Author Topic: "No dog, no shorts, no cookies." Mom's Christmas rules UPDATE #49,#118 134 FIN  (Read 28038 times)

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Julsie

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Re: "No dog, no shorts, no cookies." Mom's Christmas rules UPDATE #49
« Reply #60 on: December 08, 2013, 09:21:12 AM »
Quote
Not having toxic family dynamics I don't understand how you rationalize this.

Therein may lie the issue.  If you don't have toxic family dynamics you aren't used to dealing with the irrational.  It can be very different.

You're used to working within a set of normal rules.  If you have a concern, address it with the person.  If someone brings a concern to you, listen and respond rationally.

In a toxic family, the rules can be:

Up is down.
5:00 is yellow.
It's 60 degrees so it's time for Breaking Bad.

I agree that OP should talk directly with her mother about this.  But I understand her desire not to let her mother steamroll over a beloved family tradition.  It may not be proper etiquette but I sympathize. 

TootsNYC

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Re: "No dog, no shorts, no cookies." Mom's Christmas rules UPDATE #49
« Reply #61 on: December 08, 2013, 09:33:46 AM »
Gotta be honest - that really threw me for a loop as well.  I would have stopped it in the moment and done some admonishing afterwards.  I have to say again - it isn't the other guests' permission you need, it is your host's permission that you should get about the cookies.  I don't think it is right to just flout what she has specifically told you she doesn't want happening.  I would suggest calling her up and bring it up similar to: "You know, Aunt actually was excited to make the cookies this year with all the kids.  Since everyone else is okay with it, how about we continue the tradition?"

I would agree--let her know ahead of time that all the other members of the family really want to do this tradition.

As for "cooking in her kitchen"--I think that's what you get when you're a mother and want your children to be around. (Now, maybe the OP's mom really doesn't want them around that much.) I don't see "family gathering for Christmas" as -quite- the same thing as a dinner party. Even if it were a group of friends, I think that barring really big things, the host should allow the use of the kitchen. It's really more "volunteering your home as the gathering place for the group" (not completely, of course, but it's not the same kind of hosting).

RegionMom

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Re: "No dog, no shorts, no cookies." Mom's Christmas rules UPDATE #49
« Reply #62 on: December 08, 2013, 09:41:16 AM »
 
OP here-

My son, at the time about age 8, asked one question to his grandmother  about attending her church.

I have spoken to mom 4 times in 2013.  The last time was when I crazily thought calling my mom after the death of a friend's child would be a good idea.  She briefly gave platitudes and then spend more than half the phone call time telling me the woes of her garden.

I do not know why I keep trying with her. 

As for my brothers, one lives 4 hours out further, and the other just moved back from way far away and does not have enough room.

Side story- his wife, Aunt L, revealed to me that she and my baby brother debated even telling mom before they moved to way far away place, to see how long it would take her to notice.

Yet, yes, I will still call mom before we drive 1000 miles to her house.  I will ask why no cookies, and I will not mention that I have spoken to one sis-in-law. 

I am the oldest, I should be the one to take the hit.  And next year, when DD is a senior, we are done.

Mom has only been to my state once, for the funeral of my third child.  She changed into street clothes at the funeral parlor and hit the road, because my family had taken too much time.

So, yeah, making cookies with my sane brothers and their families is worth the trip, but not mom, but her house is the only large enough place and cost effective.

I do not go for the gifts!!  Two years ago, I received a car trash bag and a clip for a pot to hold a stirrer.
Yay.

E-hell is where I go for ideas, to share thoughts.  The only actin I have taken was a phone call to assess if somehow Aunt T., wanted the change to trains only.  She is much easier to talk to.

Anyway, it is good to see so many families here able to happily go home each holiday.  We had a lovely and yummy Thanksgiving with an "adopted" family and a grandmother who hugs and compliments.  That us what I have done for my kids.  And DHs parents we see weekly.  So, ehell, I will let you know when I am ready to call mom and ask.  I have to prepare myself, first.

« Last Edit: December 08, 2013, 10:03:01 AM by RegionMom »
Fear is temporary...Regret is forever.

Sophia

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Re: "No dog, no shorts, no cookies." Mom's Christmas rules UPDATE # 49
« Reply #63 on: December 08, 2013, 10:18:23 AM »
...Mom has never been one for fun.  (edited out two boring paragraphs of how dull she is, and really seems to have no friends.  I could not name ONE friend of hers.)...

