Gransnet forums


Handing on the baton

(33 Posts)
52bright Wed 26-Dec-18 15:40:25

Yesterday I was fortunate to be hosting 8 people and 2 dogs for Christmas day. Not a huge number in comparison to what many of you well organised Gransnetter's achieve ...or in fact what I and DH have done in the past when the numbers sitting down to lunch were 16 adults and some children.

I really enjoyed my day but have to admit to being exhausted now. The shopping, food prep, making the house and table lovely ext ext all good and I know I'm lucky to have people I love to share the day with.

Just finished the clearing up today and sitting down for a well earned rest and was just thinking. I was aged 36 when I took the baton over from my own parents, all be it on a once in 3 year turnaround in those days with my brothers and their families. The last 12 years, as all our families expanded with marriages and grandkids we all host our own families now with me also hosting my lovely mother aged 87.

Feeling a bit tired this afternoon and thinking back to when I began, I'm wondering if it's time to hand on the baton? Next year I and dh will be 67. At 43 my daughter is much older than when I begun but is a full time worker and sole provider for her family.

Just wondering when/if other gransnetters made a decision to hand on the baton or whether they've kept on going because they love it all so much or for other reasons?

52bright Wed 26-Dec-18 15:43:27

Just to add ... i introduced myself on the forums earlier this year. Long time lurker. First ever time I've introduced a topic.

fiorentina51 Wed 26-Dec-18 16:05:02

We spent a lovely Christmas day with our son and his partner at their home. I think it's the first time in 40 years we've not hosted on Christmas day. It did feel a bit odd but I think I could get used to it! I'm 67 and DH is nudging 70.

Eglantine21 Wed 26-Dec-18 16:10:03

Yesterday was my first time as a guest rather than a host because I don’t actually have a home at the moment. We had a lovely time at my sons and in law’s. As she went out the door my daughter said “Brilliant. We’ll come again next year!”

And my son said “Oh Mum will have her own place again by then,”


Framilode Wed 26-Dec-18 16:14:16

We went to our daughters yesterday. She did the shopping but I did all the cooking for 9 of us.

For the first time (at 72) if found it hard going, not made any easier by someone else's oven etc.

It was a lovely day but today I am shattered. I think next year we will either go away or have Christmas at home.

glammanana Wed 26-Dec-18 16:21:35

Yesterday was the first time ever that I have not hosted Christmas Day,we hosted our meal at a local restaurant with my DD and DGCs (all grown up boys now).
We had always ate at either my house or DDS house but this year she was working until 4pm on xmas eve and her dad thought it was unfair to expect her to host and I have had trouble still with the after effects of my broken shoulder/arm,we fully enjoyed being waited on all afternoon and would not hesitate in doing it again next yesar.

FarNorth Wed 26-Dec-18 16:43:06

Don't think in terms of "passing on the baton".
Tell your family that you find hosting the Xmas meal too tiring now and ask for their suggestions.
Going to a hotel or restaurant could be the answer, if no-one feels able to host in their home.

FarNorth Wed 26-Dec-18 16:45:07

In any case, tell your family soon if you want to stop hosting, so theres plenty of time for them to get used to the idea.

janeainsworth Wed 26-Dec-18 17:04:29

I think 'handing over the baton' is making too big a deal of it. It sounds so final, and one-foot-in-the grave-ish.
We have had Christmases at the AC's, but sometimes they decide to come to us. I leave it up to them. This year they came here, and it's been lovely.
We all know we are always welcome at each other's houses.
I'm aware though that the time will come when they prefer to be in their own houses, and probably I'll feel a mixture of sadness and relief that I won't be hosting Christmas any more.

Grammaretto Wed 26-Dec-18 17:04:58

DD is keen to have Christmas at hers next year. We'll see.
I always used to go to his folks or mine but since DM died and in-laws moved to a smaller place it's gradually been us who host with others bringing something.
So the transition has been fairly seamless.

janeainsworth Wed 26-Dec-18 17:07:15

I think it makes a huge difference if you have willing helpers and are able to delegate!

SueDonim Wed 26-Dec-18 17:30:45

I agree. Janeainsworth, to 'hand over the baton' does sound like one is getting ready to pop one's clogs. Delegating is the way to go.

There are ten of us here this year, seven of whom are adults. There have been plenty of hands on deck to help with chores, food prep, clearing up and so on. Although I put the turkey in the oven yesterday, I had no other input into the meal at all, apart from setting fire to the Christmas pudding, which of course is fun!

Everyone does their bit without asking but if in your house no one offers, then indeed delegating is best. Sometimes people don't offer because they think you prefer to be in control and they don't want to tread on toes.

If there are grumbles about having to help then they don't get invited next year!

EllanVannin Wed 26-Dec-18 17:47:47

I'm a self-controlled person, always have been and if I had to set-to with meals for all the family, I'd still do it and next Christmas I'll be 79 and have no intention of sitting back while others do it. All being well !
Besides, one GS says I make the best gravy, and that makes a meal I think, although I say it myself.

Then again I always cook myself a Sunday roast throwing in extra in case anyone calls, so love cooking. I know this isn't cooking on a large scale but even so I was used to doing it in the past and any timing comes natural the same as if I was cooking for an " army ". I never flap.

