Author Topic: "No dog, no shorts, no cookies." Mom's Christmas rules UPDATE #49,#118 134 FIN  (Read 26763 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

artk2002

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 12559
    • The Delian's Commonwealth
Re: "No dog, no shorts, no cookies." Mom's Christmas rules UPDATE #49
« Reply #105 on: December 10, 2013, 02:25:09 PM »
So if OP's mom is anything like my grandma (and I suspect she might be), here's how I see the scene playing out.
... mom and who says "What are you talking about Region? You do the cookies every year! Oh the little ones were so looking forward to it, how could you not bring the cookie stuff?", at which point Region blinks...didn't she? Wasn't there a conversation about? "Mom, you said in our talk about the rules, you didn't want Santa cookies this year. Remember, we couldn't bring our dog, we better not wear shorts, and no cookies?", which will get a "What are you talking about. I never said any such thing! You didn't bring the dog? But my little precious was so looking forward to playing with your dog! And now there are no cookies for Santa either?" ...

The technical term is "gaslighting". It's common in toxic people.

I see nothing wrong with contacting mom and clarifying the cookie situation, since there seem to be multiple sets of assumptions and instructions floating around. I recommend doing it with witnesses present (or on the phone) if gaslighting is a possibility.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Mark Twain

ladyknight1

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5283
  • Operating the logic hammer since 1987.
Re: "No dog, no shorts, no cookies." Mom's Christmas rules UPDATE #49
« Reply #106 on: December 10, 2013, 02:28:19 PM »
I think there needs to be a conference call between Region, her brothers and their mom to clear this up.

OTOH, it doesn't seem welcoming to invite someone to your home and then spring conditions on them later. The dog, I understand, the shorts seems pretty over the top, but the cookies rule just seems totally bizarre.

Outdoor Girl

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 12871
Re: "No dog, no shorts, no cookies." Mom's Christmas rules UPDATE #49
« Reply #107 on: December 10, 2013, 02:43:51 PM »
This is what I would do:

I'd board the dog and make sure my kids have something other than shorts to wear to church.   ;)

On the cookie issue, I would bring a tube of Pillsbury sugar cookie dough (or similar).  I'd pack a box with the other things I needed - cookie cutters, rolling pin, sprinkles, baking sheets, etc.  When I arrived at Mom's, I'd leave the box in the trunk of the car.  The dough, having to be refrigerated, would go in the fridge in an out of the way spot.

So when the kids say, 'Can we make the Santa cookies?', you can ask your Mom the kids can make the cookies.  If she says, 'Yes', you can get your box from the car and the dough from the fridge.  If she says, 'No', I'd make her babysit the kids and go for a walk.  OK, maybe not that last part.   :)  But I would say, 'Sorry, kids, Grandma says 'no'.'  And if the kids never ask to make the cookies, you take your tube of dough home with you.  Or pitch it quietly.

BTW, when you were talking about Santa cookies, I had it in my head that these were Santa shaped cookies decorated to look like Santa.  NOT cookies made to leave out for Santa.  Not sure why that didn't click.
I have CDO.  It is like OCD but with the letters in alphabetical order, as they should be.
Ontario

whatsanenigma

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1789
Re: "No dog, no shorts, no cookies." Mom's Christmas rules UPDATE #49
« Reply #108 on: December 10, 2013, 03:38:09 PM »

BTW, when you were talking about Santa cookies, I had it in my head that these were Santa shaped cookies decorated to look like Santa.  NOT cookies made to leave out for Santa.  Not sure why that didn't click.

I actually thought they were both: Santa shaped cookies left out for Santa.

Though now that I think about it, if Santa actually stopped by for them, he might be a bit put off by that.   :)

JeanFromBNA

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2143
Re: "No dog, no shorts, no cookies." Mom's Christmas rules UPDATE #49
« Reply #109 on: December 10, 2013, 04:14:00 PM »

BTW, when you were talking about Santa cookies, I had it in my head that these were Santa shaped cookies decorated to look like Santa.  NOT cookies made to leave out for Santa.  Not sure why that didn't click.

I actually thought they were both: Santa shaped cookies left out for Santa.

Though now that I think about it, if Santa actually stopped by for them, he might be a bit put off by that.   :)

Especially if somebody bit off the heads.  OTOH, it hasn't offended the Easter Bunny yet.

TootsNYC

  • A Pillar of the Forum
  • *****
  • Posts: 28708
Re: "No dog, no shorts, no cookies." Mom's Christmas rules UPDATE #49
« Reply #110 on: December 10, 2013, 05:22:09 PM »
and in fact, the Easter Bunny is usually the one -supplying- the choc. bunnies.

