lady_disdain and everyone who thinks I shouldn't be cooking for the BIL. I completely agree, but the arrangement was made prior to finding out he misled us about being invited to our house for Christmas. I have had this argument with my husband repeatedly, to which he says: "We should honor our commitment. If we don't, he'll think we're just like he is." To which I said, "Who cares what he thinks? He willfully misled us! No one invited him to our house." I honestly don't understand my husband's apparent apprehension to displease him. It's sad to me, very sad.
Your DH just calls him up and says, " Change of plan! Let's you and me go to a restaurant--my treat."
All taken care of.
nothing more needs to be said.
If BIL asks "why not the house, what about Susan," DH says, "I just thought this would be better."
This is acceptable for a host to do, in terms of Etiquette (which is what this board is about).
Not everything he knows needs to come out of his mouth in words!!
For that matter, you can simply make some food (as a favor to your husband), and then have plans to be elsewhere. This is a tiny bit sketchier, since you technically had "previous plans" to honor him, but at this point, I'll give you a pass.
In fact, if your DH won't go along with a change of venue, I would suggest that this is what you do.