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• November 28, 2015, 01:04:01 PM

### Author Topic: Your holiday hill to die on.  (Read 402828 times)

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#### z_squared82

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##### Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #630 on: November 20, 2013, 08:36:44 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.

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.

You can make it even more humorous with this tidbit. Wife is significantly older than Cousin. Like, 20 years. I think she's only about five years younger than my aunt/her MIL. So it was a 55yo, mentally unstable woman trying to get across the linen-dress dining room table to assault her 60yo MIL...

#### alkira6

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##### Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #631 on: November 20, 2013, 08:58:24 AM »
I plan on opting out of Christmas festivities with anyone else - DH and I are putting up a "booze tree". Our regular pre-lit tree decorated with ornaments and those tiny airline bottles of booze in flavors/kinds we haven't tried before tied to the branches with ribbons.  We plan on making Christmas morning a cocktail hour and keep track of the good, the bad, and the "Dear God NO!" from the booze.

I fully expect us to be asleep by noon.

#### Free Range Hippy Chick

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##### Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #632 on: November 20, 2013, 09:00:41 AM »
Tried to post on tablet again - there's a random posting around somewhere in the ether.

All the above suggestions for bingo entries are sound; add what you like. I've got the relative who insists that meal must be at Specific Time because of Not Very Good Reason To Do With His Children, which doesn't suit anybody else, and who then doesn't appear until Specific Time Plus 90 Minutes. Yes, to the voluntelling to collect people from the airport/take them home etc etc, yes to the personal remarks about weight and jobs and babies. Actual violence is generally considered bad form, although in the case of the relative who assumed that one player had burned part of the meal, because it was a home made version and didn't look like the packet equivalent, I think it could have been justified. She wouldn't have been convicted by a jury of her peers, is all I'm saying.

Be careful if making it into a drinking game - it might need a handicapping system. We tried it once and Ireland won, partly on account of simply having more in-laws than any of the rest of us, plus a truly clueless MIL and a toxic SIL. Ireland was stocious before the rest of us had washed up the breakfast dishes.

I have actually been known to print the card, laminate it, and stick it in full view on the front of the fridge, in the certain knowledge that nobody but me reads the notices there anyway. Everybody assumed it was just my Christmas To Do list being ticked off.

#### Outdoor Girl

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##### Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #633 on: November 20, 2013, 09:03:21 AM »
I plan on opting out of Christmas festivities with anyone else - DH and I are putting up a "booze tree". Our regular pre-lit tree decorated with ornaments and those tiny airline bottles of booze in flavors/kinds we haven't tried before tied to the branches with ribbons.  We plan on making Christmas morning a cocktail hour and keep track of the good, the bad, and the "Dear God NO!" from the booze.

I fully expect us to be asleep by noon.

Can I just say...  I LOVE this.
After cleaning out my Dad's house, I have this advice:  If you haven't used it in a year, throw it out!!!!.
Ontario

#### cwm

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##### Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #634 on: November 20, 2013, 09:03:59 AM »
I need to make a card and keep it with me in my purse. It's big enough, and I go back for lip balm often enough anyway. Or keep an image on my phone, and make notes. This could be VERY fun, though mine would all be with the group of friends. I'm lucky enough to have gotten away from the toxic and possibly unstable side of my family.

#### MindsEye

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##### Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #635 on: November 20, 2013, 09:20:36 AM »
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.

My family tried the name draw years ago (before everyone married and started having kids) and it was abysmal because there was no enforcement.  There were always people who were going away without gifts because the person who drew them "forgot" or didn't show up to the holiday gathering... It all fell apart when I was in grad school and flatly refused to participate when the time came at the Thanksgiving gathering to draw names.  Why?  Well, the year before I was the one whose name-drawer "forgot" to get me a gift... the gift did not actually materialize until Memorial Day, and if I had not been completely relentless (and rude and tactless) in constantly reminding that person about the gift they owed me I doubt that I would ever have gotten anything at all.  I think that my wording was "I am not doing this because it is no fun to have to wait six months for a Christmas present".  And everyone grumbled about me being a spoilsport and said that if everyone wasn't going to participate then there was no point in it.  (huh?)

Honestly I would love to go to either 1) no presents at all, 2) "family unit" presents only rather then individual presents, or 3) some kind of white elephant gift shuffle only.  But with scads of little nieces, nephews, and grand kids, I don't see people agreeing to any of those happening anytime soon...

This may be the last year I buy anyone but my DH presents regardless... because my family is also not good about stuff like "thank you" notes or even letting you know if a package arrived....

#### AfleetAlex

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##### Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #636 on: November 20, 2013, 09:21:03 AM »
When my great aunt was alive, we should have totally done the Bingo card. She was so dense/focused on herself, that you could play the game in front of her and she'd never realize what you were doing. One of the squares would have to be: "Gets lost on the way to Christmas and stops at the police station to ask directions." The officers remembered her year to year.
I have a chronic case of foot-in-mouth disease.

#### dawbs

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##### Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #637 on: November 20, 2013, 09:34:40 AM »
When my great aunt was alive, we should have totally done the Bingo card. She was so dense/focused on herself, that you could play the game in front of her and she'd never realize what you were doing. One of the squares would have to be: "Gets lost on the way to Christmas and stops at the police station to ask directions." The officers remembered her year to year.

