Author Topic: I'd like to host Thanksgiving  (Read 5813 times)

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Green Bean

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I'd like to host Thanksgiving
« on: September 24, 2013, 01:48:51 PM »
Growing up, I always wanted to claim Thanksgiving as the holiday I hosted. It's my favorite holiday, I like the food, and I want to have the leftovers for days on end.

I hosted a couple times over the years, but MIL was traveling to see her family so it was just FIL and us.My family is either out of town or now deceased. In prior years, MIL has tried to celebrate Thanksgiving a couple weekends later (no, it's not thanksgiving if the meal is in the month of December) or hosted another day that weekend to accommodate SIL or just had a bare bones dinner. Last year, she had a precooked turkey breast that only required heating and I had to nuke mine because it was barely warm. The Generous leftovers included just 3 small slices of turkey - for our family of four. It frustrates me (can you tell) on so many levels.

After last year, I decided that I'd request a holiday. MIL always has Xmas eve and SIL doesn't join this side of the family for any other holiday. Thanksgiving should be mine by default, right? I I texted them indicating that is like to host the holiday this year. MIL left me a message indicating that it was soooo nice for me to offer, but since she only has several years left to host (she is only in her mid-60's and healthy), she should keep on with the way they have been doing things.

I need to call back and would like to graciously explain my desire to host. Any suggestions on what I can say? "Your hosting doesn't meet my holiday expectations" doesn't have quite the right tone to it.  >:D


Kaypeep

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Re: I'd like to host Thanksgiving
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2013, 01:56:06 PM »
What did your text say, verbatim?

I'd go with the approach that you weren't so much asking permission, but informing them, that you are planning to host TG this year.  If MIL is famous for something with her parties, ask her to contribute that and bring it along so that it can still be shared by all.  But stand firm  That after X number of years being hosted by others, you feel very strongly that you'd prefer to host a holiday and that you'll be at your house on TG.  Be prepared for them to perhaps decline and have "other plans" though.

Lorelei_Evil

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Re: I'd like to host Thanksgiving
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2013, 02:02:13 PM »
Celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving?   :)

lowspark

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Re: I'd like to host Thanksgiving
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2013, 02:08:46 PM »
I don't know how you're going to win this one at this point. You sort of asked if you could host and MIL said no. Now what? Are you going to insist? Is this a hill you want to die on?

You'd have to decide that you're cooking TG dinner for you and your own family and for whomever you invite who chooses to accept your invitiaton. That might mean just you and your family. If you're prepared to accept that, and accept that the rest of your IL family will be at MIL's house without you, then that's your decision and you stick with it. And of course, you'll want to make sure your husband is on board with all this. At that point, you'd just invite everyone to your house for TG as opposed to offering to host, and let the chips fall where they may.

If you're not ok with that, well, you're pretty much stuck with the status quo. You can keep offering, and sooner or later MIL might relinquish the holiday to you, but you can't insist.

In addition, if you do go that route, and do that this year, it's going to be a slap in the face to MIL who has already declined your "kind offer".

DavidH

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Re: I'd like to host Thanksgiving
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2013, 02:11:47 PM »
I'd say something like, MIL, I've always wanted to do the full Thanksgiving since it's my favorite holiday, turkey all the trimmings, on the Thursday etc, but you make the best XYZ and always do such a nice holiday (whether or not she does) I'd really love it if you'd help me to make sure everything goes perfectly.  It would mean so much to me to host the holiday and be able to return your hospitality and make memories of DH and I hosting it as adults. 

On no level would I mention that her last hosting wasn't what you expected.

Zizi-K

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Re: I'd like to host Thanksgiving
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2013, 02:16:31 PM »
I am so thankful that in my family the holidays circulate and no one has to 'claim' it! Granted, my sister and I (with our husbands) do not have children yet, but everyone is happy to take a turn and to cook and bring things on request to help the hostess.

I like DavidH's suggestion a lot.

Alternatively, you could offer to make and bring some substantial part of the meal - like the turkey, for instance. Say that you've found a recipe and/or have a line on a heritage bird and it would thrill you to be able to contribute in that way. That way you'll have claim to substantial leftovers.


Judah

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Re: I'd like to host Thanksgiving
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2013, 02:18:17 PM »
You can't insist that people accept your invitation; the most you can do is announce that you will be hosting a Thanksgiving dinner and invite everyone you want there.  You may not get any takers, and will let you know that your family prefers Thanksgiving at you MIL's despite what you perceive as substandard hosting.  Or you might get a houseful. Either way, all you can do is issue the invitation.
Ask for what you want. Let's be clear on this one:
Subtle hints don't work.
Strong hints don't work.
Really obvious hints don't work.
Just say it!

-The Car Talk Guys

ilrag

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Re: I'd like to host Thanksgiving
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2013, 03:04:16 PM »
OP it sounds like you have very rigid expectations regarding what makes a Thanksgiving celebration count.

It must:
-Be on the proper day
-Have specific dishes
-Include most extended family

The problem is that you can't control all of those factors. You can have your own meal at your house with the dishes and leftovers that you desire, but you can't make everyone agree to join you.  You can bring the dishes you want to your in-laws and make that count. (I personally hate that option, transporting large dishes is a pain in the rear).

What does your husband want?

Amara

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Re: I'd like to host Thanksgiving
« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2013, 03:16:43 PM »
I encourage you to host it. But be prepared that it might be only you and your immediately family, and that your MIL might take (great) offense to it.

I had an acquaintance once who plaintively described her situation where she had wished for many years to host Christmas. She said she wanted to do it while her sons (aged at that time around 8 and 12) were still at home so she could give them memories. She hadn't because other family members did the big day and she was afraid to speak up for fear of offending. I ran into her years later. You can probably guess that, sadly, she never said anything. Her oldest son was in college, her youngest nearing it. I felt both sad and angry for her. She never spoke up and never got the memories she wanted.

