Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Life...in general => Holidays => Topic started by: Green Bean on September 24, 2013, 12:48:51 PM

Title: I'd like to host Thanksgiving
Post by: Green Bean on September 24, 2013, 12:48:51 PM
Growing up, I always wanted to claim Thanksgiving as the holiday I hosted. It's my favorite holiday, I like the food, and I want to have the leftovers for days on end.

I hosted a couple times over the years, but MIL was traveling to see her family so it was just FIL and us.My family is either out of town or now deceased. In prior years, MIL has tried to celebrate Thanksgiving a couple weekends later (no, it's not thanksgiving if the meal is in the month of December) or hosted another day that weekend to accommodate SIL or just had a bare bones dinner. Last year, she had a precooked turkey breast that only required heating and I had to nuke mine because it was barely warm. The Generous leftovers included just 3 small slices of turkey - for our family of four. It frustrates me (can you tell) on so many levels.

After last year, I decided that I'd request a holiday. MIL always has Xmas eve and SIL doesn't join this side of the family for any other holiday. Thanksgiving should be mine by default, right? I I texted them indicating that is like to host the holiday this year. MIL left me a message indicating that it was soooo nice for me to offer, but since she only has several years left to host (she is only in her mid-60's and healthy), she should keep on with the way they have been doing things.

I need to call back and would like to graciously explain my desire to host. Any suggestions on what I can say? "Your hosting doesn't meet my holiday expectations" doesn't have quite the right tone to it.  >:D

Title: Re: I'd like to host Thanksgiving
Post by: Kaypeep on September 24, 2013, 12:56:06 PM
What did your text say, verbatim?

I'd go with the approach that you weren't so much asking permission, but informing them, that you are planning to host TG this year.  If MIL is famous for something with her parties, ask her to contribute that and bring it along so that it can still be shared by all.  But stand firm  That after X number of years being hosted by others, you feel very strongly that you'd prefer to host a holiday and that you'll be at your house on TG.  Be prepared for them to perhaps decline and have "other plans" though.
Title: Re: I'd like to host Thanksgiving
Post by: Lorelei_Evil on September 24, 2013, 01:02:13 PM
Celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving?   :)
Title: Re: I'd like to host Thanksgiving
Post by: lowspark on September 24, 2013, 01:08:46 PM
I don't know how you're going to win this one at this point. You sort of asked if you could host and MIL said no. Now what? Are you going to insist? Is this a hill you want to die on?

You'd have to decide that you're cooking TG dinner for you and your own family and for whomever you invite who chooses to accept your invitiaton. That might mean just you and your family. If you're prepared to accept that, and accept that the rest of your IL family will be at MIL's house without you, then that's your decision and you stick with it. And of course, you'll want to make sure your husband is on board with all this. At that point, you'd just invite everyone to your house for TG as opposed to offering to host, and let the chips fall where they may.

If you're not ok with that, well, you're pretty much stuck with the status quo. You can keep offering, and sooner or later MIL might relinquish the holiday to you, but you can't insist.

In addition, if you do go that route, and do that this year, it's going to be a slap in the face to MIL who has already declined your "kind offer".
Title: Re: I'd like to host Thanksgiving
Post by: DavidH on September 24, 2013, 01:11:47 PM
I'd say something like, MIL, I've always wanted to do the full Thanksgiving since it's my favorite holiday, turkey all the trimmings, on the Thursday etc, but you make the best XYZ and always do such a nice holiday (whether or not she does) I'd really love it if you'd help me to make sure everything goes perfectly.  It would mean so much to me to host the holiday and be able to return your hospitality and make memories of DH and I hosting it as adults. 

On no level would I mention that her last hosting wasn't what you expected.
Title: Re: I'd like to host Thanksgiving
Post by: Zizi-K on September 24, 2013, 01:16:31 PM
I am so thankful that in my family the holidays circulate and no one has to 'claim' it! Granted, my sister and I (with our husbands) do not have children yet, but everyone is happy to take a turn and to cook and bring things on request to help the hostess.

I like DavidH's suggestion a lot.

Alternatively, you could offer to make and bring some substantial part of the meal - like the turkey, for instance. Say that you've found a recipe and/or have a line on a heritage bird and it would thrill you to be able to contribute in that way. That way you'll have claim to substantial leftovers.