SueDonim Wed 26-Dec-18 17:57:13

My dd is an excellent cook, Ellan so I'm happy to let her reign in my kitchen! I've no idea how she came to be so good as she never made so much as a cup of tea when she lived at home. confused

MaggieMay60 Wed 26-Dec-18 17:58:54

We take turns to host, but all bring part of the meal, last year we went to my DD and she also had her inlaws as well as us, there was 14 in total and we all took part of the meal, I was responsible for the puds, DS and Family took the starters, In-Laws took the prepped Veg and DD did the meat. This year as my husband was recovering from heart surgery, we stayed at home and I cooked for just my DS and 2 children, they came at 11 and went at 4, just long enough to see them but piece and quiet afterwards, As long as everyone does their bit it is not a lot of work, I and I love it. I will be sad when I can no longer do it.

MiniMoon Wed 26-Dec-18 18:05:53

I woke up with a headache this morning, after hosting a family all day party yesterday. There were 9 of us, and I did it all. DH thought he was helping by setting the table, but that's all he did.
It was lovely, but we've had them all again today! Only had to prepare a buffet this time, so not much cooking. They've all gone home now and I'm having a good relaxing time with my new toy (Echo Spot) which doubles as my bedroom alarm clock.
DH wants to go somewhere tomorrow, but I really don't feel like going out and doing things. I just want a nice relaxing day.

Washerwoman Wed 26-Dec-18 18:43:41

Not so much handing on the baton here but taking a sabbatical.I have done very Xmas dinner for the last 30 years except an odd year off in the early years of our marriage.We only had 8 this year but I'm ready for a change.We did do our meal on Xmas Eve this year because one of our DDs was working Xmas day.And it was actually lovely for a change.But still exhausting.
However I want either someone else to do it next year,or I'm going to put my foot down if no offers and make a huge turkey and ham pie so it's all a lot easier.We had one today with the leftovers and I honestly think we enjoyed it more than Xmas dinner.

EllanVannin Wed 26-Dec-18 18:51:51

I watched my mum do it for years Suedonim and that's obviously how I got my " skills ".

lemongrove Wed 26-Dec-18 18:52:45

There was something on the radio recently about adult children still wanting Mum and Dad ( mainly Mum) to do all the hosting and that they love being looked after.
You either think that is charming....or perhaps selfish of them?
The main reason that we often host things is that we prefer to be at home on Christmas Day, but when it becomes too much for us, we’ll tell them.

Tartlet Wed 26-Dec-18 19:05:51

I think handing on the baton is a very apt description of what I did six years ago now. Apart from one year, I’d hosted Christmas for 45 years and as the family grew and weight older (my husband is 18 years older than me), it began to be more of a chore for me than a pleasure. Seating 20 plus people meant we had to take the doors off the dining room to extend the table with pasting table, garden table and anything else we could think of, organise loans of extra stools, a second microwave etc., and I always seemed to be left to cope with children, babies and putting the final touches to the meal while most of the adults vanished to the pub. I’ve always been regarded as a good coper but always having a very hectic chrustmas day and not really being able to sit and relax until well into the evening began to take its toll.

The year I handed on the baton, we’d both been ill with proper flu for some weeks and I was hoping that someone would recognise the state of our health and volunteer to take over that year but no one did. So on the afternoon of Christmas day, feeling utterly exhausted, I announced my retirement from hosting Christmas. And there was a stunned silence and cries of ‘you don’t really mean it do you? It’s tradition’. But I did mean it and since then my daughters and one granddaughter have taken it in turns to host and done a superb job. I can’t tell you how much I’ve enjoyed not having to do all the slog work.

My family isn’t selfish at all but it never seemed to cross their minds that mum might not actually be heartbroken if Christmas Day took place somewhere else.

GrandmaMoira Wed 26-Dec-18 19:12:01

I've done Christmas for 41 years since my DM died. Some years I've had help with prepping veg or washing up but it is hard work. It's easier now I'm retired but wonder what age it will get too much.

Cabbie21 Wed 26-Dec-18 19:12:17

My son and daughter in law tried for years to get her mum to hand over the baton, and eventually succeeded. They really wNted to be able to stay in their own home instead of having to drag the children up to granny’s. ( not that they didn’t get on or anything). They felt it was selfish of her and eventually the change was made.
My son is an excellent cook and does an exceptional meal so now he does the main course and others contribute to the desserts. I have enjoyed sharing the leftovers today.
I havent hosted for years. Our house is too small. I am very happy to enjoy other people’s hospitality.

Tartlet Wed 26-Dec-18 19:22:16

You make a good point about young families preferring to stay in their own homes. When I passed the baton, my eldest granddaughter took the opportunity to start having christmas day at home so that the children could enjoy the toys properly and the family could just relax.

Coolgran65 Wed 26-Dec-18 19:23:19

These last four years we have gone to our son and dil and dgc. Previously I hosted.

I enjoy it thoroughly, it is a great day and I am happy to sit back. Especially as I cater for them with a roast dinner every Sunday smile

notanan2 Wed 26-Dec-18 19:44:05

I agree with another poster re not expecting anyone to "take over"

Just say you have had enough of hosting. That should not be dependant on others taking over. They might. They might not. They might suggest pub lunch instead. Or a series of smaller gatherings.

YANBU to stop doing it
YABU to expect someone else to do it for you instead by taking on the same format.