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Christmas day dinner--OT venting

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  • Christmas day dinner--OT venting

    I have got to vent and can't do it anywhere else>
    My mom has volunteered me to host Christmas day dinner for 13 people!! She called yesterday asking me to invite my step brother, his wife and 4 boys; my younger brother, and his 2 kids; and then she and my stepdad would be coming. My mom is a pro with the guilt trip stuff and I've always been the one who has no back bone when it comes to doing what's asked.
    With my hubby and kids that's 13 people!! Okay, my house is only 1,300. sq. feet, I have 6 dogs, 3 cats, and don't get along well with my sister in law and really don't know their boys (I last saw them 2 or 3 years ago). I don't do well when having to deal with that many people and am not happy with the thought of how in the HELL I'm going to make room for 13 to sit down and eat along with how I'm going to afford all the groceries needed to feed these people. I don't put my dogs away for anybody (and with 2 standard poodles one being a big oaf who thinks he weighs 5 pounds when in reality he weighs 80 and LOVES to hug everybody and the other one a nervous nelly who is afraid of everything and everybody), my furniture is all ratty and torn up, I have a small dining table, and not nearly enough sitting for everybody.
    I love seeing my mom and stepdad and know that this is a silly thing to vent about but I can't help myself and have no idea of what I'm going to do if they all come.
    ~*~*~Shawn, C.M.G.~*~*~
    Apparently common sense isn't all that common
    *~*~emipoo on egroomer*~*~*

  • #2
    Count your blessings. My entire family is in Michigan, and I can't get away to go there. Larry is in Peru, and it doesn't look to promising for him to get home this year. I'd be happy to deal with all the inlaws and outlaws.

    Being alone on Christmas isn't a whole lot of fun.


    • #3
      Oh moonie LOL You'll enjoy yourself your just freaking out on the thought of it LMAO ((hugs))

      Helly =( I felt bad for you reading your post. You should some how find the time and go. ((hugs)) to you as well.
      "No matter how little money and how few possesions you own, having a dog makes you rich." - Louis Sabin


      • #4
        Sorry, Shawn

        I know this is far from helpful, but I kinda got a chuckle about the 13 people thing...with 8 of my 9 siblings still at home, my parents, and a couple BILs, there are at least 11 people at our supper table every night. I'm serious when I say 22 people at thanksgiving this year seemed really dinky!


        • #5
          It's never fun to be "volunteered" to do something you weren't planning on. This year my sister "cancelled" Christmas. She's not getting along with our father and also having issues with our younger sister. She has the biggest house so we always go to her house to open presents. She said it was just too much work. She did the same thing on thanksgiving and we spent it just the four of us at home. It just didn't feel right. So I decided to host it at my house. My house is 1000 sq feet, four dogs, 2 cats, 2 kids, one bathroom and a very small kitchen, but I'm doing it buffet style. My dining room table is a round glass table and at most can squeeze in 6 people. My older sister has already told me she won't come, so I'm hoping to at least have my younger sister and my father and his fiancee. So that is only 10 people but it will be crampt. Our house is not only just 1000 so feet but it's a 2 story, three bedroom house so you can imagine how small the rooms are. Our bedroom has JUST enough room for our queen bed and a dresser and then we can kind of walk around the bed and open the closet door. And with our Griswald family Christmas tree our living room is even tighter on space. So I feel your stress. I enjoy cooking for large groups at least so I'm looking forward to that part.
          Is there any way each person could bring a dish? Even if you have to heat it up in your oven, it would cut down on how much food you would have to buy and prepare. My sister is engaged to a chef so they always offer to bring food and my dad is a great cook so he'll bring something too. It will just save me from having to do everything myself. So I guess I would suggest trying to do it at least semi-pot luck and do it buffet style and have everyone sit where it's comfortable. We have some TV trays and believe you me, even cleaned up our house never looks picture perfect since all of our furniture is hand me down just about, not much matches and it lived with 7 cats before we got it so you can imagine the arms of the couch, chair and recliner! But I figure, it's family, they either won't care, or if they do they know where they can stick it LOL. Except my MIL, she cares and I'm too chicken to tell her where to stick it LOL.
          Take a deep breath, try to relax and hopefully you will be able to enjoy the day.
          What a caterpillar considers the end of his world, we call a butterfly.


