Hostesses With The Mostest > Entertaining and Hospitality

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FedUpWithYou:
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Morty'sCleaningLady:
You aren't an ogre, but that lawyer is a Grinch!!! If you are working with your own attorney, have him get you an extension.  I know many people have left on holiday already and could have missed that lawyer's timeline!

Instead of cancelling, can you scale back?  Maybe some close friends will be able to help pot-luck it?

Virg:
I agree with MrsBart.  You might be able to call for help and not cancel the party.  At the very best, getting someone else to bring the turkey would save you a lot of prep time.  All in all, etiquette states you should follow through, but there's nothing rude about asking for help since you've been put in a time crunch by your legal affairs.  If the cost of stuff to bring is an issue, you could certainly offer to pay for the turkey (or whatever other supplies the guest would be bringing at your request).  I'm certain that your guests can understand something like this coming up and would be able to help.

Also, don't forget that you can get a cleaning service in for a not-exorbitant amount if you're really desperate.

Virg

ShadesOfGrey:
I agree with finding help as much as possible, I think (hope) people will understand if you explain the situation. 

I would also suggest telling everyone a very specific ending time - this way guests wont linger, and you have some energy after the party to continue with your work.  I think a short apology for having to cut it short would be in order, not because it is  your *fault*, but just to smooth things over and let them know that this wasnt your first choice.  If they understand that it was the difference between canceling on short notice and cutting it short, they should be appreciative that you still opened your home to them.   

This was an unanticipated obligation, and people should politely understand

platys:
As a christmas orphan, I would really advise against cancelling.  I'm the one throwing the orphan bash this year, but I know that at this point, I"ve already turned down other Christmas invitations.  Presumably the others have as well.   You can push Christmas Dinner back a bit (I'm having mine at 5, because I've got some folks coming from longish distances, and I'm sooo not a morning person), which will give you more time and less stress.  Or, ask folks to help chip in for the meal. 

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