I think that a lot of hurt feelings could have been avoided if people had spoken up.
Lita should have said "I'm sorry, I rarely have a chance to spend christmas with my kids so if you don't mind i'm going to opt out of the grandmother visit".
You (and others) should have said "chinese? for christmas? we'd really rather have XXX".
but nobody spoke up. which means you were all stuck with the original plans.
in *this* situation, Lita should have gone with you guys to grandma. I just think she should have opted out in the beginning.
(as for the chinese food thing - just wanted to clarify that this isn't a "rule" or a "commandment" as in "thou shalt eat Chinese food on December 25th, every year thou shalt follow this". it's just that at the beginning/middle of previous century, american Jews for the most part didn't celebrate christmas and neither did people from china, so chinese restaurants were open and non-celebrating people just migrated to them.)
and if you were *really* able to host comfortably, you should hav
Okay, now that's Christmas is over I've had a chance to think about the situation and I feel myself getting a bit upset/angry. I thought I'd get outside perspectives from you folks.....
Background: My mother died several years ago and was the "glue" of the family and the great organizer of holidays. Since then, I have tried to step in but things are always a bit chaotic although I think everyone is happy in the end. My only sibling, Pablo and his wife Kristina do try to help but they both work full time at low wage jobs, live paycheck to paycheck and are a bit flaky when it comes to plans/organization.
My dad has been dating a lovely woman, Lita, for over a year. She is also widowed. Lita has 3 adult sons, 2 of whom live 500 miles away and 1 who is married with a small toddler; they live on the other side of the country. Last year Lita visited her children for Christmas so there were no issues (also she and my Dad had not been dating very long at that point). I should note that although Lita has a fairly large house, she spends most of her time staying with my dad at his house.
This year, all of Lita's children and families came out to visit her, as well as her DIL's parents. So the drama begins.....
We now have to plan something to include our family of 4, my bro's family of 3, my bro's ILs, my dad and my elderly grandmother who can't drive, as well as Lita's 2 single sons, her married son, DIL and child, and DIL's parents. Unfortunately, "no one" is willing to step up and host the entire crew
(I say that in quotes because actually I did offer....but our house is the farthest distance, and on the small side-- we would have to do card tables around the living room to accommodate everyone....so not good enough apparently).
So my dad decided that he would celebrate Christmas eve with Lita and her family at her house, and then we would get together with him and Lita to celebrate Christmas day at my grandmother's. My grandmother is 95 and this would be easier for her. Lita suggested we get Chinese food already prepared and bring it so my grandmother does not have to do anything. Apparently, this is what Jewish people do on Christmas (none of us are Jewish, but Lita's deceased husband was). My dad thinks this is a wonderful idea. I am not a fan of Chinese takeout on Christmas I admit, but I kept my mouth shut because I agreed it will be nice for my grandmother.
So...can anyone guess the ending? Yes, the day before Christmas Eve, after Lita's family arrives, her children decide that they can't live without her on Christmas Day. Nevermind that they are staying for a whole week. They must see her on Christmas Day! So Lita cancels on my family, and we get stuck with Chinese takeout. When all is said and done, we arrived around 1:30pm and left around 5pm. Surely Lita could have spent 4 hours away from her family? My dad did seem a bit subdued--normally he is quite talkative and upbeat.
Was it unreasonable to expect her to attend? Or do out of town visiting children trump previous plans?