And in my house, Santa drops of a chocolate Santa, but then again, those are for us to eat, not him.

lollylegs

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 521
Re: "No dog, no shorts, no cookies." Mom's Christmas rules UPDATE #49
« Reply #111 on: December 10, 2013, 06:46:49 PM »
I am going to add my voice to those saying your actions seem inappropriate.

I'm a big proponent of "if someone is so toxic that you don't talk to them, you don't use them for things you want."

If you can't talk to her about her requests, you shouldn't be using her home.

If you can't respect her enough to respect her rules, you shouldn't be using her home.

You definitely shouldn't say, "Mom, the owner of the house we're having our little get-together in, says we can't do something I want to do. Instead of talking to her, finding another space or respecting her wishes, I'm going to get all the relatives against her, use her house and stuff however I want and teach my children that this manipulation is perfectly okay."

The fact that she's toxic doesn't negate the OP's actions in a home that is not her own.

This. 'Her house, her rules' applies even if you don't like the person.

Honestly, if this woman is as toxic as everyone is making her out to be, why do you want to engage the crazy? If she's anything like my toxic grandmother, springing the cookies on her will give her a reason to complain for years about how awful it is that she's sacrificed so much for a family that doesn't respect her wishes.

I'll repeat my previous advice - I think you should skip it. Find a hall or function room or something that's big enough for your family and do your Christmas thing there.

laughtermed

  • Jr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 37
Re: "No dog, no shorts, no cookies." Mom's Christmas rules UPDATE #49
« Reply #112 on: December 10, 2013, 09:54:46 PM »
Dog- I can agree with no dog. One holiday MIL's dog passed gas beneath the dining room table and the smell was horrible. Not the perfect complement to the lovely meal I served. The next year, MIL pouted and whined when DH insisted that the dog stay in the guest room during meals. Another time she got upset when we requested that she not bring the dog to DS' HS graduation celebration at our house. The dog had recently bitten a small child in their home. My son's father, stepmother, and 1-yr old brother were coming. I would think family would be more important than a dog.

Shorts-Op said her family all lives in different states. Her mom does not get to see her grandkids enough during the year to be aware of how they actually dress for church. The request was reasonable. Older people just don't remember things as well as they used to either and repeat things a lot. I'd just bear with that one since the kids were planning to dress appropriately for the occasion anyway. OP can always praise the kids in front of Grandma before church; "I 'm so lucky that my kids know how to dress for any occasion".

Cookies: that's just bizarre.

Clockwork Banana

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 133
Re: "No dog, no shorts, no cookies." Mom's Christmas rules UPDATE #49
« Reply #113 on: December 11, 2013, 03:06:09 PM »
It both fascinates and saddens me that so many of us can relate to the underlying issue of this topic - that being of having up close and personal experience with toxicicity in our families.

The responses from posters who have luckily not experienced the nastiness seem to be the ones that address 'her house, her rules' issues, and ponder the etiquette of questioning a relative about seemingly innocuous things, like where she goes to church.  The responses of posters who know all too well how divisive and soul-crushing an unhappy family member can be; one who seems determined to rain upset and disharmony on all around,  are more along the lines of 'don't allow this person to ruin the holiday and traditions.

I know I am making possibly unfounded generalizations here.  Just a thought that I wanted to put out.

That is a reasonable explanation. But at the same time, it is an etiquette forum, not a toxic moms support group. I absolutely think there are things that are more important than etiquette, like my personal sanity. So when I'm dealing with very difficut people and family dynamics, etiquette is not my number one concern.

But I do think on an etiquette discussion board it's perfectly reasonable to note that OP's plans are (to some) impolite.

Golly and Nyachan (who posted just above you):  I know I am late on responding to your posts, even though I read them a couple of days ago.  I needed to think them through.

Essentially, I believe you are both correct.  We should probably be responding to the etiquette angle and not focussing on the toxic/crazy.  It is just that that can be quite difficult when dealing with someone who's personal agenda eclipses both their and your (universal 'your') view of what is polite and acceptable as far as being either host or guest.

Many posters have put forth some good solid ideas as to how to circumvent the mother's absolute right to rule out the cookie preparation in her home (bringing pre-made dough, using another venue etc.).  Another possible solution I thought of was to actually make the cookies ahead of time and just bring them along with icing and decoration supplies.  That way, the mother cannot complain about it interfering with the baking time of the train cake; using her electricity, or whatever else she might come up with.

I know that it would not be quite the same - the actual mixing, rolling out and cutting the cookie shapes is a big part of the 'magic'. But from an etiquette angle, would it not be a reasonable compromise?

Other than that, I do very much agree that the other family members should be apprised of the situation and their opinions solicited.

wildkitty

  • Jr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 33
Re: "No dog, no shorts, no cookies." Mom's Christmas rules UPDATE #49
« Reply #114 on: December 11, 2013, 05:31:59 PM »
I would think family would be more important than a dog.

