Author Topic: After Christmas Party, and Supplying Everything. UPDATE post 81  (Read 13639 times)

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LadyRoxi

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Re: After Christmas Party, and Supplying Everything.
« Reply #30 on: December 20, 2012, 11:35:54 AM »
I would like to preface what I say, with, I dont post very often, as by the time I get to a thread everyone has already said mostly what I would like to say, so you can take my words with the weight that they deserve.

OP,

I am truely sorry, most posters are unable to take you at face value when you say you and your mother can not afford anything.  I understand that people are trying offer alternative suggestions by saying well such and so is JUST $5 or what ever amount, but you have stated that you did not budget for this unexpected event and there is NO extra money to be had.  The board (in general) all the time seems to get on other people for always offering up other suggestions when you already stated that you can not do something. 

I do however think the offer of time to do something IF that is possible for you is a good alternative.  Otherwise, I think you should just go and enjoy seeing your aunt.  5 years from now after your dear aunt has departed, you will know you got to enjoy seeing her, and I am sure she will enjoy seeing you and your mom.  I doubt you will be worrying about if you brought food for the party or not.

I am sorry that you are losing a loved one. My condolences to you and your family in your time of need.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2012, 11:51:35 AM by LadyRoxi »

SiotehCat

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Re: After Christmas Party, and Supplying Everything.
« Reply #31 on: December 20, 2012, 11:46:09 AM »
Is the party going to be the only time that Aunt will be up for visitors?

Could you visit a different day?

mj

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Re: After Christmas Party, and Supplying Everything.
« Reply #32 on: December 20, 2012, 11:56:09 AM »
It sounds like this was a bait and switch, although it could have been unintentional.  I also wonder if it's possible to talk to the host, she may not even have thought how this type of potluck could burden you and your mom.  When I first read your OP, I was under the impression that she was asking your family unit to bring a side and you mom's family unit to bring a meat.  That's fairly common in some families, but not when each family unit is made up of one person. 

Fleur

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Re: After Christmas Party, and Supplying Everything.
« Reply #33 on: December 20, 2012, 12:06:59 PM »


I actually am going to be in the minority and say that a version of 'that won't be possible' is quite acceptable. I'm in the camp that says that bait and switches are rude, even in families and you are within your rights to either decline or simply say that it is not possible to bring anything.

onyonryngs

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Re: After Christmas Party, and Supplying Everything.
« Reply #34 on: December 20, 2012, 12:29:32 PM »
I think it's horrible to accuse the daughter of the woman who is dying of trying to pull a bait and switch.  Maybe the woman is upset that her mother is dying and isn't up to cooking for a horde of people.  Why assume that there is some horrible intent behind changing an event into a potluck? 

Fleur

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Re: After Christmas Party, and Supplying Everything.
« Reply #35 on: December 20, 2012, 12:33:02 PM »
I think it's horrible to accuse the daughter of the woman who is dying of trying to pull a bait and switch.  Maybe the woman is upset that her mother is dying and isn't up to cooking for a horde of people.  Why assume that there is some horrible intent behind changing an event into a potluck?

A bait and switch doesn't have to be deliberate. It can be unintentional. At the end of the day, the OP didn't ask for advice about how to prepare a cheap meal, or to be told she can afford something when she knows her own financial circumstances better than any of us do. She asked how to politely say 'that won't be possible'. I have been in a similar circumstance to the cousin, and I would never have asked for a potluck. If people volunteer, it is one thing.

Queen of Clubs

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Re: After Christmas Party, and Supplying Everything.
« Reply #36 on: December 20, 2012, 12:33:43 PM »
Background: It is tradition on my side of the family to have the Feast of the Seven Fishes on Christmas Eve, and then the next day, one of my Aunts hosts Christmas.

This year we are having an After Christmas party on the 29th with everyone. I am talking extended family here. All of my older cousins on my mom's side of her generation that I havent seen since... well, since another family member's funeral a few years ago, I think.

Is this in place of the normal 'Aunt hosts Christmas' or is it extra?  Either way, if there was no mention of the party being a potluck from the start (or early on in the planning), then it's a bait and switch to me.

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There is no way in ehell. There are a few reasons for that. One, we don't have it. Just plain don't have the money.

I sympathise.  I've been in the same situation where the kitty is empty and there is *nothing* spare.  I know it's hard for people to understand that it is possible to not be able to spend 'just a few dollars' on extra food but I've been there too.

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So ehellions, besides 'That won't be possible.' What can I say to these people?

Like other posters have suggested, is it possible for you to visit Great-Aunt on another day/another time?  If not, can your mother contact one of her brothers and tell them you *can't* chip in for the food as it's not in your budget?

If it's unacceptable for you to attend without bringing food, can you take the meal you would have had that evening and put that on the table?  It would be food, and if anyone complains about you not contributing enough, it would be enough to feed yourself and your mother.

