Author Topic: Help! Thanksgiving guests-inviting-guests conundrum  (Read 3754 times)

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NutellaNut

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Help! Thanksgiving guests-inviting-guests conundrum
« on: November 12, 2012, 10:13:56 AM »
BG: for the first time in several years, DH and I will be home this Thanksgiving.  As well, our local family has diminished somewhat, and those that are here are not sure what they're doing for Thanksgiving.  We were thinking it would be a pretty quiet day, and partially looking forward to that, but also knowing that at some point on the day we'd feel a little let down.

We have some good friends in the area who we have very occasionally spent a holiday dinner with in the past - two couples.  Let's call one couple David and Amy, and the other couple Cathy and Ken.  Both couples are part of our extended group of friends, and some of our very closest friends. 

We mentioned T-day to Cathy and Ken, but they're aren't sure if their family will be doing something.  That's OK, I understand that Cathy has three adult daughters in the area and wants to spend time with them if they can, but that plans in her family tend to be nebulous.  But she's expressed hope that they could come to our place.

A little more than a week ago we were having dinner with David and Amy, who don't have family in the area at all.  We asked them about T-day and said we'd be having a quiet day but they'd be welcome.  David replied that they weren't sure, but no matter what, they were cooking, because last year they learned a new way to cook a turkey and it was so awesome they're doing it again.  We talked about how DH and I plan to try out Cook's Country's roast turkey that uses mayonnaise (from a recent issue) and moved on to other topics.

Then, a few days later, Amy called and said, "Is the Thanksgiving Day invite still open?  We can come." After I enthusiastically said yes, she added, "Or we can host here."  I hesitated before saying, "Why don't you guys come here."  Because we really would rather it be at our house. 

In the time since then, we still haven't pinned down whether Ken and Cathy, or my step-son and his two sons, will be able to come to our house.

Then, last night, David calls and says, "Is it OK if I add someone - two people actually - to come with us?  We've hosted them before, he really doesn't have anywhere else to be.  Great guy, I know him through (X hobby)..."  I was just gobsmacked and didn't know how to respond.  Eventually I stammered that I wasn't sure if we already have 6 or 8 people, and space might be an issue, so I'd have to get back to him on that.

So how on earth do I handle this?  I know that some people are "the more the merrier" type, and that it's a kindness to open your space to folks without anyone for the holiday.  But DH and I were really looking forward to a low-stress dinner with a couple of friends, maybe family, and adding someone we've never even met will completely change the dynamic.  It will add to my stress level tremendously as I will feel the need to clean the house to an entirely differently standard, and I will worry about the food a lot more.  We do not want to add in these extra people.

But we do not want to offend our dear friends who want to add these people in.  We recognize they're coming from a place of kindness.  I think that really, they would rather host but thought since we would be alone it would nice to spend the day with us.  So it feels extra curmudgeonly to say "No!" when they want to include another lonely waif or two. 

I thought of telling them that maybe we should just come to their place so they can invite who they want, but DH says that I can't say that when I've told them we might have several other guests coming (though those are all really tentative).  I would be a little sad to not host on T-day, but perfectly happy to make our own turkey etc. on Friday or Saturday.  I was already stressing a little even just about having David and Amy as they are a little particular about their food and we worry we're not up to their standard sometimes.  So a good solution would be to go to their place instead, if we didn't have a few people thinking they might be coming here.  I can talk easily to Cathy (she's my BFF) and she'll understand if plans change; but DH will be very sad if there's no way to see his son and grandkids on the day - though that may happen anyway as my step-son refuses to commit to a plan!

Any suggestions on what to say to David and Amy?  What do we do?
 

suzieQ

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Re: Help! Thanksgiving guests-inviting-guests conundrum
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2012, 10:21:23 AM »
I'm wondering if they plan to bring the turkey, since they said they wanted to cook one like they did last year. The way Amy said they can come or they can "host here" makes it sound to me like they plan to host at your house. Especially since they want to invite someone else as well.
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BarensMom

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Re: Help! Thanksgiving guests-inviting-guests conundrum
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2012, 10:41:07 AM »
I'm wondering if they plan to bring the turkey, since they said they wanted to cook one like they did last year. The way Amy said they can come or they can "host here" makes it sound to me like they plan to host at your house. Especially since they want to invite someone else as well.

