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There's a Thanksgiving II, now? (long)

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It?s been pretty dead on this board lately, so I may as get a head start on thanksgiving?

 

 Backstory: Every year, DH and I try to spend the same number of holidays with each family. My side usually get Christmas Eve and Easter, which are big deals to us, and his gets Thanksgiving and Christmas, which are super important to them. Personally, I like the way we have things worked out, and would prefer not to change it.

 

Here?s the problem: every year, on Sunday after Thanksgiving, MIL cooks a big Thanksgiving dinner for the immediate family. See, on the actual holiday, the IL?s have dinner with another couple they are good friends with (Couple X).  Neither the IL?s nor Couple X has any other extended family, so they spend every holiday together. And Mrs. X insists on hosting Thanksgiving because she loves it. My IL?s actually don?t enjoy her food?they have flat-out told me that they find it bland and boring. So MIL started up the tradition, years ago, of making a second turkey dinner the following Sunday so that the family can enjoy her food, and have leftovers all week. The dinner is usually just attended by MIL, FIL, me and DH, and BIL and his now-fianc?.

 

In the years since DH and I got married, we have always gone to their extra Sunday Thanksgiving celebration. DH always pitched it to me as something we might as well do as long as we?re free, sort of a, ?hey, they?ll have lots of food, and we?ve got nothing better to do,? kind of thing. I actually enjoy his mom?s food and enjoy visiting with his family, so I never minded. The only thing that made it tough is that, because I don?t see my own family on Thanksgiving, I like to try to see them sometime over the long weekend?and that becomes more difficult if we?re busy with DH?s family on both Thursday AND Sunday.

 

Anyway, last year, DH?s friend offered him some really great football tickets for the Sunday after Thanksgiving. I reminded DH that we usually see his family that day, and he said, ?We?ll just miss it. They won?t care.? Long story short, he was wrong. FIL was annoyed with DH, and told us, ?Oh, you guys have to come. It?s a family tradition.? We managed to work out a deal?DH left the game early and MIL served dinner later. And we had a good time, but I couldn?t help thinking that this was a holiday that started because someone else served bland food; since when did it become a ?you have to be there? kind of thing?

 

Well, this year, we have a baby who?ll be about four months old. We?re planning on spending actual Thanksgiving with DH?s family, like we always do, and MIL is gearing up for Thanksgiving II again. The thing is, given that my mom and dad won?t see their grandson for Thanksgiving, it would be nice if they could visit with him some other time that weekend. But if we do that, plus TWO thanksgivings with DH?s family, that?s a lot to do with a baby in one weekend. I think we?ll end up feeling stressed and miserable (we?ve felt that way before when we over book). And now I know that DH?s family will apparently be upset if we skip Thanksgiving II, which at this point, feels kind of unnecessary. It?s not really an option to skip actual Thanksgiving with the IL?s either. I don?t really want to trade Easter for Thanksgiving, and besides, FIL has also said that if we don?t go to Thanksgiving and leave him and MIL alone with Couple X, he?d be really bored (I don?t think he likes them all that much?they are more MIL?s friends).

 

So basically, I don?t think it?s really fair that the IL?s expect to see us for TWO thanksgivings in one weekend, while my family may not see us at all. On the other hand, I do usually enjoy the second Thanksgiving?I wish there was a way we could do it all without making ourselves crazy.  I guess our choices are:

 

1)   1)Tell them we can?t do Thanksgiving II this year, and that will be that.

2)   2) Have two thanksgivings with them and one extra visit with my parents, and just accept that the weekend will be crazy.

3)   3) See my parents the weekend before or after.

4)   4) Ask IL?s to move Thanksgiving II to another weekend. This is what I?d most like to do, but that might be too presumptuous.

 

Anyway, thoughts? 

Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker

Re: There's a Thanksgiving II, now? (long)

  • wait...you say DH's family gets Thanksgiving...but then you say that they do dinner with another couple?
  • I'm guessing you do Thanksgiving dinner at the inlaws friends house...

    You need to tell them that with the new baby, you plan on seeing your family once and his family once...and ask, would you rather us come on Thanksgiving or SundaY?

  • image vjcjenn1:

    I'm guessing you do Thanksgiving dinner at the inlaws friends house...

    You need to tell them that with the new baby, you plan on seeing your family once and his family once...and ask, would you rather us come on Thanksgiving or SundaY?

     Yes, DH and I go to the other couples house with the IL's.  It's usually the six of us. (BIL and future SIL spend Thanksgiving with her family).

    Making them choose which day we see them isn't a bad idea... 

