Author Topic: Thanksgiving planning  (Read 4297 times)

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gingerzing

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Thanksgiving planning
« on: September 05, 2012, 08:42:19 AM »
Yes, it is early for this.  However, my DH has to put in time-off requests pretty early where he works.  He realized that we have not been down to visit my mother for 2 or 3 years (for the holiday) so he put his request in and we have the dog set up to go to the kennel. 
Here is the fun part.  Part of his family live in a nearby suburb and are major procrastinators.  Last year DH had to ask on Monday if something was going on for Thanksgiving.  We were told that we should come over to SIL's house.
Last weekend we took MIL out for lunch (BG/It is a slightly strained relationship with his mother.  For both DH and myself.) and at one point she mentioned that with Labor Day over, the next holiday would be Thanksgiving.  (They don't see Halloween as a holiday)  She sort of sighed.  Then the conversation moved on.  DH is not sure when to tell his mom that we are not staying in town for Thanksgiving.  She seems to think that since we live in the metro area that we must spend all our holidays with her and SIL.  Which we do spend most of them with them, but every time we go down to my mom's it is a "SIGH, well I suppose you've made your plans...."  In a tone that implies that we should have okayed it with her first. 
Thing is, they don't make plans until the very last minute.  Which is fine if DH can't get time off, but annoying as heck when we are trying to do vacation or other holiday plans.

Any thoughts on good timing to break it to her that we will be out of town?  I am thinking as we are taking the dog to the kennel.   ;)

Shopaholic

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Re: Thanksgiving planning
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2012, 09:19:26 AM »
Tell her now, let her get used to the idea.
I don't know her, but knowing MILs in general (and I get along great with mine) she might amp up the guilt factor close to the holidays, that way you'll be able to tell her "but we told you two months ago!"

QueenofAllThings

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Re: Thanksgiving planning
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2012, 09:28:13 AM »
Since she brought up the topic of Thanksgiving, I'd get her used to the idea now.

When a child marries, you have to share them with their in-laws. That's just the way it is. Even more so if your mother lives 'away' and your mother-in-law is local - she (your MIL) sees you more often. It's logical and reasonable, but she may need time to adjust to the idea of sharing.

It took my parents a while (they have four daughters and we've all been married a long time) but they've adjusted and are quite OK with it.

gingerzing

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Re: Thanksgiving planning
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2012, 09:47:52 AM »
DH and I have been married 12 years (as of August.  Hooray) and she and I have had an "interesting" relationship.   This year, especially the past few months she has been ... challenging to deal with.  (no, nothing medical that we can tell, just getting crankier.)

Yes, we tend to see her quite a bit more than my mom.  Was going over every week or every other week when we were first married and then dropped to once a month plus things like birthday parties, family get-togethers (reunion, Superbowl, etc). When we were going over once a week, she would "ask" DH to do lawn stuff or other honey-do list things and demand he come over at a drop of a hat.   (That has been curtailed few years ago.) DH found that she is easier to deal with when we only go over once a month. 

Even if we spend the majority of holidays with her, she gets bent out of shape if we go visit my mom for a long weekend.  Even if it for my mom's birthday.   
Normally, we just have told her that we made plans for the holiday about a month before, but for some reason, I am thinking this year she is going to be .... irritable/prickly/touchy/petulant (pick a favorite) about it. We will be seeing her this weekend at a family reunion (her side of the family).  Perhaps we will broach the subject when we are getting ready to leave.

learningtofly

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Re: Thanksgiving planning
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2012, 12:00:09 PM »
I agree that you should tell her as soon as possible since you have two months to go.  My ILs can not plan ahead (live locally and so does most of their family) and since my family has lived all over we tend to be planners.  DH and I have already discussed plans to visit my parents next year for various holidays. 

We only give my MIL a two month window.  Once we were in the airport for Thanksgiving and she was moaning about a religious holiday we would not spend with her the next September!  She promptly forgot and we had to go through it again the following summer.  So we leave it until two months. 

My MIL will never like to share us for the holidays, but we make our plans and then we share them.  We've even given her a Thanksgiving schedule and she still can't remember what year we're here.  Such is life.  They adjust.  I like the idea about telling her on the way out.

Hmmmmm

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Re: Thanksgiving planning
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2012, 12:10:43 PM »
The only reason I could think of that would support telling her now would be if it would cause her to change her plans or your DH's sibling's plans.

So if it is somethig like your MIL would need to plan to fly to another family member's home for the holiday if you guys aren't going to be there, then I think it's best to tell her now.

