Author Topic: After Christmas Party, and Supplying Everything. UPDATE post 81  (Read 13145 times)

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CakeBeret

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Re: After Christmas Party, and Supplying Everything.
« Reply #60 on: December 20, 2012, 04:55:21 PM »
I think the OP may be feeling more frustrated because it's coming up to Christmas and many people find their finances stretched thin to breaking point at such a time - and not by having huge celebrations but just by trying to have things be a little bit nicer at this time of year.

OP, I hope you can find a way to attend that doesn't break the bank.

I agree with this.

OP, I'm sorry for what you and your family are going through.

Several previous posters have given you great suggestions; I have one myself. I think you and your mom should just bring one dish. If anyone asks why Mom didn't bring a meat dish, say "It just wasn't possible."

Check your local grocery stores to see where you can get the best deal on potatoes. My local Aldi has a 10-lb bag of potatoes for $1. Get a head of garlic (usually about 15 cents). Cut off the top of the head, so that most of the cloves are exposed. Drizzle with a little oil, wrap in tinfoil, and roast at 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes, until garlic is soft and smooshy. Mash the garlic together with the cooked potatoes. Butter and/or milk are a nice addition, but if you don't have any, no worries, just add some salt and pepper. The garlic makes it taste very rich and flavorful. This makes a TON of potatoes and should cost you $2 or so.
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CaptainObvious

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Re: After Christmas Party, and Supplying Everything.
« Reply #61 on: December 20, 2012, 04:55:41 PM »
Also, no matter the circumstances, I would be really, really irritated to be told of the fact that I have to bring a dish, with no chance to explain or compromise.

And OP heard that through the grapevine, right? No organizer called OP. It was a relative called mom and mom told OP. I can't stand gatekeepers. If you want me to bring something, give me plenty of notice and tell me directly. That way, if I have a problem, I can respond directly.

ETA: I went back and read the original post.
Dying great aunt's daughter, Cousin J, called Mom's sister, who called Mom. And Mom told OP (I don't know if OP lives with Mom or not).

I think it's like a game of "telephone." By the time the info got to Mom and OP, who knows if it was originally a request, a suggestion, an order, etc.

If I were OP, I'd either call Cousin J directly and clarify, or just feign ignorance/misunderstanding/uncertainty and show up with something (food or gift) that I had planned to bring originally before all of this game of telephone started.

In some families, it isn't unusual for them to pass info via the "phone tree". I have done it, and my family has done it.

bloo

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Re: After Christmas Party, and Supplying Everything.
« Reply #62 on: December 20, 2012, 05:35:50 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.

I'm with you Luci. This is what I was thinking and couldn't quite articulate it.

What LadyRoxi said.

Deetee

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Re: After Christmas Party, and Supplying Everything.
« Reply #63 on: December 20, 2012, 06:44:23 PM »


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?

You say "I am very sorry, but I won't be able to attend. Thank-you for inviting me" Then you send your best wishes with your mother.

A lot of people have said a lot of good things and I, like the other posters, do not understand the anger you have towards contributing towards a large family party (especially immediately after attending two previous hosted parties this year). Unless there are a lot of details missing, this is sounding a bit like you are happy to accept hospitality, but cannot fathom returning some.

Roe

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Re: After Christmas Party, and Supplying Everything.
« Reply #64 on: December 20, 2012, 06:55:18 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.

POD!  I also read it as unnecessarily hostile. 

OP, you can either make something small and cheap or decline the invite.  Personally, I think taking something small and cheap is the way to go if you really want to visit with your aunt. After all, you and your mom have to eat so you are going to cook/buy food anyway. 

At any rate, good luck!

miranova

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Re: After Christmas Party, and Supplying Everything.
« Reply #65 on: December 20, 2012, 07:33:16 PM »
I REALLY don't get the anger here.  At all.

You were basically invited to a potluck.  Either decline or make a side dish and go.  I don't get it.

Just because these events are USUALLY fully hosted does not mean that they have to continue that way each and every year.  Maybe the HOSTS are having financial difficultly and can't afford to fully host this year so they have asked family to pitch in.  Seems perfecly reasonable to me!

And I have to admit I can not understand not being able to afford a side dish simply from the standpoint that you have to eat something that day anyway.  What were you going to eat if there was no party to go to at all?  I can make a side dish for a group more cheaply than I can feed myself a full dinner.  I just don't get it.

SoCalVal

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Re: After Christmas Party, and Supplying Everything.
« Reply #66 on: December 20, 2012, 09:10:39 PM »
And I have to admit I can not understand not being able to afford a side dish simply from the standpoint that you have to eat something that day anyway.  What were you going to eat if there was no party to go to at all?  I can make a side dish for a group more cheaply than I can feed myself a full dinner.  I just don't get it.

When DF was in grad school, he big time tried to cut corners where he could so he could send most of his money home to his dad and brother to help with the bills.  He told me he made himself sick surviving on meals of cabbage or beans or something else really really simple, plain, inexpensive, etc.  I could easily see someone not being able to afford to contribute to a potluck because what would be an acceptable dish or acceptable amount may not be how OP and her mom typically eat.  I would just take her word for it when she says they cannot afford to contribute and that food would be take away from their basic survival needs in order to contribute.



YummyMummy66

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Re: After Christmas Party, and Supplying Everything.
« Reply #67 on: December 20, 2012, 09:13:07 PM »
I agree with other posters. I am totally confused.

It sounds as if you have no problem going to two events that are completely hosted by other relatives, one being Christmas Eve and one on Christmas Day.  Do you or have you contributed anything to either of these events?

But, you seem to have a real problem bringing a side dish or a meat dish to a gathering of all the relatives. Do you really expect one host to supply everything for the whole clan?

