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Hi everyone. 1st time poster wanting bit of advice

(51 Posts)
MartinsAuntie Thu 06-Dec-12 15:14:13

My in-laws are coming to us AGAIN for xmas lunch. They have come to us every year for the past 5 years. My brother-in-law and his family also come to us and I think it's about time we either went to the in-laws or to my brother-in-laws. The problem is every time I mention this to my DH he says that they should come to us because we have the room. That's fair enough but its not him who has to do all the cooking and cleaning. Him and his brother go to the pub at lunchtime and leave me too it. The mother-in-law and brother-in-laws wife simply stay in the living room drinking all our sherry and leave me to do all the work. Any suggestions on how to put this madness to an end (without ruining everyone's xmas)?

OldLadyKnowsNothing Thu 06-Dec-12 15:15:47

You, your MIL and BIL's DW go to the pub. The menfolk do the meal etc.

Strike action is what's needed here.

PetFox Thu 06-Dec-12 15:17:10

Say they can all come to yours if they like but that you're not doing all the work? And, then, don't do all the work.

Whatshappenedtous Thu 06-Dec-12 15:17:12

Cancel Xmas! I'm planning on doing so!
My partners family is Hindu and have no clue how to cook so for the 4th Xmas in a row in cooking and cleaning up after them in there house!!!! Not even my own house! I even had to do it when I was 30 weeks preg last year! How do I get out of it this year!!!!

PetFox Thu 06-Dec-12 15:17:58

It's not your sole responsibility to make sure everyone has a good Christmas.

SugaricePlumFairy Thu 06-Dec-12 15:20:32

Make this the last time you host and stand firm.

In the meantime make sure MiL and SiL don't get pissed on the sherry and get them peeling sprouts, laying table etc and tell dh he's not buggering off to the pub.

Don't be a pushover.

CogitOCrapNotMoreSprouts Thu 06-Dec-12 15:21:41

DH has to step up to the plate. It's not acceptable at all to nominate you as chief cook and bottle-washer and then think he can bugger off to the pub. So you sit him down and tell him, very seriously, what you expect him & his family to contribute and get his 100% commitment before agreeing to anything at all. If he expects you to carry on being the Christmas doormat say a very firm 'no' and make it clear that he's the one ruining things by being inconsiderate and lazy rather than you.

MartinsAuntie Thu 06-Dec-12 15:22:02

Petfox but if I don't do it who will? I just want to make sure the children have a lovely time so given how soon xmas will be I am thinking of just keeping quiet and doing all the work AGAIN sad

I don't want to be a doormat but most things are generally quite good in my marriage so why kick up a stink?

Maybe next year will be different...

pictish Thu 06-Dec-12 15:23:41

This is where crap like the current ASDA christmas advert get on my nerves.

Tell him fine, but he's cooking.

pictish Thu 06-Dec-12 15:25:12

Why kick up a stink?
Because you are not happy with the arrangements? Because it does not suit you? Becausae it's not what you want and no-one seems to think that matters?

I can think of plenty of reasons to kick up a stink.

SugaricePlumFairy Thu 06-Dec-12 15:26:08

Unless you say something they will all assume that you will continue to host.

Do they contribute towards the cost or do you pay for everything?

Things will only change if you instigate it.

CogitOCrapNotMoreSprouts Thu 06-Dec-12 15:27:41

"just keeping quiet and doing all the work AGAIN "

So it's OK to ruin your Christmas as long as everyone else is happy? If things are generally good in your marriage and your husband is a reasonable man he should have no difficulty in understanding why you need his help and why he needs to tell his relatives to contribute as well.

If you can't have that conversation, if he doesn't take you seriously and if he thinks he can steamroller your feelings or opinion then you probably don't have as good a marriage as you think. You have a man that is nice enough as long as he's getting his own way.....

diddiehunter Thu 06-Dec-12 15:27:52

i agree with cogit completely! tell him that he helps or it doesnt happen!

i had these kind of issues too but with my MIL & SIL. they woild host it at either one of their homes but its always been myself and my hubby thats ended up cooking and cleaning and theres 17 of us!! not this year <<shakes head violently>> not a chance! i intend to go to a pub for a xmas meal....thats what im telling them anyway wink

HullyEastergully Thu 06-Dec-12 15:30:33


pictish Thu 06-Dec-12 15:31:03

Another agreeing with Cogito.

