Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Trying to Hold Out- As Promised.

I can't mention it til after Halloween.

Thanksgiving I can talk about tho.
It's a month away!

Our house is so upside down there's no WAY we can host Thanksgiving Dinner here. So my daughter has decided to have Thanksgiving Dinner at her house this year. She really can't afford it-she's been out of work for almost 6 months now- but if everyone would bring a couple of dishes if they attend- it won't be too hard on her budget.

When I have it at my house- I probably should have done more of that type dinner- but the kids were just starting out on their own with growing families, and on limited budgets. Tradition in our family has always been that you go to Grandma's house for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Well, me being the control freak I am- always wanted the Perfect Norman Rockwell holidays- and so up until a couple of years ago- held the dinners at my house with some, but usually minimum, help from anyone. I knew exactly what dishes I was making and where they would be placed and if anyone brought something extra- it was an EXTRA TREAT! And if they couldn't afford it or something happened at the last minute they couldn't attend- then it was perfect anyway and no one was disappointed or upset because they felt bad and/or it was counted on for being part of dinner.

But the past few years I began asking the kids to bring certain things to the dinners. I was getting better and they were getting stable enough in their financial situations to take on more responsibility for the events.
A couple/three years ago I was upset tho. Big Time.
We had the dinner here. Everyone knew what time dinner was going to be- and one of my kids didnt have a car at the time. So their sibling went to pick them up at their house. Sibling w/o vehicle and their family wasn't ready. So Sibling that went to get them came back here and then-after us deciding to delay dinner for them- went back in an hour. Sibling without car and family STILL not ready. So sibling came back- we ate dinner and finally - after two MORE HOURS-Sibling _w/o car) and family showed up. We were all in the living room and we thought sibling w/o car and family would grab a plate and then come join us and we would have nice visit.
Nope- Sibling w/o car, and family went into the kitchen, ate dinner, and left. Barely stopping long enough to say hello and goodbye. I AM NOT KIDDING.
You have no idea how upset I was by that display.
It's also been increasingly hard for us to co-ordinate these dinners. Clay and Kathy used to alternate holidays with the two families...One year they would have Thanksgiving with us and then travel to Georgia to be with Kathy's side of the family for Christmas. The next year- it was Thanksgiving with the Georgia family, and then that Christmas with us.
I LOVED that solution!!
But since Dad and Clay left us- we can't seem to get anyone together for anything. Someone (including me) is usually working on every single holiday, seems like. Year before last I did Thanksgiving here and Christmas........that's when I told the kids that NEXT YEAR- meaning last year- THEY were going to do Thanksgiving Dinner if we had one. That gave them plenty of time to get it planned together.
And guess what? We didn't have a Family Thanksgiving Dinner. Kathy and her mom was scheduled for Georgia that Thanksgiving and Julie had to work on Thanksgiving Day and Marie and Frank were separated(which matters little to us because they aren't divorced yet and her and the kids are always welcome and they KNOW that), but they could have planned it for the weekend before- or the weekend after. Thanksgiving Dinner isn't like Christmas day...you CAN postpone it a few days....anyway....

My point is- Julie is taking up the tradition this year. And I'm glad for it. She'll be a wonderful hostess!!!


Odie Langley said...

I feel your pain as the saying goes. With my girls spread out so far it is like pulling hens teeth to coordinate a family gathering. I don't really even try anymore. If it happens great, if not I don't let it bother me.

Countess said...

I also understand where you are coming from. My sister has just decided that her family won't be joining us for Xmas dinner and that hurts. So at this stage it looks like it will only be us 4 and my mum and dad.

Its quite standard practice round here that people always contribute with food when invited round. The cost of entertaining has got completely out of hand and consequently people stopped inviting. However now you just know to take soom food along (we call it 'take a plate') and whatever you're drinking. Cost shared and everyones happy. Works well.