas.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Girlie on November 29, 2012, 02:06:33 PM
My holiday hill is a bit of a ways off, but I know it's coming.
DH and I got married last year. We plan on saving for a downpayment for a house in the next year. At some point, we'll be starting a family.
And there it lies. Every year since DH and I have been together (this will be year #8), we have had Christmas with his parents. I love my in-laws, imperfect as they may be, but they have certain expectations of "just how things are done."

In my family, mom wrapped her gifts to us. Santa didn't. My kids won't have gifts from Santa that are wrapped. I don't see what the big deal is, but my MIL actually has told me (more than once) that "The presents Santa leaves for them at MY house will be wrapped!"
So...she's going to one-up me on giftwrapping? Seriously? For non-existent children? She doesn't know it yet, but Santa won't be visiting her house for any children I have. I think Santa belongs to the parents, NOT the grandparents. And if Santa DOES make a stop....well, we won't be.

If this wasn't a pattern with her for EVERYTHING, it might not bother me so much.  But it is, and I don't appreciate the attitude. Of course, I would want her to have a loving, close relationship with any kids DH and I have, but she is going to be their grandmother, NOT the "other" mother.

Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Auntie Mame on November 29, 2012, 02:14:28 PM
Congratulations, Auntie Mame! I like that spine of yours. (I am polishing my up as well since I too am the one expected to travel. I do have a car, but why should I do all the driving?) Have a great Christmas.

Thanks.  Believe me, I certainly wasn't born with it and it was a long hard road to grow it but totally worth it.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: HermioneGranger on November 29, 2012, 02:15:19 PM
My holiday hill is a bit of a ways off, but I know it's coming.
DH and I got married last year. We plan on saving for a downpayment for a house in the next year. At some point, we'll be starting a family.
And there it lies. Every year since DH and I have been together (this will be year #8), we have had Christmas with his parents. I love my in-laws, imperfect as they may be, but they have certain expectations of "just how things are done."

In my family, mom wrapped her gifts to us. Santa didn't. My kids won't have gifts from Santa that are wrapped. I don't see what the big deal is, but my MIL actually has told me (more than once) that "The presents Santa leaves for them at MY house will be wrapped!"
So...she's going to one-up me on giftwrapping? Seriously? For non-existent children? She doesn't know it yet, but Santa won't be visiting her house for any children I have. I think Santa belongs to the parents, NOT the grandparents. And if Santa DOES make a stop....well, we won't be.

If this wasn't a pattern with her for EVERYTHING, it might not bother me so much.  But it is, and I don't appreciate the attitude. Of course, I would want her to have a loving, close relationship with any kids DH and I have, but she is going to be their grandmother, NOT the "other" mother.

This is why DH and have pulled waaaaay back from my family since having our daughter.  My parents basically raised my nephew because his parents couldn't be bothered.  Then they tried to horn in on me and my husband.  I don't think so.  You had your chance to raise your kids.  You screwed up one, but I turned out relatively normal.  It's not your place to raise her.  It's ours.  Sigh.  Christmas this year should be interesting.  The three of us are staying home, and we're preparing ourselves for the whining from them about not being able to see her on Christmas Day. 
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: TootsNYC on November 29, 2012, 03:37:33 PM
My holiday hill is a bit of a ways off, but I know it's coming.
DH and I got married last year. We plan on saving for a downpayment for a house in the next year. At some point, we'll be starting a family.
And there it lies. Every year since DH and I have been together (this will be year #8), we have had Christmas with his parents. I love my in-laws, imperfect as they may be, but they have certain expectations of "just how things are done."

In my family, mom wrapped her gifts to us. Santa didn't. My kids won't have gifts from Santa that are wrapped. I don't see what the big deal is, but my MIL actually has told me (more than once) that "The presents Santa leaves for them at MY house will be wrapped!"
So...she's going to one-up me on giftwrapping? Seriously? For non-existent children? She doesn't know it yet, but Santa won't be visiting her house for any children I have. I think Santa belongs to the parents, NOT the grandparents. And if Santa DOES make a stop....well, we won't be.

If this wasn't a pattern with her for EVERYTHING, it might not bother me so much.  But it is, and I don't appreciate the attitude. Of course, I would want her to have a loving, close relationship with any kids DH and I have, but she is going to be their grandmother, NOT the "other" mother.

I'd be joining you on that hill, but my MIL gave in quite nicely when I told her Santa comes to the house where the children are sleeping. And so no, Santa wouldn't be filling a stocking at HER house too.

I'm completely with you--Santa is MY turf, mine and DH's, and the grandparents have to butt out. They had their chance. This is my turn.
   And if I ever have grandkids, then I'll cheerfully watch from the sidelines as my kids get to be Santa.
   
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: VorFemme on November 29, 2012, 04:20:27 PM
To add to the mix, there are garters for men that clip to the hem of a dress shirt and the top of the sock, keeping the shirt neatly tucked in and the sock pulled snugly up.  I believe these are often worn by military men with their uniforms.

I buy several of them every year during the summer for my husband's students.....it's the only way some of them can keep their socks pulled up and their shirts tucked in.....
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: JenJay on November 29, 2012, 04:48:12 PM
I had to climb the Santa hill but fortunately nobody took a shot at me. When DD got old enough to be excited for Christmas we asked my parents to stop filling a stocking at their house (no biggie, they're awesome!) and after the first few years we asked DH's stepmom not to mail her gifts "from Santa". She complained a little bit because DH was older when she met him so she never really got to play Santa, but that's not my problem. DH let her know if she labeled the gifts from anyone but her and FIL he'd just fix them. Fortunately she didn't make a big deal about it.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Lady Snowdon on November 29, 2012, 10:49:36 PM
My hill to die on this year may be a big one!  I'm not going to let illness in the family cancel all Christmas celebrations.

My niece is in the hospital with a staph infection, and at the moment they are saying she will need to be there through January 6th.  No home care, no day passes, nothing.  Of course, she is only a month old, so it's understandable that the hospital staff wants to make sure everything is going well.

My MIL is acting like this is the end of the holiday season.  Apparently nothing can happen to celebrate the holiday if my niece and her mom (my sister in law) are not there.  I'm not saying we should shut them out, but surely there are ways we can celebrate the season while also making sure they are included?  Maybe visiting them in the hospital with a tin of fresh baked goodies?  Or having part of an early Christmas with everyone else, then going to the hospital with presents for them to celebrate there too?  I'm sure there's something we could do, and that's what I'm going to suggest. 

If MIL still insists that no celebration can happen without Niece and SIL there, this will serve to confirm my feelings that DH and I are the least important people in the family, and we'll have a whole 'nother hill to climb next year!
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: MariaE on November 30, 2012, 12:18:35 AM
I didn't think I had a holiday hill to die on, but the talk about Santa made me realize otherwise.

I will not lie about Santa (or the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy for that matter). I feel very strongly against letting kids believe in Santa, so mine won't. There may still be gifts "from Santa", but my kids will know perfectly well that it's just make-believe and they're really from mum and dad / grandma and grandad / whoever.

I won't lie to other kids either. Of course, I'm not going to be a spoilsport and go out of my way to tell them the truth, and even if they ask me straight out, I'll do my best to bean dip or get them to ask their parents instead, but the words "Yes, Santa's real" (or some variation of that) will never cross my lips. Their right to parent as they wish does not extend to forcing me to lie. Fortunately it's never been an issue as redirecting seems to do the trick  :)

Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: BarensMom on November 30, 2012, 02:04:00 AM
I didn't think I had a holiday hill to die on, but the talk about Santa made me realize otherwise.

I will not lie about Santa (or the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy for that matter). I feel very strongly against letting kids believe in Santa, so mine won't. There may still be gifts "from Santa", but my kids will know perfectly well that it's just make-believe and they're really from mum and dad / grandma and grandad / whoever.

I won't lie to other kids either. Of course, I'm not going to be a spoilsport and go out of my way to tell them the truth, and even if they ask me straight out, I'll do my best to bean dip or get them to ask their parents instead, but the words "Yes, Santa's real" (or some variation of that) will never cross my lips. Their right to parent as they wish does not extend to forcing me to lie. Fortunately it's never been an issue as redirecting seems to do the trick  :)

What?!?  You mean Santa's not real?  :'( :'( :'( I'm crushed! :'( :'( :'(
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: MariaE on November 30, 2012, 02:55:25 AM
I didn't think I had a holiday hill to die on, but the talk about Santa made me realize otherwise.

I will not lie about Santa (or the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy for that matter). I feel very strongly against letting kids believe in Santa, so mine won't. There may still be gifts "from Santa", but my kids will know perfectly well that it's just make-believe and they're really from mum and dad / grandma and grandad / whoever.

I won't lie to other kids either. Of course, I'm not going to be a spoilsport and go out of my way to tell them the truth, and even if they ask me straight out, I'll do my best to bean dip or get them to ask their parents instead, but the words "Yes, Santa's real" (or some variation of that) will never cross my lips. Their right to parent as they wish does not extend to forcing me to lie. Fortunately it's never been an issue as redirecting seems to do the trick  :)

What?!?  You mean Santa's not real?  :'( :'( :'( I'm crushed! :'( :'( :'(

Sorry to burst your bubble  :-*
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Free Range Hippy Chick on November 30, 2012, 03:17:59 AM

What?!?  You mean Santa's not real?  :'( :'( :'( I'm crushed! :'( :'( :'(

Breathe through it... Don't worry, stuff appears at the end of my bed every Christmas, and I haven't bought it, so it must be Santa.

Actually, the Santa thing went on much longer than usual with us because I was a late baby, so by the point at which it might have faded away, it was actually a fully-fledged family tradition for the older ones. No big presents from Santa, but we went on doing stockings every year. Then when I got married, DH, whose family had given it up when his youngest sibling was about 8, loved the idea and joined in.

When the Elder Chick was about 5 and the younger one 3, my FIL, who has the tact and diplomacy of a steam-roller, said something loud in their hearing about "Oh, does Santa still come in your house? Do they still believe..." We all glared daggers at him, and I said crisply that Santa continued to visit me and always had. He grasped that he had said something untoward, but not what, and added weakly, "oh, I haven't had a present from Santa in years."

My MIL looked over the top of her spectacles at him and said drily, "That's probably because you haven't been good." Ah, I loved that woman.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: weeblewobble on November 30, 2012, 06:22:55 AM
Santa is also my sister's hill this year.  She and her BIL give the Santa gifts.  Period.  She had this issue with her MIL last year.  (Background thread:  http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=111546.0)

Short summary: Sis and BIL usually spend Christmas Eve at MIL/FIL's house, meaning my Niece opens her presents from Santa there. MIL bought a boatload of presents last year from Santa, despite Sis telling her that Sis and BIL wanted to give the Santa gifts.  Sis had a number of issues with this, including that the extra gifts from MIL would mean Niece spending that much more time opening presents, delaying Sis and BIL's departure for our family's Christmas celebration. (A six hour drive.) They'd told MIL ahead of time when they planned to leave.  MIL has a history of minimizing Sis's need to spend time with us.

Sis and BIL decided to let Niece open as many gifts as she could before the time they originally planned to leave in order to make it to our side's celebration.  Even if there were still presents left.  They arranged the presents so Niece opened the ones from them first.  Sounds sneaky, but they wanted to see their daughter open their gifts on Christmas morning.  When it was time to get up and leave, they left.  MIL was not happy.

This year, Sis and BIL will celebrate Christmas eve at MIL's house, but they will drive home that night and Niece will have Christmas morning at home.  Any presents from MIL will be from MIL, since Santa won't have time to come by yet. Sis is excited that she will finally have Christmas at home with her daughter.  MIL is doing everything she can to persuade BIL to stay on Christmas Eve.  Her listening style has not changed.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: weeblewobble on November 30, 2012, 06:27:43 AM
My hill to die on this year may be a big one!  I'm not going to let illness in the family cancel all Christmas celebrations.

My niece is in the hospital with a staph infection, and at the moment they are saying she will need to be there through January 6th.  No home care, no day passes, nothing.  Of course, she is only a month old, so it's understandable that the hospital staff wants to make sure everything is going well.

My MIL is acting like this is the end of the holiday season.  Apparently nothing can happen to celebrate the holiday if my niece and her mom (my sister in law) are not there.  I'm not saying we should shut them out, but surely there are ways we can celebrate the season while also making sure they are included?  Maybe visiting them in the hospital with a tin of fresh baked goodies?  Or having part of an early Christmas with everyone else, then going to the hospital with presents for them to celebrate there too?  I'm sure there's something we could do, and that's what I'm going to suggest. 

If MIL still insists that no celebration can happen without Niece and SIL there, this will serve to confirm my feelings that DH and I are the least important people in the family, and we'll have a whole 'nother hill to climb next year!

Even if MIL declares there is no Christmas this year, there's no reason that you and DH (and your kids if you have them) can do your own celebration.  If MIL decides not to celebrate, that's her deal.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: weeblewobble on November 30, 2012, 06:32:08 AM
I didn't think I had a holiday hill to die on, but the talk about Santa made me realize otherwise.

I will not lie about Santa (or the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy for that matter). I feel very strongly against letting kids believe in Santa, so mine won't. There may still be gifts "from Santa", but my kids will know perfectly well that it's just make-believe and they're really from mum and dad / grandma and grandad / whoever.

I won't lie to other kids either. Of course, I'm not going to be a spoilsport and go out of my way to tell them the truth, and even if they ask me straight out, I'll do my best to bean dip or get them to ask their parents instead, but the words "Yes, Santa's real" (or some variation of that) will never cross my lips. Their right to parent as they wish does not extend to forcing me to lie. Fortunately it's never been an issue as redirecting seems to do the trick  :)

My BIL and Sis feel the same way, but they too, are really good sports about helping us maintain our kids belief in Santa.  I want to hug people like you. :)

DD figured out this year that there is no Santa. She's a little upset, but we explained that now that she's in the know, she can be our helper elf and provide the Santa experience for her little brother.  She loves feeling "grown up" so that's helping a lot.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: magdalena on November 30, 2012, 06:44:55 AM
My husband and I have found a common hill.

Starting next year, we will celebrate Christmas at our house with our daughter and anyone who would like the join us.
No travelling over Christmas, just before or after, possibly.
There might be exceptions to the rule one day, perhaps, but that's up to us and not the ILs to decide  ;) (and at the moment, we're the only ones who know that there ever might be exceptions).

Also, there will be no presents before Christmas. None. If the ILs want to be there when she opens their gifts, they can either come to us, or wait until after Christmas. We don't care if the presents are from them or from Santa or Christkind, but we both feel strongly that the presents only come on Christmas Eve or later.

This Christmas, we're travelling to see the ILs so they can have Christmas with the Froglet. But after this year, it's up to them.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: gramma dishes on November 30, 2012, 09:56:31 AM
My hill to die on this year may be a big one!  I'm not going to let illness in the family cancel all Christmas celebrations.

My niece is in the hospital with a staph infection, and at the moment they are saying she will need to be there through January 6th.  No home care, no day passes, nothing.  Of course, she is only a month old, so it's understandable that the hospital staff wants to make sure everything is going well.

My MIL is acting like this is the end of the holiday season.  Apparently nothing can happen to celebrate the holiday if my niece and her mom (my sister in law) are not there.  I'm not saying we should shut them out, but surely there are ways we can celebrate the season while also making sure they are included?  Maybe visiting them in the hospital with a tin of fresh baked goodies?  Or having part of an early Christmas with everyone else, then going to the hospital with presents for them to celebrate there too?  I'm sure there's something we could do, and that's what I'm going to suggest. 

If MIL still insists that no celebration can happen without Niece and SIL there, this will serve to confirm my feelings that DH and I are the least important people in the family, and we'll have a whole 'nother hill to climb next year!

Even if MIL declares there is no Christmas this year, there's no reason that you and DH (and your kids if you have them) can do your own celebration.  If MIL decides not to celebrate, that's her deal.

