Author Topic: "No dog, no shorts, no cookies." Mom's Christmas rules UPDATE #49,#118 134 FIN  (Read 29061 times)

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pierrotlunaire0

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Re: "No dog, no shorts, no cookies." Mom's Christmas rules
« Reply #30 on: December 06, 2013, 01:10:45 PM »
Bottom line to me: It is very possible that the other dog genuinely was distressed in some way by the OP's dog.  And the mom has the absolute right to ask that the OP's dog not return.  But given the fact that a dog cannot say, after the fact, "Oh, by the way, I felt really uncomfortably dominated by that other dog when it was here, I just didn't say anything at the time because I didn't want to be inhospitable", it strikes me as rather odd that this only comes up now, when if the dogs really were not getting along, nothing was done to soothe an upset dog in the actual moment.

Not to downplay your point, but I just had the funniest image of Mom stumbling upon the dog's diary months later and reading (in doggy handwriting, of course), "That chihuahua was so dominating!  Ruined my whole Christmas!"
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whatsanenigma

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Re: "No dog, no shorts, no cookies." Mom's Christmas rules
« Reply #31 on: December 06, 2013, 01:46:06 PM »
Bottom line to me: It is very possible that the other dog genuinely was distressed in some way by the OP's dog.  And the mom has the absolute right to ask that the OP's dog not return.  But given the fact that a dog cannot say, after the fact, "Oh, by the way, I felt really uncomfortably dominated by that other dog when it was here, I just didn't say anything at the time because I didn't want to be inhospitable", it strikes me as rather odd that this only comes up now, when if the dogs really were not getting along, nothing was done to soothe an upset dog in the actual moment.

Not to downplay your point, but I just had the funniest image of Mom stumbling upon the dog's diary months later and reading (in doggy handwriting, of course), "That chihuahua was so dominating!  Ruined my whole Christmas!"

Ha, I hadn't even imagined that-I was thinking more of a "heart to heart" between mom and the dog about how to be polite to the OP while excluding her dog.  "I don't want to ask you to tell your daughter not to come, but honestly, her dog really really freaks me out."  It actually sounds like a good post for a dog version of e-hell.

But now that's a funny image too.  Poor dog, afraid to speak her mind, needing to learn not to be a doormat.

GlitterIsMyDrug

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Re: "No dog, no shorts, no cookies." Mom's Christmas rules
« Reply #32 on: December 06, 2013, 01:49:03 PM »
Bottom line to me: It is very possible that the other dog genuinely was distressed in some way by the OP's dog.  And the mom has the absolute right to ask that the OP's dog not return.  But given the fact that a dog cannot say, after the fact, "Oh, by the way, I felt really uncomfortably dominated by that other dog when it was here, I just didn't say anything at the time because I didn't want to be inhospitable", it strikes me as rather odd that this only comes up now, when if the dogs really were not getting along, nothing was done to soothe an upset dog in the actual moment.

Not to downplay your point, but I just had the funniest image of Mom stumbling upon the dog's diary months later and reading (in doggy handwriting, of course), "That chihuahua was so dominating!  Ruined my whole Christmas!"

I was imaging Mom making up the guest list, doggy looking over her shoulder and going "Oh, you're inviting them", Mom responds "Well of course, it's my daughter and her family. Why, don't you like them?", and dog having to breakdown "Well, yes, I, I do like the humans. It's just...that little dog of their's, it, it's very mean to me!" and Mom having to comfort dog and explain that it was ok she just wouldn't invite the dog this year.

Mikayla

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Re: "No dog, no shorts, no cookies." Mom's Christmas rules
« Reply #33 on: December 06, 2013, 01:52:09 PM »
The dog issue is kind of a red herring, since OP clearly has no problems with leaving hers at home.

But on the cookie thing, I'd like to know how that convo went.  If someone suddenly yanks a long standing family tradition, I wouldn't just say "ok then!" if it was one I enjoyed.  I'd want to know why and I'd ask until I fully understood it.  Then I'd offer up any compromise I could think of.  Region Mom gave a lot of detail in her OP, but how much of this was said to mom?

