Author Topic: "No dog, no shorts, no cookies." Mom's Christmas rules UPDATE #49,#118 134 FIN  (Read 30738 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

CrazyDaffodilLady

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1368
Re: "No dog, no shorts, no cookies." Mom's Christmas rules UPDATE #49
« Reply #75 on: December 09, 2013, 01:33:30 AM »
. . . 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.

. . .

A great description of what it's like.

My mother's purpose in life is to hurt her husband and children.  She's quite willing to be blatantly wrong, to look a fool, and even to hurt herself if it makes her family unhappy, creates drama, and makes her the center of attention. 

One thing I've learned is that she lashes out with whatever she can come up with at the moment.  Consistency is for the sane.  For that reason, in RegionMom's position, I'd behave as if the cookie issue had never been mentioned.  Drama Mama may have lit on it to diss RegionMom's tradition at that moment; tomorrow she may not even remember she said it.  Whether or not RegionMom makes the cookies, Mom is not going to be happy.

Attempting to rationally discuss things with these people is an unpleasant waste of time. 
It takes two people to play tug of war. If you don't want to play, don't pick up the rope.

cicero

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 17949
Re: "No dog, no shorts, no cookies." Mom's Christmas rules UPDATE #49
« Reply #76 on: December 09, 2013, 02:37:45 AM »
RegionMom - can i ask "why"? why are you going? what is the difference between this year and next year (when you say you will stop going)?

My father has his toxic moments, but at this point in life (i'm 53, he's 83) i've made my peace with it and him (for the most part). He's annoying and he can be clueless/mean (still not sure which) but so far hasn't done anything at "cut off" level.

However, my DS's father (or sperm donor) has. and it took DS a looooong time, and it took *me* a long time to accept DS's choice, but DS does not consider him a father. and we tried for years to forge a relationship - there were one-sided phone calls and letters and invitations to birthday parties and first days at schools etc and he always promised to come and NEVER and I mean NEVER came (he did come for DS's bar mitsvah - late. he was so late that he missed the entire ceremony and came only to the reception.).  So a few years ago DS made one last attempt to talk with him, it backfired, and since then he says "I have no father". i think it takes a lot of guts to be able to do that and I know how hurtful it is. But sometimes that's what you need to do - at whatever level it is. So ask yourself if this christmas trip is something you really want to do (because honestly, it sounds like your mom doesn't even want this )


            Created by MyFitnessPal.com - Free Weight Loss Tools

Hmmmmm

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6784
Re: "No dog, no shorts, no cookies." Mom's Christmas rules UPDATE #49
« Reply #77 on: December 09, 2013, 09:39:22 AM »
RegionMom, I completely understand why you and your siblings continue to go. I wouldn't allow your mom's attitude to drive a wedge between the family which I what I feel like she is doing. It sounds like you guys are doing a great job of giving your kids the opportunity to have a extended family in spite of her.

And while I normally agree that "my house my rules" is the norm. But to me this isn't about a "house rule". This is one family member trying to break a family tradition that the rest of the family wanted to continue. And she is trying to use her position as home owner to break the tradition without getting input from the rest of the family.

If you want to keep the discussion on the guest/host basis, as the hostess, she should be trying to accomodate her guests wishes. And since this isn't a "house rule" but a out of the blue wish then the mother should forgo it for guest harmony.

I'd be calling her and saying "Mom, I spoke with Bro and Aunt about the cookie baking and they really want to continue the tradition. So I'll be bringing all the supplies."

DollyPond

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 681
Re: "No dog, no shorts, no cookies." Mom's Christmas rules UPDATE #49
« Reply #78 on: December 09, 2013, 09:48:40 AM »
And then there was my paternal grandmother....

She was extremely religious and thought that the only way to observe Christmas was to go to church several days in a row and have no celebrations whatsoever.  Anyone throwing or even attending a Christmas party was the equivalent of participating in a Satanic ritual.  And she'd lecture you about your sinfulness.