Title: Re: I'd like to host Thanksgiving
Post by: Judah on September 24, 2013, 01:18:17 PM
You can't insist that people accept your invitation; the most you can do is announce that you will be hosting a Thanksgiving dinner and invite everyone you want there.  You may not get any takers, and will let you know that your family prefers Thanksgiving at you MIL's despite what you perceive as substandard hosting.  Or you might get a houseful. Either way, all you can do is issue the invitation.
Title: Re: I'd like to host Thanksgiving
Post by: ilrag on September 24, 2013, 02:04:16 PM
OP it sounds like you have very rigid expectations regarding what makes a Thanksgiving celebration count.

It must:
-Be on the proper day
-Have specific dishes
-Include most extended family

The problem is that you can't control all of those factors. You can have your own meal at your house with the dishes and leftovers that you desire, but you can't make everyone agree to join you.  You can bring the dishes you want to your in-laws and make that count. (I personally hate that option, transporting large dishes is a pain in the rear).

What does your husband want?
Title: Re: I'd like to host Thanksgiving
Post by: Amara on September 24, 2013, 02:16:43 PM
I encourage you to host it. But be prepared that it might be only you and your immediately family, and that your MIL might take (great) offense to it.

I had an acquaintance once who plaintively described her situation where she had wished for many years to host Christmas. She said she wanted to do it while her sons (aged at that time around 8 and 12) were still at home so she could give them memories. She hadn't because other family members did the big day and she was afraid to speak up for fear of offending. I ran into her years later. You can probably guess that, sadly, she never said anything. Her oldest son was in college, her youngest nearing it. I felt both sad and angry for her. She never spoke up and never got the memories she wanted.

Consider talking to your MIL sincerely about your feelings. She likely has at least twenty more years of holidays to come. Do you want to wait that long to be able to host?
Title: Re: I'd like to host Thanksgiving
Post by: *inviteseller on September 24, 2013, 02:35:26 PM
Just host it.  She will get mad or accept it, but that is on her.  She isn't, from your description, hosting a Thanksgiving meal.  She caters to SIL's schedule (which is her right) or just has a regular meal on Thanksgiving.  Make your meal the day you want, with the menu you want, and invite who you want.  If people come, great, if they don't, then there is your leftovers.  Don't stress over it, just do it the way you want to.
Title: Re: I'd like to host Thanksgiving
Post by: staceym on September 24, 2013, 02:38:29 PM
I would try to talk to your MIL if she is the kind that will really listen and explain why you would love to host Thanksgivings.

But, here's the thing, if your MIL gives you the "I only have a few more years to host speech" and won't back down and won't change her mind, then really is there any reason you can't cook your own Thanksgiving dinner either the day after or that weekend.  And, if your MIL wants to have Thanksgiving in December, what's to stop you from cooking for your own immeidate family on THanksgiving day? 

My mother always had THanksgiving and Christmas and then gave it up to other family members.  The first year she was upset because, no leftovers.  But, the next year and from then on.  She cooks her own turkey and fixings and she and my dad have Thanksgiving dinner all weekend long  :D
Title: Re: I'd like to host Thanksgiving
Post by: Green Bean on September 25, 2013, 05:42:29 AM
OP it sounds like you have very rigid expectations regarding what makes a Thanksgiving celebration count.

It must:
-Be on the proper day
-Have specific dishes
-Include most extended family

The problem is that you can't control all of those factors. You can have your own meal at your house with the dishes and leftovers that you desire, but you can't make everyone agree to join you.  You can bring the dishes you want to your in-laws and make that count. (I personally hate that option, transporting large dishes is a pain in the rear).

What does your husband want?

You know what? I think I do.  I've been thinking about this. For the past 10 years, since we moved to DH's hometown, I have been celebrating every family holiday according to DH's traditions.  I have come to realize that my family's traditions are disappearing, and I am not having the chance to share them with my daughters. My grandparents and parents are all deceased, so they aren't even around to tell my girls what our family holidays were like.

I understand MIL has the desire that our kids have memories of holidays at her house. But you know what? They will. She hosts Xmas Eve every year as well as Easter.

