Author Topic: Time to switch hosts for holiday events - wording  (Read 2704 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

AmethystAnne

  • mom, grandmother, and an enthusaistic knitter & crocheter (formerly Laura___)
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3728
  • So much yarn, not nearly enough time! :D
Re: Time to switch hosts for holiday events - wording
« Reply #15 on: February 06, 2014, 09:22:44 AM »
If the 2sets and MIL are so adamant that MIL be party central for "Thee Official Christmas Celebration", just go along with it happening as it's been happening, drama and all.

But.....how about one of the sets host an all family party that is in the middle of December. Host it like they'd choose to, not ThisIsHowItHasAlwaysBeenDone(!).

Then next year, another set hosts the party. The following year, yet another set.

By the time that 3rd year event is expected, maybe everyone will be looking forward to it, and maybe after a couple more years, the OfficialChristmasCelebration will be the mid December party?

mj

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 543
Re: Time to switch hosts for holiday events - wording
« Reply #16 on: February 06, 2014, 02:28:19 PM »
I like that idea, Amethyst Anne.  I'm going to float that one around to the people who are willing to host before the conversation to get a better idea if they think it will work.  One of the downsides I see is that since they do the 2, 3, 4 events the week of Christmas, the other 2 sets may think THAT is Official Christmas Tradition now too.  They told us this year when problems cropped up that they enjoy the stress of the holiday, and yes, they used the word "stress" - that was not my interpretation of what they said. 

Either way, we know there is going to be fall out because it will be a change no matter what.  But I think that is a great idea, it might even start some of the traditions that other people have suggested like Secret Santa.  They could start that at the Mid December event and maybe it will catch on as a fun thing for the 2 sets.  I think overall everyone will have less guilt in their minds about turning down the 2, 3, and 4 events of Christmas week because we would have one event where everyone is free to attend and has a good time.  Thank you for that suggestion!!!!

mj

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 543
Re: Time to switch hosts for holiday events - wording
« Reply #17 on: February 06, 2014, 02:29:17 PM »
Would it be possible, either in a group discussion or as smaller convos, to share the thought you've had:  "With the way the family get together *has been changing*, if no adjustments are possible, we may opt for an individual family celebration - we love x, y, z about the big get together, but a, b, c is increasing/decreasing and it may be better to do something different on our own."

I like this wording, hopefully either DH or I can remember to say it this way!  It's what we mean, but both of us typically tend to be very blunt.

mj

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 543
Re: Time to switch hosts for holiday events - wording
« Reply #18 on: February 06, 2014, 02:30:45 PM »
DH mentioned right now after reading your post that one of the older sets hosted Easter one year and it was meltdown city as soon as they asked to host and used it's only one holiday approach.  He also said that his mother made the hosts invite two more families that the hosts were unfamiliar with because that is what she would do. 

Great.  I think we are beginning to realize that it's just not going to work, most of us are terrified to even converse with them because of the histrionics, yet we are all bone tired and frazzled over the current issues, holidays are just not fun and relaxing at all.  I think this is going to turn into doing our own thing all the time now.  But I will update after the conversation.
I'm really sorry that this is stressing you out so much - its not what holidays are meant to be about!
Hang in there, remember that a lot of the other siblings feel the same way and stand your ground. at the end of the day, it's your holiday too, if it's no fun for you, then MIL and the other two need to appreciate that.

Thank you, I'm going to keep my fingers crossed.  It feels like we are at a crossroads, so hopefully some type of acceptable compromise will come out of this for all parties so the entire traditions are not lost.

Peregrine

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 361
Re: Time to switch hosts for holiday events - wording
« Reply #19 on: February 06, 2014, 07:04:55 PM »
OP, it sounds like you have at least a couple of sibling groups in agreement with you that things need to change.  Perhaps something that might work would be to sound out the ones most likely to agree with you and present a united front to the group.  Come up with a holiday plan that you would be happy with amongst that little group, and if the main trouble makers want to stir up trouble, they don't have to come.  If you guys have a lovely little holiday on your own they can get over it and join you, or continue to sulk.  I would certainly be a little more tactful than this, but this is the gist of what I would probably want in your situation.  Good luck!