Easter was even worse - she expected full out mourning.

We soon determined that she was a whackaloon and excluded her from any activities - not that she would have attended anyway.

Kaire

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 499
Re: "No dog, no shorts, no cookies." Mom's Christmas rules UPDATE #49
« Reply #79 on: December 09, 2013, 10:18:19 AM »
RegionMom -- where you the ONLY one told no cookies?  So everyone else was going to show up expecting to continue the tradition and you were going to be empty handed, no dough, no supplies?

This is just based on my toxic mother, but to me that sounds like you are being set up as the fall guy.  Everyone would get there and it would be "Oh well RegionMom didn't bring everything ..." and the blame would be deflected on you.  I'd suggest telling mom that you mentioned it to other family members and they were clueless and disappointed, so how does she want to proceed?  Throw it back on being her job to crush the holiday spirit.


ladyknight1

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 8345
  • Operating the logic hammer since 1987.
Re: "No dog, no shorts, no cookies." Mom's Christmas rules UPDATE #49
« Reply #80 on: December 09, 2013, 02:00:34 PM »
Region mom, this just seems so bizarre that you were the only one told "no cookies". Unfortunately, it does remind me of many conversations with my mom and the whole reasoning behind why I don't travel to see them any more.

Plans were for extended family to stay in very large house, booked and arranged by me. House is an hour from the closest grocery store. We divided meal responsibilities by couple/family in advance. My mother decided two days before that they would not buy any food in advance, but go each and every day to buy what they wanted from the store. All other plans that had been mutually arranged had to be changed to accommodate this sudden 3 hour trip each day.

Not worth the effort any more for me and I will not subject DH and DS to the insanity any longer.

JoyinVirginia

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6107
Re: "No dog, no shorts, no cookies." Mom's Christmas rules UPDATE #49
« Reply #81 on: December 09, 2013, 03:02:14 PM »
Kaire, I agree completely. I will bet a virtual diet Coke that region mom is the ONLY one that dear old mom was going to tell her rules to. And yes, then it would be easy to blame it all on op ” misunderstanding” if anyone got upset.
Lady knight, that sounds absolutely ridiculous, to go shop for food daily when you will be staying at the same place for a set period of time.

JeanFromBNA

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2327
Re: "No dog, no shorts, no cookies." Mom's Christmas rules UPDATE #49
« Reply #82 on: December 09, 2013, 03:54:11 PM »
(snip)
I'd suggest telling mom that you mentioned it to other family members and they were clueless and disappointed, so how does she want to proceed?  Throw it back on being her job to crush the holiday spirit.

Ding, ding, ding!  We have a winner!  That's the way I'd try to go.

I say try, because I had a mother like yours.  She was unable to relate to people IRL.  It took time and distance to realize that she had severe psychological issues.  Once I accepted who she was, I had much more peace. I stopped grieving for the mother that I never had and the chances that were gone forever.   As an adult, I treated her in a way so that when she died, I would have no regrets; and that eventually became the truth.  The end of her life was very sad (there was a diagnosis; PM me if you want to know what it was), but in the end, we were both at peace.

(((hugs))) Region Mom. 

mime

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 808
Re: "No dog, no shorts, no cookies." Mom's Christmas rules UPDATE #49
« Reply #83 on: December 09, 2013, 04:10:46 PM »
RegionMom -- where you the ONLY one told no cookies?  So everyone else was going to show up expecting to continue the tradition and you were going to be empty handed, no dough, no supplies?

This is just based on my toxic mother, but to me that sounds like you are being set up as the fall guy.  Everyone would get there and it would be "Oh well RegionMom didn't bring everything ..." and the blame would be deflected on you.  I'd suggest telling mom that you mentioned it to other family members and they were clueless and disappointed, so how does she want to proceed?  Throw it back on being her job to crush the holiday spirit.

