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The (Hopefully) Sane Holiday Therapy Thread - Page 3

post #41 of 85

Yeah, the s*%&#$storm that AAK is being expected to deal with is just ridiculous... I really feel for you! If I were you I'd say there's no way I'm hosting close to 50 people in my house and here's the amount every family group is expected to contribute toward renting a hall or a community room... and here's the food you can bring (or the amount you can contribute to the catering fund)... 

 

Of course, these things are easier said than done... 

 

Hang in there everyone! At the very least, we can all show up here and complain about the atrocities we are forced to suffer in the name of "togetherness" and "family harmony". 

post #42 of 85

Are we the only ones who realize that we're not "mean" for not letting everyone else bully us?  And some perfectly normal people drink that kool-aid, so those of us on the receiving end lose not only a healthy relationship with the Toxic One(s) but are cut off from people we'd otherwise enjoy.  It erodes the entire dynamic.  MIL has alienated neighbors, friends, extended family . . . as I said, DH and I are only children, but we could have had wider contacts on her side had she not poisoned them.  At least my mother's still in some kind of touch with the outside world; as I said upthread, one of her friends is coming to our Thanksgiving this year.

post #43 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smokering View Post
 

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):

 

Pirates

Stargate: SG-1

Ninjas

Medieval knights and lady

Superheroes

Cowboys

 

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!)

 

 

Let me say, I LOVE this idea.

post #44 of 85

Caneel: Thanks! I recommend it. :) SIL does family photos every year, but we don't, so it was really nice of us to have some decent shots of the kids. We didn't hire a professional photographer, just my sister (who's better than me at not cutting people's heads out of frame) - so they weren't, like, glamorous Pinterest-type shots. But they were cute. And the grandparents and great-grandparents LOVED the little albums. Mum still has hers out on her coffee table. :) I'd love to keep doing it every year, as a record of them getting bigger - and more numerous - next year there'll be five, possibly six of 'em! SIL's Catholic, so ten years down the track we may end up having to dress them up as football teams or crowds of medieval peasants. :p

 

In other Christmas news, I just got $28 in PayPal and am hunting around for a Christmas present I can buy with it online. Great fun.

post #45 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smokering View Post
 

Caneel: Thanks! I recommend it. :) SIL does family photos every year, but we don't, so it was really nice of us to have some decent shots of the kids. We didn't hire a professional photographer, just my sister (who's better than me at not cutting people's heads out of frame) - so they weren't, like, glamorous Pinterest-type shots. But they were cute. And the grandparents and great-grandparents LOVED the little albums. Mum still has hers out on her coffee table. :) I'd love to keep doing it every year, as a record of them getting bigger - and more numerous - next year there'll be five, possibly six of 'em! SIL's Catholic, so ten years down the track we may end up having to dress them up as football teams or crowds of medieval peasants. :p

 

In other Christmas news, I just got $28 in PayPal and am hunting around for a Christmas present I can buy with it online. Great fun.

 

Aaaannnnnndd, there's my snort-du-jour!  :-)

post #46 of 85

So far we have Thanksgiving with my ILs, which I am making the Turkey for, and then we are hosting 35+ people on the Saturday after Thanksgiving for my Family.  I host every other year, and I divide the dishes and make assignments, and occasionally provide recipes since some people do not seem to comprehend DAIRY ALLERGY, and invariably put butter or cream, or something else in it.  I don't mind as long as they say something.  I also have an aunt, who one year was assigned to bring sweet potatoes.  She showed up, an hour late, with 3 raw sweet potatoes (for 40 people).

 

I am currently refusing to acknowledge the existence of Christmas.

post #47 of 85

AAK - my husband had the best idea just now for solving your Thanksgiving hosting issues. He said forget about making assignments or asking for money. He said you just need a nice silver tray. At the end of the dinner, bring out a bill on the nice silver tray, then retire to let them fight over and divide the bill. If they want restaurant service, they should get the full shebang. :-) 

post #48 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by kitchensqueen View Post
 

AAK - my husband had the best idea just now for solving your Thanksgiving hosting issues. He said forget about making assignments or asking for money. He said you just need a nice silver tray. At the end of the dinner, bring out a bill on the nice silver tray, then retire to let them fight over and divide the bill. If they want restaurant service, they should get the full shebang. :-) 

LOL -- I love it!

post #49 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by anj_rn View Post
 

 I also have an aunt, who one year was assigned to bring sweet potatoes.  She showed up, an hour late, with 3 raw sweet potatoes (for 40 people).

 

This reminds me of the year my MIL wanted to help with Thanksgiving by taking care of the turkey.  I accepted her offer to purchase a turkey, but asked that they drop it off so that I could time it with everything else.  She wanted to cook it too.  Fine, come by in the morning.  Well, she didn't show.  We called and she had put the turkey in the roaster oven at her house.  Dinner was to be at 1:00.  1:00 came and went; she finally came around 1:30 and ran to plug in the roaster.  The turkey wasn't done yet.  We gave up and tried to feed everyone with the ham.  Meanwhile, she kept trying to feed people with slices off the NOT DONE turkey.  Her logic was that the outside was done, just not the inside.  Thankfully, my kids don't like turkey (hence the ham) and we skipped it.  Miraculously, no one got sick that year, but my MIL knows that she will never be expected to bring a key ingredient again.  