I totally agree with WeebleWobble!  If your MIL doesn't want to celebrate, that's her right.  But it doesn't mean that you and your immediate family have to just curl up and ignore Christmas!  You go ahead and do whatever you want and if MIL doesn't wish to be a part of it, that's fine.

I will add, however, that if the baby is in the hospital with a staph infection it is highly unlikely that they will allow visitors other than her actual parents into her room. 
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: AfleetAlex on November 30, 2012, 12:41:39 PM
My SIL and Bro are having a similar hill to die on re: traveling at Christmas. Family tradition has always been that we get together at one house with Mom's side of the family (Dad has very little family living). Bro and SIL are always a bit late, even when the drive was only about 15 minutes. (At max, it's 45 minutes so we're not talking multi-state trips here.) Now that they have kids, SIL wants to do Christmas morning at home with just their immediate family, which makes perfect sense.

Mom, however, didn't quite get what SIL was getting at, at first, and was trying to figure out how that would change the whole family get-together. I said it wouldn't. They're welcome to spend Christmas morning at home together, and I (single, childless) am still planning to join the rest of the family for Christmas morning as usual. As we will also have a small Christmas celebration with Bro, SIL and the kids separately anyway, it's not like we're not going to see them over the holidays.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Tea Drinker on November 30, 2012, 02:13:13 PM
Those sock-and-dress-shirt garters sound really useful. Can someone give me a standard name or search term, so I can see about buying some?
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: JenJay on November 30, 2012, 02:15:57 PM
DH calls them "shirt-stays".  :)
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: JeanFromBNA on November 30, 2012, 02:43:46 PM
If MIL still insists that no celebration can happen without Niece and SIL there, this will serve to confirm my feelings that DH and I are the least important people in the family, and we'll have a whole 'nother hill to climb next year!

As a childless couple, DH and I are aware that we are the Least Important People In The Family.  That's okay; it gets us out of a lot of nonsense, and means Christmas in the Caribbean: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Os6wu85r-I4.

I posted this link last year.  Maybe I'll make it an annual thing.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: jedikaiti on November 30, 2012, 02:51:29 PM

What?!?  You mean Santa's not real?  :'( :'( :'( I'm crushed! :'( :'( :'(

Breathe through it... Don't worry, stuff appears at the end of my bed every Christmas, and I haven't bought it, so it must be Santa.

Actually, the Santa thing went on much longer than usual with us because I was a late baby, so by the point at which it might have faded away, it was actually a fully-fledged family tradition for the older ones. No big presents from Santa, but we went on doing stockings every year. Then when I got married, DH, whose family had given it up when his youngest sibling was about 8, loved the idea and joined in.

When the Elder Chick was about 5 and the younger one 3, my FIL, who has the tact and diplomacy of a steam-roller, said something loud in their hearing about "Oh, does Santa still come in your house? Do they still believe..." We all glared daggers at him, and I said crisply that Santa continued to visit me and always had. He grasped that he had said something untoward, but not what, and added weakly, "oh, I haven't had a present from Santa in years."

My MIL looked over the top of her spectacles at him and said drily, "That's probably because you haven't been good." Ah, I loved that woman.

I hit my mid-30s before my parents quit doing a stocking for me every year - and they'd been threatening to stop for about 10 years at that point (I had no problem with it!). And it was the same BIG LONG stocking Mom had bought when I was a baby. And always an orange in the toe. They still hang it up every year (at least when I make it over for Christmas), but it doesn't necessarily get filled, although I suggested stuffing it with newspaper and wrapping a couple little empty boxes to stick in the top, just for decoration.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Lady Snowdon on November 30, 2012, 04:18:59 PM
My hill to die on this year may be a big one!  I'm not going to let illness in the family cancel all Christmas celebrations.

My niece is in the hospital with a staph infection, and at the moment they are saying she will need to be there through January 6th.  No home care, no day passes, nothing.  Of course, she is only a month old, so it's understandable that the hospital staff wants to make sure everything is going well.

My MIL is acting like this is the end of the holiday season.  Apparently nothing can happen to celebrate the holiday if my niece and her mom (my sister in law) are not there.  I'm not saying we should shut them out, but surely there are ways we can celebrate the season while also making sure they are included?  Maybe visiting them in the hospital with a tin of fresh baked goodies?  Or having part of an early Christmas with everyone else, then going to the hospital with presents for them to celebrate there too?  I'm sure there's something we could do, and that's what I'm going to suggest. 

If MIL still insists that no celebration can happen without Niece and SIL there, this will serve to confirm my feelings that DH and I are the least important people in the family, and we'll have a whole 'nother hill to climb next year!

Even if MIL declares there is no Christmas this year, there's no reason that you and DH (and your kids if you have them) can do your own celebration.  If MIL decides not to celebrate, that's her deal.

I totally agree with WeebleWobble!  If your MIL doesn't want to celebrate, that's her right.  But it doesn't mean that you and your immediate family have to just curl up and ignore Christmas!  You go ahead and do whatever you want and if MIL doesn't wish to be a part of it, that's fine.

I will add, however, that if the baby is in the hospital with a staph infection it is highly unlikely that they will allow visitors other than her actual parents into her room.

Actually they are allowing people into her room; We've gone and visited several times so far.  I should have been clearer - it's a bone infection caused by the staph bacteria. 

DH and I are going to visit my parents in another state this Christmas, and I think MIL's even a little miffed about that, as if we should be throwing away our tickets to stay here and do nothing while Niece is in the hospital.  I'll be emailing MIL this weekend to discuss plans for getting together next weekend as was originally planned...should be interesting!
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: CakeEater on November 30, 2012, 11:23:51 PM
Send all your MIls my way! I hate Christmas shopping for gifts, so I'd be over the moon if someone wanted to buy all the santa presents for my kids. My Mum does buy a couple that we put in with ours. The only reason I've even bought Santa presents at all in past years is because we've always been in a grandparent house with other kids, and I didn't want them to realise that Santa didn't leave any presents for our kids.

Before you get too horrified at my mothering, my little ones are little, and haven't understood the whole concept of the Santa sack in previous years. Oldest DD might understand this year, I'm not sure. She does recognise Santa now, so maybe.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on December 01, 2012, 08:35:09 AM
For us it's making sure we have Christmas with the kids at home before we go anywhere else.  I like doing something just the 5 of us before we get together with the family.  That and the IL's have a small house so they don't keep a lot of toys for the kids at their house, so we usually have the boys bring their new stuff to their house and then take it home, along with what they get from the in laws.

Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Luci on December 01, 2012, 10:38:10 AM
We were ones who wanted to see family every Christmas, which meant Christmas Eve in northern Illinois, travel to southern Illinois on Christmas Day. It was most important to see my grandmother, 6 hours away. My mom was an only child and passed away early, so there were just my brother's family and my family. She did have a couple of very loyal neices locally, so that helped.

We had a deal with Santa that he deliver to our house on the AM of the 24th. He was very cooperative about it. I think he was relieved to have one less stop that night. Then the kids had all day to play with their new stuff.

We do not hold our children to the same schedule, but as they live 1 3/4 hours and 2 1/4 hours away with us in between, we usually get to serve them dinner here after they have had the morning for church and nuclear family time. We are very understanding when son-in-law has to get home early. He's in retail. (Store manager) Daughter and son are best friends and their  spouses are pretty close, too, so I think they would be heartbroken not to see each other and all the kids. I wouldn't doubt that that is hill for both of them.

I think our hill to die on was that we would see everyone. How many snowstorms did we travel through? Enough - it really snowed a lot in the 70s and 80s in Illinois - even southern Illinois.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: BarensMom on December 01, 2012, 10:43:20 AM
We were ones who wanted to see family every Christmas, which meant Christmas Eve in northern Illinois, travel to southern Illinois on Christmas Day. It was most important to see my grandmother, 6 hours away. My mom was an only child and passed away early, so there were just my brother's family and my family. She did have a couple of very loyal neices locally, so that helped.

We had a deal with Santa that he deliver to our house on the AM of the 24th. He was very cooperative about it. I think he was relieved to have one less stop that night. Then the kids had all day to play with their new stuff.

We do not hold our children to the same schedule, but as they live 1 3/4 hours and 2 1/4 hours away with us in between, we usually get to serve them dinner here after they have had the morning for church and nuclear family time. We are very understanding when son-in-law has to get home early. He's in retail. (Store manager) Daughter and son are best friends and their  spouses are pretty close, too, so I think they would be heartbroken not to see each other and all the kids. I wouldn't doubt that that is hill for both of them.

I think our hill to die on was that we would see everyone. How many snowstorms did we travel through? Enough - it really snowed a lot in the 70s and 80s in Illinois - even southern Illinois.

My father was from Marshall, Illinois.  I always wanted to spend Christmas back there - I'm a little jealous.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Luci on December 01, 2012, 11:05:41 AM
We were ones who wanted to see family every Christmas, which meant Christmas Eve in northern Illinois, travel to southern Illinois on Christmas Day. It was most important to see my grandmother, 6 hours away. My mom was an only child and passed away early, so there were just my brother's family and my family. She did have a couple of very loyal neices locally, so that helped.

We had a deal with Santa that he deliver to our house on the AM of the 24th. He was very cooperative about it. I think he was relieved to have one less stop that night. Then the kids had all day to play with their new stuff.

We do not hold our children to the same schedule, but as they live 1 3/4 hours and 2 1/4 hours away with us in between, we usually get to serve them dinner here after they have had the morning for church and nuclear family time. We are very understanding when son-in-law has to get home early. He's in retail. (Store manager) Daughter and son are best friends and their  spouses are pretty close, too, so I think they would be heartbroken not to see each other and all the kids. I wouldn't doubt that that is hill for both of them.

I think our hill to die on was that we would see everyone. How many snowstorms did we travel through? Enough - it really snowed a lot in the 70s and 80s in Illinois - even southern Illinois.

My father was from Marshall, Illinois.  I always wanted to spend Christmas back there - I'm a little jealous.

I just looked up Marshall. It is quite a bit further south than we are and a bit north and east of my family homestead.

But WOW! That main street looks exactly like ours. We also are the county seat, double the population, but with pretty much the same demographics. Even the proportion of antique stores is about the same.

We lived in the fifth largest city in Illinois (Aurora, over 100,000) for 34 years. I love the quiet and friendliness of the small town. I hope someday you can visit Marshall and look up the old address and cemetery. You may love it.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Roe on December 02, 2012, 10:27:24 PM
I didn't think I had a holiday hill to die on, but the talk about Santa made me realize otherwise.

I will not lie about Santa (or the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy for that matter). I feel very strongly against letting kids believe in Santa, so mine won't. There may still be gifts "from Santa", but my kids will know perfectly well that it's just make-believe and they're really from mum and dad / grandma and grandad / whoever.

I won't lie to other kids either. Of course, I'm not going to be a spoilsport and go out of my way to tell them the truth, and even if they ask me straight out, I'll do my best to bean dip or get them to ask their parents instead, but the words "Yes, Santa's real" (or some variation of that) will never cross my lips. Their right to parent as they wish does not extend to forcing me to lie. Fortunately it's never been an issue as redirecting seems to do the trick  :)

What?!?  You mean Santa's not real?  :'( :'( :'( I'm crushed! :'( :'( :'(

No, no, no...don't believe it.  Santa is real! :)  He visits our home every year!  Who else would leave such cool toys/gadgets for the kids!  I sure as heck don't do it! 
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: MrTango on December 03, 2012, 09:16:58 AM
I'll be visiting my mom's side of the family this year (a 3-hour drive from home in good weather).

My two hills:
1) I'm staying at a hotel.  That way, I have a place to retreat when LadyTango or I get overwhelmed by having too many people around.
2) If my mother's eldest sister starts in on her evangelical and/or racist rants, I'm leaving.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: ladyknight1 on December 03, 2012, 10:27:42 AM
My hill to die on this year may be a big one!  I'm not going to let illness in the family cancel all Christmas celebrations.

My niece is in the hospital with a staph infection, and at the moment they are saying she will need to be there through January 6th.  No home care, no day passes, nothing.  Of course, she is only a month old, so it's understandable that the hospital staff wants to make sure everything is going well.

My MIL is acting like this is the end of the holiday season.  Apparently nothing can happen to celebrate the holiday if my niece and her mom (my sister in law) are not there.  I'm not saying we should shut them out, but surely there are ways we can celebrate the season while also making sure they are included?  Maybe visiting them in the hospital with a tin of fresh baked goodies?  Or having part of an early Christmas with everyone else, then going to the hospital with presents for them to celebrate there too?  I'm sure there's something we could do, and that's what I'm going to suggest. 

If MIL still insists that no celebration can happen without Niece and SIL there, this will serve to confirm my feelings that DH and I are the least important people in the family, and we'll have a whole 'nother hill to climb next year!

My parents are the same way. We can only celebrate when everyone can be there, no matter which day the actual holiday or event is on. I have put a firm foot down on this, and we (meaning my immediate family) will celebrate our anniversary, birthdays, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's on that day. If one of the family works on that day, or is traveling, so be it.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: MayHug on December 03, 2012, 11:05:42 AM


My father was from Marshall, Illinois.  I always wanted to spend Christmas back there - I'm a little jealous.
[/quote]

I am also from Illinois, I used to live near Marshall. My niece's husband is originally from Marshall.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: cattlekid on December 05, 2012, 08:41:36 AM
We now have a holiday hill to die on.  My MIL is making noises that she wants to have us over on either Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.  MIL and FIL celebrate both Western Christmas (December 25) and Eastern Christmas (January 7) as FIL is Orthodox Christian. 

DH has no problem going to his parents on 1/7, but does not want to spend 12/25 with them.  We have normally gone to my grandmother's for Christmas Eve/Christmas Day but may not this year depending on what Grandma has planned. 

Therefore, there is the distinct possibility that we may be on our own for 12/25 Christmas.  This is what DH wants and I am happy to oblige.  However, I know that we are going to have to polish our spines for this one because MIL will turn on the full-court press if she finds out that we are going to stay home by ourselves for Christmas. 
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Elisabunny on December 05, 2012, 03:17:53 PM
I didn't think I had a holiday hill to die on, but the talk about Santa made me realize otherwise.

I will not lie about Santa (or the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy for that matter). I feel very strongly against letting kids believe in Santa, so mine won't. There may still be gifts "from Santa", but my kids will know perfectly well that it's just make-believe and they're really from mum and dad / grandma and grandad / whoever.

I won't lie to other kids either. Of course, I'm not going to be a spoilsport and go out of my way to tell them the truth, and even if they ask me straight out, I'll do my best to bean dip or get them to ask their parents instead, but the words "Yes, Santa's real" (or some variation of that) will never cross my lips. Their right to parent as they wish does not extend to forcing me to lie. Fortunately it's never been an issue as redirecting seems to do the trick  :)

What?!?  You mean Santa's not real?  :'( :'( :'( I'm crushed! :'( :'( :'(

No, no, no...don't believe it.  Santa is real! :)  He visits our home every year!  Who else would leave such cool toys/gadgets for the kids!  I sure as heck don't do it!

Of course Santa is a real person.  Once there was a very good man called St. Nicholas.... ;) 
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: MrTango on December 05, 2012, 03:26:00 PM
I didn't think I had a holiday hill to die on, but the talk about Santa made me realize otherwise.

I will not lie about Santa (or the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy for that matter). I feel very strongly against letting kids believe in Santa, so mine won't. There may still be gifts "from Santa", but my kids will know perfectly well that it's just make-believe and they're really from mum and dad / grandma and grandad / whoever.

I won't lie to other kids either. Of course, I'm not going to be a spoilsport and go out of my way to tell them the truth, and even if they ask me straight out, I'll do my best to bean dip or get them to ask their parents instead, but the words "Yes, Santa's real" (or some variation of that) will never cross my lips. Their right to parent as they wish does not extend to forcing me to lie. Fortunately it's never been an issue as redirecting seems to do the trick  :)

What?!?  You mean Santa's not real?  :'( :'( :'( I'm crushed! :'( :'( :'(

No, no, no...don't believe it.  Santa is real! :)  He visits our home every year!  Who else would leave such cool toys/gadgets for the kids!  I sure as heck don't do it!

