I married into a family that has a few very "aunts" who are pretty proprietary about "their" holidays, so as the 2nd generation, it's never been likely that I'd host. Then the two aunts who traded off on Thanksgiving got older and ill, and it seemed that I'd get a chance. I got all excited the first year, and disappointed when the "older" aunt invited people. Then the next year, she wasn't going to, but by the time I'd sussed that out, the daughter of the "ill" aunt stepped in and hosted at her mom's house. Which was nice, and fun, but I was feeling frustrated, that I'd never get a chance. That went on for two years.
So last year, at some point on Thanksgiving, someone mentioned "next year," and I quickly said, "I'd hoped to host at some point!" And the cousin said, "that's a great idea, you do it next year! We should swap off; us younger generation people should get to do the hosting. Now that I've wrested it out of their hands, we can switch it around." (and, she herself has gotten very ill and probably isn't up to it)
So, we are hosting, DH and I.
Invitations went out by phone Sunday.
The next thing to manage is the "what can I bring?" thing. Which they were already asking, the moment DH issued the invitation.
I'd like, in a way, for them not to bring ANYthing. It'll throw off my planning, and I'd like to just do it all myself.
(and I'll admit to being a tiny bit crabby about it, because I think my FIL and MIL pressured us into having the graduation party at a restaurant, bcs my MIL assumed she was going to be doing a lot of the cooking--which she wouldn't have, and if she assumed it, it would annoy me a lot; I'm a grownup, and I can plan a party for 25 people all by my lonesome, thankyouverymuch. So I have to be careful to watch how childish I'm being, etc. But I *do* prefer to have total control over the entire menu. I can make gnocchi and other traditional dishes.)
So I guess my first question is, how do I persuade people not to bring anything?
And, I guess a little encouragement w/ resisting pressure from my MIL, who may see herself as co-hostess, just because.