When I explained this to DH last night, he understood where I was coming from and thought my feelings were valid. We will see MIL tonight, so I would like to discuss it again.
Title: Re: I'd like to host Thanksgiving
Post by: DavidH on September 25, 2013, 10:42:26 AM
I think what you just wrote is a great way to approach this.  If you make it about maintaining your families traditions as well, so it's not one or the other, but both, a reasonable person would understand. 

As an aside, if she isn't in the habit of hosting on Thanksgiving, it also opens the door to having two celebrations, one on Thanksgiving at your home and another on a different day at hers.

Title: Re: I'd like to host Thanksgiving
Post by: Shoo on September 25, 2013, 10:48:34 AM
Just host it.  She will get mad or accept it, but that is on her.  She isn't, from your description, hosting a Thanksgiving meal.  She caters to SIL's schedule (which is her right) or just has a regular meal on Thanksgiving.  Make your meal the day you want, with the menu you want, and invite who you want.  If people come, great, if they don't, then there is your leftovers.  Don't stress over it, just do it the way you want to.

I couldn't agree more.  Call your MIL and tell her you weren't clear in your text.  You are hosting Thanksgiving dinner at your house, and you are inviting her and FIL to join you.  They can either accept the invitation or not. 

After you've done that, start planning your perfect Thanksgiving.  And I am with YOU.  TG is on a specific day, with specific dishes (others are okay, but there absolutely must be certain ones), and certain people are invited whether they choose to accept or not.  Anything else just wouldn't be a proper Thanksgiving.

That's what you have to do when you want to host something.  Someone who has always hosted is going to have to be wrestled out of it, but for your family's sake and yours, just do it!  I think she'll probably get over it.
Title: Re: I'd like to host Thanksgiving
Post by: Hmmmmm on September 25, 2013, 10:50:21 AM
OP it sounds like you have very rigid expectations regarding what makes a Thanksgiving celebration count.

It must:
-Be on the proper day
-Have specific dishes
-Include most extended family

The problem is that you can't control all of those factors. You can have your own meal at your house with the dishes and leftovers that you desire, but you can't make everyone agree to join you.  You can bring the dishes you want to your in-laws and make that count. (I personally hate that option, transporting large dishes is a pain in the rear).

What does your husband want?

You know what? I think I do.  I've been thinking about this. For the past 10 years, since we moved to DH's hometown, I have been celebrating every family holiday according to DH's traditions.  I have come to realize that my family's traditions are disappearing, and I am not having the chance to share them with my daughters. My grandparents and parents are all deceased, so they aren't even around to tell my girls what our family holidays were like.

I understand MIL has the desire that our kids have memories of holidays at her house. But you know what? They will. She hosts Xmas Eve every year as well as Easter.

When I explained this to DH last night, he understood where I was coming from and thought my feelings were valid. We will see MIL tonight, so I would like to discuss it again.

I would like to suggest not discussing it with your MIL but instead telling her.

"MIL, DH and I have decided that we want our girls to start having at least one holiday at home every year. Starting this year we will be hosting and celebrating Thanksgiving at our home on Thanksgiving Day. We would love for you and FIL to join us. We of course will continue to have Christmas Eve and Easter at your home until you decide you no longer want to host those."
Title: Re: I'd like to host Thanksgiving
Post by: SPuck on September 25, 2013, 10:52:43 AM
Green Bean, your expectations of holding the holiday are no rigid at all. I also think that a healthy person bringing out the "I have only so much time left" excuse is kind of nasty.
Title: Re: I'd like to host Thanksgiving
Post by: Shoo on September 25, 2013, 10:54:38 AM
Green Bean, your expectations of holding the holiday are no rigid at all. I also think that a healthy person bringing out the "I have only so much time left" excuse is kind of nasty.

Yes, it is.  It's manipulative.

None of us knows how much time we have left.
Title: Re: I'd like to host Thanksgiving
Post by: cwm on September 25, 2013, 10:56:42 AM
I'm glad my family has never worried too much about holidays and hosting.

OP, I think you're right to explain to your MIL about your family's traditions and how you want to pass them on to the girls. Then explain to her that you will be hosting TG at your home this year. If she is available that day and would like to come over for it, an invitation is extended to her. And if she plans on celebrating it on another day when SIL is available and you're willing, let her know that you'd be happy to come to that dinner that she's hosting.