Of course Santa is a real person.  Once there was a very good man called St. Nicholas.... ;)

Whose feast day happens to be tomorrow.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Luci on December 05, 2012, 04:39:44 PM
I finally got the 'no gifts' Christmas!  I talked Lukas into it!

We will give the ornaments to the grandchildren and a hunk of cash. We will give the beef to the extended family - roasts depending on size of the family- and checks to our children and their spouses. Last night I mentioned to daughter-in-law's parents, who celebrate with us, that we weren't buying gifts this year, and they kind of gave a sigh of relief, too.

We grandparents are in the sorting out and getting rid of stuff stage, and the grandchildren are overly (in my opinion) showered with gifts, as well as most being old enough to want money. Lukas and I rarely exchange gift anyway - never have, much to the aghastness of our granddaughters (new word! Stonger than 'shock').

So I've been running around getting checks made out for the charities and planning Christmas dinner. It seems so easy, even with our  being gone next week. I haven't baked for years, so life seems really, really, easy.

Since the world is going to end on the 21st anyway, I might as well enjoy what's left ----- or not. :D

Next year, this mound will be a hill!
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: CrochetFanatic on December 05, 2012, 05:35:21 PM
I didn't think I had a holiday hill to die on, but the talk about Santa made me realize otherwise.

I will not lie about Santa (or the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy for that matter). I feel very strongly against letting kids believe in Santa, so mine won't. There may still be gifts "from Santa", but my kids will know perfectly well that it's just make-believe and they're really from mum and dad / grandma and grandad / whoever.

I won't lie to other kids either. Of course, I'm not going to be a spoilsport and go out of my way to tell them the truth, and even if they ask me straight out, I'll do my best to bean dip or get them to ask their parents instead, but the words "Yes, Santa's real" (or some variation of that) will never cross my lips. Their right to parent as they wish does not extend to forcing me to lie. Fortunately it's never been an issue as redirecting seems to do the trick  :)

What?!?  You mean Santa's not real?  :'( :'( :'( I'm crushed! :'( :'( :'(

No, no, no...don't believe it.  Santa is real! :)  He visits our home every year!  Who else would leave such cool toys/gadgets for the kids!  I sure as heck don't do it!

Of course Santa is a real person.  Once there was a very good man called St. Nicholas.... ;)

The way our mother explained it when we were old enough to know (actually, it was first broken to me in a rather jarring manner, so I've got mixed feelings about the whole "Santa" thing, but this actually helped), there was a man called St. Nicholas, as you said.  The legend says that he dropped bags of gold down the chimneys of the needy.  When the real man passed away a very long time ago, people honored his memory by continuing to give to the needy every Christmas, which eventually graduated to exchanging gifts.  Santa is real in that the spirit of giving can live on in all of us.  So she said.  ;)

I don't know how much of that is true, but it's a nice idea. 
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: suzieQ on December 05, 2012, 07:04:47 PM
My holiday hill is a bit of a ways off, but I know it's coming.
DH and I got married last year. We plan on saving for a downpayment for a house in the next year. At some point, we'll be starting a family.
And there it lies. Every year since DH and I have been together (this will be year #8), we have had Christmas with his parents. I love my in-laws, imperfect as they may be, but they have certain expectations of "just how things are done."

In my family, mom wrapped her gifts to us. Santa didn't. My kids won't have gifts from Santa that are wrapped. I don't see what the big deal is, but my MIL actually has told me (more than once) that "The presents Santa leaves for them at MY house will be wrapped!"
So...she's going to one-up me on giftwrapping? Seriously? For non-existent children? She doesn't know it yet, but Santa won't be visiting her house for any children I have. I think Santa belongs to the parents, NOT the grandparents. And if Santa DOES make a stop....well, we won't be.


Reminds me of my MIL, who thankfully passed away quite a few years ago. Not sure how much longer DH and I would have made it together if I hadn't outlived her.

DH and I didn't "do" Santa. We told the kids the truth, so they knew there was no Santa. (They were sworn to secrecy to protect the innocence of other children). MIL *had* to have Santa. So every year, the kids would ask me why Granny wrapped presents for them under the name of Santa.

How hard is it to just allow the parents of the kids to make the decision about Santa? Why force Santa into the equation when the kids know perfectly well there is no such thing?
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Jules1980 on December 05, 2012, 08:13:22 PM
I have no problem with people who don't tell their kids about Santa Claus.  However, if you do decide to just start off with the truth, teach your kids not to tell others.  I promise my child won't tell yours about Santa Claus if yours won't tell her that he isn't real at 3.

When I was younger, but too old for Santa Claus, I had a relative that told their kid that Santa Claus was a dead Roman Bishop and anyone who believed in him was going to go to  H E L L.  He told me this at a Thanksgiving when I showed up wearing a Santa shirt.  Now I was 11 and well past the age of believing.  I just liked the shirt, but at the time, I remember thinking, "Wow.  If I was a little kid that did believe in Santa that would scare me to death."

Well, his parents and grandparents (including my grandfather) laughed and thought it was the funniest thing in the world.

Then he went to preschool and told the kids there that they were all going to H E L L for believing in Santa and celebrating that part of Christmas along with the religious side.  His parents had the nerve to be offended when the other parents were upset about this.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: JenJay on December 05, 2012, 08:31:05 PM
I had a friend brag to me that her daughter told her entire kindergarten class that Christmas was Jesus' birthday and Santa was a lie. She said a couple of parents were mad at her but that was their problem and "That's what they get for lying. I don't feel bad and I told DD she hadn't done anything wrong!". I have no problem with her decision to only celebrate that religious aspect of the holiday, but respect should run both ways!

I had a mini hill from that point on - I vowed not to have my kids anywhere near her for however many years my kids were into Santa. She invited us over to make cookies once or twice but we were always unfortunately unavailable ;).

Another time I was actually standing in a mall Santa line with the mom and kids I nannied for when, behind us, a boy of about 10 started loudly complaining about how stupid it all was. My employer (whose kids were 2, 4 and 6) turned to the Mom and said with a smile "The things we go through for these adorable pictures, huh?!" The other mom replied "Actually we're *religion that doesn't celebrate Christmas in any capacity* but he wanted the free candy cane." So you let your kid stand in a line with little kids who want to meet Santa and laugh as he complains how stupid kids who believe in Santa are? Real nice.  ::)
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: magician5 on December 05, 2012, 09:52:36 PM
So she's going to stand in line a half-hour AND thumb her nose at her religious tenets to get a 50c candy cane?
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: gemma156 on December 06, 2012, 01:17:52 AM
When my children would ask me why that child would say Santa was a lie, I would also reply "Because he/she must have been on the bad list of Santa's and didn't receive any presents, her/his parents must try to fill the void of Santa's visit's to make him/her feel better.  Try not to make them feel any worse then they must do, just say ok and walk away".  Worked every time, the louder the child proclaiming Santa isn't real the more my believed just how naughty those children were. 
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: MariaE on December 06, 2012, 01:51:57 AM
When my children would ask me why that child would say Santa was a lie, I would also reply "Because he/she must have been on the bad list of Santa's and didn't receive any presents, her/his parents must try to fill the void of Santa's visit's to make him/her feel better.  Try not to make them feel any worse then they must do, just say ok and walk away".  Worked every time, the louder the child proclaiming Santa isn't real the more my believed just how naughty those children were.

That seems like an incredible offensive way to handle it. Why on earth would you do that? Lying about other kids being naughty seems way past the realm of acceptable behaviour.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Nora on December 06, 2012, 03:02:53 AM
When my children would ask me why that child would say Santa was a lie, I would also reply "Because he/she must have been on the bad list of Santa's and didn't receive any presents, her/his parents must try to fill the void of Santa's visit's to make him/her feel better.  Try not to make them feel any worse then they must do, just say ok and walk away".  Worked every time, the louder the child proclaiming Santa isn't real the more my believed just how naughty those children were.

That seems like an incredible offensive way to handle it. Why on earth would you do that? Lying about other kids being naughty seems way past the realm of acceptable behaviour.

Yep, that seems a little messed up.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Amava on December 06, 2012, 08:38:55 AM
When my children would ask me why that child would say Santa was a lie, I would also reply "Because he/she must have been on the bad list of Santa's and didn't receive any presents, her/his parents must try to fill the void of Santa's visit's to make him/her feel better.  Try not to make them feel any worse then they must do, just say ok and walk away".  Worked every time, the louder the child proclaiming Santa isn't real the more my believed just how naughty those children were.

That seems like an incredible offensive way to handle it. Why on earth would you do that? Lying about other kids being naughty seems way past the realm of acceptable behaviour.

Yep, that seems a little messed up.

A little, but on the other hand, it also makes sense.
If I were Santa, and some kids were going around denying my existence, I would put them on my "naughty" list, too.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Bexx27 on December 06, 2012, 08:41:53 AM
When my children would ask me why that child would say Santa was a lie, I would also reply "Because he/she must have been on the bad list of Santa's and didn't receive any presents, her/his parents must try to fill the void of Santa's visit's to make him/her feel better.  Try not to make them feel any worse then they must do, just say ok and walk away".  Worked every time, the louder the child proclaiming Santa isn't real the more my believed just how naughty those children were.

That seems like an incredible offensive way to handle it. Why on earth would you do that? Lying about other kids being naughty seems way past the realm of acceptable behaviour.

Yep, that seems a little messed up.

Yeah, what's wrong with "some people believe in Santa and some don't?"
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Luci on December 06, 2012, 09:19:16 AM
When my children would ask me why that child would say Santa was a lie, I would also reply "Because he/she must have been on the bad list of Santa's and didn't receive any presents, her/his parents must try to fill the void of Santa's visit's to make him/her feel better.  Try not to make them feel any worse then they must do, just say ok and walk away".  Worked every time, the louder the child proclaiming Santa isn't real the more my believed just how naughty those children were.

That seems like an incredible offensive way to handle it. Why on earth would you do that? Lying about other kids being naughty seems way past the realm of acceptable behaviour.

Yep, that seems a little messed up.

Yeah, what's wrong with "some people believe in Santa and some don't?"

Agreed. That way it isn't really a lie. A kid who wants to believe will.

Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Corvid on December 06, 2012, 09:29:03 AM
The other mom replied "Actually we're *religion that doesn't celebrate Christmas in any capacity* but he wanted the free candy cane." So you let your kid stand in a line with little kids who want to meet Santa and laugh as he complains how stupid kids who believe in Santa are? Real nice.  ::)

 ::)  Just go buy your kid a candy cane, lady.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Jules1980 on December 06, 2012, 09:36:07 AM
The other mom replied "Actually we're *religion that doesn't celebrate Christmas in any capacity* but he wanted the free candy cane." So you let your kid stand in a line with little kids who want to meet Santa and laugh as he complains how stupid kids who believe in Santa are? Real nice.  ::)

 ::)  Just go buy your kid a candy cane, lady.

Truly.  Who stands in a line just for a candy cane?  Especially that line that always seems packed and moves at glacial pace?
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: wheeitsme on December 06, 2012, 10:50:16 AM
When my children would ask me why that child would say Santa was a lie, I would also reply "Because he/she must have been on the bad list of Santa's and didn't receive any presents, her/his parents must try to fill the void of Santa's visit's to make him/her feel better.  Try not to make them feel any worse then they must do, just say ok and walk away".  Worked every time, the louder the child proclaiming Santa isn't real the more my believed just how naughty those children were.

That seems like an incredible offensive way to handle it. Why on earth would you do that? Lying about other kids being naughty seems way past the realm of acceptable behaviour.

But I can see that there is an element of truth to it.  It's "Naughty" rather than "Nice" to try and destroy a child's belief in something like that.  And the more you try to destroy a child's happy belief, the naughtier it is...
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Tea Drinker on December 06, 2012, 11:25:09 AM
When my children would ask me why that child would say Santa was a lie, I would also reply "Because he/she must have been on the bad list of Santa's and didn't receive any presents, her/his parents must try to fill the void of Santa's visit's to make him/her feel better.  Try not to make them feel any worse then they must do, just say ok and walk away".  Worked every time, the louder the child proclaiming Santa isn't real the more my believed just how naughty those children were.

That seems like an incredible offensive way to handle it. Why on earth would you do that? Lying about other kids being naughty seems way past the realm of acceptable behaviour.

But I can see that there is an element of truth to it.  It's "Naughty" rather than "Nice" to try and destroy a child's belief in something like that.  And the more you try to destroy a child's happy belief, the naughtier it is...

There are people who think it is naughty to lie to children in that way--and if you don't believe but lead children to believe, it is a lie. (Someone who genuinely believes in the Purple religion is not lying when they teach it to their children.) I don't see how it's better to tell children "Santa brings presents to all good children" when there are good children who don't get Christmas presents because their families aren't Christian, or whose presents are all labeled as from parents and grandparents, than to tell a kid that there is no Santa Claus, or that Santa Claus is a make-believe game their parents are playing.

You can tell your kids something like "Santa only takes presents to children who write to him" without implying that their non-Christian friends, Christian friends who don't believe in Santa, or older cousins who don't get presents from Santa are all naughty.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: wheeitsme on December 06, 2012, 12:31:22 PM
When my children would ask me why that child would say Santa was a lie, I would also reply "Because he/she must have been on the bad list of Santa's and didn't receive any presents, her/his parents must try to fill the void of Santa's visit's to make him/her feel better.  Try not to make them feel any worse then they must do, just say ok and walk away".  Worked every time, the louder the child proclaiming Santa isn't real the more my believed just how naughty those children were.

That seems like an incredible offensive way to handle it. Why on earth would you do that? Lying about other kids being naughty seems way past the realm of acceptable behaviour.

But I can see that there is an element of truth to it.  It's "Naughty" rather than "Nice" to try and destroy a child's belief in something like that.  And the more you try to destroy a child's happy belief, the naughtier it is...

There are people who think it is naughty to lie to children in that way--and if you don't believe but lead children to believe, it is a lie. (Someone who genuinely believes in the Purple religion is not lying when they teach it to their children.) I don't see how it's better to tell children "Santa brings presents to all good children" when there are good children who don't get Christmas presents because their families aren't Christian, or whose presents are all labeled as from parents and grandparents, than to tell a kid that there is no Santa Claus, or that Santa Claus is a make-believe game their parents are playing.

You can tell your kids something like "Santa only takes presents to children who write to him" without implying that their non-Christian friends, Christian friends who don't believe in Santa, or older cousins who don't get presents from Santa are all naughty.

She's not implying that those who don't get presents from Santa are naughty.  She's implying that people who try to destroy a young child's belief in Santa is naughty.  The OP wrote "my children would ask me why that child would say Santa was a lie". 

I was the youngest of four kids, so I figured out pretty early that Santa was just a fun game my Parents and I played.  At 5 years, I made sure my Mom knew what I wanted from Santa  ;) .  I also knew that it would be mean for me to ruin it for kids who still wanted to believe in the incarnation of Santa.  Telling people the ending who haven't asked isn't nice.  They are called "Spoilers" for a reason.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: NyaChan on December 06, 2012, 01:13:21 PM
I accidentally told people Santa wasn't real in preschool - I didn't realize the significance of Santa in terms of childhood and innocence, I just thought it was a "people who are in-the-know know" sort of thing. My teacher immediately pulled me aside, and explained that importance of keeping the illusion for others even if I knew otherwise (my family isn't Christian and didn't celebrate Christmas or do the Santa thing).  She asked me to explain so that they could still have their fun.  So that's when I went back to fix it, I said - that I didn't mean Santa wasn't real at all, it was that my family didn't believe in Santa, so for us, Santa wasn't real.  I still hope I didn't completely ruin it for everyone else  :-\
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: JenJay on December 06, 2012, 03:21:55 PM
The other mom replied "Actually we're *religion that doesn't celebrate Christmas in any capacity* but he wanted the free candy cane." So you let your kid stand in a line with little kids who want to meet Santa and laugh as he complains how stupid kids who believe in Santa are? Real nice.  ::)

 ::)  Just go buy your kid a candy cane, lady.