AmethystAnne

  • mom, grandmother, and an enthusaistic knitter & crocheter (formerly Laura___)
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3728
  • So much yarn, not nearly enough time! :D
Re: Time to switch hosts for holiday events - wording
« Reply #20 on: February 06, 2014, 09:09:15 PM »
MJ......I hope Christmas is a good one for you and your family.

I can understand about wanting a couple of tactful phrases to use. Us blunt people can really stir things up if we let our voices get ahead of our brains.  :-[

blarg314

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 8301
Re: Time to switch hosts for holiday events - wording
« Reply #21 on: February 08, 2014, 10:20:32 PM »

Good luck.

My understanding is that you've got an extended family of 40+ people. MIL used to host, but can't manage it, and now a couple of sets of siblings have sort of taken over the organizing, at MIL's place, but it's poorly managed and they complain a lot. And, because of the size of the family and inlaw commitments, the same set of MIL+siblings host *three* events the week of the 25th, pressure people to show up to them all, but don't set dates and times until about a week before, with great whining about the stress. Several of the other siblings, including you, are fed up, but you know from previous history that even tactful attempts to suggest a change will cause drama that is remembered and resented for years.

Is that a fair summary?

I think PPs are right in that there isn't a magical set of words that will change things without drama.

What I would suggest is a two stage approach. The first is to suggest a change as tactfully as possible - you appreciate the work they're doing, but you know it's getting harder and harder as the family gets bigger, so what about rotating the hosting from year to year? You'd be happy to do so next year.

This probably won't work, from what you've said, so the the next step would be to change your own behaviour. Next year, decide how much you want to participate in, and act accordingly. Go to one of the events, on a night that you're free, but don't worry about keeping the whole week clear until they make up their minds what they're doing. Skip the rest - you can say that you've found that too many events makes you/the kids cranky and stressed, so you're pulling back (or that you've already accepted more timely invitations). Ignore the complaining of the host-martyrs, make you dish to take, and leave a bit early if it's too chaotic.



mj

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 543
Re: Time to switch hosts for holiday events - wording
« Reply #22 on: February 11, 2014, 06:05:16 PM »
Yes, exactly Blarg you nailed it in one paragraph.  There are some side issues that go on, like food allergies/food hoarding and those types of things that make it ill advised for MIL to continue on hosting but I think rotating hosts will solve that without having to get into another sticky area with MIL and the other 2 sets.

But now that they asked for the conversation they won't agree on dates, so maybe this is all moot.  DH & I have already decided Easter at home this year since the holidays have been so stressful but I have a feeling they will wait until Easter and then say they want to have the conversation then. 

LadyL

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2721
Re: Time to switch hosts for holiday events - wording
« Reply #23 on: February 11, 2014, 06:33:35 PM »
FWIW, my father comes from a family of 11. Rather than try to get together on Christmas Eve or day, they have a party usually the Saturday before (usually falls around the 17th). Relatives travel from all over the coast to attend and it's a big to-do. But it also allows everyone the flexibility to spend Christmas Eve/Day with just their immediate family, or travel to see their in-laws, or whatever.

gmatoy

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1031
Re: Time to switch hosts for holiday events - wording
« Reply #24 on: February 13, 2014, 09:48:20 PM »
I'm the oldest of six. Until 4 years ago, my mother hosted every Thanksgiving and Christmas. Then, on the last Christmas she hosted, she let us know that next year, she wasn't going to be doing it. So we had a year to decide what to do. I had decided for DH and Me, it would be just our branch at our house. And then, my nephew and his sweet wife wanted to do it. They had just moved to the area. So we went there for Thanksgiving. We stayed home for Christmas.

And since then, we have had it here with our children and their families. I changed Christmas dinner from turkey to lasagna and no one complained.

However, my mother recently said something about she had thought someone would take it over. And, in what was not my best moment, I said what I was thinking. I pointed out that none of us had the house for everyone and that I had been waiting for almost 40 years to spend a holiday in my own house! Cue total silence at the other end of the phone. Then she said a little something and ended the conversation. She has never brought it up since.