          • #6
            First, take a deeeeeep breath!

            The first thing to remember is that your family knows that you have dogs. They can deal with it. Secondly, they know where you live (I assume) and know you have limited space. Don't stress, put out some card tables and folding chairs (if you belong to a church, you can borrow them) and do your meal buffet style. Let people sit where they can. If you stress, you will NOT enjoy your holiday. Have indoor games ready for the kids, maybe a football for the guys and let them entertain themselves. Part of the joy of Christmas it to spend the holiday with family. It is also a huge source of stress. Calm down, let the cards fall where they may, and enjoy your holiday! I will pray that all works out well. Keep us posted!!!

            Oh, and can I come,too? I can bring 3 more standard poodles to entertain the kids with!! (JK!!)

            Merry Christmas!


            • #7

              I can understand you, but it is also nice to have family. If I were you I would ask everybody to bring a dish. That way you don't have to buy so many groceries! If your dogs are fine with many people in the house there is no need to "lock" them up! Tell your family that the dogs are gonna be there and they have to put up with them. After all it is your house

              Maybe this is a good opportunity to get to know your SIL better as well as her kids.

              My entire family is overseas, and the last time I saw them was 5 years ago!!

              Nothing has to be perfect. Let them help and enjoy your family


              • #8
                What I would do

                Here is some suggestions... Tryin to help! lol

                You could ask each family to bring a part of the meal, Make it like a pot luck type of thing. Involve the whole family.

                Cover your furniture with christmas blankets or sheets from walmart or your nearest thrift shop.

                Maybe pick up some extra chairs from the wal mart or thrift store as well.
                You might find a long folding table like a card table you can use for more people.

                If they asked you to host, they must know you have dogs.

                We have little yappy dogs that bark AT EVERYONE all night long and every time someone moves a muscle! But hey... they wanted to come here.

                I know its hard to say no to mom's, I have one like that too.

                Good luck!


                • #9
                  I agree, it is no fun to be alone, and some people can't see their family. I shouldn't be complaining, I'm just upset that I was volunteered out of 4 kids.
                  ~*~*~Shawn, C.M.G.~*~*~
                  Apparently common sense isn't all that common
                  *~*~emipoo on egroomer*~*~*


                  • #10
                    do you have to do all the food, or can you get your guests to bring a dish? you could do more of an informal thing and have buffet style snacks and apps along with some kind of sandwich. let your guests munch as they please, then they can kind of just sit wherever and the kids can do there own thing, maybe get some holiday movies or something to have playing in the background (that is if you are concerned about being able to entertain everyone), and kids usually migrate to the tv anyways.

                    you really can make a beautiful buffet table, set some candles throughout maybe some ornaments or other decorations to make it look festive. even inexpensive appetizers can be arranged pretty on a nice plate.

                    we have been hosting x-mas dinner for the past 3 years for my husbands family. his mom brings a few dishes, and we do whatever we want for the rest and get a ham. i pull out pretty dishes that i have gotten over the years and use them for chips and appetizers, they don't all match but thats ok. i make some of the cold dips and stuff early even if it is just getting the ingredients measured out and chopped up so i can throw it together faster xmas morning. i enjoy doing it plus we get to stay cozy and warm at home all day.

                    as far as groceries all i can say is look for sales and try to base you menu around that, groceries cost a fortune, check for things you may already have stashed away. make a big pile of mashed potatoes you can usually get them pretty cheap check for a roast on sale and put in in the slow cooker even cheap cuts come out tender and it makes an easy gravy too. if $$ is really an issue i would ask mom to help out.

                    smile and don't stress out, it will be awful if you insist on it.


                    • #11
                      Maybe you should tell them you really don't have the room. That is a lot of people. Sometimes you just have to put on a smile and get through it. Fortunately cooking keeps you so busy, you don't have time to get annoyed w/ relatives. It will be done and over with before you know it.