We have that aunt...except she doesn't stop at the police station, she calls 911 from the road.
She's not coming this year :-P

(we've put distance between us and the problem people.
The biggest problem I've currently got is that my sis is dating a very nice guy...and he and his daughter are coming up--yay.  And I now have a teenager that I don't know to shop for.  I got some ideas though, and thus far her gift is a nerf dart gun, an itunes gift card and some popular-with-kids-these-days jewelry

#### magicdomino

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##### Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #638 on: November 20, 2013, 10:35:04 AM »
My husband needs to wrap his head around the idea that it is okay to stop buying gifts for relatives once they reach a certain maturity. For years, he would buy a 'family gift' for his uncle, wife, and three cousins. Then one of the cousins graduated college, got married, and moved out. Now husband feels like he needs to send her and her new husband their own gift. And all the cousins have recently started having children, and now husband is tying himself in knots about keeping up with all the new birthdays. I keep trying to explain to him that it is okay to stop gifting every relative that he has- otherwise, we are going to be in our golden years and struggling to gift everyone down an extended family tree!

*raises a glass of seasonably appropriate adult beverage to Miss March*

My cut-off is when the nieces/nephews are no longer in school full-time.  If they aren't going to school full-time, then they should get a full-time job and buy their own stuff.  I spend only $10 -$20 per kid anyway.

#### cwm

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##### Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #639 on: November 20, 2013, 11:09:30 AM »
My husband needs to wrap his head around the idea that it is okay to stop buying gifts for relatives once they reach a certain maturity. For years, he would buy a 'family gift' for his uncle, wife, and three cousins. Then one of the cousins graduated college, got married, and moved out. Now husband feels like he needs to send her and her new husband their own gift. And all the cousins have recently started having children, and now husband is tying himself in knots about keeping up with all the new birthdays. I keep trying to explain to him that it is okay to stop gifting every relative that he has- otherwise, we are going to be in our golden years and struggling to gift everyone down an extended family tree!

*raises a glass of seasonably appropriate adult beverage to Miss March*

My cut-off is when the nieces/nephews are no longer in school full-time.  If they aren't going to school full-time, then they should get a full-time job and buy their own stuff.  I spend only $10 -$20 per kid anyway.

Miss March, I see where you're coming from. For me, my niece is only 2, so it's going to be a while before it becomes an issue of maturity. My uncles never actually bought me Christmas presents, they'd just supply me and sis with random presents throughout the year. Which was honestly more fun, we never knew when something would come in the mail. But we are the only nieces on mom's side, and I never plan on having my own children. Sis doesn't plan on having more, so our family tree isn't going to be extending much more.

I think for nieces/nephews there's a different expectation of gifts than for closer family members. For example, I wouldn't be very hurt if my uncle decided that I was on my own and didn't buy me something. I'd be extremely hurt if I didn't get even a token gift or card from my mom or grandma.

#### Morticia

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##### Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #640 on: November 20, 2013, 11:58:30 AM »
I plan on opting out of Christmas festivities with anyone else - DH and I are putting up a "booze tree". Our regular pre-lit tree decorated with ornaments and those tiny airline bottles of booze in flavors/kinds we haven't tried before tied to the branches with ribbons.  We plan on making Christmas morning a cocktail hour and keep track of the good, the bad, and the "Dear God NO!" from the booze.

I fully expect us to be asleep by noon.

Decorating Level: Martha Stewart
Now our mom says she's changed her mind about the devil's brood, they may be evil so she thinks, but at least they're never rude...
-- Big Rude Jake

My travel blog: http://www.stepmonster.ca

#### jedikaiti

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##### Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #641 on: November 20, 2013, 12:10:08 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!

You too?    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.

I just realized that I'm not going to be able to watch it on Christmas Day! We'll be out of town and neither the hotel nor my parents get BBCA.
What part of v_e = \sqrt{\frac{2GM}{r}} don't you understand? It's only rocket science!

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#### BarensMom

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##### Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #642 on: November 20, 2013, 12:17:46 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!

You too?    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.

Buy a Slingbox.  Then you can watch it on your laptop, tablet or smart phone.

I just realized that I'm not going to be able to watch it on Christmas Day! We'll be out of town and neither the hotel nor my parents get BBCA.

#### GlitterIsMyDrug

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##### Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #643 on: November 20, 2013, 12:25:48 PM »
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.

That's it, my friends and I are doing this for Christmas! It'll be the six of us together for Thanksgiving, but we have to go see families for Christmas. We always get together afterwards to drink and share war stories-er uh-family updates, I say whoever wins gets their bar tab picked up!

#### SDG31000

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##### Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #644 on: November 20, 2013, 12:38:05 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.

😖
This strikes a chord with me.  I live 55 miles away from my family and see them because I make the effort to go.  I had the cheek to move away from them and am therefore not in their thoughts 99.9% of the time.

After two years of being invited for Christmas and then being told less than a week before that they didn't have space for me, DH, DS1 and DS2 and being left incredibly hurt and scrabbling around to make other arrangements, I have dropped the rope. (My wonderful DPIL invited us to spend Christmas with them)

I've told them the three days that we are free and that we will go to them or they can come to us, but they have to make some effort and let me know.  I'm not going to chase them. I've made peace with the fact that I'm probably not going to see my nephew at Christmas when he is small.

Christmas Eve will be spent having dinner with friends and maybe a trip to the Cathedral for Midnight Mass.  Christmas Day will be the four of us eating what we like when we like and also watching Dr Who of course.