 

Amy

post #50 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by anj_rn View Post

 I also have an aunt, who one year was assigned to bring sweet potatoes.  She showed up, an hour late, with 3 raw sweet potatoes (for 40 people).

This kind of stuff baffles me. Can someone really be that clueless, or are they being passive-aggressive, or ... what?!?!? I cannot wrap my brain around it. dizzy.gif
post #51 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by anj_rn View Post
 

I also have an aunt, who one year was assigned to bring sweet potatoes.  She showed up, an hour late, with 3 raw sweet potatoes (for 40 people).

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by AAK View Post
 

Dinner was to be at 1:00.  1:00 came and went; she finally came around 1:30 and ran to plug in the roaster.  The turkey wasn't done yet.  We gave up and tried to feed everyone with the ham.  Meanwhile, she kept trying to feed people with slices off the NOT DONE turkey.  Her logic was that the outside was done, just not the inside.  Thankfully, my kids don't like turkey (hence the ham) and we skipped it.  Miraculously, no one got sick that year, but my MIL knows that she will never be expected to bring a key ingredient again. 

 

Amy

 

I had someone offer to bring a meal to our house for a holiday.  I assumed (my mistake) that meant it would arrive either already cooked or at least ready to go in the oven.  Oh no, it came through the door still in the grocery bags and took a crazy amount of time and effort to prepare.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by limabean View Post


This kind of stuff baffles me. Can someone really be that clueless, or are they being passive-aggressive, or ... what?!?!? I cannot wrap my brain around it. dizzy.gif

 

Probably both and I'll and a third, the type of person that really doesn't want to cook anything but can't say no.  Their anxiety takes over and they can't function beyond carrying raw potatoes.  I am talking to you Mom.

post #52 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by MariaMadly View Post
 

 

Aaaannnnnndd, there's my snort-du-jour!  :-)


+1!

post #53 of 85

OMG - I think my head might explode.  I sent my follow up email to confirm the number of guests, and who was bringing what, as well as the reminder about food allergens and to be sure to note if anything contained nuts or dairy.  So our current count is 30 adults/big kids and 4 little kids (i.e. don't count on them eating).  I always ask that people make a note (I have cute little card holders) if they make something that contains meat (including chicken broth and eggs), Dairy (any form, milk, butter, sour cream), or nuts.  I have the cards ready when they get here just in case.  We have 2 vegans, 4 people that do not eat pork, 3 dairy allergies, 2 nut allergies and 2 gluten free.  Most of us were born into the family, so this has been the drill for a long time.  I try to make it easy, (ie my older sister is making pies, so I only asked for 1 pecan pie to be dairy free including the crust, or just tell me what it has in it so people can avoid it).

 

One of my aunt's called today and said she would not bring anything since there were too many restrictions.  I was calm and patient, but wanted to say "If I can cook a dairy-free, gluten-free, Kosher Thanksgiving for 10 people by myself, i think you can manage one side with potential allergens labeled."  I am I crazy?  Some of these are true allergies that result in anaphyaxis.  To this day I hate going to eat with other people only to find I do not know what i can eat since i do not know what is safe.

post #54 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by anj_rn View Post
 

OMG - I think my head might explode.  I sent my follow up email to confirm the number of guests, and who was bringing what, as well as the reminder about food allergens and to be sure to note if anything contained nuts or dairy.  So our current count is 30 adults/big kids and 4 little kids (i.e. don't count on them eating).  I always ask that people make a note (I have cute little card holders) if they make something that contains meat (including chicken broth and eggs), Dairy (any form, milk, butter, sour cream), or nuts.  I have the cards ready when they get here just in case.  We have 2 vegans, 4 people that do not eat pork, 3 dairy allergies, 2 nut allergies and 2 gluten free.  Most of us were born into the family, so this has been the drill for a long time.  I try to make it easy, (ie my older sister is making pies, so I only asked for 1 pecan pie to be dairy free including the crust, or just tell me what it has in it so people can avoid it).

 

One of my aunt's called today and said she would not bring anything since there were too many restrictions.  I was calm and patient, but wanted to say "If I can cook a dairy-free, gluten-free, Kosher Thanksgiving for 10 people by myself, i think you can manage one side with potential allergens labeled."  I am I crazy?  Some of these are true allergies that result in anaphyaxis.  To this day I hate going to eat with other people only to find I do not know what i can eat since i do not know what is safe.

Wow--this is nuts!  But seriously, it isn't that hard to Label food with their contents.  My goodness, if someone asked your aunt for the recipe because it was sooo good, she would probable rattle it off or get them a copy.  You aren't asking for anything more, just a different reason.  At the same time, I am super happy that I only have one person coming with any major food issues (and his are easy to accomodate).

 

Good luck. 