                      I have a small house and somehow have ended up doing Christmas and Thanksgiving several times over the last few years. I made my first ever turkey for Thanksgiving this year. (Usually we get a turkey breast that just needs to be warmed.) It turned out really well to my surprise. No food poisoning, lol. Good luck w/ whatever happens!


                      • #12
                        Learned long ago...

                        In Culinary School that if you want to look like a gourmet chef and do it on a budget - don't put anything out buffet style. All good suggestions above, but here is what I would do in your shoes. Buy a very large/spiral cut ham. Make Mashed potatoes (use large ice cream scoop) and perhaps two nice vegetables. Make the 13 plates IN YOUR KITCHEN! In other words, take a plate and put two nice slices of ham a split baked potatoe is nice and veggies on the plate. Arrange all of them on the table. Have the sour cream/bread/cranberry sauce/and condiments on the table. When all 13 plates are placed - dinner is served. Same goes for individual salads - the salad is where you can get creative, flat plates, different olives and greens, inexpensive but festive looking. Just as you would at a wedding. Buy frozen vegetable medleys like whole carrots/snow peas place in a very large bowl WITHOUT WATER and nuke each pkg. for 8 minutes - they will retain flavor and color and remain crisp. That's how restaurants do it.
                        As far as liquor - I would discuss that with family.

                        Pick up, then take 13 plates and lavish a great dessert on each - like 13 slices of some decadent cake, put out coffee and everyone sits again. You could have others bring a side dish or pie, etc. By putting an entire ham on the table you have those who will leave a lot on the plate - especially children. Just make each plate appetizing and put glaze in a gravy boat, etc. One thing - two sides - and voila! Serve late - as in 3PM - Dessert at 5. This allows YOU to sit with company and enjoy them...rarely will anyone ask for seconds and one plate is sufficient for all, JMHO
                        Last edited by YorkieGal; 12-11-09, 12:14 PM.


                        • #13
                          I'd make a giant pot of chili with cornbread. Serve conditments of sour cream and whatever else you would put on chili on the side...have an over the top desert that will wow everyone and play the game apples to apples.

                          oh...and plenty of holiday cocktails..tom and jerry's, eggnog and whatever else your people drink.

                          Play some great Christmas music and remind each other of the true reason for the season.


                          • #14
                            I would assign things to each person coming. Ask someone to bring a salad and rolls. Someone else can bring the mashed potatoes and another side dish and then ask someone to bring disposable plates/napkins and a dessert. With that many people coming and a lot of them being kids, it helps if each adult brings more than one thing. It doesn't have to be fancy, there is nothing like good ole home cooking. If your family is anything like mine, we like to chow down on appetizers before we eat. Nothing fancy again, chips and dip, cheese etc...once again ASSIGN someone to bring that stuff. Since you are offering up your house, everyone else can pitch in.


                            • #15
                              Hey Moonie....gave me the reminiscent giggles of the time 7 years ago I was volunteered for Christmas. There isn't even a formula to figure how small my house is and had 12 people coming, which left only my sunroom(grooming room) to host the big dinner.

                              I went to Target and bought a cheapo 6 foot long banquet table for 35 bucks and connected my grooming table to one end to make a table big enough for everyone, and covered the whole boxcar w/ a festive tablecloth on top of a plastic tablecloth.

                              I strategically placed my parents at the end w/ the grooming table (they didn't know).
                              The benefit of this was every time I looked at them throughout the course of the meal...I could think to myself "hmm, At this exact time 24 hours ago...a dog's butt was situated right where your dinner plate is now."
                              Kept me in giggles all night.

                              Unfortunately, I told my sister...who then told my parents the next day. Not cool. On a bright one's asked me to host Christmas again. hee hee.

                              Maybe you can put festive tablecloths on some kennels or crates and use them as TV tables?

                              ORRRRR...have a "Christmas Story" themed Christmas dinner...order Chinese food.

                              Good luck w/ the feast, once you get your vent'll be fine, you'll see!
                              Often it's not what you say, but how you say it.