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In all my 24 years of being married I’ve always...

(23 Posts)
bytheway Wed 01-Aug-18 17:36:13

Cooked Xmas dinner...and I’m blooming fed up of it. Between us DH and I have 4 adult children, all in their 30’s, 3 oldest married with children.

Not once have we been invited for Xmas dinner at one of theirs... we’ve always left the invite open that they can come to ours......the single lad always does, the oldest always goes to his in-laws and the other two may or may not come...regardless I would so love one of them to invite us.

When I mention it to DH he says it’s just a Sunday dinner with a few extras....says he who doesn’t have to cook...do all the planning...get all the stuff in.

Is that an unreasonable request?

P.S. sorry I know it’s a little early but I read another post about Xmas and it got me thinking...not sure there is anything I can do

Baggs Wed 01-Aug-18 17:40:13

Just tell them all that you're not cooking xmas dinner this year and see what happens. Don't 'expect' anything. Just wait and see.

Bluegal Wed 01-Aug-18 17:46:22

What are their circumstances. We generally do Christmas dinner because we have the most room to fit everyone in. Must admit to feeling I would love someone else to take over for a change but when it comes to it I know I would be unreasonable to say no!

I would a actually love to go away over Christmas now as family is huge and it’s such a lot of work. Hubby thinks he will miss seeing the kids (and he isn’t their father). So guess it will be at our house for the foreseeable.

Maybe you could consider going away? Have a family get together earlier on perhaps?

tanith Wed 01-Aug-18 17:46:23

Tell them you’re thinking of going out for Christmas dinner and see if an invite is forthcoming, if not book up for a nice restaurant or hotel for just the two of you.

Mapleleaf Wed 01-Aug-18 17:54:47

Have you told them how you are feeling? As you have always done it, they perhaps think that it is because you want to and so have never thought to offer an invite to you to go to them. No one can read another persons mind, so perhaps you need to say that you fancy a change this year, would anyone else like to take it on? If they don’t, then say that you won’t be open house this year as it’s getting a bit much.

rubytut Wed 01-Aug-18 17:58:24

Send a text to all of them saying "looking for an invite for xmas dinner" it will be interesting to see the replies. I hope you get at least one.

glammanana Wed 01-Aug-18 18:48:54

I must say I enjoy being head cook and bottle washer at xmas and feeeding my family,but if I ever decided against it I would tell them to make their own arrangements and invite myself and OH along.
If that was not acceptable to them then we would go out for lunch and be waited on all day or maybe go away for a few days on our own.

SueDonim Wed 01-Aug-18 19:09:58

I wouldn't be preparing a Christmas meal for that number without help. When it comes to planning, though, my family are creatures of habit so I could write the shopping list in the dark.

Everyone mucks in and does a bit to help and my food duties finish once the Xmas pudding has been served. I retire to the sofa then, while everyone else clears up, and then they have to hunt and forage in the fridge and cupboards for Boxing Day as I'm on strike. grin

If you're fed up of doing it, you do need to either request input from the adults or say outiright you want to do something different. Or buy ready-prepared.

sodapop Wed 01-Aug-18 19:51:35

Tell them how you feel bytheway maybe you could all start a new tradition of sharing the catering , buying ready prepared or going out as others have said.

luluaugust Wed 01-Aug-18 20:26:58

I expect there is a bit of this is what mum has always done and always will do. You need to start dropping very heavy hints about going to one of them for Christmas lunch. If that doesn't work ask outright, AC are notorious for not realising time moves on, what have you got to lose. Your problem will be that presumably single son will expect to go where you go or he will be on his own. Any chance of talking to the DDs or DILs?

Nannarose Wed 01-Aug-18 20:43:50

Tell them how you feel, and make some suggestions, depending on what you're comfortable with:
go out (everyone pay their own)
traditional meal, prep shared
non-traditional shared buffet
something else?

Lynne59 Wed 01-Aug-18 22:42:55

I agree with tanith... you and your husband go out and have a relaxing lunch without the cooking.

I'm extremely lucky - in 38 years of marriage, I've never cooked a Christmas dinner. My husband has always insisted on doing it (and very good he is at it, too). I cook 5 evenings a week, we go out for the other 2. Cooking Christmas dinner is ALL he does towards Christmas - I do the cards, presents, tree, all the food shopping.

NanaMacGeek Wed 01-Aug-18 23:41:06

I've been there too, I cooked Christmas dinners for more than 35 years but recently have found it too much. It's not just the food, (teatimes, breakfasts and suppers as well) but all the presents, decorations and the need to be peacemaker and diplomat.

A couple of years ago DH and I spent Christmas at a beautiful hotel. It was expensive, DH missed the family and I was unwell (not really ill but poorly enough to find joining in a chore). So not really a success. Last Christmas, I bought the entire Christmas dinner ready frozen. It worked out really well but that was only one meal. I do get help in the kitchen, especially clearing up, but I'm the only one who plans the food. My adult family seem to think you can just throw a few things together to feed everyone, but I'd need a huge store cupboard to hold enough for them to do that.

