« Notes for my daughter, about Thanksgiving | Main | Predictive Power? »

November 29, 2008

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In my world, I struggle with the line between being hospitable and being taken advantage of. My husband's family is often happy to let me host and do all the work, because I feel compelled to do it cheerfully and hospitably. And, like you, I want to have a welcoming home. Unfortunately, it can leave me bitter and grumpy afterwards. I am working on finding boundaries I can live with. It's an ongoing holiday challenge for me!

I thought your Thanksgiving menu sounded wonderful and your daughter will be a lucky woman to have you as her role model. Here's to hoping you get some rest this weekend!

I am astonished at how much you are still doing, weepy though you may be! You are amazing!

The 'make-ahead' aspect is the one that myself and my family use most in these sorts of situations. My Mom's is Italian (she immigrated as a child), so my Nonna's amazing lasagna is the staple at all our celebratory meals, and it holds up AMAZINGLY WELL if frozen, then re-heated right before serving. We did that at our post-wedding brunch (after we'd all been up until 3) and my friends and my husband's familiy are STILL talking about the amazing food. Any sort of dish that can hold up the same way (or is easy and delicious) would be great. This is an extra-special Christmas with the arrival of a daughter/sister/granddaughter, so unique food (that is easy for you) should be the order of the day.

I do have to chime in with the in-law stories, too! My in-laws are from Newfoundland, the Canadian province which is astoundingly like rural Ireland (with similar accents). They both come from large, tight-knit families and have an enormous extended family. Everyone is constantly at everyone else's house, and when they all migrated to Ontario years ago they all lived on the same suburban street! And with the family still in NL, it is even crazier. When we visited last summer, they fed us, lent us their car and their beds, and a cousin suggested that I borrow her clothes if I saw anything I liked!

With the constant visiting, my in-laws are very laid back with what offer to guests, and my husband is the same way. I, on the other hand, feel pressured to nuture and feed like a good ragazza. This leads to my stressing out about quality/quantity/selection of food available when we entertain. We do agree on always having beer/wine/booze on hand to serve guests, though!

you know, i have wondered how you handle the holidays with your four plus your families of origin. it's nice to see you briefly touch upon that.
i love to entertain, but not my husband's family. our backgrounds are very different (seemingly much like you & yours) and it makes for some very painful holidays.

I find humor goes a long way to diffuse tense situations. It can be a stretch sometimes, especially when certain things take you off guard, but anything said with a smile--even "Sure, you can have it, if you don't mind something that's been sitting in the trash for half a week."--comes across a lot better. Spoonful of sugar and all that.

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