Yvaine

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Re: After Christmas Party, and Supplying Everything.
« Reply #37 on: December 20, 2012, 12:37:07 PM »
Background: It is tradition on my side of the family to have the Feast of the Seven Fishes on Christmas Eve, and then the next day, one of my Aunts hosts Christmas.

This year we are having an After Christmas party on the 29th with everyone. I am talking extended family here. All of my older cousins on my mom's side of her generation that I havent seen since... well, since another family member's funeral a few years ago, I think.

Is this in place of the normal 'Aunt hosts Christmas' or is it extra?  Either way, if there was no mention of the party being a potluck from the start (or early on in the planning), then it's a bait and switch to me.

If I read the OP correctly, an aunt initially made the invitation and then a cousin asked for the food. It wouldn't surprise me if Aunt said "I've just invited 100 of our closest relatives to this party!" and Cousin thought "What, are you nuts? We can't feed that many people!" At any rate, I don't think it was a deliberate bait and switch, but a change in plans the occurred somewhere along the way.

Queen of Clubs

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Re: After Christmas Party, and Supplying Everything.
« Reply #38 on: December 20, 2012, 12:37:18 PM »
I think it's horrible to accuse the daughter of the woman who is dying of trying to pull a bait and switch.  Maybe the woman is upset that her mother is dying and isn't up to cooking for a horde of people.  Why assume that there is some horrible intent behind changing an event into a potluck?

It's entirely possible the daughter in question simply isn't thinking about it - she's very likely focused on her mother.  However, if there was no mention of the party being potluck, then it is a bait and switch to turn it into a potluck.  Unintentional, very possibly.  Done with no ill intent, very likely.  But it's still changing the catering from what it was into something different.

Fleur

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Re: After Christmas Party, and Supplying Everything.
« Reply #39 on: December 20, 2012, 12:40:21 PM »
I think it's horrible to accuse the daughter of the woman who is dying of trying to pull a bait and switch.  Maybe the woman is upset that her mother is dying and isn't up to cooking for a horde of people.  Why assume that there is some horrible intent behind changing an event into a potluck?

It's entirely possible the daughter in question simply isn't thinking about it - she's very likely focused on her mother.  However, if there was no mention of the party being potluck, then it is a bait and switch to turn it into a potluck.  Unintentional, very possibly.  Done with no ill intent, very likely.  But it's still changing the catering from what it was into something different.

Exactly, I think that people are perhaps getting a bit hung up on the term 'bait and switch', I suppose because of its connotation of nefarious business practice. It really just means something that started as one thing and becomes another, regardless of intent.

onyonryngs

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Re: After Christmas Party, and Supplying Everything.
« Reply #40 on: December 20, 2012, 12:42:32 PM »
I think it's horrible to accuse the daughter of the woman who is dying of trying to pull a bait and switch.  Maybe the woman is upset that her mother is dying and isn't up to cooking for a horde of people.  Why assume that there is some horrible intent behind changing an event into a potluck?

A bait and switch doesn't have to be deliberate. It can be unintentional. At the end of the day, the OP didn't ask for advice about how to prepare a cheap meal, or to be told she can afford something when she knows her own financial circumstances better than any of us do. She asked how to politely say 'that won't be possible'. I have been in a similar circumstance to the cousin, and I would never have asked for a potluck. If people volunteer, it is one thing.

It's not that you called it a bait & switch, it's calling it rude that I disagree with.  Designating the bait & switch as rude which would not be my first thought when the hostess has a dying mother - my first thought would be to see if there was more I could do.  Even if I couldn't afford to make a side dish/entree, I'd be seeing if any help was needed with setting it up, cooking, etc.  You do nice things for family and friends when they're in situations like this and you cut them slack.  Large family dinner + dying mother = not rude to change it to a potluck. 

And a potluck, in itself, is not rude.  People throw potlucks all the time. 

BarensMom

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Re: After Christmas Party, and Supplying Everything.
« Reply #41 on: December 20, 2012, 12:44:25 PM »
When all is said and done, if you and your mother can't afford it, that's it.  You two should simply send regrets that you are unable to make it.  If your mother wants, she could let one of her other siblings know the reason. 

Try to schedule a post-holiday visit with Great-Aunt at a time that wouldn't involve food or gifts.

mrkitty

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Re: After Christmas Party, and Supplying Everything.
« Reply #42 on: December 20, 2012, 01:04:29 PM »
I think it's horrible to accuse the daughter of the woman who is dying of trying to pull a bait and switch.  Maybe the woman is upset that her mother is dying and isn't up to cooking for a horde of people.  Why assume that there is some horrible intent behind changing an event into a potluck?