 

Amy

post #55 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by anj_rn View Post

 

One of my aunt's called today and said she would not bring anything since there were too many restrictions.  I was calm and patient, but wanted to say "If I can cook a dairy-free, gluten-free, Kosher Thanksgiving for 10 people by myself, i think you can manage one side with potential allergens labeled."  I am I crazy?  Some of these are true allergies that result in anaphyaxis.  To this day I hate going to eat with other people only to find I do not know what i can eat since i do not know what is safe.

 

That's absurd. You're not asking people to strictly bring dishes that fit all of those criteria, you're just asking people to let you know so the dish can be labeled. It's not like you have a family of picky eaters - someone could die! I'd be tempted to ask your aunt how she would feel if Relative A died because she couldn't be bothered to tell you what's in the food she brought. Then again, I tend to lean toward snarkiness when put into absurd situations... :-) 

post #56 of 85

Food allergies were why I started hosting myself.  As I said, DH and I are both only children, so that made it a lot easier.  I just didn't want to deal with the double-checking and cross contamination issues.

 

Our un-Thanksgiving dinner with MIL came and went yesterday.  It was strained but went all right, and now for the first time in years I can look forward to the holiday itself and concentrate on what I think will look and taste nice and please others and myself.  So excited, finally!

 

Hope everybody else's countdown to the season is being kind.

post #57 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by anj_rn View Post
One of my aunt's called today and said she would not bring anything since there were too many restrictions. 

Oh, for god's sakes, how hard is it to throw together a fruit salad or cut up a canteloupe. Baked potatoes with optional toppings? Lettuce salad with bottled dressing out so people can read the label? There are a lot of easy/one-ingredient things to bring. Food issues are just a part of life now. Sorry for your dinner stress!

 

A side question - With that set of food restrictions, do you just do the cards or do you set aside zones? With my DH's family we have found that it's better to have a gluten-free zone/table, but we don't always (and my SIL got glutened once). Just wondering what other ways there are to handle this. notes.gif 

post #58 of 85

Well, my contribution to Thanksgiving is going to be a leetle more complication than I thought. There are 20 people and I'm bringing homemade ice cream (I think two batches will do it), some kind of sweet nibbles for coffee afterwards, and homemade breads. I'll probably do some super-soft Hokkaido dinner rolls and some foccacia or fougasse. All quite doable, just a fair bit of work.

 

And Mum accidentally invited an obnoxious couple! :p They're old friends of the family from way back, overseas, coming to NZ for a visit, which was supposed to be the week after Thanksgiving and now isn't. Apparently the woman is quite an, ah, forceful personality, and when Mum said "Oh, I'm so sorry, we're tied up on Thursday" she said "Why?" and then "Oh, how WONDERFUL, I LOVE Thanksgiving, I've ALWAYS wanted to organise one but no-one will ever do it for me, I LOVE turkey..." and so on and on until Mother, who is (as she later put it) a wimp, meekly invited them. So, oops. :p It's OK. We shall rally around and practice saying things like "Thank you for your advice" and "We're comfortable with our life choices", which apparently might be necessary.

post #59 of 85
Thread Starter 

Our Thanksgiving is more functional, though my older sister, bless her heart, is a lot of work to be related to.  Still, we are back up to 3 Thanksgivings, not including the one we turned down, so I guess that is the nearly the opposite of hosting dinner.  The new one is this Sunday, thankfully, and amongst friends and neighbors at the farm over the hill.  I don't expect the food to be fabulous, or even anything I can eat, but it will still be my favorite, seeing as I can let my hair down and be myself (mostly, I'm pretty obnoxious, sarcastic and impulsive with no checks and balances).

 

Last night I started going over the Christmas list, and the goal of keeping the whole shebang around $300 seems pretty dim, even keeping most adults out of it.  Looks like closer to $400.  Which is better than most years, even so.  I've got the grandnephews down under $10, I just don't know where else to cut.  Partly it will come down to whose names dh and I draw for his family.  My family, adults aren't exchanging presents, though usually I bring some anyway.  Not so this year.  Making some clove oranges, actually from our thorny little exotic orange tree that bloomed and fruited, giving us round, kumquat-size fruits that smell strongly of orange and vanilla..... mmmmmm..... going to put just a few cloves in those, not too many.  

 

Unfortunately, getting the budget down means making more things, which I really don't need.  I keep thinking I will make my own Christmas cards, but always discouraged because buying nice envelopes costs as much as a cheap box of cards (damned consumer economy!)  But I think I will make Spirograph designs on watercolor paper, that can be sealed shut and mailed without envelope.  Yup, more projects!

post #60 of 85

I can see a relative getting overwhelmed at the food allergy issue... Especially if the ramifications of making a mistake are serious. It might work better to ask people to bring their recipe to share rather than give them a list of foods people can't have. Then the host can read the recipe and see whether to put it on the allergen free table or not.

 

My mom is sounding more interested in a traditional Thanksgiving meal rather than joining my brother's family at a Chinese restaurant. So that means she'll cook too much food and cook the types of food that I'd rather not. So it'll probably be my family of three and my mom and she and I will share the cooking. :thumb

 

But we haven't actually heard any other local relatives definitive Thanksgiving plans. My local siblings usually do something with their in-laws but sometimes come here on Friday or Saturday.

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