MIL may not consider it TG unless all of her family is there and she's giving thanks for having such a great family and the health and well-being enough to host it. You may put more focus on the actual day and specific meals. Neither of you is wrong, and what's the problem in trying it both ways for a year to see how it works?
Title: Re: I'd like to host Thanksgiving
Post by: Erich L-ster on September 25, 2013, 11:03:23 AM
In my family, everyone makes their own Thanksgiving dinner. There is the dinner with everybody and then we make our own either later that day or the next day. That way we can be sure to get all the leftovers and all the dishes that are our favorites.
Title: Re: I'd like to host Thanksgiving
Post by: ilrag on September 25, 2013, 12:24:17 PM
You know what? I think I do.  I've been thinking about this. For the past 10 years, since we moved to DH's hometown, I have been celebrating every family holiday according to DH's traditions.  I have come to realize that my family's traditions are disappearing, and I am not having the chance to share them with my daughters. My grandparents and parents are all deceased, so they aren't even around to tell my girls what our family holidays were like.

I understand MIL has the desire that our kids have memories of holidays at her house. But you know what? They will. She hosts Xmas Eve every year as well as Easter.

When I explained this to DH last night, he understood where I was coming from and thought my feelings were valid. We will see MIL tonight, so I would like to discuss it again.

Oh that's great that your DH is on board.  What happened with MIL?
Title: Re: I'd like to host Thanksgiving (Resolution)
Post by: Green Bean on September 25, 2013, 08:29:23 PM
I spoke with MIL this evening, and I feel pretty good with the resolution. They had a few suggestions including me taking other holidays, etc. Then she mentioned how she waited for so many years to host because when her kids were little, they always had to travel. (Her mom made her expectations loud and clear, and she fell in line.) She mentioned that there were only so many years DH's would be able to host. I countered that my grandma cooked the entire meal singlehandedly until she was 90+, and that I wasn't prepared to take the chance that my turn came when my kids were grown. She promised it wouldn't be that many years.

So we attempted a compromise. I offered up the next 2 years to her, and then the holiday was mine. She requested 3. I closed the deal with the promise of yearly reminders until my turn came up.  (I should have requested a real turkey while I was at it.)  ;D  So, I didn't completely get my way, but I'm okay with a relatively short-term deadline.
Title: Re: I'd like to host Thanksgiving
Post by: cwm on September 26, 2013, 09:28:31 AM
I'm glad you got a good resolution and had an actual talk with MIL about it. It sounds like she's a very nice woman, it's just that her holiday ideas don't line up with yours. And honestly, if that's the worst between you, you're set.
Title: Re: I'd like to host Thanksgiving (Resolution)
Post by: CocoCamm on September 26, 2013, 11:24:32 AM
I spoke with MIL this evening, and I feel pretty good with the resolution. They had a few suggestions including me taking other holidays, etc. Then she mentioned how she waited for so many years to host because when her kids were little, they always had to travel. (Her mom made her expectations loud and clear, and she fell in line.) She mentioned that there were only so many years DH's would be able to host. I countered that my grandma cooked the entire meal singlehandedly until she was 90+, and that I wasn't prepared to take the chance that my turn came when my kids were grown. She promised it wouldn't be that many years.

So we attempted a compromise. I offered up the next 2 years to her, and then the holiday was mine. She requested 3. I closed the deal with the promise of yearly reminders until my turn came up.  (I should have requested a real turkey while I was at it.)  ;D  So, I didn't completely get my way, but I'm okay with a relatively short-term deadline.

You are a very patient soul. I don't know that I would be able to wait 3 years to host an event I so deeply desired. I know it's already been ironed out and I completely understand if you don't want to go back to the drawing board but did you consider rotating the day back and forth? We did this on my moms side of the family with Christmas for several years. It worked out well.
Title: Re: I'd like to host Thanksgiving
Post by: Lynnv on September 26, 2013, 02:48:21 PM
It sounds like you and your MIL have worked out a compromise that works, more or less, for both of you.  Which, I suppose, is why it is a compromise rather than an outright win.   ;D

