Today's query comes from the comment section of Annie's Mailbox (12-19-13.) In response to a letter about holiday meal traditions, a commenter, Johanna, stated that for years, her brother and SIL have INSISTED on hosting Christmas dinner. They forbid anyone from bringing anything and get insulted/defensive when the other relatives offer to bring something. They claim it's their gift to the family.
The problem? They serve ham. And only ham. No side dishes, no salads, no desserts, no drinks besides water. Just ham, on paper plates with plastic utensils. And while the family sits around gnawing on their slices of ham, the brother and SIL sit there and compliment each other on the wonderful meal.
This is has gone on for years. Johanna noted that these people are well off and have gone to restaurants, so they are aware that most meals involve sides and drinks besides water.
So I ask you ehellions, how would you handle this? I know we've said over and over that it's wrong to criticize someone's hospitality, but this just seems weird. Personally, I think I would just start bringing side dishes without asking permission. SIL's ham-stranglehold on the family dinner only continues because the family allows it.