I think Kaire is right-- if you change "baking cookies" to "playing board games", then that fall guy prediction is exactly what my grandmother liked to do to my mom.

Come prepared, and ready to please the majority of the family who have enjoyed the tradition.

whatsanenigma

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2052
Re: "No dog, no shorts, no cookies." Mom's Christmas rules UPDATE #49
« Reply #84 on: December 09, 2013, 04:27:31 PM »
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).

Also, it seems to be okay with the mother if another kind of baking is done in her kitchen (the train cake) so I am not sure what the difference should be, especially if both projects are being done at the same time and everybody cleans up appropriately.

If the rule is a blanket "no baking/cooking in my house at all", well, I wouldn't quite understand it in this situation, but okay, that would be fair enough.  And if it were for some reason such as possible cross-contamination with an allergen, or the messing up of a kitchen that is being kept Kosher, things like that, again, that's another thing.

But to say it's okay for person A to bake food B during time C, but not okay for person D to bake food E during time C....no.  Unless person D has a reputation for setting kitchens on fire, but that doesn't sound like the case in the OP.

Clockwork Banana

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 152
Re: "No dog, no shorts, no cookies." Mom's Christmas rules UPDATE #49
« Reply #85 on: December 09, 2013, 04:29:13 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.

tinkytinky

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 471
Re: "No dog, no shorts, no cookies." Mom's Christmas rules UPDATE #49
« Reply #86 on: December 09, 2013, 04:53:33 PM »
You could make the dough ahead of time and carry it in a cooler. When everyone asks about cookies, AH-HA! you have the cookie dough ready to color and shape. NO MESS in mom's kitchen (not that it sounds like that is the main issue, just one less thing for her to focus on). In fact, I would almost take everything....cookie sheets, supplies including coloring and frosting, plastic wrap, parchment paper, etc... make the clean up as easy as possible ($1 store bowls that you could throw away, no washing ANYTHING). Mostly just to make the only thing that you use is the oven. put everything in a tote to transport.

In the OP you stated that you did this as a tradition with your dad, could this be why she isn't wanting to do it any longer? it isn't HER tradition, does it make her sad? or mad? Or is this just kind of status pro quo for her?

{{{hugs}}} for you whatever the reason. This has to be hard.

            Created by MyFitnessPal.com - Free Calorie Counter

PastryGoddess

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5204
    • My Image Portfolio and Store
Re: "No dog, no shorts, no cookies." Mom's Christmas rules UPDATE #49
« Reply #87 on: December 09, 2013, 04:58:25 PM »
Also the OP's mother didn't want her to BAKE the cookies there because Mom decided the SIL's brand new train cake tradition was more important.  OP I think you should go back to your mother and let her know that SIL does want to continue the cookie tradition and was [flabbergasted/shocked/enter your hyperbole here] that Mom said no to cookies.

Evil me would set up a conference call between SIL, you and Mom so that she has to say it in front of another person.

nolechica

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6269
Re: "No dog, no shorts, no cookies." Mom's Christmas rules UPDATE #49
« Reply #88 on: December 09, 2013, 08:40:49 PM »
This is probably way too logical, but I wonder if mom is also thinking Roe's kids are too old for Santa, why does she still do cookies? However, 3 and 1 aren't really old enough to be helpful with a cake either, so I don't know.

TootsNYC

  • A Pillar of the Forum
  • *****
  • Posts: 31748
Re: "No dog, no shorts, no cookies." Mom's Christmas rules UPDATE #49
« Reply #89 on: December 09, 2013, 09:55:38 PM »
This is probably way too logical, but I wonder if mom is also thinking Roe's kids are too old for Santa, why does she still do cookies? However, 3 and 1 aren't really old enough to be helpful with a cake either, so I don't know.

I could be 30, I would still want to make Santa cookies with my mom and cousins and aunts (even if those cousins are 24 or something).