I find this not surprising.  From the beginning she sounded like a party pooper, and the real problem was that you guys were having fun.  Not having fun without her, but having fun. 

I get the whole host sets the rules things.  But I don't think a mom can just squash long standing beloved traditions for no good reason.  Part of having the holiday at your house is that the traditions will continue. 

Julsie

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Re: "No dog, no shorts, no cookies." Mom's Christmas rules UPDATE #49
« Reply #64 on: December 08, 2013, 10:33:51 AM »
(((RegionMom)))  I'm sorry, hon.  You (and I) got scr#*ed in the mom department.  Sadly, it happens.  The best thing that we can do is to build loving and respectful rel@tionships with our own children.  It doesn't end the pain of having a disordered mother but it is an enormous consolation.

I'm terribly sorry for the loss of your child and your mother's shocking insensitivity during the funeral time.  Just when you needed the love and strength from a caring mother...

You do what you need to in order to have a merry Christmas this year and all of the upcoming years.  May there be lots of cookies and laughter in your holidays.

JoyinVirginia

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Re: "No dog, no shorts, no cookies." Mom's Christmas rules UPDATE #49
« Reply #65 on: December 08, 2013, 11:19:36 AM »
Sharing my perspective: I am bewildered by some posters thinking questions about church attendance being disrespectful to grandma. That is how you communicate. Asking grandparents, aunts, uncles about things important to the child or them. That is how you start conversations.

my mother was one of thirteen children, so over the years we cousins witnessed lots of interactions of our parental units. Some functional, some dysfunctional. There was one aunt that, at every gathering she attended, at some point would burst into tears loudly, and leave her siblings and children trying to figure out what was wrong to fix it. Another aunt would start lecturing people whenever  the mood struck her, she couldn't resist showing off for an audience. So I have witnessed more than once, relatives who just could not stand someone else having fun, or not being center of attention, or both.

Frankly, op, I think you should just show up with cookie making stuff and do your own thing. With this dynamic, its the least stressful thing all around.

Edited to add: I am absolutely fascinated by this thread because I had one aunt who sounds like the twin of the op mother. We drove my mother to Other State for a visit when they were both too old to drive themselves. Aunt had this idea of fun, sit in the living room and stare at  each other so she could interrogate dh and I on our child rearing beliefs. Argue with my mother about something inconsequential that happened fifty years before. Critique our children on how her granddaughter was so much better in comparison. (her own granddaughter visited once a year maybe, wonder why?)  The dh and I and our kids escaped to a motel and left my mother and her sister to happily argue three rest of their visit. They had always argued about trivial things, they did kind of enjoy it! And aunt did not miss us at all.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2013, 11:34:33 AM by JoyinVirginia »

weeblewobble

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Re: "No dog, no shorts, no cookies." Mom's Christmas rules UPDATE #49
« Reply #66 on: December 08, 2013, 11:42:12 AM »
Joy, for some people, causing scenes at family events IS their holiday tradition.

JoyinVirginia

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Re: "No dog, no shorts, no cookies." Mom's Christmas rules UPDATE #49
« Reply #67 on: December 08, 2013, 12:53:02 PM »
Joy, for some people, causing scenes at family events IS their holiday tradition.
Weeble wobble, this is so funny! And so true!

For folks from families who have never witnessed this, its hard to describe, because they can't believe it!

PastryGoddess

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Re: "No dog, no shorts, no cookies." Mom's Christmas rules UPDATE #49
« Reply #68 on: December 08, 2013, 01:42:57 PM »
Joy, for some people, causing scenes at family events IS their holiday tradition.
Weeble wobble, this is so funny! And so true!

For folks from families who have never witnessed this, its hard to describe, because they can't believe it!

We have an inlaw that we can count on at least one "episode" per family gathering, whether it's a health crisis, a hissy fit or just storming off and hiding in the house somewhere. The point of course, is to make several members of the family stop their celebration to care for her or seek her out and ask what's wrong. 

The funny thing is now we're all so used to it, we pretty much ignore it, which means that she escalates every year. For people who aren't used to it, it's absolutely insane that we are ignoring someone having a total meltdown. My baby shower guests were dumbfounded as to why no one was going to check on someone who was sobbing louder and louder in a nearby powder room. And every time they suggested checking on her, someone would assure them it was fine. I'm sure we all seemed mental.

