Author Topic: "No dog, no shorts, no cookies." Mom's Christmas rules UPDATE #49,#118 134 FIN  (Read 28704 times)

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cabbagegirl28

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Re: "No dog, no shorts, no cookies." Mom's Christmas rules UPDATE #49
« Reply #90 on: December 09, 2013, 10:46:57 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).

I still quietly leave a plate for Santa, and I'm in grad school.


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PastryGoddess

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Re: "No dog, no shorts, no cookies." Mom's Christmas rules UPDATE #49
« Reply #91 on: December 09, 2013, 10:48:14 PM »
I AM 30 and I still like making santa cookies with the family.  Everyone knows that if they are Christmas cookies, they have no fat, no calories, and are extra super yummy so you should eat as many as you possibly can.  ;D

It's not up to Grandma to decide the kids are too old, it's up to the kids and their parents.  If she doesn't want to do the cookies, then she should own it.  Not make up excuses to try and make someone else look bad

LeveeWoman

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Re: "No dog, no shorts, no cookies." Mom's Christmas rules UPDATE #49
« Reply #92 on: December 09, 2013, 10:51:08 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.

And, for me, it's a well recieved thought.

Thank you.

nolechica

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Re: "No dog, no shorts, no cookies." Mom's Christmas rules UPDATE #49
« Reply #93 on: December 09, 2013, 11:21:49 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.

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).

I agree, just trying to figure out her reasoning.

NyaChan

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Re: "No dog, no shorts, no cookies." Mom's Christmas rules UPDATE #49
« Reply #94 on: December 09, 2013, 11:25:38 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.

And, for me, it's a well recieved thought.

Thank you.

I'm one of the ones pointing out that etiquette gives the host certain privileges when it comes to deciding what happens in their homes and I also thought it was off for a child to question their grandmother about her attendance at church - I also come from an extremely stressful and difficult family with smattering of toxic people mixed in.

gollymolly2

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Re: "No dog, no shorts, no cookies." Mom's Christmas rules UPDATE #49
« Reply #95 on: December 09, 2013, 11:40:52 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.

Tea Drinker

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Re: "No dog, no shorts, no cookies." Mom's Christmas rules UPDATE #49
« Reply #96 on: December 09, 2013, 11:51:58 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.

And, for me, it's a well recieved thought.

Thank you.

I'm one of the ones pointing out that etiquette gives the host certain privileges when it comes to deciding what happens in their homes and I also thought it was off for a child to question their grandmother about her attendance at church - I also come from an extremely stressful and difficult family with smattering of toxic people mixed in.

I think a lot depends on the specifics, there: I can imagine a child asking "what church do you go to, Grandma?" because she knows that there are different churches, but hasn't yet realized that not everyone goes at all, and it's like asking "what's your favorite kind of ice cream?" or whether Grandma likes dogs or cats better. Someone who is comfortable not going could just say "I don't go to church, sweetie" and possibly change the subject. It would get rude if the child started pressing for why his grandmother doesn't go to church; that's only inherently a problem if the parent didn't want to have to explain to their child that not everyone goes to church.

(I'm writing this from the viewpoint of someone who only goes for weddings and funerals, because I see no need; someone who feels they ought to go, but doesn't, might take it differently.)
« Last Edit: December 09, 2013, 11:55:56 PM by Tea Drinker »
Any advice that requires the use of a time machine may safely be ignored.

Iris

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Re: "No dog, no shorts, no cookies." Mom's Christmas rules UPDATE #49
« Reply #97 on: December 10, 2013, 12:40:22 AM »
Heck, I once asked my beloved and very respected Grandfather if he'd been alive when Jesus was around. I wanted to know.
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Poirot thought you could, but forebore to say so.

Goosey

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Re: "No dog, no shorts, no cookies." Mom's Christmas rules UPDATE #49
« Reply #98 on: December 10, 2013, 08:48:28 AM »
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.

m2kbug

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Re: "No dog, no shorts, no cookies." Mom's Christmas rules UPDATE #49
« Reply #99 on: December 10, 2013, 11:00:31 AM »
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.

I'm going to agree.  As per the bolded, it did cross my mind that now everyone is going to gang up on gramma, and I don't see that ending well.  I do see other people's point that with a long-held tradition, that gramma probably needs to be more flexible, but it doesn't take away the fact that this is her home and she had made a request, whatever her reasons are. 

JoyinVirginia

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Re: "No dog, no shorts, no cookies." Mom's Christmas rules UPDATE #49
« Reply #100 on: December 10, 2013, 11:07:40 AM »
Op you know your mom and the history behind these holiday gatherings and traditions. You do what you think is best for you and your family.