Truly.  Who stands in a line just for a candy cane?  Especially that line that always seems packed and moves at glacial pace?

To be fair this was the middle of the afternoon on a weekday so the line wasn't too bad. "My" kids were homeschooled. But yeah, buying a stupid candy cane would have been quicker and easier, not to mention zero risk of upsetting a bunch of other kids.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: ladyknight1 on December 06, 2012, 03:48:42 PM
I work with a very diverse group of people. We have every conceivable ethnicity and religion represented in our overall unit. One of our co-workers is Jehovah's Witness, and is offended (and lets everyone know that she is) if anyone mentions a work party/event that even hints of some holiday or seasonal celebration. I am glad she doesn't work in our suite, because we have monthly birthday celebrations and she would make a huge fuss over those.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Asharah on December 06, 2012, 06:49:12 PM
Does anyone remember the show "Welcome Back Kotter" with Gabe Kaplan and John Travolta as Barbarino? I remember Mr. Kotter sarcastically asked the (evil) principal Mr. Woodman, "What do you do on Xmas Eve? Go door-to-door telling kids there's no Santa Claus?" Woodman's response, "Well somebody has to do it!"  ::)
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Lynn2000 on December 06, 2012, 07:29:18 PM
I like Santa!  :D I had some fun with it when I was little, seeing the cookies with a bite taken out of them the next morning and so forth. I don't remember any particular trauma associated with it; I suppose there was just a sort of gradual realization of the greater symbolic value of being generous with others, and of who was actually performing the practical aspects.

To me it's interesting how contentious an issue it can be. In some families it's considered an outright lie, in others the grown-ups strain to preserve the idea long after the kids have changed their minds about it. And of course lots of attitudes in between. Maybe we could start a Santa-related spin-off thread? That would be fun.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Emmy on December 08, 2012, 07:59:16 AM
When my children would ask me why that child would say Santa was a lie, I would also reply "Because he/she must have been on the bad list of Santa's and didn't receive any presents, her/his parents must try to fill the void of Santa's visit's to make him/her feel better.  Try not to make them feel any worse then they must do, just say ok and walk away".  Worked every time, the louder the child proclaiming Santa isn't real the more my believed just how naughty those children were.

That seems like an incredible offensive way to handle it. Why on earth would you do that? Lying about other kids being naughty seems way past the realm of acceptable behaviour.

But I can see that there is an element of truth to it.  It's "Naughty" rather than "Nice" to try and destroy a child's belief in something like that.  And the more you try to destroy a child's happy belief, the naughtier it is...

There are people who think it is naughty to lie to children in that way--and if you don't believe but lead children to believe, it is a lie. (Someone who genuinely believes in the Purple religion is not lying when they teach it to their children.) I don't see how it's better to tell children "Santa brings presents to all good children" when there are good children who don't get Christmas presents because their families aren't Christian, or whose presents are all labeled as from parents and grandparents, than to tell a kid that there is no Santa Claus, or that Santa Claus is a make-believe game their parents are playing.

You can tell your kids something like "Santa only takes presents to children who write to him" without implying that their non-Christian friends, Christian friends who don't believe in Santa, or older cousins who don't get presents from Santa are all naughty.

She's not implying that those who don't get presents from Santa are naughty.  She's implying that people who try to destroy a young child's belief in Santa is naughty. The OP wrote "my children would ask me why that child would say Santa was a lie". 

I was the youngest of four kids, so I figured out pretty early that Santa was just a fun game my Parents and I played.  At 5 years, I made sure my Mom knew what I wanted from Santa  ;) .  I also knew that it would be mean for me to ruin it for kids who still wanted to believe in the incarnation of Santa.  Telling people the ending who haven't asked isn't nice.  They are called "Spoilers" for a reason.

I agree that the bolded was the intent of the post and also agree that it is naughty to destroy a young child's belief in Santa.  It is a private matter within a family what they teach their children about Santa and people have different reasons for feeling different ways.  It is rudeness and the height of being egocentric to encourage or be proud of you child spoiling other children's belief in Santa.  If your family chooses not to have your child believe in Santa, fine, but respect those who don't make the same choices.  I also feel it would be rude to try to get children to believe in Santa when their family has chosen not to do so.

*I have a very young child (too young for Santa) and I don't know where I stand on the issue.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Ambrosia Hino on December 10, 2012, 12:34:59 PM
Well, I thought I was going to get through this year with no hills...no such luck

My SIL is wanting to have the family get together at a hotel/restaurant in the town she lives in, which is about halfway between our house and FIL's house, under the comment of "no set up or tear down." I absolutely abhor the idea of making people have to work Christmas Day...I don't care if they're "planning to be open anyway" because they wouldn't be if there wasn't a demand. I don't want to go out to eat for Christmas Dinner, it just feels wrong. I think I upset SIL by asking why she wanted to tear people away from their families for Christmas though...

Add in the undercurrent, that DH thinks she's trying to schedule her in-laws to be there too, so that both families have an awkward and uncomfortable dinner together, just so she and her hubby can be with everyone...no. They had Thanksgiving with his family, I don't even know them, I don't want to spend my Christmas afternoon with people I don't know. Apparently, I'm unreasonable (DH's attitude...he didn't say it, but that's my impression of his attitude).

I'm considering offering the compromise of going out for Christmas Eve, on the condition that we spend Christmas Day at home, just DH, me, and Toddler. That was my plan for Christmas Eve, spend it just the 3 of us, at home, just relaxing and enjoying each other.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: sunnygirl on December 10, 2012, 12:47:52 PM
The way our mother explained it when we were old enough to know (actually, it was first broken to me in a rather jarring manner, so I've got mixed feelings about the whole "Santa" thing, but this actually helped), there was a man called St. Nicholas, as you said.  The legend says that he dropped bags of gold down the chimneys of the needy.  When the real man passed away a very long time ago, people honored his memory by continuing to give to the needy every Christmas, which eventually graduated to exchanging gifts.  Santa is real in that the spirit of giving can live on in all of us.  So she said.  ;)

I don't know how much of that is true, but it's a nice idea.
That is so lovely, thank you for posting. If I ever have kids that's what I'll do.
It's funny, growing up we 'did' Santa (leaving a mince pie and a carrot for the reindeer out), but I always knew he wasn't real, and that it was just my dad. It was all very wink wink. It was just a nice tradition.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Outdoor Girl on December 10, 2012, 12:56:38 PM
My first clue should have been that we didn't leave cookies and milk, we left mincemeat tarts and a can of coke.  Which just happened to be my Dad's favourite.

I was a very naive child and my 5 years older brother was very good about playing along for my sake.  The year I expressed some doubt, my parents decided it was time.  In our house we always left our letters for Santa on the fireplace hearth.  My brother had written, 'Oh, by the way, Santa, could you please fix my snowmobile?'  The next morning, in my Dad's handwritting, 'Fix your own dingdangity snowmobile.  What do you think I am, a mechanic?'  That clinched it.   ;)

We still do stockings, though.  It is a mad scramble on Christmas Eve, just before bed while we all try to put stuff in other people's stockings without noticing what's going into our own.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Emmy on December 10, 2012, 02:12:56 PM
Well, I thought I was going to get through this year with no hills...no such luck

My SIL is wanting to have the family get together at a hotel/restaurant in the town she lives in, which is about halfway between our house and FIL's house, under the comment of "no set up or tear down." I absolutely abhor the idea of making people have to work Christmas Day...I don't care if they're "planning to be open anyway" because they wouldn't be if there wasn't a demand. I don't want to go out to eat for Christmas Dinner, it just feels wrong. I think I upset SIL by asking why she wanted to tear people away from their families for Christmas though...

Add in the undercurrent, that DH thinks she's trying to schedule her in-laws to be there too, so that both families have an awkward and uncomfortable dinner together, just so she and her hubby can be with everyone...no. They had Thanksgiving with his family, I don't even know them, I don't want to spend my Christmas afternoon with people I don't know. Apparently, I'm unreasonable (DH's attitude...he didn't say it, but that's my impression of his attitude).

I'm considering offering the compromise of going out for Christmas Eve, on the condition that we spend Christmas Day at home, just DH, me, and Toddler. That was my plan for Christmas Eve, spend it just the 3 of us, at home, just relaxing and enjoying each other.

I don't blame your sister in law for being upset.  It seems quite rude for you to accuse her of wanting to tear people from their families on Christmas.  It's one thing to have an opinion and even disagree politely with somebody else.  It is another thing to make unfair accusations to get your point across.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: ladyknight1 on December 10, 2012, 02:24:41 PM
I will not drive anywhere on Christmas day, and IMHO don't believe non-emergency workers should have to work.

I seem to be in the minority, at least in this area, where anyone in hospitality will most likely be working on Christmas day. The theme parks, hotels and many restaurants do not close, even for Christmas.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Ambrosia Hino on December 10, 2012, 02:29:27 PM
I admit I didn't handle that part well. But she's also the type that would sit there and tell the server (repeatedly) "oh its so sad that you have to work instead of spend the day with your family" and not understand that her being there is why they're having to work. I jumped the gun there and I realize that. Now just to find a way to set up plans a different way (SIL never ever hosts, so I don't get why she's even pushing for this)
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Outdoor Girl on December 10, 2012, 02:32:48 PM
Some people who would be considered non-emergency are needed, like folks at hotels since some of us will need hotel rooms over the holidays, either because there isn't enough room to stay at someone's house or we need our own space for our own sanity.

And a lot of restaurants that are open are owned by people who don't celebrate Christmas.  So I don't see why they should be forced to close on a day when they could make considerable money when it doesn't have spiritual significance for them.

But I agree that theme parks and the like don't need to be open.  I find the NBA games played and televised on Christmas Day to be somewhat bizarre.  The visiting team most likely had to come in the day before and thus, didn't get to spend the day with their families, not to mention all the TV folks - cameramen, producers, announcers, etc. - and all the stadium/arena workers.  I know people who go to a movie on Christmas Day.  It's a tradition in their family.  Again, I just find it strange.

But if the demand is there and people are willing to work, I guess it'll happen.  Just don't expect me to be a part of it.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: faithlessone on December 10, 2012, 02:33:55 PM
I will not drive anywhere on Christmas day, and IMHO don't believe non-emergency workers should have to work.

I seem to be in the minority, at least in this area, where anyone in hospitality will most likely be working on Christmas day. The theme parks, hotels and many restaurants do not close, even for Christmas.

Not to stir the pot or anything, but you do realise that not everyone celebrates Christmas, right? People of other religions, or no religion, as well as those who just don't want to recognise a holiday that might not mean anything to them, or even actively upset them. People who might not have families to spend Christmas with, or who would prefer to spend that day being there for other people (even in such a small way as just manning the local shop!).

It's not fair to expect that the world will shut down for a day, when there are millions of people who consider it to be just another day in December.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: ladyknight1 on December 10, 2012, 02:51:41 PM
I do realize that not everyone is Christian. I have Pagan friends who have celebrations that occur on December 25th as well.

I made a choice that only affects me. I never said that others should not continue with their plans.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: camlan on December 10, 2012, 04:29:38 PM


The way our mother explained it when we were old enough to know (actually, it was first broken to me in a rather jarring manner, so I've got mixed feelings about the whole "Santa" thing, but this actually helped), there was a man called St. Nicholas, as you said.  The legend says that he dropped bags of gold down the chimneys of the needy.  When the real man passed away a very long time ago, people honored his memory by continuing to give to the needy every Christmas, which eventually graduated to exchanging gifts.  Santa is real in that the spirit of giving can live on in all of us.  So she said.  ;)

I don't know how much of that is true, but it's a nice idea.

St. Nicholas was a Turkish saint, back when that region of the world was Christian. There's a pretty good explanation here, if anyone's interested: http://www.turkey-now.org/default.aspx?pgID=438 (http://www.turkey-now.org/default.aspx?pgID=438)

Now that Turkey is largely Muslim, there is still a tradition, at least in the less conservative, more modernized areas, that Santa Claus brings gifts, but on New Year's Eve instead of Christmas day. And not a huge pile of gifts, but more like a book or a pair of gloves. But you'll see Christmas trees and Santa figures in the major cities in Turkey during December.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: VorFemme on December 10, 2012, 05:18:55 PM
I admit I didn't handle that part well. But she's also the type that would sit there and tell the server (repeatedly) "oh its so sad that you have to work instead of spend the day with your family" and not understand that her being there is why they're having to work. I jumped the gun there and I realize that. Now just to find a way to set up plans a different way (SIL never ever hosts, so I don't get why she's even pushing for this)

I've met your SIL - three things to consider.

Her health is not that great right now. 

Would she or her husband be doing the cooking?  Or possibly her mother-in-law, if his family is coming over for a combined holiday......

Look at the bright side - dinner out can be cut off at three hours or less, so you can "take the toddler home for his nap" or "let the dogs out of the garage for their bathroom break". Going to anyone else's house is likely to get you guilt tripped if it isn't four-to-six hours or longer......or would you rather have them over at your house?  Yeah - she's that clueless - but with a narcissistic mother, it's amazing that she has any empathy at all.  She does have some empathy towards the people who are working - even if her LOGIC (as to who is making them work) isn't strong.....neither Vulcans nor Betans on that side of the family......

ETA - if anyone remembers Ambrosia Hino's earlier posts, or mine, this is CrazyMIL's DD.  The family traditions have had to be adjusted as CrazyMIL is being given the cut direct after making death threats to both her SIL and her DIL.  Since she also made death threats to her ex-DH (their father) and tried to hire someone to do the job...the situation with her would seem to warrant the etiquette version of "weapons of mass destruction". 
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: heathert on December 10, 2012, 05:45:11 PM
Well, I don't know your SIL but I was thinking along the same lines that when she makes those comments to servers it is meant in a "Sorry you drew the short straw" kind of way, although it is rather clueless.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: AuntieA on December 10, 2012, 07:24:26 PM
VorFemme - I would love to meet you + family - you all have such *interesting* dynamics!  ;D


* as in the Chinese saying "May you live in interesting times"

Seriously, it`s been great to see E-Hellions passing down the generations and crossing the sibling ties.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: KenveeB on December 10, 2012, 09:05:00 PM
My first clue should have been that we didn't leave cookies and milk, we left mincemeat tarts and a can of coke.  Which just happened to be my Dad's favourite.

After we learned the truth about Santa, we started leaving out peanut M&Ms and Diet Cokes. :)
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: mbbored on December 10, 2012, 09:28:57 PM
My first clue should have been that we didn't leave cookies and milk, we left mincemeat tarts and a can of coke.  Which just happened to be my Dad's favourite.

After we learned the truth about Santa, we started leaving out peanut M&Ms and Diet Cokes. :)

Heh, we always left Santa wine and cheese since he needed a savory snack after all those cookies.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: jedikaiti on December 10, 2012, 11:59:41 PM
My first clue should have been that we didn't leave cookies and milk, we left mincemeat tarts and a can of coke.  Which just happened to be my Dad's favourite.

After we learned the truth about Santa, we started leaving out peanut M&Ms and Diet Cokes. :)

In my house the cookies were served with some of Dad's good brandy, to help keep Santa warm.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Shakira on December 11, 2012, 04:45:23 AM
My first clue should have been that we didn't leave cookies and milk, we left mincemeat tarts and a can of coke.  Which just happened to be my Dad's favourite.

After we learned the truth about Santa, we started leaving out peanut M&Ms and Diet Cokes. :)

Heh, we always left Santa wine and cheese since he needed a savory snack after all those cookies.