Just keeping quiet and doing all the work sounds rubbish!

oldwomaninashoe Thu 06-Dec-12 15:31:10

Oh I sympathise. I did not realise whe we extended our house (incorporating a 30ft lounge diner) that that was itfrom 2000 yours truly "has the room" so always hosts Christmas lunch!!!
What I find irritating is that they meander round the kitchen with their glasses whilst I'm slaving over a hot cooker and getting in my way, I would be grateful if they sat in a room away from me.
The only way is to say round about September that you are going away for Christmas as you can't cope with all the work single handed, when DH objects tell him you will only do it if he doesn't go to the pub and stays and gives you a hand.
Otherwise over the luchtable this year look pointedly at SIL and say "Xmas lunch at yours next year, I'm looking forward to it"

AbigailAdams Thu 06-Dec-12 15:34:39

Another agreeing with Cogito.

PetFox Thu 06-Dec-12 15:34:51

Petfox but if I don't do it who will? Erm, the other adult members of your family? Your husband?

Listen to Cogito OP...

PetFox Thu 06-Dec-12 15:37:11

If you can't have that conversation, if he doesn't take you seriously and if he thinks he can steamroller your feelings or opinion then you probably don't have as good a marriage as you think. You have a man that is nice enough as long as he's getting his own way.....

Especially this bit.

Kaluki Thu 06-Dec-12 15:40:02

Bunch of lazy arses!!
Tell DH he isn't going to the pub -
Get him scrubbing and peeling on Christmas Eve nod let him and his family do the washing up while you sit down and get pissed relax!!

OldLadyKnowsNothing Thu 06-Dec-12 15:45:50

Seriously, OP, you need to sit down with your dh and draw up a list of what needs to be done; shopping, cleaning, cooking, washing up etc, and divide the tasks between adults. Your PIL and BIL can bring some of the food, for example, and do the washing up while you relax, dh can do at least half of the cleaning beforehand. Don't do it all yourself.

And next year book a restaurant, all the adults can pay for themselves.

sparklekitty Thu 06-Dec-12 16:37:04

Stick a rota on the front door assigning jobs smile They won't want to come next year smile

AbigailAdams Thu 06-Dec-12 16:59:38

All these suggestions are practical but they are still implying it is the OPs responsibility and her DH/PIL/BIL are "helping" out. It isn't her responsibility. He should know what needs doing. She shouldn't have to spend time creating rotas and lists, worrying whether she has forgotten anything etc. I am sure no-one sat you down OP the first time you did it. They just expected you to know/work it out for yourself. Why can't your DH do that?

The only way to make it is his responsibility is to go on strike and leave him to it (and tell your children it is his responsibility so if it is a shambles they know who to blame!)

izzyizin Thu 06-Dec-12 17:01:21

It's not too late to book a meal in a restaurant for this Christmas Day.

Up your h's life insurance, leave your computer/laptop open at Christmas lunch or dinner at The Ritz or similar and tell him you've booked a table for (insert number) that he'll be paying for.

Alternatively, take yourself out for a delicious Christmas lunch before the day and buy in an appropriate number of those awful Birds Eye frozen roast chicken tv dinners that can be shoved lovingly reheated in the microwave followed by an inferior Christmas pud and serve it to your guests while they watch Her Maj's speech from the comfort of your armchairs.

It would be polite to give advance notice that if they don't bring booze with them, they'll be drinking water. As for your dc, simply suspend all rules and they're guaranteed to have a whale of a time

Seriously, honey, you've reached the point of sod that for a game of soldiers and have nothing to lose by withdrawing your slave labour for the duration. If all else fails, feign a slipped disc or d&v bug or similar from 22 December and let your h and the guests do the food/drink buying, organising, and cooking.

wanderingalbatross Thu 06-Dec-12 17:13:42

If you do all the work this year then next year won't be any different! You need to get your DH working, and your kids too if they're old enough. Do the prep on Xmas eve, ask your in-laws to bring a dish, and suggest you all go out to the pub before lunch as you've done all the prep the night before.