    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • The other option is to do dinner one of those days, and dessert with them the other...
  • I have a question ?  Do you want to keep spending Thanksgiving with the other couple ?  I understand and respect that you want to keep things fair, but I would draw a line now that you have a baby.  I would also tell the inlaws they get one day, Thanksgiving with couple X or Thanksgiving on sunday, not both.  Personally I would choose sunday at their home and spend the rest of the weekend/ thursday with your parents.

    Now, the ILs will probably get upset, that is ok.  The world won't end if they are upset with you.  The important thing is that you are doing your best.  Besides, the actual day you celebrate isn't important, it is spending time together.  A lot of people see one family on Thanksgiving day and another family on the weekend. 

  • image stw_77:

    I have a question ?  Do you want to keep spending Thanksgiving with the other couple ?  I understand and respect that you want to keep things fair, but I would draw a line now that you have a baby.  I would also tell the inlaws they get one day, Thanksgiving with couple X or Thanksgiving on sunday, not both.  Personally I would choose sunday at their home and spend the rest of the weekend/ thursday with your parents.

    No, to be perfectly honest, I don't really want to spend Thanksgiving that way anymore. With just the six of us, it's a pretty boring day. It used to be more fun when BIL was there, but now that he doesn't attend, it's gotten pretty dull. Even DH thinks so. My son is too young to care, at this point, but someday this will be a pretty boring Thanksgiving for him, too.  The SUnday after is a much more enjoyable day (with better food) so if I had a choice, I'd rather do that.


    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • Well, in that case, I would see them on Sunday and do your own thing on the actual day.  Maybe next year switch it up and see them on thanksgiving day.  I think there is nothing wrong with saying that with the baby you have new traditions you want to start.  If this truly isn't how you want to spend future Thanksgivings with your son, then you might has well rip off the bandaid now. 

    Also don't feeI bad if FIL gives you a hard time.  He probably doesn't want to be bored.  Again, you know in your heart you are doing what is fair to both sides while still prioritzing the new family that you created.  That is all that matters.  Also, it isn't like you aren't seeing them at all, you would be seeing them a few days later, that is fine in my eyes.  You don't have to celebrate on the actual day for it to be important. 

  • They get one day to celebrate Thanksgiving and your DH made the mistake of turning it into two obligations. Time to change it. Also, why the heck is the other woman getting to dictate she cooks every year? Your MIL could have switched cooking with her for every other year. If she chooses to suffer a boring and unappetizing meal with her friend it certainly doesn't mean you have to, too. They will get over it if BIL already skips out on them.

    How far does everyone live from each other? You could also start your own tradition and stay home and enjoy the holiday.

  • The heart of this problem is that your ILs have outgrown their tradition of celebrating Thanksgiving with Couple X and are ready to move on, but they haven't reached the point where they're ready to break the news to Couple X about this.

    MIL dislikes Mrs. X's food so much that she does an entire Thanksgiving do-over at her own home on Sunday.  FIL is so underwhelmed with their company that he only has a good time when you guys go.  In your ILs hearts and minds, the "real" celebration has become Sunday, as evidenced by the fact that they were sad when your DH attended Thursday but had plans on Sunday.  

    What needs to happen is that your ILs need to deal with the situation THEY'VE created with Couple X and not force you guys to run around Robin Hood's Barn to accommodate a situation they don't seem to have the will to deal with assertively.  Ultimately, though you can't control your ILs actions; you can only control your own actions.  

    The baby provides the perfect excuse for you to take control of your own actions and choices around the holiday, not that you need an excuse.  But your ILs may find change easier to swallow if it's baby-related change.  Tell them you can only make it to one major outing and let them choose.  Tell them you'd prefer Sunday (or Thursday if that's actually the case) but let them weigh in with their preference.  The order the rest of the weekend as you see fit.

  • image My2cents4u:

    They get one day to celebrate Thanksgiving and your DH made the mistake of turning it into two obligations. Time to change it. Also, why the heck is the other woman getting to dictate she cooks every year? Your MIL could have switched cooking with her for every other year. If she chooses to suffer a boring and unappetizing meal with her friend it certainly doesn't mean you have to, too. They will get over it if BIL already skips out on them.

    How far does everyone live from each other? You could also start your own tradition and stay home and enjoy the holiday.

    Yeah, it bugs me too that this other woman gets to decide where Thanksgiving is every year. Basically, it's just the way DH's family has always done things. It's usually just their two families, and they spend every holiday together. Mrs. X gets Thanksgiving every year and MIL gets Christmas Day, and neither wants to change that. I think they trade off Easter, but for some reason neither of them care about Easter. And everything works just fine for everyone, as long as theres no complication of say, me wanting to change things up.