Since you haven't firmed up plans with anyone else to come to your house, you could call Amy and say, "I'm so rude.  Here you said you wanted to try that new turkey recipe and I forgot all about it.  How about we have dinner at your house and I'll bring the sides and help you prepare."

NyaChan

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Re: Help! Thanksgiving guests-inviting-guests conundrum
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2012, 04:24:47 PM »
I am still thinking through on what I'd suggest doing - but I had to say since your were planning on a new turkey recipe, my family's thanksgiving turkey recipe uses mayo & it turns out amazing every year.  We rub it with black pepper, salt, ginger, and garlic & finally the mayo. 

Hmmmmm

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Re: Help! Thanksgiving guests-inviting-guests conundrum
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2012, 04:32:07 PM »
Since you haven't confirmed yet with anyone, I think I would call them back and say "Since you have other guests you'd like to invite and we haven't confirmed others, why don't we move Tday to your home.  We'll be happy to join you guys there."

Then I'd send a note to all of your tentative guests and say since you received any confirmations, you've decided to accept another invitation for Tday.  But you do plan to celebrate at your home on Friday/Saturday for anyone who'd like to join you. 

snowdragon

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Re: Help! Thanksgiving guests-inviting-guests conundrum
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2012, 04:40:06 PM »
"Gee, since you need to have these other guests come, why don't my guests and I move the festivities to your house, I'll call you with a final head count when I get it."

  And see  if they object. If they do - "Well since you thought it ok to invite others to my  house, I really didn't think you'd mind doing some extra work yourselves. Let me know if you want to come yourselves, or stay home with your guests."

NyaChan

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Re: Help! Thanksgiving guests-inviting-guests conundrum
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2012, 04:46:43 PM »
Ok I would suggest being honest with the people who are you consider to be dear friends - let them know that you would be happy to have them, but can't handle the extra people.  Also follow up with the info that you would completely understand if they would prefer to host under these circumstances, maybe even say that you had worried that perhaps you had preempted their own plans by offering before they could.  Make it clear that if that wasn't in fact the case, you would love to have them over for a quiet night with close friends and family. 

I don't think telling the truth in this situation can hurt.

Deetee

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Re: Help! Thanksgiving guests-inviting-guests conundrum
« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2012, 05:41:03 PM »
I don't see this as the standard guest-inviting guest conundrum as it is Thanksgiving (where in many families "orphans" are always welcome) and  the couple doing the extended invite has already offered to host everyone.

That said, you don't need to invite anyone, but I would think you should decide if you want a quiet Thanksgiving or not.

I think the best option is to let your friends (who want to invite friends) host and you go over to their place and then do a seperate dinner with your husband (and maybe the other couple). But I also think it's the best option because I looooove leftovers so even if I visited elsewhere I would want to cook for myself.

(However, in full disclosure I would just invite the friend of friend and I realise that may be colouring my answer)


sparksals

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Re: Help! Thanksgiving guests-inviting-guests conundrum
« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2012, 12:18:15 AM »
DeeTee... I don't think that is fair.  Not all people can accommodate all 'orphans'.  I certainly can't.  I do a formal TG dinner and have room for 10 max to sit at my table.  The OP said she wants a quiet day and it is her right to have it if she wants without feeling like she has to say yes to strangers coming to her intimate meal. 

Danika

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Re: Help! Thanksgiving guests-inviting-guests conundrum
« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2012, 05:09:10 AM »
...DH and I were really looking forward to a low-stress dinner with a couple of friends, maybe family, and adding someone we've never even met will completely change the dynamic.  It will add to my stress level tremendously as I will feel the need to clean the house to an entirely differently standard, and I will worry about the food a lot more.  We do not want to add in these extra people.

Based on this, I think you should not allow them to bring extra guests. I see several scenarios that could happen:

1) David and Amy are ok not bringing extra people. They come anyway. You have a great, relaxing TG as you had hoped.

2) David and Amy decline and stay home and host these folks themselves.

3) You and your DH go to David and Amy's and aren't stressed out.

It sounds like, ideally, you'd prefer #1. Am I correct? But if it comes down to situations 2 or 3, which would you prefer?

Let's say that all the other people you invited don't get back to you and it's just you and DH alone. Would you be ok with that or would you wish you'd gone to David and Amy's?