There have been many suggestions on what you can do.  You can either do one of these or decline to go to the event.

miranova

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Re: After Christmas Party, and Supplying Everything.
« Reply #68 on: December 20, 2012, 09:24:02 PM »
And I have to admit I can not understand not being able to afford a side dish simply from the standpoint that you have to eat something that day anyway.  What were you going to eat if there was no party to go to at all?  I can make a side dish for a group more cheaply than I can feed myself a full dinner.  I just don't get it.

  I would just take her word for it when she says they cannot afford to contribute and that food would be take away from their basic survival needs in order to contribute.

Even if I do that, that really does not explain the level of anger here.  When I am invited to events I can't afford, I decline.  I certainly don't just get angry and have a "how dare they!" attitude if someone is not willing to fully pay my way for MY large holiday meal.

I am stuck on the fact that the OP was perfectly willing to allow others to fully host her but when they asked for a SMALL contribution, she got furious.  That makes no sense to me, and comes across frankly as greedy and entitled.  The most I can see being warranted here is disappointment, followed by "sorry I won't be able to attend".   I do not understand this level of righteous anger over someone wanting to make the event a potluck. 

sourwolf

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Re: After Christmas Party, and Supplying Everything.
« Reply #69 on: December 20, 2012, 09:34:29 PM »
Also, no matter the circumstances, I would be really, really irritated to be told of the fact that I have to bring a dish, with no chance to explain or compromise.

And OP heard that through the grapevine, right? No organizer called OP. It was a relative called mom and mom told OP. I can't stand gatekeepers. If you want me to bring something, give me plenty of notice and tell me directly. That way, if I have a problem, I can respond directly.

ETA: I went back and read the original post.
Dying great aunt's daughter, Cousin J, called Mom's sister, who called Mom. And Mom told OP (I don't know if OP lives with Mom or not).

I think it's like a game of "telephone." By the time the info got to Mom and OP, who knows if it was originally a request, a suggestion, an order, etc.

If I were OP, I'd either call Cousin J directly and clarify, or just feign ignorance/misunderstanding/uncertainty and show up with something (food or gift) that I had planned to bring originally before all of this game of telephone started.

In some families, it isn't unusual for them to pass info via the "phone tree". I have done it, and my family has done it.

My family does the phone tree calling as well and I never realized that people might be offended by it.  Actually much like a pot luck a phone tree makes things easier on the "host" by having everyone help out instead of them having to call everyone themselves.

I also agree with PP's that the OP seems very hostile.

SoCalVal

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Re: After Christmas Party, and Supplying Everything.
« Reply #70 on: December 20, 2012, 09:52:22 PM »
And I have to admit I can not understand not being able to afford a side dish simply from the standpoint that you have to eat something that day anyway.  What were you going to eat if there was no party to go to at all?  I can make a side dish for a group more cheaply than I can feed myself a full dinner.  I just don't get it.

  I would just take her word for it when she says they cannot afford to contribute and that food would be take away from their basic survival needs in order to contribute.

Even if I do that, that really does not explain the level of anger here.  When I am invited to events I can't afford, I decline.  I certainly don't just get angry and have a "how dare they!" attitude if someone is not willing to fully pay my way for MY large holiday meal.

I am stuck on the fact that the OP was perfectly willing to allow others to fully host her but when they asked for a SMALL contribution, she got furious.  That makes no sense to me, and comes across frankly as greedy and entitled.  The most I can see being warranted here is disappointment, followed by "sorry I won't be able to attend".   I do not understand this level of righteous anger over someone wanting to make the event a potluck.

Oh, I don't think her anger is justifiable at this point, and I don't quite understand it either.  I just think that we should accept she and her mom can't afford to contribute.



Nikko-chan

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Re: After Christmas Party, and Supplying Everything.
« Reply #71 on: December 20, 2012, 09:53:45 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.

It was actually Cousin J who made the initial invite, about a month back. Cousin J is Great Aunts daughter, and Great Aunt lives with Cousin J and her husband, so we are having the party there.  Aunt is just relaying information to us. Cousin J called Aunt and said basically "well your generation are going to bring meats and Younger Generation (mine) is going to bring sides"

But now there has been a game changer thrown into the mix. Because no longer am I going to be bringing a side. Cousin J texted Aunt, and said she is having me and OtherCousin bring a dessert. *smacks forehead* I... have no ideas for this one.

Someone mentioned rice upthread and I had a good idea for a side... now? I... have no ideas. I hope I can find something easy.

sourwolf

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Re: After Christmas Party, and Supplying Everything.
« Reply #72 on: December 20, 2012, 09:56:20 PM »
Rice crispies treats. Cheap, easy and everyone loves them.

Nikko-chan

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Re: After Christmas Party, and Supplying Everything.
« Reply #73 on: December 20, 2012, 10:02:35 PM »
And the anger doesn't even factor into this at all I guess. It's just that Great-Aunt has been vitriolic to our family in the past, and I just can't fathom spending time with her, even if she is dying, but I will go and suck it up for the sake of family harmony. I also get anxious around big crowds of family (Bigger than just Christmas and Christmas Eve), and that is playing into this as well.

I guess there is no way around it and I will have to make a dessert... somehow.




mrkitty

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Re: After Christmas Party, and Supplying Everything.
« Reply #74 on: December 20, 2012, 10:10:18 PM »
Given your dire financial situation, not being on good terms with your great aunt and your anxiety issues being around groups of other people, I'm not sure it's a good idea at all for you to attend. You likely will have a terrible time and if you have a panic attack it might cause more chaos for your relatives than it's worth. Plus, if your great aunt has been that awful to you in the past, I can't imagine that her last days would be much improved by seeing you, or you her.

I vote you just get yourself a case of diplomatic flu and save yourself and everyone else the anguish.
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