In this case, the OP has already resolved the problem regarding the dog and just so there is no continued confusion I will reiterate that I agree that the OP's mom has the right to disallow the dog from her home. As I said earlier, if my mother did the same I would no longer visit my mom at her home. I do have to say that it really bugs me when I see the above statement. Please realize that some of us consider our dogs as family. You may not, but that doesn't make my feelings wrong. Whenever I see that statement I just feel it is very dismissive.

laughtermed

  • Jr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 37
Re: "No dog, no shorts, no cookies." Mom's Christmas rules UPDATE #49
« Reply #115 on: December 11, 2013, 05:59:04 PM »
Sorry, Wildkitty,

I meant no offense. I love animals, but when you host a party, you have to balance everyone's interests as best as you can.  I was there when MIL's dog bit the child. The bite looked ugly. The child's parent were clearly upset. The dog was very old, mostly blind and deaf and just not able to handle multiple stimuli from a lot of strangers in a small space.  The party environment would have been unnecessarily stressful to that dog. I would think it would be more important to keep my son's 1-yr old brother from being bitten during a party at a small house with a lot of guests rather than provide dog accommodations for out of town relatives.

wildkitty

  • Jr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 33
Re: "No dog, no shorts, no cookies." Mom's Christmas rules UPDATE #49
« Reply #116 on: December 11, 2013, 11:29:56 PM »
No worries, I agree with you there. Pet owners also need to be aware of the comfort of the pet as well as the guests. It is as much my responsibility to protect my pet as it is to ensure others are safe from my pet. It's just a hot button for me when I hear the pets vs. family comparison.


EllenS

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1218
Re: "No dog, no shorts, no cookies." Mom's Christmas rules UPDATE #49
« Reply #117 on: December 12, 2013, 02:55:29 PM »
No worries, I agree with you there. Pet owners also need to be aware of the comfort of the pet as well as the guests. It is as much my responsibility to protect my pet as it is to ensure others are safe from my pet. It's just a hot button for me when I hear the pets vs. family comparison.

Frankly, any family member who had been known to bite people, or pee on the floor, should probably have their visiting privileges restricted for everyone's benefit.

And yes, that includes small children. (though hopefully in that instance it is temporary)

RegionMom

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6136
  • ♪♫ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪♫ ♪ ♪♪♫ ♪♫ ♪♫
Re: "No dog, no shorts, no cookies." Mom's Christmas rules UPDATE #49, #118
« Reply #118 on: December 16, 2013, 10:10:32 PM »
small UPDATE-

Spoke to Aunt L (she called me) and I casually asked her about the cookies with her kids, because her schedule is a bit wonky at her job.  "Oh, the kids love doing the cookies!  And littlest is old enough now to really get into it!  It would give them something to do at your mom's house, and they need something to do besides sit around!  I would miss doing them myself, but your kids can help mine, and it is for the kids, anyway.  Just be sure there are enough for me to eat when I do get there!  :)  "

Have not called mom yet, because we were in a huge Christmas production at church and too late and tired to call. 

Did talk to my kids and my senior boy said, "Meh" about doing them, but when i said, "ok, we might not!"  he responded, "well, it is for kids, and I am not a kid anymore, but can I still do them?"

And DD asked, "Why not make them?  We always do them!  Did Grandma G say something??!"  And DH laughed and called her very astute. 

I replied that we would need to be sure to pack every single thing, from baking stones to rolling pins to food coloring and perhaps even dish soap for the cookie cutters, and pack the dough, which I already have from the grocery store.  (Hard to find sugar cookie dough already!)

So, now all I have to do is ask mom. 

Perhaps tomorrow.  I should call her to let her know that her eldest grandchild got into the college of his choice.  Early decision, found out today--yay!!!

(I texted/called/e-mailed most everyone else...but not her yet, because she would grill me about scholarships and finances and such...just want to enjoy the moment for a bit.)
Fear is temporary...Regret is forever.

Lynda_34

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1116
Re: "No dog, no shorts, no cookies." Mom's Christmas rules UPDATE #49,#118
« Reply #119 on: December 17, 2013, 03:28:04 AM »
Following the thread. Wishing you luck.  My sister-in-law always had cookie making parties with the cousins which eventually evolved into she and my daughter making cookies. 

When this happened my sister and I got in on the act and did mass production cookies and wine.  We had a good time, stood around talking. I'm sorry I only had one oven but it was a good time.  Be flexible change as needed and enjoy.  During the year you and your relatives can talk up how much the cookie baking is enjoyed so maybe Mom gets into the act.

This year due to extenuating circumstances I bought and gave the cookie bakers chocolate covered Ritz crackers, and white chocolate covered Oreos.  (We used to spend an inordinate time trying to coat oreos.)

As I said, flexibility and perseverance. good luck.