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Am I missing something - expectations of a host?

(19 Posts)
Metallicat Fri 12-Dec-14 15:50:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

funnyface31 Fri 12-Dec-14 15:55:27

I like the idea of a hand written (printed) menu with details of how vintage the wine is!

Is she just a panickier (fusspot) or a genuine control freak?

PedlarsSpanner Fri 12-Dec-14 15:58:47

She might be flapping over what clothes to pack. The food, well she needs to chill about that, you've got it covered.

divingoffthebalcony Fri 12-Dec-14 15:59:28

Is it because she's so used to being the matriarch and project managing Christmas, the idea of being at somebody's house and subject to their whims and cooking and meal times is just too much for her?

I'd be insulted, I think. It's like she can't trust you to feed and entertain them. Batten down the hatches OP, I think she might be about to give you a few headaches wink

Jenijena Fri 12-Dec-14 15:59:44

(This may not apply if you are cooking for a small army, or other logistical obstacle where your skill set is lacking).

It's The Myth that Hosting Christmas Must Be Hard Work And Effort. If your visitor perpetuates this myth by concentrating on the energy/effort they have en--dured--joyed this past umpteen years, you might appreciate them more.--yes, really--

Sounds that you, like me, are more of the 'well, make sure the food is nice and anticipate the food shops being closed for a couple of days'

Haffdonga Fri 12-Dec-14 16:02:31

Is she asking to offer support or see how she can help? e.g. could it actually make her feel 'valued' and useful if you asked her to contribute a pudding for Christmas Eve or a starter or somesuch? Or is she one of those people that would tut and sigh and make a ginormous deal about being asked to lift a finger?

You know her best!

blardyfeck Fri 12-Dec-14 16:05:04

Perhaps if she's not accustomed to being "looked after" and therefore feels a bit like a spare part. Maybe you could involve her in something? Could she bring a dessert/ nice chocs/ thrilling family board game/ suitable DVD with no sexual content that makes everyone squirm/ embarrassing family photos?

Unexpected Fri 12-Dec-14 16:09:53

Can you just tell her that you have it all under control on the food front, activities will be limited to TV and walks to be decided at the time and depending on the weather, and ask her nicely why she needs to know? How has Christmas been at her house in previous years - organised to the nth degree?

curiousgeorgie Fri 12-Dec-14 16:11:17

Maybe it's so she knows what to pack?

If you're going out a lot maybe just warm clothes, wellies..

If it's a lot of staying in maybe she would bring board games or a book to read?

I think I'd send her back an little list of some ideas you had on what to do...

oneofthegiantsisme Fri 12-Dec-14 16:16:15

Can DH offer any insights? It's his family Christmas you're replacing - the one he grew up with - so he should know what MIL normally does, and what she might be worrying about.

I agree with others who think she may just be trying to find out
a) what to pack (are you going for long walks, or to a posh restaurant?)
b) if she needs to contribute anything (wine/cheese/crackers/a dessert/nuts).

Purplecircle Fri 12-Dec-14 16:16:33

Is she worrying that they won't eat regularly or enough? I had this once when staying with someone who ate 2 very small meals a day whereas we always had 3 meals a day, with one of them quite large

WerewolfBarMitzvah Fri 12-Dec-14 16:24:18

Phone her back and ask her what's wrong. She'll say nothing then you breezily say it's all sorted, see you at xx o'clock.

You've got the right idea. Sounds like a lovely no-stress Christmas.

Metallicat Fri 12-Dec-14 16:42:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ZeViteVitchofCwismas Fri 12-Dec-14 16:43:57

Mine used to panic at the thought of a dinner party grin who was on guest list etc....

its control i am afraid, not being able to relinquish it.

girlywhirly Fri 12-Dec-14 16:47:12

Some people panic about the food and whether they are going to like it, whether they will get indigestion or an upset tummy. My mother would never eat certain things because it caused flare ups of her diverticular disease. That meant mince pies and Christmas pud and cake were no go because of the currants, things with pips and skins like tomatoes also, that would give her inflammation of the gut and incredible pain.

I would find out from GH if the PIL have any foods they can't cope with because it might be embarrassing for them to have to refuse certain things and seem ungrateful.

HolgerDanske Fri 12-Dec-14 16:50:29

Tell her you're going to have a quiet Christmas with no stress, chilling out, eating and drinking and playing with the children fsmile

Then leave it at that. Honestly, that's all she needs to know.

FannyFanakapan Fri 12-Dec-14 17:04:13

my MIL is the same. But hers is caused by stress because my FIL is the worlds fussiest bugger and there is so much he doesnt eat. But he hates to make a big deal about it, claims he is not that difficult. Hes a nightmare. (no poultry, fish -unless battered. No cheese, pasta, rice, spice of any sort. No onions, tomatoes, mushrooms, garlic, cucumber. Everything covered in salt and HP sauce.)

So her stressing over food is indirectly stressing over whether her husband will have enough food to eat and whether he will be in a bad mood.

WerewolfBarMitzvah Fri 12-Dec-14 18:59:01

Please don't let it stress you out. The evil side of me thinks that's what she wants but my judgement is clouded by my own MIL issues.
You've organised it, teĺl her basic plan i.e. dinner at x time, then let her get stressed if she wants. Try not to get dragged in. then change all the plans to wind her up

TInselaffe Fri 12-Dec-14 19:16:53

My Mum is like this. As is my sister. It drives me bananas as, after five years with DP, I am much more relaxed.

How about a friendly email letting her know what you are eating, approximate times (if you have them), basically anything you already knew and then adding a friendly message along the lines of you are looking forward to seeing them and having a relaxing, casual Christmas together? It might also be a generational thing? My aunt (DM's sister) has done similar over our wedding next year - harassing my Mum for exact timings of everything over a year in advance!

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