Are the holidays less chaotic for you than for us???


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Every year it is a real challenge to get everyone together for the holidays. Often we have chosen to have our holidays before or after the holidays to make it easier to get everyone together. But it still always hits some sort of snag and I hate that.

This year is worse.

Julie is the one who usually cooks and make a delicious, chef-inspired meal, but she has a five month old baby now and we Skyped yesterday and she expressed her tension about doing it this year with little help and a baby. I offered to come the day before to watch my lil everything (granddaughter) and Jumper was supposed to come with. She could help move furniture and cook. The moving furniture is because the house is small and requires the entire house's furniture to be moved around. In other years, she didn't mind. This year, with a baby who tires her mommy out, not so much. On top of that, Jumper isn't coming until she drives up the day of Thanksgiving because she has an important basketball game on Thanksgiving Eve night. You read that right. They scheduled a game the night (5:30pm) before Thanksgiving. She is to drive up the next morning. So she can't help. Jumper is only in from college for a few days for Thanksgiving break so we can't go on a weekend and all be there and we want to all be there, if we can.

I am sensitive to all of my adult children (ex doesn't seem to catch on) and my daughter Julie is the type of young woman who likes to please everyone yet she does get very stressed and I could hear it in her voice. I decided to call my ex to see if we could just order a dinner from a higher end grocery store and split the cost so that Julie didn't have to cook this year. He agreed. He also offered his house, which is much bigger than hers. Now in his house he has no big table for all to sit around, but we are a casual bunch and sitting on couches with TV trays is fine with us.

Julie's mother in law is a difficult child, always telling her she isn't doing this or that right and upsetting her. I often want to punch She has no idea how to take care of a baby beyond what it was like in the 1960s and the kids, her son included, are doing a great job. The baby is happy as a clam. I guess SHE wants a traditional dinner cooked by my daughter. Nice of her, huh? I thought to myself, "Lady, YOU cook. I'll be watching the baby. My son will be moving the furniture. YOU CAN COOK IF YOU WANT A HOME COOKED MEAL THAT BADLY." Of course she won't and I hear she is a horrible cook. I'm not great shakes either, by the way.

Anyhow, Julie is going to talk it over with her SO and if he agrees, we will be having a cozy, quiet, fun Thanksgiving that Julie did not have to cook. I am crossing my fingers that her SO takes her side. He is reasonable and usually does...but he IS kind of overly attached to his mother, although they fight constantly. Let's just sayl, they do have a relationship, but they are always arguing. But at times he does give into her and my daughter is big on her and SO talking everything over before making decisions.

I sincerely hope the ordered dinner wins this year. It will be a win/win for all. And I still get to love on my precious granddaughter.

I hope your holidays are not as all out confusing as ours. This is the norm for us...lolol .

Wiped Out

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Staff member
That does sound like a challenge! What a bummer for Jumper to have a game the night before Thanksgiving!

Our Thanksgiving will be busy but fun. There will be 16 of us for dinner and I am hosting. Saturday night I will cook again, but this time for 20! However, it is with family I love so it makes it worth it!


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Wiped Out, I am thrilled for you that you don't have to deal with what we

It sounds so easy and like a great time.

We WILL have a great time...we always's the doing it that gives me headaches :)

Kudos to you and your lovely family.


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I say, whoever does the cooking, gets to say what happens. Since you and your ex are essientially the ones as of right now, providing the food, then you and your daughter get the say.

Unfortunately, I live too far from my close family members and the few ones that are around me are very toxic, cause problems and really don't want anything to do with me or my daughter and no one wants anything to do with them either. I can get into all the details, but what's the point? Me and my daughter have been alone for the holidays for the most part for the last five years and it will be the same again this year. However, we might go to one of her friends parents house, she's really nice but they like to drink and I don't drink. Also, I feel like a fat pig and have been isolated. Everyone looks so pretty and thin, and I am the only fat one. I hate to say it that way, but it's how I feel.


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GM, it's not different for us except I have more kids. I do not talk to my very, very, very small family-of-origin except for my 90 year old Dad (who is still sharp) and I doubt he can drive to join us for dinner. Yes, he can still drive, but doesn't like to. Until two years ago, though, he did drive up for Thanksgiving. He's coming from far if he does decide to come.