My perspective, as someone fascinated with this thread, is that the rules mom gave in her phone call to op are NOT NECESSARILY FIXED RULES. Especially as mom called the op but did not communicate same with op brother and sister in law. at the time of the visit, mom may very well act as if there was no phone call to op, or change her mind.
My original suggestion, that I still think op should consider, is to identify hotel that has kitchen facilities, or even find a place on air bnb or another site like that, where family can have access to kitchen facilities, just as a back up plan. That, or everyone should go to Nearby Brothers house to make cookies.

Just one more thought: toxic to me does not have a specific enough definition. Op mother is distant, doesn't enjoy the family fun activities, not warm and fuzzy, rarely communicates, apparently loves her dog. She does not sound actively destructive, but not really interested in her children or grandchildren. I am wondering why she hosts these holiday get togethers in the first place. 
Another speculation, based on my own experience of my mother as she got older getting fixated on one idea. It could be op mother just has some vision in her head of how things should be, and is fixated on ”too much noise making cookies= no cookie making = no noise disturbing my usually quiet house.” Not thinking about noise from cake decorating and board games and her house having extra people in it!
« Last Edit: December 10, 2013, 11:11:06 AM by JoyinVirginia »

Sophia

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Re: "No dog, no shorts, no cookies." Mom's Christmas rules UPDATE #49
« Reply #101 on: December 10, 2013, 12:58:07 PM »
For future reference, hotels are usually pretty empty during Thanksgiving and Christmas. 
You could rent a suite with a kitchen, and have everyone gather there. 

GlitterIsMyDrug

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Re: "No dog, no shorts, no cookies." Mom's Christmas rules UPDATE #49
« Reply #102 on: December 10, 2013, 01:36:22 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.

RegionMom and crew show up at the house sans cookie making goodies. At which point her brothers ask "Region, where are the cookie goodies?" to which Region responds "Well, mom said she only wanted us to do trains, not the cookies", so brothers look to 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?" at which point the toddlers begin to cry because there no cookies for Santa and he won't come if there are no cookies, everyone knows that. So Region feels guilty and crazy because she knows she had that conversation...right? And because she can't sleep over the guilt she ends up wandering around the only 24hr store in the area in her slippers mumbling about Santa cookies and no shorts and the next thing ya know the store is calling the cops and it becomes a whole thing.

Of course if she shows up with the cookie stuff without telling her mom about it, mom flies off the handle about how no one listens to her or respects her or loves her! She then locks herself in the bathroom, eventually she finds her way out, knocks back a couple of egg nogs and replays every second of how her children never appreciated her and blah, blah, blah martyr, and more sobbing, locking in the bathroom. And again...Region ends up feeling guilty.

I love my family very much. But we're nuts. Every last one of us. The key is learning to ride the crazy wave.

So my advice would be a phone call. Hi mom, Region here, how's the dog? Well I was just calling because I was talking with brother and mentioned how we're not doing Santa cookies this year and he seemed really confused as nothing had been mentioned to him and he was looking forward to do the cookies. Since he didn't seem to know what was going on I just wanted to double check with you that you don't want them done this year, right? I'm willing to put down money that mom's response will be "What are you talking about? Of course we're doing Santa cookies!", at which point you say "Oh, ok, I must have misunderstood. So I'll bring the stuff to make the cookies then. Great, thanks mom!" and hang up.

JoyinVirginia

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Re: "No dog, no shorts, no cookies." Mom's Christmas rules UPDATE #49
« Reply #103 on: December 10, 2013, 01:44:00 PM »
Glitter can I please come to your next family get together so I can observe everyone? Your crazy wave sounds infuriating but also highly entertaining, if you approach things in the right frame of mind.  I will bring cookies!

m2kbug

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Re: "No dog, no shorts, no cookies." Mom's Christmas rules UPDATE #49
« Reply #104 on: December 10, 2013, 02:16:57 PM »
Glitter, I totally agree.  My mom loves to be the martyr and the victim, so I can totally see that scenario playing out.  This is why it's important to compare notes.  I never take anything at full face value without talking to my sister about it, so I totally get that part.  I think for the OP, if she's touching base with the siblings over the great cookie debate, there will be no mystery if this year there are no cookies.  The kids will still have treats for Santa.  A few times growing up, we didn't have any cookies so we left whatever else we could find with my parents telling us Santa will probably like to have a healthy snack after all those cookies, and he can share with the reindeer.  It worked.

In any case, there's some time to sort out the details, but it's still Mom's house, and I think everyone just has to try to work with it or find a reasonable compromise or solution.  Your wording is probably about what I would do.