Yeah!! My kind of Santa!
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Ambrosia Hino on December 11, 2012, 07:14:18 AM
I admit I didn't handle that part well. But she's also the type that would sit there and tell the server (repeatedly) "oh its so sad that you have to work instead of spend the day with your family" and not understand that her being there is why they're having to work. I jumped the gun there and I realize that. Now just to find a way to set up plans a different way (SIL never ever hosts, so I don't get why she's even pushing for this)

I've met your SIL - three things to consider.

Her health is not that great right now. 

Would she or her husband be doing the cooking?  Or possibly her mother-in-law, if his family is coming over for a combined holiday......

Look at the bright side - dinner out can be cut off at three hours or less, so you can "take the toddler home for his nap" or "let the dogs out of the garage for their bathroom break". Going to anyone else's house is likely to get you guilt tripped if it isn't four-to-six hours or longer......or would you rather have them over at your house?  Yeah - she's that clueless - but with a narcissistic mother, it's amazing that she has any empathy at all.  She does have some empathy towards the people who are working - even if her LOGIC (as to who is making them work) isn't strong.....neither Vulcans nor Betans on that side of the family......

ETA - if anyone remembers Ambrosia Hino's earlier posts, or mine, this is CrazyMIL's DD.  The family traditions have had to be adjusted as CrazyMIL is being given the cut direct after making death threats to both her SIL and her DIL.  Since she also made death threats to her ex-DH (their father) and tried to hire someone to do the job...the situation with her would seem to warrant the etiquette version of "weapons of mass destruction".

SIL is never in charge of the cooking. Any of the cooking. Get-togethers at her house generally mean either going out to eat or ordering/bringing take-out. Her house is also a cluttered mess, and not a good place to let Toddler play. Family get-togethers, so far, are almost always at FIL & SMIL (step-mother-in-law) house. I wouldn't mind hosting, I've offered before but SMIL always wants to do it (and never shows when we do host something, but that's a different story).

This year, the dynamic is weird because we usually do Thanksgiving with them and Christmas with my family, and things got swapped. I told my DH that either we can host or we can all go out Christmas Eve and stay home just the 3 of us for Christmas Day.

*The comments that I mentioned SIL is known for, even if she doesn't mean them this way, are usually said in a gloating/condescending/snotty tone. Going out to eat with her always ends up with us picking up the bill as well. I don't have room in the budget and I doubt FIL does either, for a restaurant meal for 9 (2 college kids and a toddler...the 20 yr old boy makes up for the toddler in amount of food eaten!)
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: VorFemme on December 11, 2012, 07:32:00 AM
I admit I didn't handle that part well. But she's also the type that would sit there and tell the server (repeatedly) "oh its so sad that you have to work instead of spend the day with your family" and not understand that her being there is why they're having to work. I jumped the gun there and I realize that. Now just to find a way to set up plans a different way (SIL never ever hosts, so I don't get why she's even pushing for this)

I've met your SIL - three things to consider.

Her health is not that great right now. 

Would she or her husband be doing the cooking?  Or possibly her mother-in-law, if his family is coming over for a combined holiday......

Look at the bright side - dinner out can be cut off at three hours or less, so you can "take the toddler home for his nap" or "let the dogs out of the garage for their bathroom break". Going to anyone else's house is likely to get you guilt tripped if it isn't four-to-six hours or longer......or would you rather have them over at your house?  Yeah - she's that clueless - but with a narcissistic mother, it's amazing that she has any empathy at all.  She does have some empathy towards the people who are working - even if her LOGIC (as to who is making them work) isn't strong.....neither Vulcans nor Betans on that side of the family......

ETA - if anyone remembers Ambrosia Hino's earlier posts, or mine, this is CrazyMIL's DD.  The family traditions have had to be adjusted as CrazyMIL is being given the cut direct after making death threats to both her SIL and her DIL.  Since she also made death threats to her ex-DH (their father) and tried to hire someone to do the job...the situation with her would seem to warrant the etiquette version of "weapons of mass destruction".

SIL is never in charge of the cooking. Any of the cooking. Get-togethers at her house generally mean either going out to eat or ordering/bringing takeout. Her house is also a cluttered mess, and not a good place to let Toddler play. Family get-togethers, so far, are almost always at FIL & SMIL (step-mother-in-law) house. I wouldn't mind hosting, I've offered before but SMIL always wants to do it (and never shows when we do host something, but that's a different story).

This year, the dynamic is weird because we usually do Thanksgiving with them and Christmas with my family, and things got swapped. I told my DH that either we can host or we can all go out Christmas Eve and stay home just the 3 of us for Christmas Day.

*The comments that I mentioned SIL is known for, even if she doesn't mean them this way, are usually said in a gloating/condescending/snotty tone. Going out to eat with her always ends up with us picking up the bill as well. I don't have room in the budget and I doubt FIL does either, for a restaurant meal for 9 (2 college kids and a toddler...the 20 yr old boy makes up for the toddler in amount of food eaten!)

Bean dip - if you don't have the time, money, patience, or inclination to go out to eat on Christmas Day with them you don't have the time, money, patience, etc...  Blame it on the toddler having been exposed to something at the day care and you don't want to expose her to it (health problems).  Then stay home in pajamas and have fun for a while......

For those who don't know the dynamic with this SIL, her "example" on how to behave properly was CrazyMIL or Nearly-as-Crazy-Stepmother - so her behaviour is odd at times...she can be sweet one minute then do something bizarre the next.  And she sees nothing wrong because she is still acting better than her two examples...which isn't a guarantee of "good behaviour" when those examples are so far off the mean, the norm, and even "sane" standards.  Eccentric would be not be a good description - because it would still imply that the person was closer to normal that they really are.  Does "beyond eccentric" make sense?  Because that is as close to a description as I can get without being too recognizable (small town in Georgia describes a LOT of places - but not as many once you start mentioning some of the other details - and both CrazyMIL and Nearly-as-crazy-Stepmother are still alive*).

*And a bit more than half a bubble off plumb, as well, from what I understand...
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: nayberry on December 11, 2012, 11:34:53 AM
VorFemme - I would love to meet you + family - you all have such *interesting* dynamics!  ;D


* as in the Chinese saying "May you live in interesting times"

Seriously, it`s been great to see E-Hellions passing down the generations and crossing the sibling ties.

OT  i always wondered where that came from,  especially as Terry Pratchett borrowed it
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: MrTango on December 11, 2012, 02:59:00 PM
VorFemme - I would love to meet you + family - you all have such *interesting* dynamics!  ;D


* as in the Chinese saying "May you live in interesting times"

Seriously, it`s been great to see E-Hellions passing down the generations and crossing the sibling ties.

OT  i always wondered where that came from,  especially as Terry Pratchett borrowed it

I always figured that was a curse.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: thedudeabides on December 11, 2012, 04:47:19 PM
I admit I didn't handle that part well. But she's also the type that would sit there and tell the server (repeatedly) "oh its so sad that you have to work instead of spend the day with your family" and not understand that her being there is why they're having to work. I jumped the gun there and I realize that. Now just to find a way to set up plans a different way (SIL never ever hosts, so I don't get why she's even pushing for this)

I've met your SIL - three things to consider.

Her health is not that great right now. 

Would she or her husband be doing the cooking?  Or possibly her mother-in-law, if his family is coming over for a combined holiday......

Look at the bright side - dinner out can be cut off at three hours or less, so you can "take the toddler home for his nap" or "let the dogs out of the garage for their bathroom break". Going to anyone else's house is likely to get you guilt tripped if it isn't four-to-six hours or longer......or would you rather have them over at your house?  Yeah - she's that clueless - but with a narcissistic mother, it's amazing that she has any empathy at all.  She does have some empathy towards the people who are working - even if her LOGIC (as to who is making them work) isn't strong.....neither Vulcans nor Betans on that side of the family......

ETA - if anyone remembers Ambrosia Hino's earlier posts, or mine, this is CrazyMIL's DD.  The family traditions have had to be adjusted as CrazyMIL is being given the cut direct after making death threats to both her SIL and her DIL.  Since she also made death threats to her ex-DH (their father) and tried to hire someone to do the job...the situation with her would seem to warrant the etiquette version of "weapons of mass destruction".

SIL is never in charge of the cooking. Any of the cooking. Get-togethers at her house generally mean either going out to eat or ordering/bringing takeout. Her house is also a cluttered mess, and not a good place to let Toddler play. Family get-togethers, so far, are almost always at FIL & SMIL (step-mother-in-law) house. I wouldn't mind hosting, I've offered before but SMIL always wants to do it (and never shows when we do host something, but that's a different story).

This year, the dynamic is weird because we usually do Thanksgiving with them and Christmas with my family, and things got swapped. I told my DH that either we can host or we can all go out Christmas Eve and stay home just the 3 of us for Christmas Day.

*The comments that I mentioned SIL is known for, even if she doesn't mean them this way, are usually said in a gloating/condescending/snotty tone. Going out to eat with her always ends up with us picking up the bill as well. I don't have room in the budget and I doubt FIL does either, for a restaurant meal for 9 (2 college kids and a toddler...the 20 yr old boy makes up for the toddler in amount of food eaten!)

Bean dip - if you don't have the time, money, patience, or inclination to go out to eat on Christmas Day with them you don't have the time, money, patience, etc...  Blame it on the toddler having been exposed to something at the day care and you don't want to expose her to it (health problems).  Then stay home in pajamas and have fun for a while......

For those who don't know the dynamic with this SIL, her "example" on how to behave properly was CrazyMIL or Nearly-as-Crazy-Stepmother - so her behaviour is odd at times...she can be sweet one minute then do something bizarre the next.  And she sees nothing wrong because she is still acting better than her two examples...which isn't a guarantee of "good behaviour" when those examples are so far off the mean, the norm, and even "sane" standards.  Eccentric would be not be a good description - because it would still imply that the person was closer to normal that they really are.  Does "beyond eccentric" make sense?  Because that is as close to a description as I can get without being too recognizable (small town in Georgia describes a LOT of places - but not as many once you start mentioning some of the other details - and both CrazyMIL and Nearly-as-crazy-Stepmother are still alive*).

*And a bit more than half a bubble off plumb, as well, from what I understand...

You guys seem to have way more background together on this than the rest of us do.  Maybe it'd be better in a PM?
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: thedudeabides on December 11, 2012, 04:47:54 PM
No hills to die on yet, although I'm thinking about creating one if another relative of either of us asks when I'm going to pop the question.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: FauxFoodist on December 11, 2012, 06:07:14 PM
I admit I didn't handle that part well. But she's also the type that would sit there and tell the server (repeatedly) "oh its so sad that you have to work instead of spend the day with your family" and not understand that her being there is why they're having to work. I jumped the gun there and I realize that. Now just to find a way to set up plans a different way (SIL never ever hosts, so I don't get why she's even pushing for this)

I've met your SIL - three things to consider.

Her health is not that great right now. 

Would she or her husband be doing the cooking?  Or possibly her mother-in-law, if his family is coming over for a combined holiday......

Look at the bright side - dinner out can be cut off at three hours or less, so you can "take the toddler home for his nap" or "let the dogs out of the garage for their bathroom break". Going to anyone else's house is likely to get you guilt tripped if it isn't four-to-six hours or longer......or would you rather have them over at your house?  Yeah - she's that clueless - but with a narcissistic mother, it's amazing that she has any empathy at all.  She does have some empathy towards the people who are working - even if her LOGIC (as to who is making them work) isn't strong.....neither Vulcans nor Betans on that side of the family......

ETA - if anyone remembers Ambrosia Hino's earlier posts, or mine, this is CrazyMIL's DD.  The family traditions have had to be adjusted as CrazyMIL is being given the cut direct after making death threats to both her SIL and her DIL.  Since she also made death threats to her ex-DH (their father) and tried to hire someone to do the job...the situation with her would seem to warrant the etiquette version of "weapons of mass destruction".

SIL is never in charge of the cooking. Any of the cooking. Get-togethers at her house generally mean either going out to eat or ordering/bringing takeout. Her house is also a cluttered mess, and not a good place to let Toddler play. Family get-togethers, so far, are almost always at FIL & SMIL (step-mother-in-law) house. I wouldn't mind hosting, I've offered before but SMIL always wants to do it (and never shows when we do host something, but that's a different story).

This year, the dynamic is weird because we usually do Thanksgiving with them and Christmas with my family, and things got swapped. I told my DH that either we can host or we can all go out Christmas Eve and stay home just the 3 of us for Christmas Day.

*The comments that I mentioned SIL is known for, even if she doesn't mean them this way, are usually said in a gloating/condescending/snotty tone. Going out to eat with her always ends up with us picking up the bill as well. I don't have room in the budget and I doubt FIL does either, for a restaurant meal for 9 (2 college kids and a toddler...the 20 yr old boy makes up for the toddler in amount of food eaten!)

Bean dip - if you don't have the time, money, patience, or inclination to go out to eat on Christmas Day with them you don't have the time, money, patience, etc...  Blame it on the toddler having been exposed to something at the day care and you don't want to expose her to it (health problems).  Then stay home in pajamas and have fun for a while......

For those who don't know the dynamic with this SIL, her "example" on how to behave properly was CrazyMIL or Nearly-as-Crazy-Stepmother - so her behaviour is odd at times...she can be sweet one minute then do something bizarre the next.  And she sees nothing wrong because she is still acting better than her two examples...which isn't a guarantee of "good behaviour" when those examples are so far off the mean, the norm, and even "sane" standards.  Eccentric would be not be a good description - because it would still imply that the person was closer to normal that they really are.  Does "beyond eccentric" make sense?  Because that is as close to a description as I can get without being too recognizable (small town in Georgia describes a LOT of places - but not as many once you start mentioning some of the other details - and both CrazyMIL and Nearly-as-crazy-Stepmother are still alive*).

*And a bit more than half a bubble off plumb, as well, from what I understand...

You guys seem to have way more background together on this than the rest of us do.  Maybe it'd be better in a PM?

I don't see anything wrong with both of them sharing the background.  They are mother and daughter so it's not surprising they both know so much.  I find it interesting to get the first-hand perspective of more than one person in a situation.

Slightly O/T -- there was once a poster who had posted about a funny situation involving her sister's dog.  Another poster then replied about how she had the same situation happen with her dog.  Poster #1 then replied to Poster #2 something like, "Poster #2, this is your sister" (which she was -- it was well known Posters #1 and 2 were sisters).  It was pretty funny.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: VorFemme on December 11, 2012, 06:18:46 PM
I admit I didn't handle that part well. But she's also the type that would sit there and tell the server (repeatedly) "oh its so sad that you have to work instead of spend the day with your family" and not understand that her being there is why they're having to work. I jumped the gun there and I realize that. Now just to find a way to set up plans a different way (SIL never ever hosts, so I don't get why she's even pushing for this)

I've met your SIL - three things to consider.

Her health is not that great right now. 

Would she or her husband be doing the cooking?  Or possibly her mother-in-law, if his family is coming over for a combined holiday......

Look at the bright side - dinner out can be cut off at three hours or less, so you can "take the toddler home for his nap" or "let the dogs out of the garage for their bathroom break". Going to anyone else's house is likely to get you guilt tripped if it isn't four-to-six hours or longer......or would you rather have them over at your house?  Yeah - she's that clueless - but with a narcissistic mother, it's amazing that she has any empathy at all.  She does have some empathy towards the people who are working - even if her LOGIC (as to who is making them work) isn't strong.....neither Vulcans nor Betans on that side of the family......

ETA - if anyone remembers Ambrosia Hino's earlier posts, or mine, this is CrazyMIL's DD.  The family traditions have had to be adjusted as CrazyMIL is being given the cut direct after making death threats to both her SIL and her DIL.  Since she also made death threats to her ex-DH (their father) and tried to hire someone to do the job...the situation with her would seem to warrant the etiquette version of "weapons of mass destruction".