I would suggest that, since your MIL doesn't always hold her Feast of St. Turkey on the actual day of Thanksgiving, that you start making your own feast for yourself and your immediate family on the day.  It will let you start working out what kind of menu and style works for you when you get the holiday.  You can experiment with recipes in smaller sizes to see if there are things that need changing or updating.  And it will make you feel better about having the traditional dishes and leftovers for the holiday, even if your MIL is holding the larger family celebration on a different day.  Or at least it would make ME feel better were I in your shoes.
Title: Re: I'd like to host Thanksgiving
Post by: Hmmmmm on September 26, 2013, 04:48:40 PM
I agree that you can go ahead and start "perfecting" your holiday meal over the next few years. If MIL makes TDay dinner on the actual day, then you make a second one that following Saturday or Sunday and include your kids in the preparation. If she doesn't make it on the actual day, then you do one just for your family.

TDay is big in my family. The customary food is a huge part of it. My sister's and I have been known to travel home to make our "traditional" Tday recipes just for our immediate families more than once. The first time I did it was after listening to my DH and kids whine for the 4 hour drive from Dallas to Houston about how bad the turkey was, how dry the dressing was, and where was the pecan pie. The next time was after we had spent a week at Disney World that fell over the TDay holiday. They were terribly dissapointed in the quality of the TDay dinner we paid way to much for at Disney so the a weekend later we did a full Tday feast with another family who had also not experienced Tday as they were accustomed. After that trip, I put my foot down and said we'd never travel over Tday again.
Title: Re: I'd like to host Thanksgiving
Post by: Roe on September 26, 2013, 10:40:46 PM
Honestly, I think you got a raw deal.  You want to host while your girls are young? Do it!  You want to share your family traditions and create new ones? So do it!  You certainly don't need your MIL's permission to do so.
Title: Re: I'd like to host Thanksgiving
Post by: Shoo on September 26, 2013, 11:09:17 PM
Honestly, I think you got a raw deal.  You want to host while your girls are young? Do it!  You want to share your family traditions and create new ones? So do it!  You certainly don't need your MIL's permission to do so.

I so agree with this.  It sounds like your MIL got her way AGAIN.  You don't get to have your own family Thanksgiving for how many years now?  Frankly, I am kind of surprised you agreed to that, based on what you posted in your OP. 

It doesn't sound like compromise to me.  It sounds like you lost, plain and simple.
Title: Re: I'd like to host Thanksgiving
Post by: sammycat on September 26, 2013, 11:30:46 PM
Honestly, I think you got a raw deal.  You want to host while your girls are young? Do it!  You want to share your family traditions and create new ones? So do it!  You certainly don't need your MIL's permission to do so.

I so agree with this.  It sounds like your MIL got her way AGAIN.  You don't get to have your own family Thanksgiving for how many years now?  Frankly, I am kind of surprised you agreed to that, based on what you posted in your OP. 

It doesn't sound like compromise to me.  It sounds like you lost, plain and simple.

I totally agree with Roe and Shoo.

MIL also gets Easter and Christmas? As well as TG?  And she refuses to give just one of them up? She sounds totally controlling and selfish to me. I'd have given her plans the flick a long time ago.

ETA:  If it were me, I'd call MIL back and say that you've had time to think things over and waiting 2 years just isn't going to work, and that you/DH/Children will be staying home this year and starting your own traditions. MIL is welcome to join you, but you won't be going to her house.
Title: Re: I'd like to host Thanksgiving
Post by: CookieChica on September 27, 2013, 05:42:51 AM
Honestly, I think you got a raw deal.  You want to host while your girls are young? Do it!  You want to share your family traditions and create new ones? So do it!  You certainly don't need your MIL's permission to do so.

I so agree with this.  It sounds like your MIL got her way AGAIN.  You don't get to have your own family Thanksgiving for how many years now?  Frankly, I am kind of surprised you agreed to that, based on what you posted in your OP. 

It doesn't sound like compromise to me.  It sounds like you lost, plain and simple.

I totally agree with Roe and Shoo.

MIL also gets Easter and Christmas? As well as TG?  And she refuses to give just one of them up? She sounds totally controlling and selfish to me. I'd have given her plans the flick a long time ago.

ETA:  If it were me, I'd call MIL back and say that you've had time to think things over and waiting 2 years just isn't going to work, and that you/DH/Children will be staying home this year and starting your own traditions. MIL is welcome to join you, but you won't be going to her house.

