Author Topic: I'm hosting Thanksgiving! heading off "what can I bring?"  (Read 5862 times)

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lowspark

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Re: I'm hosting Thanksgiving! heading off "what can I bring?"
« Reply #30 on: November 06, 2012, 02:44:16 PM »
I completely understand TootsNY's point of view as I am the same way. I do like a pot luck as much as anyone and host them regulary. However, there are some dinners I want to cook all by myself from soup to nuts. Passover is one of those dinners. I enjoy doing all that cooking and completely planning the entire menu to be what I want it to be. One of my regular guests insisted on bringing something the first year she came and I relented only because it didn't seem worth hurting her feelings over it. After that first year, I think she caught on, as it really is clear that I love doing all the cooking and now she brings wine every year.

My brother-in-law is the same way about Thanksgiving. He cooks everything and what a feast! My sister and I understand and even though neither of would normally go to someone's house for dinner empty handed, for these two events, we do.

TootsNY, you might try saying something like:
I'm so excited about hosting TG this year for the first time and I really really want to make everything myself. You'd be doing me a great favor to allow me this pleasure so if you really want to bring something, wine would be perfect.

Sheila Take a Bow

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Re: I'm hosting Thanksgiving! heading off "what can I bring?"
« Reply #31 on: November 06, 2012, 03:35:47 PM »
What about suggesting a non-food contribution?

If there are a lot of kids, maybe you can suggest someone bring a video to entertain the little ones?

Or maybe board games, which you could pull out before everyone sits down to eat, or after dinner when everyone's digesting?

Then they can contribute to the gathering without adding to the meal itself.

Mikayla

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Re: I'm hosting Thanksgiving! heading off "what can I bring?"
« Reply #32 on: November 06, 2012, 03:56:22 PM »
Aaah...the passing of the generational baton!  A veritable minefield in most families, along with the subcategory:  "But you're single.  You can't host a family event!"

Toots, I'm identical to you with this, and we do have etiquette on our side for what that's worth.  But I finally defaulted to desserts, and gave myself bonus points if I could recall a specific one I'd been craving.  I think these are safe, they're almost guaranteed to not conflict with a menu, holidays are about sugar and good stuff you don't usually eat, and then there's leftovers. 

If it helps mentally, you could set out dessert and coffee an hour or so later, and this way it doesn't interfere with your master planning.

I do think it should be a food item and something they make.  It's a Mother Earth thing with the older generation.

doodlemor

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Re: I'm hosting Thanksgiving! heading off "what can I bring?"
« Reply #33 on: November 06, 2012, 04:12:04 PM »
I like lowspark's wording. 

I also think that it would be a good idea to keep mentioning the space problems at the previous party, and how little room you have, and how there will be absolutely no room in the oven to heat anything else up.

I also like the dessert idea - Italian desserts are so delicious!  I would be tempted to ask some of these people to bring something like Cucidati, or Venetians, or cannoli.  Mmmmm-mmmm.  They could come to my house..........

Wordgeek

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Re: I'm hosting Thanksgiving! heading off "what can I bring?"
« Reply #34 on: November 06, 2012, 04:22:51 PM »
I think this is a matter of personal preference and family history.  My family has never done potlucks at home.  The person hosting provides all the food and everybody else brings hostess gifts, usually flowers or chocolates or sometime wine (lots of non-drinkers).  Bringing a prepared dish would be seen as a heinous insult to the host's cooking ability. 

Potlucks at church, now, those are entirely different: intensely competitive situations where everyone tries to out-cook everyone else.  I remember one pie social where the best pie had been baked by the 19-year-old SON of one of the elder's.  His mom was walking on air because HER son had made the unofficial Best Pie and she was the one who'd taught him.  The other ladies were deeply mortified.  If they'd been out-pied by a 19-year-old girl, it wouldn't have been anywhere near as bad, but a teenage boy?  Oh, dear.  ;-)

So, yeah.  Come to my place and I will feed you.  Bring nothing.  And by nothing, I mean bring wine.  I am so adopting that.

TootsNYC

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Re: I'm hosting Thanksgiving! heading off "what can I bring?"
« Reply #35 on: November 06, 2012, 05:45:09 PM »
I don't think Toots is being childish at all.  There is a long history of wanting to host, but not allowed to, as well as her son's graduation pulled out from under her, so to speak.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to fully host and I can understand why Toots is so excited to do so.  She has been waiting YEARS for this.

When people ask, I say 'just yourselves'.  If they insist, I say a bottle of wine.  I do not want any food contributions to my meal.  I have planned a meal with appropriate sides.


Thanks for the defense, and for remembering all the history.

I actually *SAID* I was being a bit selfish and even a bit childish. But I don't think I really need to feel awful about it, nor do I have to change the end result of it.

I sort of think I'm entitled to privately be as childish as I would like, as long as what I actually DO and EXPRESS out where people can see it is polite and considerate. (and for the record: I consider "on Etiquette Hell" to *be* "in private.")

And truly part of the anticipated frustration for me is the general logistical and planning difficulty of having to work around the preferences of other people in households a few miles away who don't communicate well. It's frustrating--it slows me down and clogs me up.

As things go along, I may decide that there are dishes I'd just as soon not bother with, and I may ask for them on those. I'm just beginning the menu list.