A bait and switch doesn't have to be deliberate. It can be unintentional. At the end of the day, the OP didn't ask for advice about how to prepare a cheap meal, or to be told she can afford something when she knows her own financial circumstances better than any of us do. She asked how to politely say 'that won't be possible'. I have been in a similar circumstance to the cousin, and I would never have asked for a potluck. If people volunteer, it is one thing.

It's not that you called it a bait & switch, it's calling it rude that I disagree with.  Designating the bait & switch as rude which would not be my first thought when the hostess has a dying mother - my first thought would be to see if there was more I could do.  Even if I couldn't afford to make a side dish/entree, I'd be seeing if any help was needed with setting it up, cooking, etc.  You do nice things for family and friends when they're in situations like this and you cut them slack.  Large family dinner + dying mother = not rude to change it to a potluck. 

And a potluck, in itself, is not rude.  People throw potlucks all the time.



This. I think it would be the kind thing to do to offer to do something to help out (if possible) at this difficult time, or at the very least, try to be patient and understanding. I don't think the cousin or aunt's intention was to inconvenience anyone or cause hardship. I think the intention was to bring everyone together to say goodbye to the Great Aunt; she probably didn't think about the repercussions or possible inconvenience for anyone because she's distracted with losing her mother. That's why I urge compassion and patience at this difficult time. Like I said upthread, it's understandable to feel put out with the last-minute change in plans. But I think the posters on this board offered very reasonable solutions. In any case, I send my condolences to the OP and hope that whatever the OP decides, that it works out for the best.
Learn from past. Live in the present. Hope for the future.

Oh Joy

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Re: After Christmas Party, and Supplying Everything.
« Reply #43 on: December 20, 2012, 01:11:49 PM »
Background: It is tradition on my side of the family to have the Feast of the Seven Fishes on Christmas Eve, and then the next day, one of my Aunts hosts Christmas.

This year we are having an After Christmas party on the 29th with everyone. I am talking extended family here. All of my older cousins on my mom's side of her generation that I havent seen since... well, since another family member's funeral a few years ago, I think.

At any rate, we are having this After Holiday party because this will be one of my Great-Aunts last Christmases.

I was really okay with that. No etiquette dilemma so far. Until my mom was contacted this evening.

Apparently we (that is the family as a whole, including the extended cousins and what not) are funding this whole thing. We weren't asked, oh no. We were ordered. My Aunt (mom's sister) called her tonight, and was contacted by Cousin J. Cousin J is the daughter of the Great Aunt who is dying.

Cousin J said that everyone in mom's generation must bring a meat and that all of the kids (includes me and my five cousins) must each bring a side dish.

There is no way in ehell. There are a few reasons for that. One, we don't have it. Just plain don't have the money. Two, I don't feel it is our obligation to help them throw a party. I have a feeling mom is just going to go along with it, but this is my hill to die on.

So ehellions, besides 'That won't be possible.' What can I say to these people?

I admit my interpretation of tone is coloring my view.  Our OP doesn't sound like, 'Oh, no!  It's a potluck and everyone's supposed to bring something.  I can't afford it; what can I do?'  It sounds very acrimonious to me, talking about contributions as everything/the whole thing, and that there's 'no way in ehell...it is our obligation to help them throw a party.'  The advice requested is what to say to 'these people' besides that it won't be possible.

If our OP wants to be part of the event but finds finances the primary obstacle, there have been suggestions to offer time, an inexpensive dish, or explain and go empty-handed.  It sounds more like our OP wants nothing to do with the event, and is requesting a stronger response than to simply decline.  I don't believe this would be polite.

Best wishes to our OP and the family.

Luci

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Re: After Christmas Party, and Supplying Everything.
« Reply #44 on: December 20, 2012, 01:22:17 PM »
OP,

I am truely sorry, most posters are unable to take you at face value when you say you and your mother can not afford anything.  I understand that people are trying offer alternative suggestions by saying well such and so is JUST $5 or what ever amount, but you have stated that you did not budget for this unexpected event and there is NO extra money to be had.  The board (in general) all the time seems to get on other people for always offering up other suggestions when you already stated that you can not do something. 

I do however think the offer of time to do something IF that is possible for you is a good alternative.  Otherwise, I think you should just go and enjoy seeing your aunt.  5 years from now after your dear aunt has departed, you will know you got to enjoy seeing her, and I am sure she will enjoy seeing you and your mom.  I doubt you will be worrying about if you brought food for the party or not.

I am sorry that you are losing a loved one. My condolences to you and your family in your time of need.

This is good!

Thanks, LadyRoxi. I was trying to say the above but couldn't quite articulate it nicely.

Also, as Nikko-Chan and mother are seeing the family on other occasions this season, perhaps missing this one won't mean quite as much and the 1 on 1 time with ill aunt will be more meaningful.

Did I miss anything about transportation? I hope that is all worked out if Nikko's household just can't miss the event for emotional reasons.