SIL is never in charge of the cooking. Any of the cooking. Get-togethers at her house generally mean either going out to eat or ordering/bringing takeout. Her house is also a cluttered mess, and not a good place to let Toddler play. Family get-togethers, so far, are almost always at FIL & SMIL (step-mother-in-law) house. I wouldn't mind hosting, I've offered before but SMIL always wants to do it (and never shows when we do host something, but that's a different story).

This year, the dynamic is weird because we usually do Thanksgiving with them and Christmas with my family, and things got swapped. I told my DH that either we can host or we can all go out Christmas Eve and stay home just the 3 of us for Christmas Day.

*The comments that I mentioned SIL is known for, even if she doesn't mean them this way, are usually said in a gloating/condescending/snotty tone. Going out to eat with her always ends up with us picking up the bill as well. I don't have room in the budget and I doubt FIL does either, for a restaurant meal for 9 (2 college kids and a toddler...the 20 yr old boy makes up for the toddler in amount of food eaten!)

Bean dip - if you don't have the time, money, patience, or inclination to go out to eat on Christmas Day with them you don't have the time, money, patience, etc...  Blame it on the toddler having been exposed to something at the day care and you don't want to expose her to it (health problems).  Then stay home in pajamas and have fun for a while......

For those who don't know the dynamic with this SIL, her "example" on how to behave properly was CrazyMIL or Nearly-as-Crazy-Stepmother - so her behaviour is odd at times...she can be sweet one minute then do something bizarre the next.  And she sees nothing wrong because she is still acting better than her two examples...which isn't a guarantee of "good behaviour" when those examples are so far off the mean, the norm, and even "sane" standards.  Eccentric would be not be a good description - because it would still imply that the person was closer to normal that they really are.  Does "beyond eccentric" make sense?  Because that is as close to a description as I can get without being too recognizable (small town in Georgia describes a LOT of places - but not as many once you start mentioning some of the other details - and both CrazyMIL and Nearly-as-crazy-Stepmother are still alive*).

*And a bit more than half a bubble off plumb, as well, from what I understand...

You guys seem to have way more background together on this than the rest of us do.  Maybe it'd be better in a PM?

July 2007 - wedding thread has some background (especially about CrazyMIL - who stole a handicapped parking placard from her son for her own use, among other stunts while she was here for a grand total of five days & four nights...unless it was four days and three nights - it was a very hectic few days & "memory fails me" due to being short of sleep those few days) - Ambrosia Hino is my DD - but at least some of the advice seemed general enough to apply to more than just her.  We did speak on the phone earlier today...for more specific-to-her suggestions. 

http://www.weddinghellsbells.com/smf/index.php?topic=7307.30 - found post on Hells Bells forum - for background. 
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Ms_Cellany on December 11, 2012, 07:44:10 PM
Quote from: SoCalVal


Slightly O/T -- there was once a poster who had posted about a funny situation involving her sister's dog.  Another poster then replied about how she had the same situation happen with her dog.  Poster #1 then replied to Poster #2 something like, "Poster #2, this is your sister" (which she was -- it was well known Posters #1 and 2 were sisters).  It was pretty funny.

I was poster #2! In my defense, when I read on my phone, I enlarge the screen and the usernames don't show.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: cass2591 on December 11, 2012, 08:13:36 PM
VF and ambrosia, please take you conversation off line. I'm assuming you know each other's phone numbers and/or email addresses, etc.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: RooRoo on December 17, 2012, 04:56:23 PM
I have a new one - after this Thanksgiving.

If you say you're coming "for dessert" - either eat it, or take it home with you. Don't put us to the trouble of making a lot of stuff - enough for MIL, DH, and I to have a small serving apiece, with plenty left over for the four of you - and then refuse it.

We had baked 2 apple pies from scratch, laid in some whipped cream, I made my famous "Pink Stuff", and MIL brought over a half gallon of ice cream to go with the pies. We three had dinner around 3 pm.

BIL and family showed up at around 7:00. They stayed for about an hour - and turned down the dessert, because they were "too full" after having dinner at her sister's. No, they didn't take any leftovers, though they were offered.

Did I mention that I'm both diabetic and obese? And that MIL and DH are both carefully watching their weight? And that BIL & family (all beanpoles who have trouble keeping weight on) know this?

I also learned this: If they can't tell us whether or not they are coming until the day before, I don't need to cook for them. Yep, we bought enough food for 7, only to be told they would come "for dessert," and then they didn't even eat that. Can you tell I'm resentful? And they are great people, not moochers, not toxic or any of that stuff.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: JennJenn68 on December 17, 2012, 06:46:03 PM
We had baked 2 apple pies from scratch, laid in some whipped cream, I made my famous "Pink Stuff", and MIL brought over a half gallon of ice cream to go with the pies. We three had dinner around 3 pm.

OT, I know, but what is "Pink Stuff"?  I'm intrigued--I'm always on the lookout for new and interesting desserts.

And I don't blame you in the least for being annoyed.  Not being able to tell you whether or not they were coming until the day before smacks of people "waiting for a better offer", and that would cause me to be resentful, at the very least.  That's a lot of food, a lot of expense, a lot of work, and it all went to waste.  Yep, you have every right to fail to cook or bake for them in future.  (Wish I could have been there--I LOVE homemade apple pie!)
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: VorFemme on December 17, 2012, 07:19:46 PM
Having running water and working appliances- I've had my oven go out on Thanksgiving one year and a few years later (different house) the fridge completely broke down.  Right now, we have NO company - which is a good thing as we also have no running water.

The main broke two blocks down and the repair crew is still out there...at least it's still a week before Christmas. 
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Venus193 on December 17, 2012, 07:54:48 PM
Oh, dear, that's awful.

My fridge needs to be cleaned and I am not in the mood.  It's a good thing I am company this year rather than having company.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: weeblewobble on December 17, 2012, 09:36:16 PM
Thanks to the events in my "Step in and simplify travel plans?" thread, I have a new hill.  DO NOT suck me in to your over-complicated and pointless "surprises," especially if those surprises put my loved ones in a difficult, precarious position. Do not put the weight of maintaining this surprise on my shoulders.

Link to the Step In thread:
http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=123626.30
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: JustEstelle on December 17, 2012, 10:36:33 PM
JennJenn, I'm not the person you asked, but I think I can describe the Pink Stuff.  If it's the same stuff my sister makes, it's a luscious mixture of cherry pie filling, crushed pineapple, sweetened condensed milk, whipped topping, and nuts.  Not sure of the exact proportions, but that's what's in the stuff my sister makes.  It's to.die.for!
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: jedikaiti on December 17, 2012, 11:47:15 PM
My DF makes a wholly different Pink Stuff. It would be horribly scary (to me, anyway) if it weren't all fresh ingredients: grapes (sliced in half), cranberries (popped in the Cuisinart with sugar and then left to sit overnight), whipped cream (as in we buy heavy cream and whip it with sugar and vanilla), apples, blueberries, raspberries, walnuts, strawberries... between the cranberries and the raspberries, it's pretty well pink.

In short, fruit and whipped cream and sugar. Yum! I thought it looked terrifying until I tried. DF grew up with it made from Cool Whip and canned stuff (probably cheap, inferior quality canned stuff), but we're Foodies (and he is, after all, a chef) so he uses all fresh ingredients.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Redwing on December 18, 2012, 11:03:21 AM
My DF makes a wholly different Pink Stuff. It would be horribly scary (to me, anyway) if it weren't all fresh ingredients: grapes (sliced in half), cranberries (popped in the Cuisinart with sugar and then left to sit overnight), whipped cream (as in we buy heavy cream and whip it with sugar and vanilla), apples, blueberries, raspberries, walnuts, strawberries... between the cranberries and the raspberries, it's pretty well pink.

In short, fruit and whipped cream and sugar. Yum! I thought it looked terrifying until I tried. DF grew up with it made from Cool Whip and canned stuff (probably cheap, inferior quality canned stuff), but we're Foodies (and he is, after all, a chef) so he uses all fresh ingredients.
Or it could be strawberry jello, frozen strawberries, and cool whip.  It's one of my son-in-law's holiday favorites.  He calls it pink stuff.  I call it awful.  But I make it for him!
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Elfmama on December 18, 2012, 11:16:02 AM
My DF makes a wholly different Pink Stuff. It would be horribly scary (to me, anyway) if it weren't all fresh ingredients: grapes (sliced in half), cranberries (popped in the Cuisinart with sugar and then left to sit overnight), whipped cream (as in we buy heavy cream and whip it with sugar and vanilla), apples, blueberries, raspberries, walnuts, strawberries... between the cranberries and the raspberries, it's pretty well pink.

In short, fruit and whipped cream and sugar. Yum! I thought it looked terrifying until I tried. DF grew up with it made from Cool Whip and canned stuff (probably cheap, inferior quality canned stuff), but we're Foodies (and he is, after all, a chef) so he uses all fresh ingredients.
Or it could be strawberry jello, frozen strawberries, and cool whip.  It's one of my son-in-law's holiday favorites.  He calls it pink stuff.  I call it awful.  But I make it for him!
My aunt  made a similar Pink Stuff, but with the addition of cubes of angel food cake.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: lowspark on December 18, 2012, 11:23:39 AM
I have a recipe for a Passover-friendly dessert which involves whisking two egg whites and some chopped strawberries and some sugar in a stand mixer until it grows to about the size of half my kitchen. (Seriously, it becomes enough to overflow a fairly large serving bowl.)

It's PINK. And it's what I immediately thought of when I read "pink stuff" even though I sort of doubt it's what RooRoo was actually talking about.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: RooRoo on December 18, 2012, 11:32:32 AM
Quote
could be strawberry jello, frozen strawberries, and cool whip.

Yep, almost!

Mine's a little healthier... a little. And depending on how you feel about artificial sweetener. (No cool whip passes my threshold! Ecch!) Sugar-free Jello, and nonfat yogurt (sweetener & vanilla added). If you aren't diabetic & don't care about empty calories, use regular Jello & vanilla yogurt.

Other combos I've made: rasberry Jello and blueberries; watermelon yog. & sweet melon; lemon & mangoes.

With strawberries & blueberries, I usually use frozen unsweetened. If I'm feeling rich & energetic, which is rare, I use fresh.

Wow! There sure are a lot of recipes for pink stuff! I wanna try them all!
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: KrisLee on December 18, 2012, 03:17:16 PM
Quote:
Or it could be strawberry jello, frozen strawberries, and cool whip.  It's one of my son-in-law's holiday favorites.  He calls it pink stuff.  I call it awful.  But I make it for him!

We have a version of this, but with tiny pretzels mixed in. I know it sounds super weird, but it is really good!
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: RebeccainGA on December 19, 2012, 08:18:24 AM
Now see, in my family, it's called cherry yum yum (or 'ma-ma's pink goo') and it's cool whip, cherry pie filling, nuts, marshmallows, and all in a graham cracker crust.

My new holiday hill (to bring us back on track) - I won't let the fact that my house is a wreck make me stress out about it until the weekend before Christmas. I've had no time to do anything to this point (spent the weekend at the MIL's house) and it's just going to have to wait.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Klein Bottle on December 19, 2012, 08:51:45 AM
My DF makes a wholly different Pink Stuff. It would be horribly scary (to me, anyway) if it weren't all fresh ingredients: grapes (sliced in half), cranberries (popped in the Cuisinart with sugar and then left to sit overnight), whipped cream (as in we buy heavy cream and whip it with sugar and vanilla), apples, blueberries, raspberries, walnuts, strawberries... between the cranberries and the raspberries, it's pretty well pink.

In short, fruit and whipped cream and sugar. Yum! I thought it looked terrifying until I tried. DF grew up with it made from Cool Whip and canned stuff (probably cheap, inferior quality canned stuff), but we're Foodies (and he is, after all, a chef) so he uses all fresh ingredients.
Or it could be strawberry jello, frozen strawberries, and cool whip.  It's one of my son-in-law's holiday favorites.  He calls it pink stuff.  I call it awful.  But I make it for him!

Ah, "Aunt Jeanne's jello dessert" a childhood classic!  Hers also contains mini marshmallows.  It's probably totally unhealthy, but I always loved it, and it brings back happy memories of childhood family gatherings.  I wish that I had some now.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: AfleetAlex on November 19, 2013, 01:41:52 PM
I'm resurrecting this thread because I am starting to have a hill. I am the only one in my family who is single and childless so usually I am more than happy to travel wherever and be as flexible as possible with dates and events.

However, with all of the events in the month of December including three birthdays and the holidays, having people in the family who will NOT plan ahead makes me feel like I'm supposed to sit around waiting for them to make decisions for events I should (and want to) attend instead of committing to other events I also want to attend (say, with friends).

I'm starting to commit to the other events, come heck or high water, because I feel like I am usually more than accomodating and I get tired of flying-by-the-seat-of-ones-pants/last-minute plans.

So what is your hill this year?
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Redneck Gravy on November 19, 2013, 01:53:06 PM
I refuse to try to be 8 places at once!  I will have one plan for Christmas Eve, one for Christmas Day and that night I will sit and do what I want to.

This trying to get by everyone's home for the holidays is just nuts.  Christmas Eve I will have dinner with my DD's and Christmas Day I will have breakfast and open presents with my grand kids.  Probably have some easy to lay out spread for lunch with leftovers for dinner.

And there is no way I am taking this circus on the road - drive four plus hours to spend the night in someone's travel trailer and be uncomfortably close to other relatives stuck there also?  I think N O T !!

Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: cwm on November 19, 2013, 02:35:19 PM
I agree with all the people with so many places to be.

I am an introvert. I get social anxiety. I do not like crowds. Every time I go somewhere, I have to have an "out" if I get overwhelmed. BF knows this, and so does my family. For the most part, there are no problems. But so far for this holiday season, I have:

Thanksgiving with BF's family 11/28. I've never been to their TG before, and I don't know what to expect, but I do love his extended family so it shouldn't be too bad.
Niece's birthday party 12/12
Mom's holiday open house 12/14 (I will be expected to be there to help host for several hours, which is OK by me, I can always hide in the bedroom)
Christmas Eve 12/24 at mom's house, tradition of evening gathering that's very laid back, probably with Sis and Sproglet and Mom and me, maybe Grandma
Christmas Day 12/25 - not sure what's going on, but I know BF is going to be invited to the "big" family get together we do that day, in addition to stopping by best friend from high school's house for a few hours (another tradition of mine)
Friend's Feast - date TBD - it's basically a Thanksgiving with the "family" we weren't born into with BF's extended group of friends
Holiday Party 12/28 - same people as above, and I can only handle very limited amounts of some of the people in this group. Also includes gift exchange. I said on FB I wasn't going to be participating, then this past weekend the people hosting it pressured me further saying that it didn't have to be fancy, it didn't have to be expensive, it could just be something thrown together like cookie mix or hot cocoa mix. But, you know, there's no pressure or anything, I don't have to do it if I really don't want to.
Second Holiday Party 12/28 - people I know a lot better and like a lot better, but further away, and I don't know my way up there or back, nor do I like driving in that area, so I may not be able to go
New Year's Eve Party 12/31 - same people as two parties above, a third location that I don't know where it is or my comfort level in that location
Possible second NYE party for those who work weekday jobs 12/29 - again, the same group of people and location unknown

When official invites go up on FB, I will be choosing which events I'll be attending, and sending my regrets for the rest. And if anyone says boo to me about it, I will politely explain to them that I will be unable to attend their event, I hope they have a great time. Repeatedly. I will not be pressured into going, or into participating in a gift exchange that I do not wish to participate in.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Valentines Mommy on November 19, 2013, 02:36:56 PM
I will no longer drive 16 hours across 3 states and 2 time zones every year for Thanksgiving and Christmas because my family wants to see me. Last I checked, the interstate runs in both directions and Houston has several working airports. For the last 4 years, if I saw my family, it was becaus we did the driving or flying. It's gotten old and it's time for others to do a bit of traveling. I work 60 hours a week, volunteer with an animal rescue and I need some time to myself. I have owned my home for 4 years. I have celebrated one holiday in it.

