SweetSilver is right. Even if the 'rules' say that the hosting person typically does everything (and that's a bit odd to start with, isn't it? Don't most families hand out dessert/salad/bread/drinks assignments, no matter whose house it's at?), this is clearly an atypical occasion. Time for a mass email. Start by saying something like "Whew, what a year this is going to be! We have the combined madness of X, Y and Z occasions - let's get planning so it all goes smoothly." List the names of every family who can reasonably be expected to contribute, list everything that needs to be done, and underneath your name write down all the stuff you're already doing. Then sweetly advise everyone else to divide the rest of the tasks up between them, with a warning that if they don't pick themselves, you'll pick for them.
I mean, seriously. Yeowch.
And yeah, it'd be awkward if your kids didn't contribute letters, but there's no reason they have to lie. :p They can list exactly what they're thankful for about your grandparents - no more, no less, no gushing. Heck, five lines each should do it.
Anyway. My holiday season isn't looking toooooo crazy, but well, still a bit crazy.
We'll do a Thanksgiving dinner with a few vaguely American or America-affiliated families we know. Mum's organising that, so all I'll have to do is show up with a dessert and maybe some bread. Easy.
Next task after that - dressing up DD, DS and my two little nephews and doing a photo shoot with them. We'll use the photos for Christmas gifts for the in-laws and overseas relatives. We did it last year and it was greatly appreciated.
Last year they wore sailor suits (well, sailor dress for DD), all made by me, and we went to the beach for photos. This year... any ideas? I've already rejected (on the grounds of 'too much work', mostly):
Medieval knights and lady
Ideally the costumes/outfits would be wearable again (the kids all wore the sailor suits to church for months), not take too long to sew, and not require hugely expensive fabric. So, say, Wizard of Oz costumes would be out. I could just make them all plain ol' matching shirts and trousers, but that seems kinda boring after last year.
(ETA: Never mind. We decided to go with cowboys after all. Yay, that's one thing sorted!)
Anyway, after that, Christmas itself. I bought tons of presents ahead of time this year (thank you, New Year's Resolution!), so I'm not too frantic about that. I will be giving DD a bunch of clothes/costumes as gifts which I still need to sew, and I'm sewing DH a manly apron. Have to buy glass bottles for the homemade vanilla essence I'm giving people. Plus I need to figure out a nice activity we can do on Christmas Day itself, after church.
We might end up having a 'friends' Christmas dinner as well; we did last year. I won't be hosting, but - like last year - I'll probably do a fair bit of cooking. Breads, at least one dessert, sweet nibbles and fudge or truffles for the friends I didn't buy 'proper' gifts for. Not too bad.
The most stressful thing is that in early January, we're taking a big trip to Disneyland - which is awesome and exciting, of course, it's just another thing to think about and plan. Still have a fair few hotels and things to book, DH STILL hasn't gotten his passport sorted, yadda yadda... and we'd better not be too extravagant over Christmas! DD's stocking theme might be 'stuff to do on the plane'...
Edited by Smokering - 11/9/13 at 6:21pm