    My family is only about an hour away from the IL's, but they usually spend holidays with my dad's family in the next state, which is at least another two hours away. When we spend holidays with my parents, we usually make the trip with them. Sooner or later, though, I'm going to want to start to take over a few holidays myself and host them at my house. I know my parents will happily change things up and celebrate at our place...it's DH's family that's more of the issue.

    If I said, "Look, we're having Thanksgiving at our house this year, and anyone who wants to see us will have to come to come to us," here's what would happen. My family would attend. DH's family would want to attend. Couple X would probably want to host Thanksgiving at their place, but it my IL's went to our house, Couple X would have no choice but to join in. It would be either that, or spend the holiday alone.

    And basically, there's nothing stopping me from putting that plan into motion, other than me feeling bad for couple X. 

    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • image neverblushed:

    The heart of this problem is that your ILs have outgrown their tradition of celebrating Thanksgiving with Couple X and are ready to move on, but they haven't reached the point where they're ready to break the news to Couple X about this.

    MIL dislikes Mrs. X's food so much that she does an entire Thanksgiving do-over at her own home on Sunday.  FIL is so underwhelmed with their company that he only has a good time when you guys go.  In your ILs hearts and minds, the "real" celebration has become Sunday, as evidenced by the fact that they were sad when your DH attended Thursday but had plans on Sunday.  

    Yeah, I think you've pretty much nailed it. 

    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • image Greco1014:
    image My2cents4u:

    They get one day to celebrate Thanksgiving and your DH made the mistake of turning it into two obligations. Time to change it. Also, why the heck is the other woman getting to dictate she cooks every year? Your MIL could have switched cooking with her for every other year. If she chooses to suffer a boring and unappetizing meal with her friend it certainly doesn't mean you have to, too. They will get over it if BIL already skips out on them.

    How far does everyone live from each other? You could also start your own tradition and stay home and enjoy the holiday.

    Yeah, it bugs me too that this other woman gets to decide where Thanksgiving is every year. Basically, it's just the way DH's family has always done things. It's usually just their two families, and they spend every holiday together. Mrs. X gets Thanksgiving every year and MIL gets Christmas Day, and neither wants to change that. I think they trade off Easter, but for some reason neither of them care about Easter. And everything works just fine for everyone, as long as theres no complication of say, me wanting to change things up.

    My family is only about an hour away from the IL's, but they usually spend holidays with my dad's family in the next state, which is at least another two hours away. When we spend holidays with my parents, we usually make the trip with them. Sooner or later, though, I'm going to want to start to take over a few holidays myself and host them at my house. I know my parents will happily change things up and celebrate at our place...it's DH's family that's more of the issue.

    If I said, "Look, we're having Thanksgiving at our house this year, and anyone who wants to see us will have to come to come to us," here's what would happen. My family would attend. DH's family would want to attend. Couple X would probably want to host Thanksgiving at their place, but it my IL's went to our house, Couple X would have no choice but to join in. It would be either that, or spend the holiday alone.

    And basically, there's nothing stopping me from putting that plan into motion, other than me feeling bad for couple X. 

     

     

    Couple X is not your problem. If you host invite them, if they don't come it's on them. If I was in this position the in laws would get one day, let them pick which one.

    This whole thing would give me a headache.  

  • image Greco1014:
    image vjcjenn1:

    I'm guessing you do Thanksgiving dinner at the inlaws friends house...

    You need to tell them that with the new baby, you plan on seeing your family once and his family once...and ask, would you rather us come on Thanksgiving or SundaY?

     Yes, DH and I go to the other couples house with the IL's.  It's usually the six of us. (BIL and future SIL spend Thanksgiving with her family).

    Making them choose which day we see them isn't a bad idea... 

    So it sounds like Thanksgiving Thursday is not that big of a deal to your inlaws if BIL and FI are getting an out.  Why not let the older generation celebrate together and then you get together for the REAL family celebration on Sunday when EVERYone can make it.  On Thursday, you can make a Cornish hen or buy a ready made grocery store chicken, settle in for a day of relaxation with your hubby and baby.  Watch parades and football and rest up for visiting family over the weekend.  It could be YOUR new family tradition. 

  • I support one holiday with the ILs, not two.  I'd either let them decide which one they'd like you to attend and go from there, or just say "with the new baby, we're needing to change things up and we'd like to try celebrating at our house on Thanksgiving" and see what happens. 
  • Host Thanksgiving. invite your parents, his parents, couple X and whoever else you'd like to have attend. 

    It is THEIR option to attend or not!

     

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