When it comes to the holidays and faaaammmily, I do think some rules get revised.  One of the biggest is the hostess/guest relationship. In some families (like mine) the hostess is the one who wins the sweepstakes and doesn't have to travel!  So other family members aren't quite as bound by what she wants as guests at a formal dinner party would be.  That's my take, anyway.

Deetee

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Re: "No dog, no shorts, no cookies." Mom's Christmas rules
« Reply #34 on: December 06, 2013, 01:55:34 PM »
Part of it is the micro managing, like Julsie said.  Part of it though is the negativity: NO this, NO that, NO the other thing.  It would make me feel like adding: NO fun.

How much easier it would have been to say: I would love for the whole family to attend evening church service.  It would be such a thrill to see everyone, even the kids, all dressed up.

I agree. It just feels unwelcoming. I mean, who is against making cookies at Christmas?

esposita

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Re: "No dog, no shorts, no cookies." Mom's Christmas rules
« Reply #35 on: December 06, 2013, 02:07:11 PM »
The dog issue is kind of a red herring, since OP clearly has no problems with leaving hers at home.

But on the cookie thing, I'd like to know how that convo went.  If someone suddenly yanks a long standing family tradition, I wouldn't just say "ok then!" if it was one I enjoyed.  I'd want to know why and I'd ask until I fully understood it.  Then I'd offer up any compromise I could think of.  Region Mom gave a lot of detail in her OP, but how much of this was said to mom?

When it comes to the holidays and faaaammmily, I do think some rules get revised.  One of the biggest is the hostess/guest relationship. In some families (like mine) the hostess is the one who wins the sweepstakes and doesn't have to travel!  So other family members aren't quite as bound by what she wants as guests at a formal dinner party would be.  That's my take, anyway.

Sometimes when information is coming at you quickly, you don't really process the importance of it as its being said (especially when its jumbled in with several other bits of info that also need processing).

Its not til 3am that you go "I gotta pack that electric blanket...wait a minute. No baking cookies?! That's not cool, its really important to me...and the dog felt dominated? Well I didn't notice that last time at all...and WHEN has Ann ever worn anything inappropriate?!"

Also, sometimes I just don't have a reply to things that are just non-negotiable or non-important in my mind. I get taken aback when things are just dropped on me willy nilly and I need time to contemplate a reply so that I'm not over-emotional.

whatsanenigma

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Re: "No dog, no shorts, no cookies." Mom's Christmas rules
« Reply #36 on: December 06, 2013, 02:32:34 PM »
The dog issue is kind of a red herring, since OP clearly has no problems with leaving hers at home.

Well, the reason I brought it up is that it seems to play into the micromanaging thing.  To me, it speaks to and sets the context of the whole message.

In other words, I highly suspect that there was no problem between the dogs (unless the mom actually managed to ignore her own dog being in obvious distress of some kind) and the mom is making this up out of whole cloth or blowing something out of proportion. 

And wouldn't the OP herself, as a dog owner, have noticed if the other dog was upset in some way? I have the impression that the OP is really a dog lover who is sensitive to their emotions, even when they are not her own dogs.  And that if she had seen excessive "domination" or whatever, she would have put a stop to it.

Anyway, to me it's just another red flag, an indication that the mom might be rewriting history or maybe she's letting the tension between her and her daughter get projected onto the dogs.  Or something, I don't know.  Something that would, in any case, affect how the rest of the email should be interpreted.