I thought of telling them that maybe we should just come to their place so they can invite who they want, but DH says that I can't say that when I've told them we might have several other guests coming (though those are all really tentative).

You can always call David and Amy and say "Our plans have now changed. It looks like we might not be hosting anyone other than you and Amy. Since you had other folks you also wanted to invite and you had mentioned that you wanted to try the mayo recipe, and you once offered to have it at your place, let's just have it at your place. Does that still work for you?"

Margo

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Re: Help! Thanksgiving guests-inviting-guests conundrum
« Reply #10 on: November 13, 2012, 07:15:16 AM »
I would call David back and say that unfortuantely it won't be possible for you to add his friedns to the invitation, but that you will completely understand if, in those circumstances, he and Amy decide they would rather stay home and host their friends there.

They may well invite you to their home, but I don't think that you have any obligation to accept if they do, even if they tel you you are welcome to bring your other guests. I can imagine it could get quite stressful having to try to in people down so you can give David and Amy firm numbers, and then to have to organise getting eveyone to their home, and being out of your own house as well.

It's fine to say 'thank you so much for the invitation - but we have not had Thannksgiving in our own home for several years and we really want a quiet day in our own home, with just family or very close friends'

Under normal cirumstances you don't, of course,have to gie any explanation for declining an invitation, but I think in this situation it's reasonabel to say something to make it claer that it's not that you don't want to see them, or that you don't think you'd like their friends, just that you already have specific plans for the type of celebrations you want *this* year.

You could also consider inviting them todinner (just the 4 of you) at your home on another date, so you still get to spend some time together.

JenJay

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Re: Help! Thanksgiving guests-inviting-guests conundrum
« Reply #11 on: November 13, 2012, 07:52:48 AM »
Since you haven't confirmed yet with anyone, I think I would call them back and say "Since you have other guests you'd like to invite and we haven't confirmed others, why don't we move Tday to your home.  We'll be happy to join you guys there."

Then I'd send a note to all of your tentative guests and say since you received any confirmations, you've decided to accept another invitation for Tday.  But you do plan to celebrate at your home on Friday/Saturday for anyone who'd like to join you.

I agree

TootsNYC

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Re: Help! Thanksgiving guests-inviting-guests conundrum
« Reply #12 on: November 13, 2012, 12:13:00 PM »
DeeTee... I don't think that is fair.  Not all people can accommodate all 'orphans'.  I certainly can't.  I do a formal TG dinner and have room for 10 max to sit at my table.  The OP said she wants a quiet day and it is her right to have it if she wants without feeling like she has to say yes to strangers coming to her intimate meal.

I don't think DeeTee was unfair at all!!

She didn't say, and to me didn't even imply, this "accommodating orphans" *should* be the course for everyone--she just said that it *IS* the norm for many people.

In fact, she specifically said that the OP doesn't need to host the guests-of-guests.

I think you're reading pressure and judgment in her post that is NOT there. At all.

Deetee

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Re: Help! Thanksgiving guests-inviting-guests conundrum
« Reply #13 on: November 13, 2012, 02:29:33 PM »
DeeTee... I don't think that is fair.  Not all people can accommodate all 'orphans'.  I certainly can't.  I do a formal TG dinner and have room for 10 max to sit at my table.  The OP said she wants a quiet day and it is her right to have it if she wants without feeling like she has to say yes to strangers coming to her intimate meal.

I don't think DeeTee was unfair at all!!

She didn't say, and to me didn't even imply, this "accommodating orphans" *should* be the course for everyone--she just said that it *IS* the norm for many people.

In fact, she specifically said that the OP doesn't need to host the guests-of-guests.

I think you're reading pressure and judgment in her post that is NOT there. At all.

Thanks! That was what I was trying to get across.

In my mind, no-one should offer more hospitality than they feel comfortable with. ever. (they should just be clear in the invite what they are offering)

I was just trying to suggest that, because hosting orphans is a common T-giving tradition, it wasn't the same as the standard inviting extra guests rudeness. The other couple was also happy to host, so it makes the most sense to me to let the other couple host.

sparksals

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Re: Help! Thanksgiving guests-inviting-guests conundrum
« Reply #14 on: November 14, 2012, 10:59:27 AM »
My apologies, DeeTee.  I DID misread that.  Gotta blame reading on a phone.  I thought you were implying those who didn't invite orphans were less gracious when they had room to do so.