Author Topic: Your holiday hill to die on.  (Read 237215 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

gmatoy

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1223
Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #255 on: December 29, 2011, 03:45:42 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!

sparksals

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 17330
Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #256 on: December 29, 2011, 07:12:40 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. 

dietcokeofevil

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1970
Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #257 on: December 29, 2011, 07:42:56 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.

gmatoy

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1223
Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #258 on: December 29, 2011, 10:53:25 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!!!

Nora

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3488
Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #259 on: December 30, 2011, 09:15:48 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?  ;)
Just because someone is offended that does not mean they are in the right.

Clockwork Banana

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 136
Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #260 on: December 30, 2011, 12:17:14 PM »
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.

 

 
« Last Edit: December 30, 2011, 12:40:39 PM by kramercat »

sparksals

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 17330
Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #261 on: December 30, 2011, 12:33:36 PM »
<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. 

Clockwork Banana

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 136
Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #262 on: December 30, 2011, 12:46:02 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. 


heathert

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2001
Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #263 on: December 30, 2011, 01:13:36 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.

BarensMom

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2592
Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #264 on: December 30, 2011, 02:06:00 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.

nyoprinces

  • Jr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 95
Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #265 on: December 31, 2011, 11:24:15 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.

o_gal

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 550
Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #266 on: December 31, 2011, 12:11:20 PM »
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!

Thipu1

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6617
Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #267 on: January 01, 2012, 12:44:06 PM »
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.   


bopper

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 12217
Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #268 on: January 01, 2012, 06:53:52 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.

UpdatedName

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 288
Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #269 on: January 03, 2012, 09:31:38 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.