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Christmas dinner drama

(269 Posts)
thegreenlight Tue 19-Nov-19 19:36:56

My husband is cooking turkey Christmas dinner this year with all the trimmings. We have invited my parents and my mum said she would bring beef in gravy. I told my husband this and he was quite upset (he only really cooks at Christmas and it is kind of a big deal to him) I very gently suggested to my mum that she not bring anything and she was fine with this initially.

However, when I saw her next she said that my dad (who is in his 70s) wasn’t coming if he couldn’t eat the meat he wanted and that if he was a vegetarian we would have to cater to him and this is no different. I am now stuck in the middle and don’t know who is being more unreasonable.

My husband said that we should cancel them coming to dinner if they won’t eat what he cooks and we should just pop in to see them on Christmas day but I don’t want to drag our DDs (6 and 2) away from their presents.

My parents can be quite narcissistic and controlling and there is a bit of bad blood with my husband and them due to their previous treatment of me but they seem blissfully unaware of this. This has probably coloured DHs reaction. They do do a lot for us (my mum is looking after DD2 2 days a week until September).

I can see where DH is coming from but I don’t put as much importance on Christmas dinner as he does.

Help! I don’t know what to do. Any direct engagement between my parents and DH would cause a massive falling out as he hasn’t had the lifetime’s experience of dealing with them like I have and will just tell it as it is and that would be taken out on me. Advice please!

babydog Tue 19-Nov-19 19:56:06

if your DH doesn't want them to bring a plate of beef (confused) then, will he cook beef as well

is it not a bit weird/controlling to invite guests and insist they can't bring alternative food because they have identified that they don't like what you are cooking, ahead of time. I know, in that circumstance I would either cook an additional dish or let the guest bring their own

would your DH insist your friends are food that they didn't like, when they visit your house?

ToniHargis Tue 19-Nov-19 19:56:43

I'd let them bring it but they also have to heat/cook and serve it as they want it served. It would be extremely rude of them to bring something and expect your husband to get it table ready.
Other than that, I can understand why he's upset if this is just another of their controlling ways, but he can just make the most fabulous meal and everyone else can enjoy it.

Halo1234 Tue 19-Nov-19 19:57:52

They are all as bad as each other. Either one could choose to be more reasonable. Your dad could have his beef that night at home. Eating one meal that isnt to your exact choice isnt going to be that much or a hardship. Equally your dh could let him eat what he wants without a fuss. Its christmas let him eat beef if he wants. Dont know who is being more unreasonable. They both are. I feel for you and your DM. Because he is older and your parent I would probably back him out of respect for elders and parents but I am torn dont think either is behaving well. Good luck.

AnneLovesGilbert Tue 19-Nov-19 19:57:54

Why didn’t he offer to also do beef? I’m veggie, DH and DSC all like different meat so we have a choice of things. One of my brothers is veggie and doesn’t like nut roast so when he comes for Christmas while I love it I do a different veggie main. That’s just good hosting. If they’re your only guests you accommodate their tastes.

I get that your DH hates your dad so is making an issue of this but when you host people it’s your job to give them what you know they’ll enjoy and it sounds like he didn’t want them coming over so this is a convenient excuse.

How on earth will your Christmas Day be if the two of them aren’t talking?

DonKeyshot Tue 19-Nov-19 19:58:54

What would it take to put a small joint of beef in the oven with the turkey, albeit that the beef would go in the oven at a later time? The trimmings will be the same for both meats.

Of course your df should eat the meat he prefers and I can't see that your dps' request is in any way onerous.

Your dh is being a dick and needs reminding of what it would cost to put your dc into daycare for 2 days a week.

MadameButterface Tue 19-Nov-19 19:59:15

Your dad is being a nob and your dh is being a diva. If this is the hill your dh wants to die on he better come up with a childcare plan and the cash to pay for it, can he do that? He could buy a marks and spencer beef in gravy and stick that in and have done. I don’t get people who are precious about what they eat on christmas day, and i equally don’t get people who are precious about other people being fussy about food, it’s their loss. Either tell them to sort it between them or tell yr parents just to come before or after the meal, but if they really are pwtty be prepared for the childcare arrangement to either end or become untenable due to further shenanigans

MadameButterface Tue 19-Nov-19 19:59:27


NoParticularPattern Tue 19-Nov-19 20:00:09

Hang on. So when invited your mum just told you she was bringing beef in gravy? It’s one thing to offer to bring something/do something to help out and reduce the stress of catering for lots of people, but quite another to just state that you’ll be bringing your own meat. Sorry but your parents are being unreasonable. If they don’t want to eat the meal that your DH is cooking then they are free to go elsewhere, not just shoehorn their food into his plans. You need to back him up. You say yourself your parents have narcissistic tendencies, you know they’re being unreasonable because that’s obviously what they do. Tell them that DH is cooking and has no need for the beef. They are very welcome to join you or they are welcome to pop in at some other point in the day. Failing that you’ll see them another day with the kids.

JoObrien7 Tue 19-Nov-19 20:00:18

I am going to my local pub for Christmas dinner and I am having beef wellington grin

CheeryB Tue 19-Nov-19 20:00:31

I wouldn't want people with whom I shared 'bad blood' looking after my children.