Or else just turn round and tell your DH that he's in charge of the preparations.

AnyFuckerForAMincePie Thu 06-Dec-12 17:19:13

Here's a novelty: just say no, you are not doing it

If they don't like it, they can lump it

Nobody respects a martyr. They might be a bit shocked if you down tools, but they will be forced to respect you. And that includes your stupid husband who puts his relatives selfish freeloading and laziness over his wife's wish to not be taken advantage of repeatedly

TalkativeJim Thu 06-Dec-12 17:31:06

The children won't care about the Xmas meal, though - so really, don't guilt yourself into it that way.

In fact, they'd probably enjoy seeing YOU sitting down with a glass of sherry during the day, getting involved with them and their presents and having a good time.

And in the long run, it will do them MORE good than anything else to not have the 'women in the kitchen/men in the pub' scenario spoon-fed to them.

So - you say - yes fine, everyone's more than welcome. I'm not cooking though, I've done all the work for the last x years. I might come along to the pub for a bit, but I'll probably stay put and play with the kids. So you need to get that organised with MIL/SIL/BIL, see who's going to take it on for a change.'

And then - you don't buy food as usual then leave it until the big day to try and get someone else to cook, because guaranteed you will cave. You make SURE in the run-up, when it's just you and him, that the message gets across that you ain't doing the work - at all - this year.

So, next week - 'Have you spoken to them about who's cooking/buying the food? We need to book lunch somewhere if no-one's prepared to do it'

Week before Christmas: 'I'm going to do a shop for Boxing Day food. No, nothing for Christmas meal, I've already said - I'm not doing it. If you don't sort it, there'll be nothing but snacks.'


I predict a panic and an argument on Xmas Eve, which is when you will know whether you actually do have a good guy who will take notice and help you out when given a nudge, or whether you have en entitled lazy user who will turn nasty when he doesn't get it all his own way when that's what he's been used to!

CailinDana Thu 06-Dec-12 17:32:18

As others have said, the only way to end this is to refuse to cook on your own. If you don't do that then you're just stuck with the same thing all over again. If you're not willing to actually do anything about it then it's time to stop complaining and just continue to be a martyr.

Whocansay Thu 06-Dec-12 17:49:54

Book Xmas lunch at the pub. DH can pick up the bill. Everyone's happy.

Then again, if you don't tell people you're unhappy, how are they to know? Have you ever asked for help from DH / BIL / MIL / SIL?

Do you not have any family to spend Xmas with for a change?

You have to be more proactive, otherwise you'll continue to do this. For years. Getting more and more resentful. Not a happy scenario.

AnyFuckerForAMincePie Thu 06-Dec-12 17:51:34

I wouldn't be happy for our joint money to pay for everybody's xmas lunch at the pub, either.

Just say no is the best way to go

msrisotto Thu 06-Dec-12 18:00:06


Be very vocal that you're not providing food. Have something in for the kids and fanny around with toys and films etc.

OhEmGee25 Thu 06-Dec-12 18:07:11

Go out for Xmas lunch

SquishyCinnamonSwirls Thu 06-Dec-12 18:08:43

Can't everyone chip in?
One set of people bring canapes or starter, another set of people bring veg, another set bring pudding, another set bring cheeses and another set bring wine etc. That way you only have to cook (and buy) the meat. This is what we tend to do when everyone's here and I feel like it works ok.

SummerDad Thu 06-Dec-12 18:14:15

On a totally different note, we are living in a very different world now where husband doesn't go to the pub with his mates while the wife does all the kitchen work. Not saying that it is wrong but it is a totally different perspective of life smile

After reading these threads on MN, I can appreciate how most of women feel about a certain issue.In the hindsight many things make much more sense to me which I never understood about DW's behaviour. I have even started to make my notes about Do's and Dont Do's smile I hope I could make some positive changes. MN is amazing and its posters are very sensible, well most of them aresmile

givemeaclue Thu 06-Dec-12 18:22:51

Op what is the latet

AgathaF Thu 06-Dec-12 18:31:41

Squishy's idea is good and workable too at this late stage. You will probably need to do the phoning around, but just phone the others and say that since you don't want to spend all of Xmas day in the kitchen on your own again, you would like them to bring xxxxxxx, fully prepared, and then take charge of heating/cooking their bit when they get to yours. You will need to allocate someone with table laying etc too.

suburbophobe Thu 06-Dec-12 18:42:07

Maybe next year will be different...