So this year, I am not going anywhere. The families have been told we gave plans. Just because those plans happen to be watching too much football, eating too much take out and wearing my pyjamas all day doesn't make them any less important to me.

If seeing me over the holidays means that much to them, my house is open. But I am waking up in my own bed Christmas morning.

The fact that I am not important enough to my mother, brother and sister to rate one visit in four years really hurts my feelings. I have started distancing myself from them over the year because I have noticed that I am merely an afterthought. I am also the one who twists mysf into knots trying to fit into plans they make without me. I have asked to be included before and it's always the same: we forgot, but surely you can do XYz to make it work.

The funny thing is, I told them I was doing this. I got email this morning asking when I'd be getting to Phoenix next week. And if I was spending Christmas Eve with them or my in-laws.

😖
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: MindsEye on November 19, 2013, 02:59:27 PM
That awful "let's buy presents only for the kids" meme that pops up every now and then on my side of the family.  Yeah, no.  Every time it pops up I have to squash it again. 

DH and I are the only childless couple on that side of the family.  And I don't care how selfish it makes me sound... I am not going to buy people presents if I have no expectation of getting anything in return. 

To me, a big part of the fun of Christmas is the present exchange.  (emphasis on exchange)  I am not a present-producing-machine, and if you tell me that I am good enough to get presents for all of your kiddies, but not good enough for you to get me something... then I will refuse to participate and not get anyone anything.

And I keep having to go over this over and over again and listen as relatives gasp in shock at what a grinch I am and how selfish to "demand gifts" and how "Christmas is really just for the kids"... ugh.

Just ugh.

My feelings are my feelings and sometimes I feel like the holidays are the worst time of the year to have no kids, and there is no time of year when the childless/childfree are less appreciated...

Can I get a bah, humbug? 

(Man... maybe I should have posted this in the "I need a hug" thread...)
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: nuit93 on November 19, 2013, 03:17:53 PM
-spending turkey day with the OBF's family in the next state over, and I will NOT be made to feel guilty by my blood family for not being there this year when I've been there every other Tday for the past three decades.  Yes, how dare I date men whose families live out of state... ::)

Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: magicdomino on November 19, 2013, 03:28:20 PM
That awful "let's buy presents only for the kids" meme that pops up every now and then on my side of the family.  Yeah, no.  Every time it pops up I have to squash it again. 

DH and I are the only childless couple on that side of the family.  And I don't care how selfish it makes me sound... I am not going to buy people presents if I have no expectation of getting anything in return. 


Most of my family does the "kids only" thing.  I prefer it because adult gifts aren't much fun to buy, and, to be honest, the gifts I received weren't very useful.   In fact, they usually were at the Salvation Army within a year. It isn't that we didn't try, it's just difficult to get a good gift for someone that you talk to two or three times a year. 

Having said that, I've noticed that there is often a little something from the family members up here, and my brother and sister-in-law in Louisiana send an extra gift or two.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: ladyknight1 on November 19, 2013, 03:31:40 PM
I agree with all of these.

My sister has declared no gifts at Christmas, but everyone else still exchanges gifts. I don't spend what I used to on gifts, as everyone has everything they need.

Women (mom & sisters) - Travel manicure kits and a bottle of salon quality polish
Men (dad & brother in law) - Travel manicure kit and a flashlight
Everyone is getting a picture of DS in a frame for their house (their request) and a spice mix we can get locally that is unavailable in their region.

Although I have 12 days off over Christmas and New Years Day, I am not driving to visit family unless they come halfway. DS and I have 8 days together and we are taking a few road trips, some planned and some spontaneous while we are off.

I will cook what I want when I want.

I will wear my pajamas all day at least once.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: EveLGenius on November 19, 2013, 03:35:56 PM
This year, I am DONE buying presents for DH's family.  We have been married 18 years, and every year I try very hard to find something that SIL and the nieces will like.  Every year, I buy presents, wrap presents, ship presents- and never hear a peep from anyone.  Forget TY notes- I'd be happy with a call, email or text of any sort.  This year SIL has gotten remarried and I have no idea what her address is.  Eldest niece has gotten remarried, and I have no idea what her address is.  Middle niece is about to join the military, she thinks (long story).  I feel a little bad about Youngest Niece, but I'm done.  The only exception will be MIL and FIL, who are very sweet, and do call and email regularly.

And yes, DH agrees with me.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: mime on November 19, 2013, 03:38:30 PM
Two hills:

Number one-- I know it is in murky etiquette waters: I won't host. My ILs (well, some of them) have demonstrated no respect for DH or our home, don't care how many of my kids' toys their kids break, and don't hesitate to criticize everything from my decorating to my cooking or how I choose to spend my money. I'm fine with them when we're outside of my home; I'm just know better than to subject my personal space to their whims and judgement.

The things that make this hard are that we have the most central location and the most space for 20 people, including play areas and entertainment for the kids, so logically we are the best choice to host. The family also is of the mindset that you put up with each other because we're family, so excluding any of them would be considered extremely rude. DH was told all his life to let one particular sister get her way because it keeps the peace.

A couple years ago, DH's sisters all decided among themselves that DH and I would host Thanksgiving, and told us so. DH was going to go along (he and I are somewhat of the same mindset here, but not entirely), but I made him say "no". We haven't been asked again. If my decision means we should never be invited to a gathering with them again, we're fine with that.

Number two: we will choose when we are available. Both of our families were expected to comply with all of the out-of-towners' schedules. We were willing to do this before we had kids, but it got out of hand. Everything changed for us the year that three of DH's four sisters were all in town for Christmas on different days, and none of them were on Christmas Day. So, DH, I, and local-sister saw his parents on Christmas, then came back again to see SIL#1 the next day, SIL#2 the day after that, SIL#2's step-kids the day after that-- it was one of two times I've ever seen them, and SIL#3 the following Saturday. After all of that, MIL was upset that we went to church with my family on Christmas Eve instead of with her & FIL. That same year, I had family of my own come before the holidays for 4 days, but didn't tell any of their plans. They just expected us to wait by the phone and keep our schedule clear for whenever they were ready to see us. Now, we're available every other Christmas to each family plus one more day when we think we'll see the most people.



Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: darkprincess on November 19, 2013, 03:44:08 PM
This year we are staying at home. I will eat good food that I don't have to worry if it has allergen x in it, if it is too spicey, if it was prepared safely (cooking meat to the proper temperature). I will not eat vegetables that have been cooked so long that they turned to mush. I will eat real mashed potatoes that do not come from a box. I will have a nice glass of wine without dirty looks or comments meant to cause guilt. I will not drive 2 hours with an infant. I will not be part of any gift exchange but will simply give gifts to who I want to because I want to. I will expect no gifts in return and simply be happy to spend the day with my DH and children.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Mergatroyd on November 19, 2013, 03:46:28 PM
Ignore me, I'm just signing on for updates, and hoping that all the shiny spines are contagious enough to infect my own during the upcoming holiday season. :)
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: z_squared82 on November 19, 2013, 04:04:15 PM
I will not listen to my Aunt R go on about politics. I’ve found a neat way around this. I tell my parents repeatedly before she even shows up to Not Bring It Up Period. At Thanksgiving or Christmas. It'll be especially hard this year with Obamacare/the Affordable Health Care Act. I think her daughter has gotten on board with this too because Aunt R’s rants just make everyone uncomfortable. Luckily, she’ll be out of town for Thanksgiving, but that unfortunately means I won’t get to see my cousin…

My mother’s hill to die on also has to do with that side of the family. She refuses to host my Cousin M’s wife. Cousin M is always allowed and invited, but his wife is banned. Now, I know some will say that’s a faux pas, you don’t invite half of a social unit, but both Cousin and his wife are mentally unstable – diagnosed and medicated (although Wife refuses to take her meds because she believes they’re poisoned). A few years ago, before Wife was banned, we were all having dinner together and Wife threatened Aunt R (her MIL). Physically. At the dinner table. Started to climb over the table to get at her.

She was not invited back. Cousin M. stays away, too.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Miss March on November 19, 2013, 04:13:37 PM
That awful "let's buy presents only for the kids" meme that pops up every now and then on my side of the family.  Yeah, no.  Every time it pops up I have to squash it again. 

DH and I are the only childless couple on that side of the family.  And I don't care how selfish it makes me sound... I am not going to buy people presents if I have no expectation of getting anything in return. 

To me, a big part of the fun of Christmas is the present exchange.  (emphasis on exchange)  I am not a present-producing-machine, and if you tell me that I am good enough to get presents for all of your kiddies, but not good enough for you to get me something... then I will refuse to participate and not get anyone anything.

And I keep having to go over this over and over again and listen as relatives gasp in shock at what a grinch I am and how selfish to "demand gifts" and how "Christmas is really just for the kids"... ugh.

Just ugh.

My feelings are my feelings and sometimes I feel like the holidays are the worst time of the year to have no kids, and there is no time of year when the childless/childfree are less appreciated...

Can I get a bah, humbug? 

(Man... maybe I should have posted this in the "I need a hug" thread...)

(((slow clap)))

I think your reasoning is sound. Honestly, as the only childfree member of my family, I kind of regret not making a similar stand. I easily spend over $300 on my nieces and nephews for Christmas, and if I'm lucky, I get a wallet sized copy of their school photo in return.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: gramma dishes on November 19, 2013, 04:15:14 PM
...   A few years ago, before Wife was banned, we were all having dinner together and Wife threatened Aunt R (her MIL). Physically. At the dinner table. Started to climb over the table to get at her.  ...

Funny that Norman Rockwell never showed that scene in one of his Thanksgiving paintings.   ;D
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: MizA on November 19, 2013, 04:19:07 PM
I'm working all of Christmas, and darned if I'm going to rush over to DH's family celebration after work. I've done it every year for Thanksgiving and Christmas, to be greeted by cold turkey scraps and sides I'm allergic to. Not to mention this year, when everyone was utterly plastered in reaction to some family strife. Nope, I'll come home, call my family, and be in bed by 10. Ahhhh.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: camlan on November 19, 2013, 04:30:51 PM
That awful "let's buy presents only for the kids" meme that pops up every now and then on my side of the family.  Yeah, no.  Every time it pops up I have to squash it again. 

DH and I are the only childless couple on that side of the family.  And I don't care how selfish it makes me sound... I am not going to buy people presents if I have no expectation of getting anything in return. 

To me, a big part of the fun of Christmas is the present exchange.  (emphasis on exchange)  I am not a present-producing-machine, and if you tell me that I am good enough to get presents for all of your kiddies, but not good enough for you to get me something... then I will refuse to participate and not get anyone anything.

And I keep having to go over this over and over again and listen as relatives gasp in shock at what a grinch I am and how selfish to "demand gifts" and how "Christmas is really just for the kids"... ugh.

Just ugh.

My feelings are my feelings and sometimes I feel like the holidays are the worst time of the year to have no kids, and there is no time of year when the childless/childfree are less appreciated...

Can I get a bah, humbug? 

(Man... maybe I should have posted this in the "I need a hug" thread...)

My family has 4 siblings with kids and 3 siblings with no kids.

What we did was to decide to draw names. You get the name of one sibling. You have the choice, if that sib has kids, of buying gifts just for the kids, or for the kids and the parents. If you get the name of a sibling without children, then you buy gifts for that sibling.

This has cut down on the expenditure over the holidays considerably.

We did one year with "just the kids," but it was extremely awkward, as three of us are not married and therefore received no gifts at all. So we figured out a solution.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Redneck Gravy on November 19, 2013, 04:39:34 PM
We also draw names but with a twist...

You write down three things you want (within the spending limit) on an index card

Whoever draws your name then gets three gift ideas to work with.  We PREFER that you stick to the index card.  The receiver is still surprised and the gifter does not have to stress out trying to figure out what you would like. 

It stopped the exchange of dull boring gift cards
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: CrochetFanatic on November 19, 2013, 04:44:04 PM
My parents, my brother, and myself are all in agreement on this one; when family members come over for Thanksgiving, there will be no political discussion whatsoever.  With guests on both extreme ends of the spectrum (and going by previous experience), it will degenerate into a shouting match in front of two little kids and make those of us who are interested in a nice family dinner want to hide under the table.  Seriously, I will fight over this.  They can talk about whatever they want when we go over there for Christmas, because it's their house, but different rules apply on the home turf.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: GlassHalfFull on November 19, 2013, 04:54:58 PM
Hill #1;  Christmas morning at home.  With out of town parents/IL's (grandparents to our three kids) we get, almost every year, from at least one set, "It would be so nice to have you all (and especially the kids!) here (their respective homes) for Christmas morning!"  Not happening, but if you'd like drive (or fly) on up, we'll gladly host you.  Preferably not on Christmas Eve, thanks, as....

Hill #2; The one and only holiday that my sister (only sibling) and I completely and absolutely reserve for our two families to get together is Christmas Eve.  (We live near-ish each other, so no overnight guests!  And we understand each other, so no fuss, no super late nights...awesome stuff.)  Occasionally our (sister's and mine) parents will come in for that, otherwise it's just us (and our combined 7 kids and DH's), and I love it!  Other holidays are not off-limits but it's rare we both have the same one free from other obligations.

Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: GlassHalfFull on November 19, 2013, 05:09:51 PM
That awful "let's buy presents only for the kids" meme that pops up every now and then on my side of the family.  Yeah, no.  Every time it pops up I have to squash it again. 

DH and I are the only childless couple on that side of the family.  And I don't care how selfish it makes me sound... I am not going to buy people presents if I have no expectation of getting anything in return. 

To me, a big part of the fun of Christmas is the present exchange.  (emphasis on exchange)  I am not a present-producing-machine, and if you tell me that I am good enough to get presents for all of your kiddies, but not good enough for you to get me something... then I will refuse to participate and not get anyone anything.

And I keep having to go over this over and over again and listen as relatives gasp in shock at what a grinch I am and how selfish to "demand gifts" and how "Christmas is really just for the kids"... ugh.

Just ugh.

My feelings are my feelings and sometimes I feel like the holidays are the worst time of the year to have no kids, and there is no time of year when the childless/childfree are less appreciated...

Can I get a bah, humbug? 

(Man... maybe I should have posted this in the "I need a hug" thread...)

(((slow clap)))

I think your reasoning is sound. Honestly, as the only childfree member of my family, I kind of regret not making a similar stand. I easily spend over $300 on my nieces and nephews for Christmas, and if I'm lucky, I get a wallet sized copy of their school photo in return.

I have three kids and can't imagine excluding a family member without kids in this way.  I have a childless and single BIL and we specifically try to "big gift" him as we know he's spending x3 kids and x2 us on the holidays.

One idea perhaps for you; My sister, who married into a family of which her husband in one of 9 siblings, and there are at recent count 36 kids afoot amongst them all, does this;  adults put their names in a hat and exchange.  Kids do the same.  Buy a gift for the name you pick.  Done and done.  (Of course adults are largely responsible for the names their children pull, as most are super young!)  Simple gift exchange, generation-style. 
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Elfmama on November 19, 2013, 06:00:19 PM
My parents, my brother, and myself are all in agreement on this one; when family members come over for Thanksgiving, there will be no political discussion whatsoever.  With guests on both extreme ends of the spectrum (and going by previous experience), it will degenerate into a shouting match in front of two little kids and make those of us who are interested in a nice family dinner want to hide under the table.  Seriously, I will fight over this.  They can talk about whatever they want when we go over there for Christmas, because it's their house, but different rules apply on the home turf.
Are you ready to eject the quarreling family members from your home when they misbehave?  (Yes, when.) Because in my experience, tell someone that they cannot discuss X will make it almost unbearable for them and they will eventually HAVE to bring up X.  They may bring it up sneakily, by talking all around it but never precisely treading on the subject, or just blurt it out, but they WILL talk about it.