ETA: Just for the record, my parents have a 2 pound chihuahua and while she is very sweet and loving and all that and we all love her to pieces, she is, admittedly, really full of....attitude.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2013, 02:35:07 PM by whatsanenigma »

JoyinVirginia

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Re: "No dog, no shorts, no cookies." Mom's Christmas rules
« Reply #37 on: December 06, 2013, 03:29:31 PM »
I'm with Wild Kitty, if I were in position of traveling for Christmas and could not include my dogs, I would either stay in a hotel that allows dogs, or stay home. I would of course sleep at the hotel and also leave every two or three hours to go back and walk or play with dogs.
But that's me, and I would not be traveling a really long way at Christmas in the first place. Because I despised having to leave home at Christmas to visit relatives, and promised I would never do that to my kids. Now they are adults and can decide what to do and who to visit and when we want to get together.
I do love the ” dog diary” conversation! Too funny!

Hmmmmm

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Re: "No dog, no shorts, no cookies." Mom's Christmas rules
« Reply #38 on: December 06, 2013, 03:32:02 PM »
OP, does everyone participate in the cookie making and decorating? How would you siblings and inlaws feel about loosing the tradition?

I'd hate for you to walk in with a plate load of cookies and your brother say "Why did you already make them? Aren't we going to get to decorate?" I know if I was used to that activity during Christmas I'd be bummed about it being cancelled on me without any notice.

Is it possible to compromise with your mom? You bake the cookies and then bring them and the decorations for everyone to do?

Honestly, I'd probably be sending an email out to my siblings with "Mom has decided she doesn't want me to do the Christmas Cookies at her house anymore so we need to come up with another group activity. What do you guys suggest? How about poker? I'll bring the cards."

RegionMom

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Re: "No dog, no shorts, no cookies." Mom's Christmas rules
« Reply #39 on: December 06, 2013, 04:43:22 PM »
OP here-

One brother always gives us a new game for us to play as a family of all three of us adult kids plus our kids (holding baby/toddler in various arms, or helping a small child follow along to play or help roll the dice.) Mom has never has participated in the new board or card game, nor the decorating cake trains or rolling out Santa cookies. 

The NO DOG is really just an expensive eye roll.  I thought the dogs were fine together.  My dog is relaxed and was impressively very good not to bother Mom's dog's food or toys.  Her dog is a nervous Nellie that is pretty spoiled.  I am fine leaving my dog with friends.  Our dog loves adventure and we have an excellent at-their-home dog sitter, who will paid quite handsomely. 

The NO SHORTS is more of a, "wow, I know you have only met my kids about 12-14 times ever (did not go home when DH got laid off, and twice when very pregnant or just gave birth days before to her first grandchild) but, really, in every photo you have ever seen they have been well attired, plus you know we go to a conservative school and church. 

Plus, why are you completely ignoring the idea of a family photo when you have this great opportunity? 

My DS asked a few years ago if you even went to church, since he has never seen your church, because you are so often in-between church-hopping in distant towns, that it is too much bother for you.  You sputtered that the dates did not fit, but he logically, as only an 8/9 year can, checked the calendar and realized that was just not so.  I really do not know why suddenly it is such a big deal for us to all go to church together.  And yes, both brothers and their wives share the same basic faith- just some use more candles than others.  :)

The NO COOKIES is the issue.  It is not that the cookies are so delicious.  When mom muttered to herself a few years back about the time and hassle, I assumed she meant the actual making of the dough, so I switched to store-bought cookie rolls.  And, I was always careful to leave the kitchen back in complete and clean order.

The special thing we have all done together has been to color the dough and make Santa shapes before the baking.  I have a lovely picture of grade school DS holding his toddler cousin and "helping" her roll the dough in her hand.  This cousin belongs to Aunt L. 

Both brothers have preschool children now, Aunt T. also has a baby, Aunt L. has the one grade schooler plus the same age preschooler, and mine are older teens. 

When we are working together, on the trains and the cookies, we are opening up to each other, getting re-acquainted in person and just chatting.  It is like a quilting bee of baked goods. 

So, mom is not taking away the cookies to eat, but the tradition of working on a family project.

She has not ever done them since I was a kid.  Aunt T. was inspired by our cookies to come up with her own tradition for her kids, so she started the trains two years ago.

