Mom and I are not close. My brothers are not close to her. We are all married, two kids each, live in different states. All planning to be at mom's house for two days at Christmas, then we all have "other plans." (I am going to visit one brother, other brother is taking family on vacation, but mom thinks we all have a full work schedule.)
Mom called today with a few requests/demands-
1. NO DOG. (.)
Our chihuahua mix dog is NOT allowed to visit, because their dog felt too dominated last time.
-- So we will do a combo of boarding and friends taking him.
2. NO SHORTS. (?)
After building up to a "well, since this may be the last year we are all together at Christmas (my son is graduating HS) there is something I really want us to do."
me, "Oh, a group photo?"
"Oh, that would be a good idea. But, no, I want us all to go to Christmas Eve service. But, you have to have the kids dressed appropriately, no shorts."
--umm, my son does not even own shorts. He wears dress pants when other teens wear jeans. That is just how he is. He always tucks in his shirt.
And my daughter helped put on a skit at summer church camp, of her own volition, no adult leaders asked them to, for the middle schools girls called, "Modest is Hottest" and explained that words on the butt are not cool, nor is showing underwear or tons of make-up.
I used to be a church pianist. She knows our church is conservative, so why did she feel I needed a reminder on clothing?? just because I have teens now?
Mom only sees my kids maybe once a year, so I guess she is assuming they are followers of the Twerk fashion scene only.
I tried to brush off a joke about how shorts would not work in the expected cold weather, but it felt like a lead balloon.
3. NO COOKIES. (!?)
This last one was the kicker-
"I know you have been making your Santa cookies since your kids were in preschool, as you made them when you were a kid. But, I think it is time for sis-in-law T. to take over the tradition, and do what she chose to do with her young family- decorating a train cake. her kids are younger (3 and 1) and you can simply make your Santa cookies at your house and bring them along for the 1000 mile day and half drive."
(other sis-in-law has a 6 year old, I think she would be the one with the grandchild most suited for Santa stuff. But mom thinks less than highly of her, long story. She and DB are HS sweethearts. Married ten years before 1st kid, now have two, doing well and are happy.)
But, really? I have been making these same Santa cookies, that we leave out for Santa and have the leftovers for breakfast, since longer than I can remember. Dad always decorated them the best, and we stopped for a few years after he died when we were all young kids, but then I revived it before going away to college.
Perhaps it saddens her? But why not tell me, oh, 20 or so years ago?
The past two times we have been home for Christmas, we did both activities, Santa cookies and train car decorating, at the same time. The kids and grand kids took pictures, that have been scrap booked, and I never realized mom was put out.
I was always extra careful to clean up, since we were using her kitchen space. She does not cook a big meal so we are not invading her cooking time. We do deli sandwiches for Christmas Day, and order out BBQ.
I could play the, "It is my son's last Christmas at home, let's do the Santa cookie thing just once more!" But a friend pointed out that my DD will be a senior next year, so do I play that twice?
friend also suggested I should call sis-in-law T. to see if she cared if we could still do both. Her train cakes are not ever eaten, it is just decor. We all enjoy eating the candy she brings to decorate, and eating the Santa cookies we all make together.
So, the EH question is, I am pretty sure Aunt T will say it is ok to do both the trains and the cookies. Do I even bother trying to run that past mom, though?
If someone makes specific demands on their guests, that are uncomfortable, does the guest just suck it up?
Once my DD graduates, we may not go "home" ever again. We will go hang with my brothers and their kids, no problem (except time and distance) but mom's house is not home.