This option seems like it would lead to a huge blow-up. If MIL had agreed to let OP host this year and then called and said, "I changed my mind. I will be cooking Thanksgiving this year and you're welcome to join us" I don't think we would call that reasonable. OP made an agreement and she can cancel that agreement but should be prepared for major family strife.
Title: Re: I'd like to host Thanksgiving
Post by: Green Bean on September 27, 2013, 05:56:10 AM
I can see how it looks like I got the shirt end of the stick. I probably should have requested to switch off or something. I actually have a different battle I'm fighting for Christmas this year. One a year is enough with this family so I don't always look like the bad guy making waves. They like easy going people that go along. I do that enough and am fairly easy going, but when something is important to me, I make my feelings known.

Anyway, I feel that MIL caters to SIL to the extent that we are expected to just fall in line. When she was here, she told me that she needed to reschedule Xmas eve be side SIL's child was singing In Church that evening. They would then be going to SIL's for pizza. So, she wanted to have Xmas eve on the 23rd or something. I mentioned that I was working that day, and so I probably couldn't come too early. (I'm the only I one that works in a non-school setting so everyone else is free.) so then she invited us to their church service. I don't want to ho to an event where inviting us has clearly been an afterthought by someone not even hosting. DH doesn't want to go either. So, they will want to reschedule our families' Xmas celebration. I'm cooking my turkey day dinner the weekend before Christmas so we have a bunch if days for leftovers. I'm not sure when the celebration will take place.

Sorry for the ramble.
Title: Re: I'd like to host Thanksgiving
Post by: artk2002 on September 27, 2013, 01:05:17 PM
Your problem is that you feel you need these people's permission to do things. You don't. Do what's right for your family. There may be some social fallout (when is there not?), but take strength from the fact that you're doing what's right for you. As for plans you don't want to participate in, don't JADE. A simple "that won't be possible" when they ask you to rearrange Christmas to suit their schedules.

From your last post, it sounds like SIL is the golden child and your DH is in 2nd place. That's a dynamic that you should discuss and decide what you want to do about it.
Title: Re: I'd like to host Thanksgiving
Post by: buvezdevin on September 27, 2013, 01:21:46 PM
Agreeing with PPs, and noting that your ILs do not appear to *be* easy-going people, though they do seem to have an expectation that you will not disagree significantly with the concept that their wishes/schedules/desires trump yours.

Your wishes/schedule/desires are *no less important* than theirs.
Title: Re: I'd like to host Thanksgiving
Post by: SamiHami on September 27, 2013, 01:54:31 PM
Honestly, I think you got a raw deal.  You want to host while your girls are young? Do it!  You want to share your family traditions and create new ones? So do it!  You certainly don't need your MIL's permission to do so.

Yeah, I can't help but get the feeling that she just put you off, and that in 3 years she will find some reason why she has to keep doing it. I really think you need to cook your own T-day dinner, with your hubby, kids and anyone who wants to come on the actual day. If she still wants to do one later in December that's fine too. I have wonder Thanksgiving memories with my mom, dad & brother. We were military and I don't think I've ever had a t-day dinner with extended family.
Title: Re: I'd like to host Thanksgiving
Post by: Roe on September 27, 2013, 04:04:17 PM
Of course they like easy-going people.  Makes things easier for them.
Title: Re: I'd like to host Thanksgiving (Resolution)
Post by: Sophia on September 27, 2013, 05:15:46 PM
I spoke with MIL this evening, and I feel pretty good with the resolution. They had a few suggestions including me taking other holidays, etc. Then she mentioned how she waited for so many years to host because when her kids were little, they always had to travel. (Her mom made her expectations loud and clear, and she fell in line.) ...

My mother is pulling the same $%^^ with me right now.  Although when I was 8 we moved, so no travelling after that.  (Christmas is what we care about.  T-day is just a warm-up for the BIG holiday)  The fact that I have ZERO memories of holidays before we moved, but many vivid memories before we moved has had no impact. 

