Author Topic: Lakehouse Sally and "Dibs" on XMAS - update # 54  (Read 13784 times)

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POF

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Lakehouse Sally and "Dibs" on XMAS - update # 54
« on: September 10, 2013, 01:23:22 PM »
We are gearing up for the annual battle over who owns XMAS in DH's family.

 About 8- years ago my FIL passed and my MIL moved into assisted living.  Prior to that XMAS was held XMAS Night at her house - it was dinner at 5:30, visiting, gifts merriment. We went home about 8:30 or really whenever we wanted to.  We each brought one food item, usually an appetizer or a dessert.  Dinner was prepared by MIL.

The next 2 years were hosted by Lakehouse Sally.  It was not terribly "merry".
      She assigned major pieces of the dinner to each of us - without our input. 
      Her grown children would fight and argue. 
      We were asked to come at 1:00, dinner would be served at 3:30 or so and then we  could not leave until 6:00 or so.
     This was hard with little ones who wanted to be home and play with their toys.
      Hosting was marginal, one year there were no appropriate beverages - only alcohol and tap water, it got so that I had to bring so much food / drinks etc - that it would be easier for me to stay home.
      There was a falling out in the family - so certain siblings will not go to Sally's house.



DH and I said enough is enough, its not how we want to celebrate - so we said we are staying home. We are eating at 5:30 - if you want to join us - GREAT - let me know by X date.  But no pressure - just know you are welcome.

XMAS has been a great success at our house. Some years I've had 32 people ( inlcuding the 4 of us ) , last year it was just us and an elderly relative.  I really am not concerned with what other people want to do - but they are welcome and can bring friends etc.  uaully - I have 13 to 14 people.  Sally's daughter Betty announced that she was hosting XMAS last year. I nicely said- thanks for the invite, but we stay home for XMAS - would you like to get together another day ( and we did ).  Note that neice ended up with her entire extended family invited and it was apparently a zoo.  Since I am hssting - I take care of all the food, but allow folks to bring something that they want to. My college age neice likes to bake - so she brings dessert etc. but  Ido not assign anything.

It's September - way too early to get a XMAS count and Lakehouse Sally corners me at MIL's birthday this weekend and says - I am having everyone for XMAS. I want to have the entire family at my house. I said - Sally, thanks for the invite, but we stay home at XMAS - I'll be happy to get together another day if you want. NO she emphatically says - I want EVERYONE at my house and people would rather go to yours, so don't have dinner.  I explained, that I will have my annual open house for anyone who wants to come.

 Sally's children are grown, she has grandchildren and her children have significant others.  It's not like she will not have a houseful, but DH and the boys and I like to be home on XMAS. We don't want to go and spend 6+ hours at someone elses house on XMAS.  I am OK with them doing their own thing, we are doing our own thing.

Everyone else is OK with casual XMAS - dynamics change and families evolve.  Plus - it is serious chaos at her house.  it gets very tense and some old disagreements get aired.

At my house - everyone knows NOT to do that.

So -  I guess I will keep saying no, I guess it will be rude to say - you can invite me not demand my presence.  But I would appreciate any other ideas for deflecting this.


« Last Edit: October 18, 2013, 01:09:26 PM by POF »

NyaChan

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Re: Lakehouse Sally and "Dibs" on XMAS
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2013, 01:27:02 PM »
I got really excited when I saw your post  :D  You seem to be handling it as well so far.  It isn't as if she can drag you over to her place. 

POF

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Re: Lakehouse Sally and "Dibs" on XMAS
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2013, 01:28:19 PM »
I've been sick and haven't had the strength to give the Lakehouse update for this year  ::) - but stay tuned. Craziness.... its in the air.

Shabooty

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Re: Lakehouse Sally and "Dibs" on XMAS
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2013, 01:34:24 PM »
I think your response was perfect.  Rinse, lather and repeat.

Sophia

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Re: Lakehouse Sally and "Dibs" on XMAS
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2013, 01:39:12 PM »
...NO she emphatically says - I want EVERYONE at my house and people would rather go to yours, so don't have dinner. ...

I had to laugh at this.  The idea of HER maybe, I don't know, provide dinner had not occurred to her. 

JenJay

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Re: Lakehouse Sally and "Dibs" on XMAS
« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2013, 01:42:18 PM »
Obviously she "gets it" that everyone prefers your home to hers. You'd think maybe that would be a wake up call and she'd say to herself "Hmmm, what is POF doing that everyone loves so much? Maybe I should try that when I host." But no, instead her brain jumps to "Hey POF please kick everyone out of your house for Christmas and promise to come to my house instead. We all know they won't come unless they have literally no other option."  :P

Luci45

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Re: Lakehouse Sally and "Dibs" on XMAS
« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2013, 02:26:54 PM »
"No...I want everyone at my house..." makes her sound like a petulant child. Did she cross her arms and stomp her foot, too?

And good for you for saying you will not be there.

Poor Sally.  :'( If she won't learn how to host and change her behavior, I guess she'll just die sad.

It sounds as if your husband has been with you on this, at least. Hope it keeps.

Please don't go. I don't think you need to deflect any more than just repeat that you will not be there. There is no reason to let her go on and on about it.

ilrag

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Re: Lakehouse Sally and "Dibs" on XMAS
« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2013, 03:21:51 PM »
Have you directly called her out and said something like "Sally, why do you think you can tell me how to spend my Christmas?"