It's at that point the hysterical laughter bursts forth and cannot be contained.

immadz

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Re: "No dog, no shorts, no cookies." Mom's Christmas rules UPDATE #49
« Reply #69 on: December 08, 2013, 04:15:36 PM »
Joy, for some people, causing scenes at family events IS their holiday tradition.
Weeble wobble, this is so funny! And so true!

For folks from families who have never witnessed this, its hard to describe, because they can't believe it!

We have an inlaw that we can count on at least one "episode" per family gathering, whether it's a health crisis, a hissy fit or just storming off and hiding in the house somewhere. The point of course, is to make several members of the family stop their celebration to care for her or seek her out and ask what's wrong. 

The funny thing is now we're all so used to it, we pretty much ignore it, which means that she escalates every year. For people who aren't used to it, it's absolutely insane that we are ignoring someone having a total meltdown. My baby shower guests were dumbfounded as to why no one was going to check on someone who was sobbing louder and louder in a nearby powder room. And every time they suggested checking on her, someone would assure them it was fine. I'm sure we all seemed mental.

I have to ask, why does this person get invited any where?


weeblewobble

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Re: "No dog, no shorts, no cookies." Mom's Christmas rules UPDATE #49
« Reply #70 on: December 08, 2013, 04:27:13 PM »
I ask myself the same thing.  But I don't issue the invitations.

immadz

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Re: "No dog, no shorts, no cookies." Mom's Christmas rules UPDATE #49
« Reply #71 on: December 08, 2013, 04:28:42 PM »
I ask myself the same thing.  But I don't issue the invitations.

Well, I guess free entertainment. Cheaper than a clown or magician.


Minmom3

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Re: "No dog, no shorts, no cookies." Mom's Christmas rules UPDATE #49
« Reply #72 on: December 08, 2013, 07:25:25 PM »
Joy, for some people, causing scenes at family events IS their holiday tradition.
Weeble wobble, this is so funny! And so true!

For folks from families who have never witnessed this, its hard to describe, because they can't believe it!

And, not having been a part of that 'tradition', one wouldn't know the dreadful sinking of the stomach that thinking of spending yet another holiday with That Person causes in the forced attendees.  The nausea and dread and insomnia That Person can cause can make one gun shy the rest of one's life.  Resentment is huge too (at least in ME it is/was...), because it just boggled me that she couldn't be nice for one damned day.  She had to pick a fight, and needle people until she got a response.  It was a huge power play, and my only success in handling it was to withdraw from her company.

I don't remember a single holiday during my childhood where my mother did not cause somebody to cry - and our family was SMALL - Mom, her parents, and me.  My mother always got ugly about some stupid thing or other, and somebody always walked into my bedroom to cry (not just me).  It wasn't until I got married that my mother stopped getting her way, because my husband did not care if she pitched a fit about anything at any time, he'd just give her stoneface and tell her NO.  It was a really rude awakening for Mom, and yet, it didn't improve her behavior much at all.  Even my completely cutting her off for years didn't do much to improve her behavior.
Mother to children and fuzz butts....

EllenS

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Re: "No dog, no shorts, no cookies." Mom's Christmas rules UPDATE #49
« Reply #73 on: December 08, 2013, 08:19:49 PM »
I have no comment on the family dynamics, but I concur that an 8 year old asking "Grandma, do you go to church?" or "where do you go to church" is neither an interrogation nor disrespectful.

They are questions of fact, and perfectly appropriate (especially in the 'do you' form) for any acquaintance, much less from a child to a family member.  The only disrespect would be expressing disapproval of the answer.

lollylegs

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Re: "No dog, no shorts, no cookies." Mom's Christmas rules UPDATE # 49
« Reply #74 on: December 09, 2013, 12:32:27 AM »
So, the cookies are on.   I will bring every last bit of supplies from my home, and I guess when I see mom, I will have some configuration of the kids ask Grandma when we can make cookies and decorate trains, like always.  And if she pitches a fit, well, I just do not know.  My in-laws live  in my town here, and I do not know sis-in-laws (Aunt L) parents to borrow their kitchen.  I have not lived there since age 17, and I am not on FaceBook to see if anyone is still around. 

So, yeah, making cookies with my sane brothers and their families is worth the trip, but not mom, but her house is the only large enough place and cost effective.

Honestly, I think you should skip it altogether.

I had a toxic grandmother and I did the toxic Christmas's. I understand the dynamics of toxic families. And I still think that overruling your mother's explicitly spoken requests because her house is the only one big enough to do the things that you want to do is rude.