I will call Aunt T. later today- time zone and work differences.  She is very diplomatic and calm and I doubt mom has spoken to her about this. 

So, that is my non-update, but maybe more info.

And, yes, my doggie keeps a diary buried on the back yard, I am sure!
Fear is temporary...Regret is forever.

GlitterIsMyDrug

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Re: "No dog, no shorts, no cookies." Mom's Christmas rules
« Reply #40 on: December 06, 2013, 05:06:38 PM »
So, mom is not taking away the cookies to eat, but the tradition of working on a family project.

And that's hitting the nail on the head right there. It's a family tradition it sounds like everyone has enjoyed (aside from Mom). Your big ones have helped the first group of little ones, and now there are new little ones to teach! It seems unfair for your mom to decide that this tradition is all done now, because she says so.

immadz

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Re: "No dog, no shorts, no cookies." Mom's Christmas rules p. 39 more info
« Reply #41 on: December 06, 2013, 06:24:25 PM »
I do not like the phrasing of the no shorts request at all. " I would really like for all of us to go to service at my church this time. We have a fairly strict code of no shorts, so please make sure the kids have something to wear. Can't wait to see you. " has a much nicer "just to remind you" ring to it rather than " I know you are going to mess up"

Also is there anyway you can all adjourn to someone else's home to make cookies. It sounds like such a lovely tradition. I still remember many of these little " time consuming" traditions from my childhood with great fondness and will definitely involve my future hypothetical children in similar ones. They bring families together. Perhaps your mom is miffed that she is no longer included in this tradition or it wasn't started by her. Perhaps you can go out of your way to include her this time. " We are going over to x's kitchen to make cookies. We would love for you to join?"
« Last Edit: December 06, 2013, 06:30:22 PM by immadz »


DavidH

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Re: "No dog, no shorts, no cookies." Mom's Christmas rules p. 39 more info
« Reply #42 on: December 06, 2013, 07:17:23 PM »
I think there is a past history that may be part of this.  For the dog, since the OP is fine with it, and even says her mother's dog is a nervous Nellie, I'd just let it go. 

The shorts phrasing may have been rude, but if she hasn't seen your kids in a year and given the styles common now, I don't understand why the OP is upset.  She could even bond over this as in, I agree Mom, some kids these days wear much too revealing clothing.  You'll be thrilled to know your grand kids would never do that, in fact....

My mother has developed some new idea that although she always wants to host holidays, any cooking just makes too much of a mess.  This means that although others would host and make a home made holiday meal, she insists on hosting and then then stops everyone from cooking, so the majority of the meal is premade.  One year, she even planned on cooking Thanksgiving "a few days ahead" and then reheating it on the day until all of us revolted and insisted that either she cook on the day, allow others to cook on the day at her place, or give up hosting. 

My point is that if it's that important to make cookies, tell her and if it is truly important, make it a deal breaker, no cookies, no visit.  The first step though is to bring the subject up with her to understand her objections.


*inviteseller

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Re: "No dog, no shorts, no cookies." Mom's Christmas rules p. 39 more info
« Reply #43 on: December 06, 2013, 11:05:11 PM »
So mom doesn't want to join her kids in games and fun, is stopping a tradition of Santa cookies instead of continuing it for the little ones, and makes snarky comments about attire and an incident from a year ago that seems overblown...me thinks mom doesn't want these gatherings at all but feels as obligated to have them as OP and her siblings feel about attending.  Truthfully, if this was my family gathering, I wouldn't bother going because it just doesn't sound festive, but everyone being on eggshells so as not to get mom riled up.

JoyinVirginia

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Re: "No dog, no shorts, no cookies." Mom's Christmas rules p. 39 more info
« Reply #44 on: December 07, 2013, 12:38:30 AM »
I agree with you, invite seller. maybe the siblings should move the get together to their houses so they can have fun without mom raining on the parade.
here is my groundless speculation: the sister in laws will be all for the continuing cookie tradition, and when told this, mom will back pedal and blame one of the daughters in law.