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?