And I'm with you.  "Discussions" that are so loud and vehement that they wake the babies sleeping in an upstairs back bedroom -- as far from the living room as possible and still be in the same house! -- are, IMHO, "arguments."
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: KenveeB on November 19, 2013, 06:08:18 PM
I'm resurrecting this thread because I am starting to have a hill. I am the only one in my family who is single and childless so usually I am more than happy to travel wherever and be as flexible as possible with dates and events.

However, with all of the events in the month of December including three birthdays and the holidays, having people in the family who will NOT plan ahead makes me feel like I'm supposed to sit around waiting for them to make decisions for events I should (and want to) attend instead of committing to other events I also want to attend (say, with friends).

I'm starting to commit to the other events, come heck or high water, because I feel like I am usually more than accomodating and I get tired of flying-by-the-seat-of-ones-pants/last-minute plans.

So what is your hill this year?

I have the same hill with my family! I've started enforcing it in the last year or so because I'm tired of never knowing what to commit to because the family refuses to plan what day our thing will be on. My new rule is that I'll be flexible and show up to as much as I can, but if something is scheduled for a time I've already made plans, I'll just have to miss it. It's worked with Easter and Mother's Day so far!

My two sisters have kids, my brother and I don't. What ended up working out for us is my brother and I buy for our sister's kids, and they buy for us. If/when we have kids, they'll buy for our kids instead of us. (I also give my sisters a tin of homemade goodies.) Among the larger extended family, we draw names.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: The TARDIS on November 19, 2013, 11:05:10 PM
My hill to die on is nobody will interrupt me during the Doctor Who Christmas special or they will face the wrath of a mad bitey woman! ;D
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: jedikaiti on November 19, 2013, 11:08:47 PM
My hill to die on is nobody will interrupt me during the Doctor Who Christmas special or they will face the wrath of a mad bitey woman! ;D

It's like kissing, only there's a winner!
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: The TARDIS on November 19, 2013, 11:43:18 PM
My hill to die on is nobody will interrupt me during the Doctor Who Christmas special or they will face the wrath of a mad bitey woman! ;D

It's like kissing, only there's a winner!

Hello, I'm...sexy.

LOL

/hijack over
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: AngelicGamer on November 20, 2013, 01:04:46 AM
My hill to die on is nobody will interrupt me during the Doctor Who Christmas special or they will face the wrath of a mad bitey woman! ;D

You too?  ;D  We're usually all over with dinner and all when this happens but I might have company this year because of the regen happening.  Usually I go up to my room with the haul opened presents and watch alone.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Bethalize on November 20, 2013, 02:38:02 AM
...   A few years ago, before Wife was banned, we were all having dinner together and Wife threatened Aunt R (her MIL). Physically. At the dinner table. Started to climb over the table to get at her.  ...

Funny that Norman Rockwell never showed that scene in one of his Thanksgiving paintings.   ;D

If was any good at art I'd have Norman Rockwell parodies for sale by the end of the week. Fabulous idea!

I bet someone's done it already.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Bethalize on November 20, 2013, 02:42:23 AM
My hill to die on this year is that I am not pressing anyone else to make plans. I have plans; I'm going to go to the gym on schedule as normal, and I'm going to keep on cooking food that works with my eating plan. I don't want to have to struggle to get the vast amount of vegetables I need at each meal, or feel hungry because I didn't have enough protein at my last meal. I'm going to host New Year's Eve for my friends, and I'm going to go clay pigeon shooting in between Christmas and New Year as much as I can. I have mentioned Christmas to DH's sister who was dismissive so let the chips fall where they may. No one is inviting us to spend Christmas day with them. No one wants to see us so badly that they want to ensure our plans work with them, so they can take us as they find us.

It's sad because I am acting a little bit out of hurt. I love(d) Christmas, all parts of it, but it's no fun if you are the only one bothering.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Free Range Hippy Chick on November 20, 2013, 03:21:11 AM


Funny that Norman Rockwell never showed that scene in one of his Thanksgiving paintings.   ;D

If was any good at art I'd have Norman Rockwell parodies for sale by the end of the week. Fabulous idea!

I bet someone's done it already.

I'm seeing an entire series of Bateman cartoons: The Woman Who Refused To Go Home For Christmas. The Man Who Criticised The Family Recipe. The Guest Who Asked For Pink Goo.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: English1 on November 20, 2013, 03:41:06 AM
I reached it a couple of years ago. I decided I was done with Christmas. I used to do ALL the work - the cleaning, shopping, decorating, cooking, clearing up, the lot. While ex refused to do anything. I love Christmas so I wanted it to be nice, and as we had his kids over wanted it to be nice for them, but it got old. That year two things were the hill; ex saying to me while I was running round like a mad thing 'you really love Christmas, don't you' and my thinking 'I used to but not any more' and then when the meal was finished they all just stood up and started to walk off, leaving me to clear everything and I snapped 'I've cooked it all - you all get to clear up and load the dishwasher'. They did. But I'd had enough and decided Christmas was cancelled after that.

Then we split up and last year I spent a quiet Christmas Day on my own and loved it.

This year I have new man plus his parents over for christmas and while he's a bit 'Christmas? Bah humbug!' and he's warning me his mum will want to come in and interfere in kitchen etc, I'm still looking forward to it because he does his fair share of any work. Could be interesting as we both tend to micromanage each other in the kitchen (we've given up trying to cooktogether, we just take it in turns now) but I think if we both have our own dishes and keep our noses out of each others, we'll be fine. And I've told him to tell his Mum that I'm one of those women who's very protective of her kitchen so keep out! Not true, but it'll leave us in peace. It's only a tiny kitchen anyway, with us both in, there it's full.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Free Range Hippy Chick on November 20, 2013, 03:58:56 AM
Apologies for double posting but I had to get on the laptop for this; the tablet doesn't let me format or correct anything, for some reason.

Now look, #glances around nervously and waves everybody to come closer#, #lowers voice#, this is not strictly etiquette approved, but it's all that's got me and a couple of friends through our respective family Christmases. And as long as you don't do it anywhere the other guests can see... Like it's not rude to think 'Cousin Angina is a sour-faced bigoted ill-informed old prune' even though Armageddon would ensue and you would be in the wrong if you said it aloud.

Bingo cards. The solution is bingo cards.

Every year I draw up a 5 x 5 bingo card. I have #counts# 61 possible entries listed and each of the players (me, friend in Ireland, friend in Scotland, 3 friends in the US) fill in our cards with random choices from the lists. Local variations are permitted (mention of Thanksgiving, religious dietary restrictions etc.) These are things people may do, or say. For example:

* trying to change all the arrangements without reference to the person who is hosting the event. (I've ticked that one off already for Christmas this year and we aren't even in the last week of November yet.)

* asking suspiciously 'what's in this?' while pulling some inoffensive foodstuff to pieces, and then refusing it, because it contains some totally out-there ingredient, like fresh herbs.

* arriving just as you put away the last spoon and asking insincerely if they can help with the dishes.

* bringing some foodstuff that they know perfectly well you always make yourself.

* bringing a hostess gift that requires immediate and lengthy attention.

* or equally, arriving to an event that lasts for twelve hours and several complete meals, and not bringing so much as a bottle of water or a tube of Smarties.

*asking 'did you not make any [some foodstuff that you have made religiously every Christmas since 1942 and thrown away untouched every Boxing Day because nobody actually likes it]'.

* asking at 9pm on Christmas Eve if Christmas dinner could be served at some completely different time (or indeed location) to what has been arranged with 20 people for 2 months.

* coming into the kitchen, getting in the way and trying to make a sandwich when the cook has just announced that dinner will be served in 15 minutes (anyone with a genuine health concern gets a pass on this one).

We make up our cards in the week before Christmas; shooting opens 9am Christmas Eve. Hits are announced to the group by email or text, just for the fun of it. Honesty in reporting is assumed; near misses are put up for group consideration and usually granted (wine intake helps with this - we're more generous towards the end of the day). No prizes except the knowledge that gibbering insanity has been avoided.

I commend it to the House.   
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: cicero on November 20, 2013, 06:16:04 AM
Apologies for double posting but I had to get on the laptop for this; the tablet doesn't let me format or correct anything, for some reason.

Now look, #glances around nervously and waves everybody to come closer#, #lowers voice#, this is not strictly etiquette approved, but it's all that's got me and a couple of friends through our respective family Christmases. And as long as you don't do it anywhere the other guests can see... Like it's not rude to think 'Cousin Angina is a sour-faced bigoted ill-informed old prune' even though Armageddon would ensue and you would be in the wrong if you said it aloud.

Bingo cards. The solution is bingo cards.

Every year I draw up a 5 x 5 bingo card. I have #counts# 61 possible entries listed and each of the players (me, friend in Ireland, friend in Scotland, 3 friends in the US) fill in our cards with random choices from the lists. Local variations are permitted (mention of Thanksgiving, religious dietary restrictions etc.) These are things people may do, or say. For example:

* trying to change all the arrangements without reference to the person who is hosting the event. (I've ticked that one off already for Christmas this year and we aren't even in the last week of November yet.)

* asking suspiciously 'what's in this?' while pulling some inoffensive foodstuff to pieces, and then refusing it, because it contains some totally out-there ingredient, like fresh herbs.

* arriving just as you put away the last spoon and asking insincerely if they can help with the dishes.

* bringing some foodstuff that they know perfectly well you always make yourself.

* bringing a hostess gift that requires immediate and lengthy attention.

* or equally, arriving to an event that lasts for twelve hours and several complete meals, and not bringing so much as a bottle of water or a tube of Smarties.

*asking 'did you not make any [some foodstuff that you have made religiously every Christmas since 1942 and thrown away untouched every Boxing Day because nobody actually likes it]'.

* asking at 9pm on Christmas Eve if Christmas dinner could be served at some completely different time (or indeed location) to what has been arranged with 20 people for 2 months.

* coming into the kitchen, getting in the way and trying to make a sandwich when the cook has just announced that dinner will be served in 15 minutes (anyone with a genuine health concern gets a pass on this one).

We make up our cards in the week before Christmas; shooting opens 9am Christmas Eve. Hits are announced to the group by email or text, just for the fun of it. Honesty in reporting is assumed; near misses are put up for group consideration and usually granted (wine intake helps with this - we're more generous towards the end of the day). No prizes except the knowledge that gibbering insanity has been avoided.

I commend it to the House.
LOVE.THIS.

can we get double bingo if they ask one of the following:
*so when are you (going to get married/have children/your son getting married/fill in the blanks)?
*you gained a lot of weight since i last saw you, no?

Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Emmy on November 20, 2013, 07:10:28 AM
Apologies for double posting but I had to get on the laptop for this; the tablet doesn't let me format or correct anything, for some reason.

Now look, #glances around nervously and waves everybody to come closer#, #lowers voice#, this is not strictly etiquette approved, but it's all that's got me and a couple of friends through our respective family Christmases. And as long as you don't do it anywhere the other guests can see... Like it's not rude to think 'Cousin Angina is a sour-faced bigoted ill-informed old prune' even though Armageddon would ensue and you would be in the wrong if you said it aloud.

Bingo cards. The solution is bingo cards.

Every year I draw up a 5 x 5 bingo card. I have #counts# 61 possible entries listed and each of the players (me, friend in Ireland, friend in Scotland, 3 friends in the US) fill in our cards with random choices from the lists. Local variations are permitted (mention of Thanksgiving, religious dietary restrictions etc.) These are things people may do, or say. For example:

* trying to change all the arrangements without reference to the person who is hosting the event. (I've ticked that one off already for Christmas this year and we aren't even in the last week of November yet.)

* asking suspiciously 'what's in this?' while pulling some inoffensive foodstuff to pieces, and then refusing it, because it contains some totally out-there ingredient, like fresh herbs.

* arriving just as you put away the last spoon and asking insincerely if they can help with the dishes.

* bringing some foodstuff that they know perfectly well you always make yourself.

* bringing a hostess gift that requires immediate and lengthy attention.

* or equally, arriving to an event that lasts for twelve hours and several complete meals, and not bringing so much as a bottle of water or a tube of Smarties.

*asking 'did you not make any [some foodstuff that you have made religiously every Christmas since 1942 and thrown away untouched every Boxing Day because nobody actually likes it]'.

* asking at 9pm on Christmas Eve if Christmas dinner could be served at some completely different time (or indeed location) to what has been arranged with 20 people for 2 months.

* coming into the kitchen, getting in the way and trying to make a sandwich when the cook has just announced that dinner will be served in 15 minutes (anyone with a genuine health concern gets a pass on this one).

We make up our cards in the week before Christmas; shooting opens 9am Christmas Eve. Hits are announced to the group by email or text, just for the fun of it. Honesty in reporting is assumed; near misses are put up for group consideration and usually granted (wine intake helps with this - we're more generous towards the end of the day). No prizes except the knowledge that gibbering insanity has been avoided.

I commend it to the House.

You could sell this as a board game.  After the holidays, people from this forum can get together to play.

Relatives are coming here for the holidays.  I have 2 kids, a 2 year old and a 4 month old, a DH who is lost in the kitchen, and no family in the area to help or even somebody who can clean before the guests arrive so I decided that I will not do any cooking.  I will clean before the guests arrive and enjoy their company.  I ordered a full Thanksgiving spread from the supermarket.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Venus193 on November 20, 2013, 08:12:16 AM
I love this.  What happens when someone calls "Bingo"?
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: Miss March on November 20, 2013, 08:30:01 AM
Oh, oh- add a bingo slot for being 'volun-told' or hit up to drive someone somewhere at the last possible second! Because you know Auntie Mrytle will call and say that she thinks her tires are bad, and can someone come pick her up? Or maybe Grandpa Jim will need someone to run him home at mid-day because he forgot to bring along that medication that he needs to take before lunch.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: ladyknight1 on November 20, 2013, 08:31:14 AM
We need to play this after the holiday. Maybe a drinking game version?  >:D
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
Post by: z_squared82 on November 20, 2013, 08:32:39 AM
That awful "let's buy presents only for the kids" meme that pops up every now and then on my side of the family.  Yeah, no.  Every time it pops up I have to squash it again. 

DH and I are the only childless couple on that side of the family.  And I don't care how selfish it makes me sound... I am not going to buy people presents if I have no expectation of getting anything in return. 

To me, a big part of the fun of Christmas is the present exchange.  (emphasis on exchange)  I am not a present-producing-machine, and if you tell me that I am good enough to get presents for all of your kiddies, but not good enough for you to get me something... then I will refuse to participate and not get anyone anything.

And I keep having to go over this over and over again and listen as relatives gasp in shock at what a grinch I am and how selfish to "demand gifts" and how "Christmas is really just for the kids"... ugh.

Just ugh.

My feelings are my feelings and sometimes I feel like the holidays are the worst time of the year to have no kids, and there is no time of year when the childless/childfree are less appreciated...

Can I get a bah, humbug? 

(Man... maybe I should have posted this in the "I need a hug" thread...)

(((slow clap)))

I think your reasoning is sound. Honestly, as the only childfree member of my family, I kind of regret not making a similar stand. I easily spend over $300 on my nieces and nephews for Christmas, and if I'm lucky, I get a wallet sized copy of their school photo in return.

I have three kids and can't imagine excluding a family member without kids in this way.  I have a childless and single BIL and we specifically try to "big gift" him as we know he's spending x3 kids and x2 us on the holidays.

One idea perhaps for you; My sister, who married into a family of which her husband in one of 9 siblings, and there are at recent count 36 kids afoot amongst them all, does this;  adults put their names in a hat and exchange.  Kids do the same.  Buy a gift for the name you pick.  Done and done.  (Of course adults are largely responsible for the names their children pull, as most are super young!)  Simple gift exchange, generation-style.

This is what my family did for years. The aunts/uncles, and then the cousins. You generally also got a gift from your godparents. We've stopped that now as most of us cousins are adults, and we've (ahem, they've) started having babies. Now we play a game with a $5 gift card buy in, and a white elephant with a $20 price limit. Participate, don't participate, just make sure to come and eat.
Title: Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
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