Author Topic: Your holiday hill to die on.  (Read 243249 times)

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gramma dishes

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Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #435 on: November 24, 2012, 10:28:18 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.

readingchick

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Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #436 on: November 25, 2012, 05:00:51 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!

Rusty

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Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #437 on: November 26, 2012, 05:33:15 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.

weeblewobble

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Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #438 on: November 26, 2012, 06:32:02 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.
 

Free Range Hippy Chick

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Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #439 on: November 26, 2012, 08:33:22 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.

VorFemme

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Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #440 on: November 26, 2012, 08:39:20 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!
Let sleeping dragons be.......morning breath......need I say more?

gingerzing

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Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #441 on: November 26, 2012, 10:39:25 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.)

Venus193

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Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #442 on: November 26, 2012, 10:41:09 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.

ladyknight1

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Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #443 on: November 26, 2012, 12:33:29 PM »
I will only take DH' request to buy whole spices vs ground if he knows the exact location of the spice grinder. Grr.

doodlemor

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Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #444 on: November 26, 2012, 03:05:10 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.

MissRose

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Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #445 on: November 26, 2012, 03:12:04 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.


TootsNYC

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Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #446 on: November 26, 2012, 03:22:12 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.

faithlessone

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Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #447 on: November 26, 2012, 03:52:10 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!!!

lowspark

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Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #448 on: November 26, 2012, 03:55:08 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.

SoCalVal

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Re: Your holiday hill to die on.
« Reply #449 on: November 26, 2012, 04:01:21 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).