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Xmas rules

(48 Posts)
Treelover Wed 07-Nov-18 10:22:58

Seems that as I have dogs and don’t eat meat I am required to get rid of them and provide meat for Son and family or not get visited at Christmas. Is this fair? I hate it.

Jalima1108 Wed 07-Nov-18 22:55:05

lemongrove grin I was going to say something similar but refrained as some would think I really meant it.

Treelover Thu 08-Nov-18 00:25:00

Thank you all. Very interesting. I do keep the dogs out of the way (2 lovely friendly poodle crosses btw) and usually go to my daughters as she too has a dog but as she has a much larger house it is easier for us to keep dogs separate. This I find very sad. And they are pretty confused being shut out from the family and mainly in the garden.
As for the non meat eating it is for ethical reasons, not believing my taste buds are good enough reason for them to be killed in the awful way they are. We all choose our boundaries, I am haunted by the suffering of the slaughterhouse. Every meat eater eats vegetarian meals, not the other way round.
As for the dogs when you are widowed and the dogs are your companions they are your family and it is hard to exclude them. Of course I am emotionally close to my children and grandchildren and will make the sacrifices. I just wondered what other people thought and see that I am in the minority. But am very grateful for the bits of sympathy.

MissAdventure Thu 08-Nov-18 00:58:26

If its any consolation, I agree with you, treelover.
If you're vegetarian for ethical reasons, its a step too far to expect that you will prepare and cook meat.
I also wouldn't enjoy having 'rules' set for me to follow, in my own home.
I hope you can maybe find a compromise so you can get together for the day though. flowers

mimiro Thu 08-Nov-18 02:08:20

on board with missadventure.
i keep my dog away from visitors, if its a short visit.this is her home t0o and she expects her share of vegetables..and the cats roam as they wish.
but i quit ultimatums 40 yrs ago along with first husband.

hope you are able to work it out.

absent Thu 08-Nov-18 03:54:05

I am neither a vegan nor a vegetarian although I did have a vegetarian phase in my life. Like most vegetarians, my choice was based on principles. Consequently, I think it is very wrong for someone to expect a vegetarian to cook meat just because that someone eats it – Christmas or not. Equally, the guest who came to dinner and complained about my serving wine – in my own house – and my smoking – outside my own house – was never invited again.

Humbertbear Thu 08-Nov-18 08:15:39

We have been a vegetarian household for 35 years and never, ever have meat in the house. If you cook a fancy veggie dish they will be perfectly happy. Surely they can have meat every other day of the holidays? Everyone we know enjoys trying something new when they visit us. If you are happy to have meat in the house, buy something ready prepared to heat up.
Why does Christmas always cause such complications and problems?

harrigran Thu 08-Nov-18 09:31:19

I don't like dogs and have never spent Christmas with anyone who kept one.
DD is vegetarian but feeds meet to visitors.

Deedaa Thu 08-Nov-18 10:32:56

When we had dogs one of the great joys of Christmas was them joining in with it all. When DD was vegetarian I used to cook her some very nice meals for Christmas. I would happily have eaten them myself. If your family don't want to have a nice tasty veggie meal (they could bring their own extras for children - we all do that) and want your dogs removed I don't think they are that bothered about coming.

Mapleleaf Thu 08-Nov-18 20:01:26

I don't have a dog myself, however some of the family do. I would never dictate what they do with their dog when visiting them - I think it is rude and ill mannered. Equally, I wouldn't dictate what they prepared in their own kitchen. If I had food preferences either because of medical or ethical reasons, I would offer to bring along what I needed, not expect them to fit in with me.
I think a chat with your son is called for to sort out what is going to happen. Suggest he brings the meat, and that you will put the dogs in another room whilst you are eating, but they won't be spending Christmas away from their home. Why should they? Good luck.

Treelover Sat 10-Nov-18 09:48:28

Thank you so much for your support and good cheer I’m sure I will get through much easier because of it. Also there is a germ of truth on whether they really want to come...no DIL doesn’t! But as she successfully avoids seeing me the rest of the time (and I have had very little time with grandchildren) I’m pretty sure that is why all the barriers and intolerances are put up. I am gobsmacked by her lack of empathy.
So at the moment I think we will end up going to my daughters (as she prefers to be host rather than guest; after she has calmed down her fury of the sans dog rule.) If only my son had married an easy going warm confident girl but he didn’t! And with that I will have to put. It’s just that Christmas focuses on all the problems that can be brushed under the carpet throughout the year and one always hopes things will ease off and get better. When he first met her I was delighted to hear she too was s veggie I asked her about her feelings for animals etc and she said no it was because it annoyed her mother. She now makes a big point of feeding her daughters with meat whenever we go out or meet up. My son, like many men, just wants a quiet life, and of course she is number 1 so I make no complaints. So venting off here has been a good relief 😊 thank you
I think too being prepared for the difficulties can make you feel less rejection And make you grateful for small things. When I see families out in the woods with different generations and dogs...that would be my dream. DIL doesn’t like the outdoors and the children never wear outdoor shoes. I suggested I bought them some and DIL got really assertive and said under no circumstances was I to buy them any kind of footwear. Sorry i’m venting again. Good job I have my lovely friendly jolly dogs smile

PECS Sat 10-Nov-18 10:04:01

I saw,a woman in a restaurant yesterday with a t-shirt saying "Roses are red Violets are blue If you don't like dogs, I don't like you! " I took an immediate (and irrational) dislike to her!
I quite like dogs, though do not own one. I cannot understand how anyone can put human relationships above doggy ones..especially own flesh & blood! Is DS worried about dog hygiene in your home..too many hairs, doggy smells, licking surfaces etc? Us non dog owners find those things sometimes overwhelm us in SOME dog owning homes. In other's it is not an issue!
Compromise is required here! Ask your DS for Christmas, ask him to bring what meat he wants and you will make your dogs comfortable elsewhere on Christmas day. But will be taking the dogs out for a walk at some point..with family joining you or they can stay behind and watch TV.