Consider talking to your MIL sincerely about your feelings. She likely has at least twenty more years of holidays to come. Do you want to wait that long to be able to host?

*inviteseller

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Re: I'd like to host Thanksgiving
« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2013, 03:35:26 PM »
Just host it.  She will get mad or accept it, but that is on her.  She isn't, from your description, hosting a Thanksgiving meal.  She caters to SIL's schedule (which is her right) or just has a regular meal on Thanksgiving.  Make your meal the day you want, with the menu you want, and invite who you want.  If people come, great, if they don't, then there is your leftovers.  Don't stress over it, just do it the way you want to.

staceym

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Re: I'd like to host Thanksgiving
« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2013, 03:38:29 PM »
I would try to talk to your MIL if she is the kind that will really listen and explain why you would love to host Thanksgivings.

But, here's the thing, if your MIL gives you the "I only have a few more years to host speech" and won't back down and won't change her mind, then really is there any reason you can't cook your own Thanksgiving dinner either the day after or that weekend.  And, if your MIL wants to have Thanksgiving in December, what's to stop you from cooking for your own immeidate family on THanksgiving day? 

My mother always had THanksgiving and Christmas and then gave it up to other family members.  The first year she was upset because, no leftovers.  But, the next year and from then on.  She cooks her own turkey and fixings and she and my dad have Thanksgiving dinner all weekend long  :D

Green Bean

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Re: I'd like to host Thanksgiving
« Reply #11 on: September 25, 2013, 06:42:29 AM »
OP it sounds like you have very rigid expectations regarding what makes a Thanksgiving celebration count.

It must:
-Be on the proper day
-Have specific dishes
-Include most extended family

The problem is that you can't control all of those factors. You can have your own meal at your house with the dishes and leftovers that you desire, but you can't make everyone agree to join you.  You can bring the dishes you want to your in-laws and make that count. (I personally hate that option, transporting large dishes is a pain in the rear).

What does your husband want?

You know what? I think I do.  I've been thinking about this. For the past 10 years, since we moved to DH's hometown, I have been celebrating every family holiday according to DH's traditions.  I have come to realize that my family's traditions are disappearing, and I am not having the chance to share them with my daughters. My grandparents and parents are all deceased, so they aren't even around to tell my girls what our family holidays were like.

I understand MIL has the desire that our kids have memories of holidays at her house. But you know what? They will. She hosts Xmas Eve every year as well as Easter.

When I explained this to DH last night, he understood where I was coming from and thought my feelings were valid. We will see MIL tonight, so I would like to discuss it again.

DavidH

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Re: I'd like to host Thanksgiving
« Reply #12 on: September 25, 2013, 11:42:26 AM »
I think what you just wrote is a great way to approach this.  If you make it about maintaining your families traditions as well, so it's not one or the other, but both, a reasonable person would understand. 

As an aside, if she isn't in the habit of hosting on Thanksgiving, it also opens the door to having two celebrations, one on Thanksgiving at your home and another on a different day at hers.


Shoo

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Re: I'd like to host Thanksgiving
« Reply #13 on: September 25, 2013, 11:48:34 AM »
Just host it.  She will get mad or accept it, but that is on her.  She isn't, from your description, hosting a Thanksgiving meal.  She caters to SIL's schedule (which is her right) or just has a regular meal on Thanksgiving.  Make your meal the day you want, with the menu you want, and invite who you want.  If people come, great, if they don't, then there is your leftovers.  Don't stress over it, just do it the way you want to.

I couldn't agree more.  Call your MIL and tell her you weren't clear in your text.  You are hosting Thanksgiving dinner at your house, and you are inviting her and FIL to join you.  They can either accept the invitation or not. 

After you've done that, start planning your perfect Thanksgiving.  And I am with YOU.  TG is on a specific day, with specific dishes (others are okay, but there absolutely must be certain ones), and certain people are invited whether they choose to accept or not.  Anything else just wouldn't be a proper Thanksgiving.

That's what you have to do when you want to host something.  Someone who has always hosted is going to have to be wrestled out of it, but for your family's sake and yours, just do it!  I think she'll probably get over it.

Hmmmmm

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Re: I'd like to host Thanksgiving
« Reply #14 on: September 25, 2013, 11:50:21 AM »
OP it sounds like you have very rigid expectations regarding what makes a Thanksgiving celebration count.

It must:
-Be on the proper day
-Have specific dishes
-Include most extended family

The problem is that you can't control all of those factors. You can have your own meal at your house with the dishes and leftovers that you desire, but you can't make everyone agree to join you.  You can bring the dishes you want to your in-laws and make that count. (I personally hate that option, transporting large dishes is a pain in the rear).

What does your husband want?

You know what? I think I do.  I've been thinking about this. For the past 10 years, since we moved to DH's hometown, I have been celebrating every family holiday according to DH's traditions.  I have come to realize that my family's traditions are disappearing, and I am not having the chance to share them with my daughters. My grandparents and parents are all deceased, so they aren't even around to tell my girls what our family holidays were like.

I understand MIL has the desire that our kids have memories of holidays at her house. But you know what? They will. She hosts Xmas Eve every year as well as Easter.

When I explained this to DH last night, he understood where I was coming from and thought my feelings were valid. We will see MIL tonight, so I would like to discuss it again.

I would like to suggest not discussing it with your MIL but instead telling her.

"MIL, DH and I have decided that we want our girls to start having at least one holiday at home every year. Starting this year we will be hosting and celebrating Thanksgiving at our home on Thanksgiving Day. We would love for you and FIL to join us. We of course will continue to have Christmas Eve and Easter at your home until you decide you no longer want to host those."