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Ok so CHRISTMAS this year will be at my house. My brother in law and his family have just told me because of all their sudden diettry requirements that he and his wife have, not his kids that all they think they should bring is salad. The problem is their two kids won’t just eat salad and I do all the work and cooking on Christmas day. I’m so frustrated as I know they will barely contribute to any of the food, none of the cooking and they let there kids trash the house. They just sit on their butts and do nothing. I’m getting more and more anxious expecting the worse but don’t know how to adress it all with them without an argument beginning. I’m in one mind to say maybe all the kids should eat and drink in the kitchen or outside at the tables and not on the carpet in my lounge room? As I’m in a rental I get really stressed about stains in carpet that’s not mine, even my toddler only eats in the kitchen or outside. Do you think this is reasonable? And how do you think I could approach the good suggestions with out offending anyone?
Thank you in advance


Posted anonymously, 9th December 2014


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  • I agree it’s your house and your rules!

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  • I hope your Xmas turned out fine and enjoyable. Do what everyone do in our family . Everyone just bring something each , which is not hard and therefore the hostess do not have to slave for everyone . I used to know someone who asks everyone to chip in say $10-15 for food and you don’t have to bring a gift . They sit on their butts because they will know you will serve them . Hope it works out better next year .( this year )

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  • top story

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  • I also suggest out side and if it is going to be a HOT day, suggest the venue be the beach if that is possible.. Good Luck.

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  • My comment to CHRISTMAS Meltdown countdown Posted anonymously, 9th December 2014. You know I would be telling the brother, wife and family that I need a break from the stress of planning Christmas at our home. I would suggest that they might like to have family time in their own home and let the children appreciate what a real family Christmas is by having it in their home.
    Mindfulness of one’s self is what it’s all about, and we women always find it difficult to say No. Yes your openness may cause upset, a rift, drama, whatever, but if you don’t stand-up you will be always be the door-mat.

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  • I would suggest an outdoor meal/everyone sit outside and also ask them to bring along dessert too! When people bring food it is to share and is only fair and reasonable; they can still eat their salad if they wish! Ultimately; your house, your rules!

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  • Oh! how awful. If you have not accepted their invitation to come to our home and dictate about food with unruly children, perhaps you can let them know that you and family are going elsewhere for Christmas Dinner and that they are invited to come along with everyone else to a picnic in a park or anywhere that is not your home! Actually my son and his family and in laws dine at a restaurant every Christmas day. My husband and I used to do this when our children became adults and before all were married. It was wonderful as we paid for their meals. No one was at home slaving to prepare and there was no dishes to wash! My children take turns in hosting Christmas breakfast/brunch and gift opening and then everyone goes off to other family dinners etc. I do hope you can get a booking at such a late time.
    Perhaps you can give everyone who is contributing to Christmas Dinner at your home to select what they will bring by a list made out by you. I think Everyone having Christmas Dinner in the yard would be wonderful too. I have been to family Christmas Dinners like this when my in laws had big family with many small grandchildren and it was a wonderful back yard picnic.We only ever had cold meats, sea-foods and variety of salads and deserts and it was great. I have also had such family gatherings at beach side picnic areas, Depending where you live there are many alternatives. Just do not let anyone “SHOULD ON YOU” you are hosting so you decide!

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  • i would just tell them that this is where we eat or if you want to be passive aggresive then buy a nice table set for outdoors, if you don’t already have on and set it up outside and put all your food and stuff on it and everyone just goes outside! if you think that they will need more persuasion then also this year, have a bbq lunch lol.

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  • I think if your toddler normally eats in the kitchen or outside, it’s fair to expect their kids to as well. And if you’re worried about them trashing the house, it’s fair to say that the kids should play outside. You may need to be blunt and say that you’re concerned about the things that they break or damage inside. I know that may start a family fight, but it may also be the wake up call they need.

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  • If you can’t do it outside maybe restrict the kids only in the dining area :) set up all they need in there goodluck :)

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  • Your house, your rules! I know this is hard, but hopefully the weather is fine and you can set up outside. Its not fair that they mess up your carpet and then you are responsible for it. If your own child isn’t allowed to eat on the carpet then the same rules apply to all kids. Good luck.

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  • Why not have everyone eat outside? We usually keep it simply for the kids & not expect them to eat what the adults do. You can also preperation food in advance or take a leaf out of their book and base the meal around THEIR salad ie cold seafood, sliced ham with a dessert that’s less traditional like pavlova with fresh summer fruits (cherries, peaches & strawberries). Then use Boxing Day for a smaller more traditional Christmas with a roast turkey roll, roast veggies & pudding or mince pies with just your family or special friends. Which is what we do as we have got the same problem.

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  • Please let us know how you get on, sounds like a tricky one.
    Good luck with the family. Maybe ask what the kids will be eating?

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