Could you maybe offer to bring the turkey? 
Title: Re: I'd like to host Thanksgiving
Post by: bopper on September 27, 2013, 08:34:37 PM
Whilst you are agreeing for her to host, you can "add' to her meal. For example, when we go to my ILs for Tgiving I bring my family's cornbread stuffing because theirs is a spinach infused mushfest.
Title: Re: I'd like to host Thanksgiving
Post by: TootsNYC on September 28, 2013, 12:34:12 PM
OP it sounds like you have very rigid expectations regarding what makes a Thanksgiving celebration count.

It must:
-Be on the proper day
-Have specific dishes
-Include most extended family

The problem is that you can't control all of those factors. You can have your own meal at your house with the dishes and leftovers that you desire, but you can't make everyone agree to join you.  You can bring the dishes you want to your in-laws and make that count. (I personally hate that option, transporting large dishes is a pain in the rear).

What does your husband want?

You know what? I think I do.  I've been thinking about this. For the past 10 years, since we moved to DH's hometown, I have been celebrating every family holiday according to DH's traditions.  I have come to realize that my family's traditions are disappearing, and I am not having the chance to share them with my daughters. My grandparents and parents are all deceased, so they aren't even around to tell my girls what our family holidays were like.

I understand MIL has the desire that our kids have memories of holidays at her house. But you know what? They will. She hosts Xmas Eve every year as well as Easter.

When I explained this to DH last night, he understood where I was coming from and thought my feelings were valid. We will see MIL tonight, so I would like to discuss it again.


Not surprisingly, I agree with you. I have been in EXACTLY your same spot. Including having a relative who said, "Someday I'll have to give this up, so I want to hold onto it for now." In my case, the end was definitely in sight--that relative's health was bad, and the very next year, she was out of the rotation. And, in my case the other holidays were not being hogged by one person. (And I don't see anything wrong with being a little rigid about Thanksgiving.)

I think your DH should open the conversation, and say, "Mom, we've decided--we're going to make dinner on Thanksgiving Day. We hope you will join us. I know you like it that your grandchildren have great memories of holidays at your home. But they are our children, and we want them to have memories of holidays in OUR home. We hope you and Dad will join us."

End.

Then between now and then, feel free to make whatever casual mention is normal: "I'm going to practice chicken gravy this weekend," or "I saw a great brussels sprouts recipe Imight try out on thanksgiving."

Act as if it is a done deal. Because it is.


If you think MIL and FIL won't attend, then find other "family" and invite them. That will be the first step to claiming it. And when MIL and FIL invite you, say, "No, we have plans for that other weekend in December, we won't be able to come."

Don't talk about your boundaries--live them.

And maybe MIL and FIL will never give up the idea of hosting "the family Thanksgiving." OK. But your kids will have the opportunity to see how you host a holiday.


(though if I were DH, I'd be really tempted to say, in the follow-up conversations that are sure to come, "Mom, you're hogging all the holidays! You already get Easter and Christmas! Don't be piggy.")
Title: Re: I'd like to host Thanksgiving
Post by: TootsNYC on September 28, 2013, 12:38:30 PM
Okay, I saw your update.

I'm glad you're happy with it.

I am going to be in your MIL's shoes--it's only very recently that I have been "allowed" to host a holiday, and I'm going to have to share it with the other members of my generation. They're younger than me, almost by a generation themselves.

I hope I don't get quite so vacation-hoggy as your MIL is (three?). And you might remind your MIL that SHE is putting you into the same position that she was in--being shut out of creating the holiday memories for your own children.

And I think next year you should say, "I don't want to wait three years. I want to do it this year."
Title: Re: I'd like to host Thanksgiving
Post by: weeblewobble on September 29, 2013, 04:54:03 PM
It sounds like your MIL isn't going to be doing celebrations on the actual day, so I'm confused as to what would keep you from making your traditional holiday foods and doing your own celebration with your DH and kids at your home.
Title: Re: I'd like to host Thanksgiving
Post by: sammycat on September 29, 2013, 05:03:45 PM
It sounds like your MIL isn't going to be doing celebrations on the actual day, so I'm confused as to what would keep you from making your traditional holiday foods and doing your own celebration with your DH and kids at your home.