Telly Sat 10-Nov-18 19:04:19

Treelover - I think you have answered the main question here - your DiL is putting up sufficient barriers to they don't have to come. Which is sad, but you are not unique. They don't really want or expect you to cook meat or get rid of your dogs. I think that going to your daughters sounds like an excellent idea - she wants to host and good luck to her! I hope you all have a lovely time.

M0nica Sat 10-Nov-18 22:05:50

Treelover, as with many OPs, you only gave us half the story in your OP. As you have given more information in later posts, the picture has changed.

It is clear that your DiL, in her relationship with you, is simply playing out the bad relationship she has with her own mother, She is oppositional to you because that is how she relates to mother figures.

She became a vegetarian to annoy her mother. She is an aggressive meat eater and dog hater to annoy you. She simply doesn't know any other way to relate to older women.

The problem is hers not yours. I suspect that the best thing to do is to make the most of the relationship with your DD and for a while do not attempt to have any relationship with your DS and family, that doesn't start with them.

When they do approach you be open and friendly, but stand your ground with them, if they try to emotionally blackmail you, do not submit to any demands from your DiL that you serve meat etc. I think that giving way to her demands, will make the relationship worse rather than better, as she will then hold you in contempt for being weak.

There is no easy solution to this relationship problem, you may never have a close relationship with your DS's children, but your best hope is leave him and his wife to drive the relationship, offer nothing, no advice, do not offer buy things for the children, nothing, but if they ask for help then offer what you can without compromising your principles. If they ask if you would buy the children a jacket, or shoes etc, insist that they are precise about what they want and come with you to choose them. If they want you to feed or buy them ham sandwiches then refuse, because it is against your principles.

Hopefully, if your DiL can see that she cannot intimidate you or bully you, but that you will ignore or refuse without emotion unreasonable demands on you. She may become more amenable.

Lilyflower Sun 11-Nov-18 21:05:11

Kirsty and Phil’s big ‘c’ word. Compromise. Keep the dogs and serve some meat. It’s Christmas. Have a ready prepared turkey crown.

You do love your son, don’t you?

M0nica Sun 11-Nov-18 21:26:00

But it is fairly clear that whatever OP does her DiL will subvert it, as she clearly already does with her own mother.

I would never, ever, suggest that a committed Vegetarian or Vegan should buy and cook meat, just to placate an unreasonable person. Compromise in cases like this is too often defined as the complete capitulation of one side to the other as one tries to compromise and the other will not budge an inch.

Is it really so necessary to see DGC on Christmas Day? I and many others frequently do not and do not consider it an issue

MawBroon Sun 11-Nov-18 21:27:55

Kirsty and Phil’s big ‘c’ word. Compromise. Keep the dogs and serve some meat

Thank goodness you got that the right way round Lilyflower grin.

MissAdventure Sun 11-Nov-18 22:39:17

I wouldn't serve meat, however much I loved my child. (If I was a veggie, of course)
It goes against everything a vegetarian stands for.

agnurse Sun 11-Nov-18 22:41:09

I think YANBU about the meat - unless someone has a soy allergy. (Most meat replacement products are made from soy and it is a common allergen.)

As far as the dogs, I think it's not unreasonable to keep them crated or in another room when you have small children over. Someone may be allergic or have a phobia of dogs, and even the most well-behaved dog can intentionally or unintentionally harm a child.

Alternatively you could simply ask if it would be an option for them or someone else to host and you could see them elsewhere.

BlueBelle Mon 12-Nov-18 11:41:44

I think crating dogs is cruel but I m not a big lover of going to a dog house smells, hairs drools etc etc My youngest has a dog that I am softer with than they are but I still don’t like it around me at mealtimes etc I don’t think dog owners/lovers can ever understand how any one could not want to be around their perfect companion
As for cooking meat I would do anything if it meant my family was with me I wouldn’t eat it but I would find a way maybe buy a ready cooked one so I didn’t have to touch it etc and son could carve and serve it
If you want to be with your family there has to be sacrifices and if they aren’t going to make them, then you will have to your principles can’t be stronger than your son and grandkids surely

Jalima1108 Mon 12-Nov-18 11:50:58

I think crating dogs is cruel
I used to think so, but, having seen a relative using two large crates for her dogs occasionally, they seem quite happy and will sometimes stay in them even if they are opened if there are boisterous young children around. It's a 'safe space'.

Deedaa Mon 12-Nov-18 22:06:19

Aren't some relatives difficult. If I was the vegetarian dog owner my children would tell their families "You know what Mum's like - we'll go to her for Christmas day ( I'll ask her to keep the dogs away) and we'll have our turkey on Boxing Day" Of course my lot have got used to their father refusing to eat with us because it's too noisy!

Oldwoman70 Tue 13-Nov-18 09:09:16

I don't really like dogs (was attacked when a very young child) but when I visit friends I never insist the dog is removed. The dog lives there, I don't. My friends are aware of my feelings and keep their dogs away from me. I presume your family are aware you don't eat meat and I think it unreasonable of them to expect you to handle and cook meat. I think the solution of your all going to your DD is probably for the best.