But if her plans would remain relatively the same, like have DH's siblings over for Thanksgiving whether you two are there are not, then I'd hold off.  Especially if she's the type to bring it up every time you see her between now and then.

Kaypeep

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Re: Thanksgiving planning
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2012, 04:59:24 PM »
I'd go for something in between.  Even if IL's are last minute planners, waiting until the last minute just doesn't seem right when they are used to expecting you.  If MIL is prone to melodrama then just serve up some bean dip, or tell her on the phone and then end the call if she starts up, etc.  In other words, don't put up with it.  You are not being rude or doing anything wrong.  You don't need to put up with a guilt trip.  If she tries to give you one, just leave.  Leave the room, end the call, whatever.  Don't subject yourself to it.  Or ignore her tone and respond to her words only.   Don't let her moods control you or affect you. 

gingerzing

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Re: Thanksgiving planning
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2012, 09:59:44 AM »
Thanks guys.  For the record, most of the folks who would be around for IL side of the family would be in the metro area -or if my SIL#2 comes- within a 2 hour drive.  So not any major flights in. 

LearningToFly's MIL sounds oddly similar to mine.  Except we don't have a set plan for alternate holidays. I think we will tell her that we have started to plan to go down to my mom's this weekend and remind her again in late October.   But MIL tends to forget, even if you put it on her calendar ("Calendar?  But I never look at it"), especially if something wasn't her idea.  So we will be reminding her and probably letting SIL#1 who lives in the same town know what is going on.

Thanks, Kaypeep.  Respond to words...sometimes that is hard to put into practice with her, but the remind is good. 

SPuck

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Re: Thanksgiving planning
« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2012, 04:41:56 PM »
I say let her be irritable/prickly/touchy/petulant. If she wants to be that way then let her be that way, and when you talk to her and she brings up the irritable/prickly/touchy/petulant just say we don't want to talk about this the decision has been made. She can either stay angry or get over it.

miranova

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Re: Thanksgiving planning
« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2012, 06:44:03 PM »
Just tell her.  If she gets mad, that is her problem, not yours.  You have every right to spend some holidays with family other than her.  You should tell her without a hint of guilt and let her own her own bad reaction.  I'd ignore any guilt trips completely.

SPuck

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Re: Thanksgiving planning
« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2012, 08:21:43 AM »
Also, anyone who gets mad because you spent time with other people does not deserve your time either.

mj

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Re: Thanksgiving planning
« Reply #11 on: September 30, 2012, 07:15:58 PM »
DH and I are in a very similar situation.  MIL is local, my folks are not.  So she saw us much more on a regular basis plus has spent the majority of holidays with us.  She is also a last minute planner and it makes it difficult for us to accomodate her plans with what we have planned for our family unit.  It came to a head one year when we refused to be guilted into cancelling our plans for the holiday because she procrastinated and thought we should bear the brunt.  It became very clear to us that she thought she owned the holidays at that point, so DH and I drew some firm boundaries.  Even when we are in town, it doesn't automatically mean we will spend the holiday with her.  DH and I choose which holidays we are willing to spend with her ahead of time, that way her procrastination does not prevent us from doing our own thing.  It has also put some things in perspective for MIL, we are not guilt tripped nearly as much and sometimes we even get 3 days notice about holiday plans!

Rohanna

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Re: Thanksgiving planning
« Reply #12 on: October 01, 2012, 12:54:42 AM »
Thanksgiving is next weekend for me-  I'm rather looking forwards to trying Alton Brown's brine on my turkey :)
« Last Edit: December 08, 2012, 03:18:57 AM by Rohanna »
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TootsNYC

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Re: Thanksgiving planning
« Reply #13 on: October 12, 2012, 03:02:24 PM »
I say tell her, and everyone else, now. He should tell her in a really excited way: "we're going to visit my wife's family--how neat! We're looking forward to it. My wife hasn't seen her family in a while, so I can't wait to provide this for her, it'll mean a lot to her."

And then if she says anything, be mildly puzzled and also enthusiastic, "But my wife hasn't seen HER family in a while. It's terrific that we're finally getting  chance to--it's been a couple of years. I know her mom is really looking forward to it."

Say it in a  tone that implies that of COURSE she shares the inclination to do nice things for you, and of COURSE she could understand your own parents' reaction.

and then be amazed! "but it's my MOTHER! We almost never see her!" And walk away.

And then stop CARING whether she doesn't like it.