I really don't enjoy Christmas at all. I don't know what to do this year (I'm just going to bury my head in the sand). If you find a solution, let me know.

Deedaa Wed 01-Aug-18 23:53:08

I suggested just providing a few nibbles while we opened presents instead of having Christmas dinner and was greeted with total horror from autistic GS. "It won't be Christmas if you don't cook dinner!" We really haven't got room to feed everyone now the GS's are bigger but have split Christmas into two days. DD and family come on Christmas Eve while DS and family do middle European Christmas Eve. Then DS and family come over on Christmas Day. We all meet up on Boxing Day for GS2's birthday.

MeltingMacaron Thu 02-Aug-18 00:38:03

Do people (woman mostly) not make a rod for their own backs with the fuss over eating at Christmas? It is essentially exactly what the OP's husband says. It doesn't have to be the gargantuan feasts epitomised by the major food retailers.

I know far too many (women mostly) who work themselves into a frazzle over it. Up at 4.00am, cooking three types of meat, twelve types of vegetable and three desserts. And then a kitchen that looks like a warzone to clear up. It's bonkers.

I understand the concept of a family wanting to eat together on the day but why not opt for something simple so that the people and conversation are the focus not the food.

NanaMacGeek. I opted out of Christmas years ago. I loathe the months of hype and the greed. People who know me know that and respect that I don't want to be part of the jamboree. Last year I went for walk with Ramblers, went to the pub with the group afterwards for an hour and spent the rest of the day volunteering. It's soon over and life can go back to normal.

annep Thu 02-Aug-18 07:53:39

Don't do it. You don't have to! 😊

ChaosIncorporated Thu 02-Aug-18 07:53:47

As others have said, its probably time to be open and honest about the need for a little more help. Why are we always so reluctant to say "this year, could you buy the../prepare the../organise...". Delegation does work.
Whatever the downsides, I do always think that family pay you a huge compliment when they choose to "come home" en masse, for Christmas, when their adult choices could be very different.

Although I have asked both daughters whether they ever plan on learning to cook turkey!

Gma29 Thu 02-Aug-18 08:13:45

I still do Christmas lunch (and tea) but I enjoy it. If you are not finding it enjoyable, (and it sounds like you’ve had enough now) I would say so. It’s early enough in the year to head off any family expectations, and for them to make other arrangements, which would hopefully include you.

My mum always used to do Boxing Day, once our children got older, but announced some years ago she couldn’t cope with it, so 2 of us take it in turns to “host”. The other sister doesn’t, but we know she doesn’t have the space, and simply couldn’t get us in.

If an invitation isn’t looking likely, in your shoes I would be a bit hurt too, but I would look for a nice hotel or holiday, and have the sort of day I wanted.

GrandmaMoira Thu 02-Aug-18 09:44:57

I've been doing the whole Christmas thing for 40 years and do find it very tiring. It's not just the dinner, it's buying and wrapping presents, decorating the house, food shopping, clearing up etc. It was easier when my husband was alive to take on some of it.

bikergran Thu 02-Aug-18 09:59:49

My mum always! did xmas dinner always....it wasn't until I was a lot lot older (in fact about 10 yrs ago) that I realised my mum is now a lot older gets tired but a young 83. smileand is too much for her, thats why as a family "we" now dont let mum cook xmas dinner etc anyway she hasn't the room any more. and she is 83.
I think we just always presume mum "wants" to cook xmas dinner.

annep Thu 02-Aug-18 10:21:03

I think when I find present buying etc too much I will just tell everyone I am only doing immediate family from now on ie children grandchildren. And give each family a moderate gift token.

Willow500 Thu 02-Aug-18 10:26:12

As I've said in the other thread our Christmasses have changed so much over the years. I always did Christmas dinner here then a big party on Boxing Day for all the extended family. We loved it - Dad cutting the turkey up and making the gravy etc. Then granddaughters arrived and it was even better but by then youngest son had moved to London and would come to stay with his gf - he'd always helped me prepare everything so still did this. Everything changed though when eldest moved 200 miles away with the girls, youngest split with gf (here just after Christmas which was awful) and parents developed dementia. One year it was just the four of us and parents had colds so had no idea what day it was or where they were, the following year just us two and my dad as Mum was in care and got too distressed when we tried to bring her home for her dinner. We've had a year when my NZ DIL's parents came over to stay, a year where we went to London for lunch cooked by youngest and a year where we went to the pub on our own. Last year was chaos with NZ family here with little grandsons but great fun - sadly we can't afford that again for a while. Each year brings new changes and this year will probably be no exception.

If you are fed up of cooking the dinner suggest that you have a change and either say you'll provide the turkey if everyone else brings the other dishes, or suggest going out for lunch this year as you want to spend time with your family rather than in the kitchen. Hopefully someone will then say come to us instead!

FarNorth Thu 02-Aug-18 10:35:24

They think you want to do it.

Get in early - now - to say you won't be doing it any more as it's getting too much for you.