And one of the things that will affect how much I enjoy this is that the older generation is very unadventurous eaters, and they eat Yugoslavian/Italian food, which I generally do not enjoy at all and am not particularly experienced in making. So I'll have to find my way through that "menu selection" process as well.

sparksals

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Re: I'm hosting Thanksgiving! heading off "what can I bring?"
« Reply #36 on: November 07, 2012, 01:28:04 PM »
Sparksals, just for the record I choose the word childish because it was the one the OP applied to herself. I just don't want anyone to think I was name calling.

No, I didnt think it was namecalling.

White Lotus

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Re: I'm hosting Thanksgiving! heading off "what can I bring?"
« Reply #37 on: November 07, 2012, 02:06:20 PM »
When I host, I often assign chores or peripherals.  "Uncle Joe, that's great!  Can I put you in charge of the coffee?  Aunt Frieda is in charge of the bar, and Richard's watching the relish trays, so if you could bring coffee and coffee cream, and take care of seeing the pot's always full, that would be perfect!" I find people love assignments.  They are active participants in the party, and it seems like fun for all.  Peripherals, for me, include green salad, nuts and chips, somebody's special dessert,  "whatever you'd like to drink" and I will start including various games and maybe a family-friendly film for those so inclined.  Great idea! 

mj

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Re: I'm hosting Thanksgiving! heading off "what can I bring?"
« Reply #38 on: November 08, 2012, 04:39:51 PM »
Toots, I am like you and understand your situation, we have that going on too.  I do like your compromise though.

FWIW, this situation is exactly why I think there needs to be leeway when the family starts growing and adding additional members and generations.  It seems to me that it wouldn't get so awkward if all parties are allowed to have input and/or host when they are able to, not when the traditional hosts are no longer able to. When it's just a select group hosting and therefore making the decisions for the rest of the family for holidays, it does seem to make it a more exclusive rather than inclusive event.  So when you do get your turn you are very aware of it and want it for yourself.  If it was opened up to everyone from the start it would give those who want a bigger role a chance and opens up the grounds to everyone's preferences. 

TootsNYC

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Re: I'm hosting Thanksgiving! heading off "what can I bring?"
« Reply #39 on: November 08, 2012, 11:06:42 PM »
The other thing I've been thinking is that maybe the older generation will just have to get used to the way the younger generation does things. Which is, they don't ask lots of people to bring food.

Hey, traditions are changing. Roll with it.

thedudeabides

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Re: I'm hosting Thanksgiving! heading off "what can I bring?"
« Reply #40 on: November 09, 2012, 05:03:37 PM »
Yes, traditions do change.  However, a time when they're facing the possible loss of members of that older generation forever might not be the best point at which to start changing the holiday traditions completely, too.  There's no a right or wrong way to do these things most of the ime, but there are ways to smooth the transition from one generation to the next.  In my family, we've shifted the dates we celebrate, we've shifted the venue, and now we're changing the way we do food.  But they've been gradual changes so that nobody feels marginalized.

TootsNYC

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Re: I'm hosting Thanksgiving! heading off "what can I bring?"
« Reply #41 on: November 09, 2012, 06:10:33 PM »
Fortunately, I don't think anybody's going to die anytime soon. "Too ill to host" doesn't equal "on death's door."

We've already shifted venues a few times in the family. And I'm thinking that the older generation might actually LIKE not having to cook anything--they're not as young as they were, and they've each had hospitalizations, etc. In fact, when I was lamenting that I thought I'd never get to host, my MIL said, "One day you'll have to--we're all getting older."

That might be the best way to approach it--I don't want to burden people, and it's not a big gathering, actually. Or, simply to go ahead and make my plans and demur when people say, "What can I bring?"

Peregrine

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Re: I'm hosting Thanksgiving! heading off "what can I bring?"
« Reply #42 on: November 09, 2012, 06:34:31 PM »
I love hostessing, so I do understand the pride that goes into that first successful holiday meal.  I very fondly remember the first prime rib roast that I made for my parents and sister....so I get your dilemma.

I think the best answer is Bring Wine :)  Another suggestion would be to ask for help with the clean up and leftover disposal.  I know that clean up isn't neccessarily sexy or going to get kudos around the dinner table....But if Aunt Martha just has to help out, perhaps you could ask her to bring some Gladware and disposable plates for packing up doggy bags for the elders.  Maybe see if an older couple would be willing to teach the younger generation  pinnocle or cribbage during the break between dinner and dessert.  It entertains the kids and it's kind of fun to learn those retro card games. 

CakeEater

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Re: I'm hosting Thanksgiving! heading off "what can I bring?"
« Reply #43 on: November 10, 2012, 06:08:44 AM »
My MIL insists on bringing food to help. The first time, I asked her to to bring the vegetables for lunch at 12.30. She arrived at 12.15 with raw vegetables needing to be roasted.

The second time she brought salad and lasagne for lunch. The salad she cut up on a board I had been cutting raw chicken on all morning.

I now have her bring brownies or slice for coffee afterwards - it has to be pre-cooked, and it doesn't matter if they're late, which they often are. Also, I have something else ready, because her and my ideas of what is enough food are somewhat different.

I think you're perfectly within your rights to want to make the whole meal. Maybe phrase it as wanting to treat them for a change, and have them relax on the holiday.

bopper

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Re: I'm hosting Thanksgiving! heading off "what can I bring?"
« Reply #44 on: November 15, 2012, 04:24:13 PM »
I would tell them  all to bring a dessert.  Ypu make whatever you like, and then there will just be more desserts!