I got remarried two years ago, and my new husband is a fanatic about Thanksgiving. I knew this when I married him, but he also knew that I have ZERO interest in it. My parents would host every year when I was growing up but it wasn't a big deal. My husband's family not only expects him to host as he has for many years, but it can be up to 30 people. It's tons of cooking, preparation, expectations, etc. We have an average sized house and have to rent furniture and dinnerware just to host everyone. He and I hosted once before we got married, and have hosted once since. After last year I started suggesting that maybe we have our OWN version of Thanksgiving, like maybe just having our parents and kids. Maybe we scale back the menu. But he is holding firm that it has to be his entire family, all the food everyone wants, etc. Even if people bring things, it's totally overwhelming for me and I hate the whole experience.
We do, however, understand the other's point of view. Neither of us wants the other to be miserable. There just doesn't seem to be any middle ground. We can't scale back. So either we have it and I'm miserable, or we don't have it, and his whole family gets upset and my husband is miserable. He would have no problem saying no to his family, but HE wants to have it!
We really are at a stalemate. Time is running out and even though I keep pushing to have it, he is still hesitant to say yes.
"My husband's family not only expects him to host as he has for many years, but it can be up to 30 people. It's tons of cooking, preparation, expectations, etc. We have an average sized house and have to rent furniture and dinnerware just to host everyone."
No, it's No cooking. My wife cooked for a few years for my family of 8-10 people.
At some point we started hearing of this big restaurant in town that would cook your Thanksgiving meal for you.
They would cook the entire turkey, and have dressing and vegetable in carry-out dishes.
You simply went to the restaurant on Thanksgiving day, picked up the food, brought it home, and served as many guests as you had.
Hey, peace in the family, that comes for free.
His bright idea, he foots the bill, no problem. Look on net for a restaurant in your town that cooks the meal for you, call them up, ask how much for a group of 30. Inform your husband that they take MasterCard.
Also inform him that he needs to rent the extra furniture, got get it and set it up. Tell him the family can skip the vacation next year or his side of Christmas, if he complains about the cost.
Tell him the cost of grocery food for that meal is almost as much, and the cost of labor to cook it makes it equal. If he wasn't to make people happy, tell him he can start with you.
PFVL9 - thanks for the reply. I wish it were that easy, but cooking and spending money is no big deal for him. Having guests bring a few things is fine and they do, but overall he's happy to cook the rest himself. He also is happy to call the rental place as he's done before. Even though it sounds like I should just "show up and have a drink" and let him do the whole thing, it never happens that way. The cleanup takes days, his kids make a huge mess on top of it, his relatives fight and/or complain to me and/or each other, they're loud, and i feel ungrateful and demanding, etc. So unless I get super drunk I don't see how I can even enjoy myself because I am still expected to host, help, clean, babysit, etc. I wish it were as simple as "they take mastercard."
Let me clarify, i feel THEY are ungrateful and demanding.... not me! LOL
I gave it my best shot. I got right into the middle of it and ended up with dressing and gravy all over me.
How about, comprise, this year and that's it. OK, drunk, go with drunk. Order the Jim Beam early. Set up a wet bar with a sign that says, "The Doctor Is In." Be in there among the complainers. After the first 3 fights, it will be the last one.
Resign yourself to the fact that you're going to be miserable for 3 days.
On Thanksgiving Day, I'll be thinking, "Somewhere bands are playing, somewhere children shout, but there's no joy at your house, the entire family showed up."