Maybe next year you can plan to be away for Christmas....

It will only be different if you take a different track.

They will not change cos it's to their advantage to piss off down to the pub and pissed back home again and leave the women to it....

You could always all go down to the pub for Christmas

thenightsky Thu 06-Dec-12 18:51:07

Get stuck into the bucks fizz in place of breakfast. Then start on the sherry/wine/whatever you fancy by 12 noon (or just go to the pub). You'll not be fit to cave in and cook by then, or at least you'll be bouyed up enough to tell em all to feck off grin

Fairenuff Thu 06-Dec-12 21:45:01

fair enough but its not him who has to do all the cooking and cleaning

You lost me there OP.

Why not?

ArtexTheHallWithBoughsOfMonkey Thu 06-Dec-12 21:52:19

Just say no. Fuck that.

suburbophobe Thu 06-Dec-12 21:54:28

Just say no. Fuck that.


Just say NO.

Arrange all the gubbins for a meal (if you must), but tell everyone that this year you will be going to the pub at 11.00am and will expect Xmas lunch to be on the table when you come home at 1.00pm. No argument, no further discussion.


AutumnGlory Thu 06-Dec-12 23:10:26

Order food and split the bill , demand help with cleaning.

CaliforniaSucksSnowballs Fri 07-Dec-12 21:20:16

I'd talk to MIL and SIL and tell them you are cooking the turkey and give them a list each of what to bring (all veg, stuffing and deserts). Then also tell them to make sure all the men know that they get to do all the dishes after you've all eaten, that way they can still go to the pub (no whining) and you and the other women get to sit back after dinner and enjoy yourselves.
Split the jobs and enjoy yourself.

Xales Fri 07-Dec-12 21:30:20

You know what. I don't think most kids would care about a christmas dinner if they can snack on crap & nibbles for one day.

Tell your H you are not doing it, then forget it.

SarahBumBarer Fri 07-Dec-12 21:54:13

My dad and my grandad always used to go to the pub on Xmas day while the wimmen folk stayed home. Course this was the 70's. Thing is even though that was how it was and terribly old fashioned/sexist etc my dad still did his share - he'd help prep the veg before he went, shell the chestnuts when he got home, carve the turkey and help dish up etc etc. Mum only really basted the turkey while he was out and prepared the yorkshire puddings.

A bit of organisation and compromise can reduce the burden on you substantially but the thing is if you just don't want to do it this way anymore you have to talk to your DH about it. It doesn't sound as if you want to refuse to host anymore just that you want a bit more input. That's fair enough and if you can't manage to have a conversation that reasonable with your DH you have bigger problems than Christmas.

Pantofino Fri 07-Dec-12 21:55:53

Do people still DRINK sherry?

We share all of the Christmas organisation in this house and always have, with increasing responsibilities as the DSs grew up:

All food shopping and planning for meals
Cards for his family and friends

All present buying and wrapping
Cards for my family and friends
House decorating, tree etc

All presents and cards for their friends
Helping DH and me as needed

Christmas Day
Everyone mucks in. DH in charge in kitchen, the rest of us are sous chefs
DSs and me clear up afterwards

No one feels overly put upon, no one stressed, everyone has joined in.

CogitOCrapNotMoreSprouts Fri 07-Dec-12 22:49:19

"Do people still DRINK sherry?"

I'm sipping a thimbleful of chilled Tio Pepe right now!!!! <waves sherry glass with a swagger>

izzyizin Fri 07-Dec-12 23:05:14

There's nothing nicer than a glass of La Ina Fino as an aperitif or with a slice of plain or fruit cake for elevenses.

Jux Sat 08-Dec-12 12:06:50

Make a list of everything that has to be done, and a list of adults. Match them up.

Send the combined list to everyone with the time at which you will be serving up so they know when they have to have their bit ready for.

Then you can all go to the pub.

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