ALadyofLetters Tue 19-Nov-19 20:00:34

Why does he only ever cook at Christmas?

Just let your dad bring the beef. If your dad was insisting that you cook him beef then I can see the problem but bringing it with them?

ELM8 Tue 19-Nov-19 20:00:36

I'm on your husband's side with this BUT as you're getting childcare out of them I think he needs to suck it up. You can't make a point with someone over a dinner and then expect them to have your child two days a week.

PrayingandHoping Tue 19-Nov-19 20:00:48

My veggie sis in law happily just eats the veg 😂 but we do cook a lot of variety of it!! We all cook together and she was asked and the only request is veggie gravy which I'd happily made lol

thegreenlight Tue 19-Nov-19 20:03:03

It doesn’t help that my family have a tradition of having a number of meats and a number of starter choices and a number of deserts so to me it’s not a big deal at all. I think this is my dad being a stubborn sod but mostly my DH not liking my parents. He used to like them very much but as he’s got older and we have had children of our own he has become less and less tolerant of their behaviours. It is heartbreaking for me as I still love them despite their moments and would hate to hurt or upset them.

Cheeserton Tue 19-Nov-19 20:03:05

Have you seriously not stopped to think quite how utterly ridiculous this is to be making a fuss about? "Taking a stand" indeed! grin Ye gods...

CalmdownJanet Tue 19-Nov-19 20:03:40

Well I'm no user so if I felt like that about them I wouldn't be using them for childcare at all. You can't have it both ways.

PrayingandHoping Tue 19-Nov-19 20:04:43

That's a clash of traditions then OP.... 🤷‍♀️

JayDot500 Tue 19-Nov-19 20:06:52

Yuk Turkey.

If I was coming to yours for Xmas dinner, I'd be dreading the idea of no alternative meat options. On Xmas of all days. I can't fathom chewing that dry ass meat for what feels like years per forkful. My husband is like your dad. For him, most English foods are totally bland to him, so we pretty much always bring something he'll eat alongside trimmings. No one has cast us out onto the streets yet. One friend asked us what he liked and cooked that alongside her original menu. My husband was very grateful and my friend felt great because he was complimenting her cooking.

As much as there is history between your folks and DH, DH is being unreasonable here because he even didn't offer to provide an alternative. Your mother offered to bring the meat, so as to not inconvenience you/him but instead now your DH wants to cancel everything. Sounds like toys being hurtled from the pram...

ASundayWellSpent Tue 19-Nov-19 20:08:25

Your update could have been me OP. If it were a problem of mine with the ILs I would suck it up for the sake of one meal and one day. But if it were my DH wanting to stand up to my parents (who deserve it as do yours from the sound of your post) I would have to back him up and ask them to either follow our plan or make alternative arrangements for seeing them. Its bloody awkward and sad, but let the man have some self respect.

Aroundnabout1 Tue 19-Nov-19 20:08:36

Your dad and husband are both being a bit awkward and difficult. Its insulting to bring their own meat but i dont like turkey either. If i was your husband I would rise above it and be the adult.

UOkhun77 Tue 19-Nov-19 20:10:18

Your DH sounds as narcissistic and controlling as your parents to be honest. It’s rude of your Dad, I agree, but it’s also a bit out of order for your DH to insist he eats his turkey or doesn’t come.

This has got me wondering whether I could get away with taking a full Christmas dinner to my in-laws this year given what a horrendous cook MIL is... grin

Soontobe60 Tue 19-Nov-19 20:10:23

Your DH is the one being controlling here. I've made Many Christmas dinners, and I would always cater for everyone. I ask all the guests what they like beforehand so I can plan it, then cook whatever they ask for, so beef, lamb, chicken or pork if necessary. I never cook turkey because I'm rubbish at it, so if someone wants it I usually ask my sister to do one and bring it. ( we have a big family btw)
It sounds like your DH is just trying to make a point and dare I say it be macho with your DF. As in, 'I've invited you to MY house so you'll eat what I say'

Satsumauma Tue 19-Nov-19 20:10:59

Do your parents like to eat turkey but prefer beef? Or do they not like it? If it's just a preference I wouldn't let them bring it. What would happen if every guest insisted on bringing their own thing.

tiredybear Tue 19-Nov-19 20:11:02

if it were just the meat, then your DH is bu, but it's not. I see where he's coming from. But he needs to be the better man and not lower himself. Let them eat their beef and just make a big deal of how lovely your DH's cooking is. Remind your DH that as they are narc and controlling, surely getting upset about it is playing directly into their hands - much better to let it go and enjoy your day.

VignetteStonemoss Tue 19-Nov-19 20:11:35

Your dad is being rude and your dh is being uptight (although given the history I'm not really surprised). I don't know what to suggest really as either way it's going to cause a problem and leave people feeling resentful.

I've been in this situation with my FIL who insists my MIL makes certain food to bring with them whenever we invite them for dinner. And it's always food that doesn't go with what we're eating- like a plate of boiled onions and liver when we're eating lasagne. He does this just to try and stir up issues between me and dh, to hint that my cooking isn't good enough for him and just generally because he's a contrary prick. I just ignore it and let him get on with it because I know it riles him up more when I don't react.

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