I don't miss the uber-chaos of my family-of-origin either. I enjoy just being with my hub and kids. Ex is ok. WE do get along well. Julie is the one in charge. It is always at her house. She always does the cooking. Only she will give permission for us to buy Thanksgiving food. I am not going to take this away from her...she is a chef and a good one and Thanksgiving AND Christmas have always been HER thing. If she wants help, though, she has it. It is completely up to her.

I am waiting for her to tell me or my ex if she wants to take a break this year. She certainly deserves one!!!! :)


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Our house is too tiny to host anything, let alone a holiday meal. We alternate between my Sis-in-law's and going out for Thanksgiving.

I agree that it's Julie's call, MWM. Hope she opts for the premade dinner so she can just enjoy her baby's first Thanksgiving.


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I hope so too, KtsMom. Thank you very much. I'll probably hear from her tomorrow. It would be so much easier for her not to have to either cook or host the holidays. usually she loves to cook, but not with a five month old baby and only a small family to help her out. My ex has big house and all of us can help clean up afterwards and it would be fun.


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We tend to have big, loud and rambunctious family holidays. We live in old family home, so we usually host the most important ones, like Christmas. I do not like the cleaning part, but I guess I would need to clean thoroughly once a year anyway (and now difficult child did most of it for me during his sick leave, which it good, we have very high rooms, it really helps to be almost six and half feet tall when you have to clean here.) And other than that, it is just a cleaning I would do every week anyway.

I like to cook and our traditional dishes are very cooking friendly in the way that you don't actually have to make most of them at the day you will serve them and you can split the preparation for several days. And I also have help. We gather to cook beforehand and others also bring dishes or baking. The house is big, so there isn't much to do in trying to fit everyone in. Busy but fun and I like it.

Of course mother in law likes to create drama, but one gets used to that too.
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No thanksgiving here in Wales :)

I'm not keen on Christmas. It's just a load of commercialism here. The season of clutter and greed.

We have an old house (built 1806) with enough room and my eldest daughter often comes for a week or so. We cook a traditional turkey on Christmas day, but I don't go over-the-top with anything. Step-kids come over on Christmas morning and my son sometimes appears for a day or two and gets really stressed about big businesses, comercialism and exploitation. He has a point and I agree with him. After Suzir's suggestion on my other thread I'll be getting a supply of eco-friendly cleaning products (super-extra-strength) to give him as a gift this year :).

Just read my post back and I sound like a right misery-guts. It's a couple of weeks off work for me and H, so that's something to celebrate! We go to the beach walking a lot if the weather is crisp and cold.


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Ok, so Julie agreed to have a high level grocery store cook for us this year instead of her. YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!! Neither me nor my ex want her to be stressed out. Jeez. We are NOT one of those families who is formal in any way. For us, this will be just dandy.

LucyJ, Christmas is more a family get together for us than anything as we lean more toward Buddhism than Christianity (although I find value in all sorts of spirituality). Since it is more a family, warm holiday for us, we are again casual and may go visit Julie a weekend before Christmas as easily as on the day. Nobody exchanges presents anymore, except for hand made or "feeling" types, if you know what I mean. I do kind of go crazy over the grandkids. That's different.

I'm not a big fan of materialism and all the crapola that goes with that either. We live a simple life and take joy in the little blessings that money can't buy. My daughters never went through that "name brand clothes" bit. We are just who we are, ya know?

To all who are still reading the thread, my daughter and her SO made an interesting decision about Santa Claus and Kaili, their daughter. Obviously, she can't understand anything right now, since she is only five months old, but they have decided not to let her think Santa is a real person. They are going to tell her he is just something happy in your mind. They don't want to lie to her. I can respect that big time.


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I say, whoever does the cooking, gets to say what happens. Since you and your ex are essientially the ones as of right now, providing the food, then you and your daughter get the say.
If anything else comes up from the mother in law just have your daughter tell her she is not hosting the event that the two of you are and it would be rude of her (your daughter) to ask you to change your plans to accommodate her (mother in law).


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mother in law is horrible, always telling Daughter how to be a good mother and what she is doing wrong, although my daughter is a great mother. Julie's SO stepped up to the plate and told his mother to either leave her alone or she was not allowed to visit unless he was there to make sure she didn't step out of line. Way To Go, SO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I always counter that by telling Daughter what a wonderful mother she is and what a great father SO is. Every time we speak and I see the happy, chubby baby, I tell her this.