SCMagnolia

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Re: Lakehouse Sally and "Dibs" on XMAS
« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2013, 03:24:07 PM »
Quote
So -  I guess I will keep saying no, I guess it will be rude to say - you can invite me not demand my presence.

I think I'd be very tempted to ask, "Sally, are you INVITING me to your house or are you DEMANDING that I be at your house?" and then tell her exactly what you told her for as many times as you need to tell her for her to get the hint (or until you are thisclose to snapping and needing to bury a body.)

She's just all kinds of special little Christmas snowflake by demanding that everyone go to HER house for Christmas.  Has anyone sat her down and had the "Santa really isn't real" talk yet, too?   :P

lowspark

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Re: Lakehouse Sally and "Dibs" on XMAS
« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2013, 03:41:49 PM »
We love to watch old Perry Mason episodes (from the 60s) and this phrase (which I often use when appropriate) comes to mind:
"Objected to as already asked and answered."

You could say something along those lines. "Sally, you already invited me and I already declined." Then either bean dip or better yet, deflect your attention elsewhere and walk away.

It is pretty funny that she recognizes that the only way to get people to come to her house is to try to bully you into not inviting them to yours. How can she not see how ridiculous that is?

Zizi-K

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Re: Lakehouse Sally and "Dibs" on XMAS
« Reply #10 on: September 10, 2013, 03:47:58 PM »
Ha - she's not demanding that you come to her place, she's demanding that you not hold your annual party which would conflict with hers. I'm curious whether Sally has come to your open houses in the past, and whether she enjoyed herself?

mime

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Re: Lakehouse Sally and "Dibs" on XMAS
« Reply #11 on: September 10, 2013, 05:23:30 PM »
I was unaware of the Lakehouse Sally Chronicles... interesting. Other stories do help put everything into perspective, too.

I can appreciate Lakehouse Sally wanting everyone together for her gathering. I understand the feeling that it is a 'special' gathering when that happens. It's just not always possible, though, and she doesn't get to have that at the expense of your family's feelings and desire to stay home.

My grandmother pulled a similar stunt on Thanksgiving one year. She declared there would be no T-day celebration. After learning that the family was making other plans to celebrate elsewhere rather than sit at home and "anit-celebrate", Grandma decided she would host after all and tried to force invitations made by others to be revoked to restore her traditional guest list. It didn't work.

I applaud you for preserving your own tradition for your family, and in an etiquette-friendly way, treating this demand as if it was an invitation and kindly turning it down.

TootsNYC

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Re: Lakehouse Sally and "Dibs" on XMAS
« Reply #12 on: September 10, 2013, 06:45:11 PM »
I think your response was perfect.  Rinse, lather and repeat.

Ditto--lather, rinse, repeat.

Like mime, I understand that it's really special when it's everyone.
And believe me, I get it, the appeal of hosting "the" family celebration.

But you have to succeed at it, to win that honor. It truly is an honor granted by the attendees. That's what she doesn't get.
   You either earn that honor because you are so loving to people that they want to please you; or by creating a gathering of people who enjoy one another's company; or by superior hosting. She's done none of those.



Nice advice here:


You could say something along those lines. "Sally, you already invited me and I already declined." Then either bean dip or better yet, deflect your attention elsewhere and walk away.

It is pretty funny that she recognizes that the only way to get people to come to her house is to try to bully you into not inviting them to yours. How can she not see how ridiculous that is?

POF

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Re: Lakehouse Sally and "Dibs" on XMAS
« Reply #13 on: September 10, 2013, 08:00:31 PM »
The problem is she always wants a fantastic gathering - but isn't willing to put the work into it.  I would have to bring about 5 dishes, my own beverages and there would not be enough seating and would be balancing my dish on my lap.

Its also at a time that doesn't work for us... She will say we are eating at 1:30, come at 1:00. We will need to leave our house at noon, and I'll need a few hours to get my dishes cooked wrapped assembled and underway. So my XMAS AM ends at 10:00.

We won't eat until 3:30 or so ( we will have sat and talked for 2 hours ) , dessert will be served at 5:30 and we will not be able to leave until 7:00 - getting home at 8:00. 

I like to be in my own home for XMAS - when MIL hosted, we brought something simple - like a cold appetizer or salad or cookies. Nothing that required a lot of effort on XMAS - plus dinner wasn't held until 5:30 - so we had plenty of time at home.

I work very hard when I have folks over at XMAS, I am organized and have it all laid out. Everyone seems to have a great time.  of course Sally and co are also invited. 

I just want to take care of myself and do what I want and my family.  She will still have 10 people at her house for XMAS - so it isn;t like she will be alone.

acicularis

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Re: Lakehouse Sally and "Dibs" on XMAS
« Reply #14 on: September 11, 2013, 07:59:54 AM »
I want EVERYONE at my house and people would rather go to yours, so don't have dinner.

How on earth did you keep from laughing when she made that demand?

Since she's so fussed about this, I wouldn't be surprised if she issued her invitations summons for Xmas extremely early, to try to keep people from choosing your celebration instead of hers. But since you don't seem to see this as some kind of competition (you are just as happy to host a small group as a large one), I don't think you need to to anything different than what you've been doing. Keep repeating that you will be staying home for Xmas, but will be happy to get together another day with anyone you don't see on Xmas.