I was wondering that too.
Title: Re: I'd like to host Thanksgiving
Post by: Daffydilly on September 29, 2013, 05:16:01 PM
It sounds like her celebrations are a smaller food type affair with a few more people in a totally different month. Why not start making Thanksgiving traditions with your family this year on the right day? You don't need extended family to come this year or the next few years, just enjoy it and make traditions with your daughters and husband. Little ones can "help" mash potatoes or make salads. And you'll be able to enjoy the multitude of leftovers.
Title: Re: I'd like to host Thanksgiving
Post by: TheaterDiva1 on September 29, 2013, 06:07:07 PM
It sounds like your MIL isn't going to be doing celebrations on the actual day, so I'm confused as to what would keep you from making your traditional holiday foods and doing your own celebration with your DH and kids at your home.

I was thinking the same thing... Just host your Thanksgiving on that day and invite whomever you want, and if MIL wants to do "Thanksgiving" on a different day, let her.  People can easily go to both - it's not like you'll be competing for that day.
Title: Re: I'd like to host Thanksgiving
Post by: Green Bean on September 29, 2013, 06:12:33 PM
She doesn't always host a different day, but it has happened on occasion.

I think her plan is to have Thanksgiving on the actual day. If not, I'm definitely making my own meal for our family. One year that it was a different day, I didn't know (either DH didn't mention or I didn't have the right date in my head), but it wasn't until Wed ending that I learned we had no thrush day meal for the next day. So, I'm under the impression she means Thursday this time around. If not, then hurray for me. But still, it would be nice to actually host prole when you go through that much effort.

Same for Christmas. I asked DH if he could suggest perhaps a Xmas eve brunch with his family this year. I think it's a possible solution since we wouldn't have to deal with early bedtimes or crabby kids, and it would still feel like the actual holiday. I'm really not keen on celebrating on random days when it means on the actual holiday we will be all alone. It seems silly. And when the reason is because they made plans with the other family members, it can be a bit hurtful.  I realize nephew dinging in church could be a big deal for some people, so I'm trying to keep it in perspective and not take it personally. DH thinks they didn't invite us originally because it was something they knew we would not be interested in - and they'd be right.
Title: Re: I'd like to host Thanksgiving
Post by: hannahmollysmom on September 30, 2013, 01:30:44 AM
When my kids were little, and I was still married, I took over Thanksgiving every other year. My MIL was happy with that arrangement. 3 sons, and I'm the only daughter in-law that made the effort. We had a rule too, when you are at my house, you sit and relax. No helping required, and the same went when we ate at the inlaws. After all the years of her being the go to house, she was happy to have someone else do it. Same with Christmas, she did Christmas Eve, and I did Christmas Day. She still comes to functions/dinners at my house that I have for my girls as well as for my granddaughter. My ex FIL doesn't come anymore due to health issues, but I always pack up a plate for him when she leaves.

To be perfectly honest, I can't wait until one of my daughter's wants to take over the hosting duties! I will cede most gladly!  ;D

I am required to work every other holiday (airport, runs 24-7) and the holidays alternate every year. This year I have Thanksgiving off, (and my Grandson is due to arrive around then too!  :)) but because I work 2nd shift, I have to work Christmas Eve as well as Christmas Day. So the celebration will be at my place on the 28th.  They will go to their Dad's, and Grandparents, so by the time the 28th rolls around, my Granddaughter won't be so tired as she has been in the last couple of years, so it is a win-win situation.

Title: Re: I'd like to host Thanksgiving
Post by: daen on September 30, 2013, 04:59:34 PM
Holidays on my side are always at my parents' house, because they have the most room. Several years ago (ten or more, I think), I offered to make fajitas for Thanksgiving dinner. No one in my family is really all that thrilled about the traditional turkey and trimmings meals, and everyone claims to like my fajitas, so it went over well. It wasn't until the second year that Mom said something about how nice it was not to have to do everything. We have continued the tradition of fajitas for T-Day, and my mom makes pies (pumpkin and apple, usually) and reimburses us for the groceries, and my husband and I take care of the rest.

I realized, reading this thread, that we (my sisters and I) haven't done much, if anything, to take the load off mom for hosting. She's in her early seventies now, so perhaps we should start picking up more of the responsibilities...
Title: Re: I'd like to host Thanksgiving
Post by: EMuir on September 30, 2013, 05:10:44 PM
We used to do the great Thanksgiving road trip, eating at a different relative's each day.  Why limit yourself to the one day? Make your own turkey one of the days of the weekend and do your family's traditions.