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Not our turn to host Christmas again - help me say no!

(30 Posts)
KichenDancefloor Thu 07-Sep-17 00:24:05

We are friends with three other families and all have similar aged kids who get on well. We all meet up about three times a year, including once around Christmas to celebrate together. We also see each other separately but getting all of us together around, work, family and children's commitments takes serious effort.

We are meeting up this weekend and the C word will come up. There are three of the four families (us included) who always offer to host and one family who never does anymore. It has been about 5 years since we last went to their house. We haven't even been invited for a cup of tea or a play date together as a group or separately.

It is their turn.

The weird thing is that it has now become a 'thing'.

Conversation starts: Who would like to host this Christmas?
Family 1: we did it last year, but you'd all be welcome to ours.
Family 2: nonsense, we'd love to have you all to ours.
Family 3: surely it's our turn? I have a new recipe I'd like to try out.
Family 4: ..... silence.....

...... tumbleweed.......

......looking at floor......

It drives. Me. Mad.
Surely these things are give and take?
I'd really like to say that it's their turn but know I'll come out with something far too subtle.

So advice please:
- am I being unreasonable for expecting an invite from family 4?
- do you have any good way I could phrase it? I hate confrontation but want to be direct rather than passive aggressive.

Thanks for reading to the end.

GorgeousLadyOfWrangling Thu 07-Sep-17 00:33:21

Do you all take a dish each or does the hosting household do the lot?
Do they have a smaller home/harder financial circumstances/live in c.h.a.o.s./more challenging kids/ cook like Ria off butterflies?
How long have you all been doing this for?
Out the three sets who do host Xmas, is it now your turn?

GorgeousLadyOfWrangling Thu 07-Sep-17 00:40:17

^ if it's taking a dish each/£ divided by 4, it's not great (etiquette= reciprocating) but it's not cheeky fuckery if they help with washing up
If they freeload each and every time, then maybe the three who do reciprocate need to cut them loose. How do the other two couples feel? Has it ever come up 1-1?

AdaColeman Thu 07-Sep-17 00:46:01

It would be easier to say that you were not going to host, rather than say that they should host.
You could try something like " We're planning on refitting the central heating so can't offer this year, but how about you Couple 4?"

I would say though these group meetings generally have a limited life span, people move, divorce, are hit by money worries, it could be that your group is drawing to an end.

KichenDancefloor Thu 07-Sep-17 07:08:10

Thank you all.

On reflection it's not the not hosting that riles me, it's them being mute while we discuss it.

We are friends so I would totally understand if they said 'sorry but we'd rather not because of x-reason-given-by-pp'. But just sitting there in silence while everyone else chats is a bit hmm

Everyone does pitch in by bringing something, such as a dessert or drinks. Family 4 aren't so good at helping with the clearing up though, not that it should matter.

Perhaps this friendship is running its course, which is a shame because we get on very well with the other two families and have more of a reciprocal friendship with them.

LoniceraJaponica Thu 07-Sep-17 07:11:16

Why don't you just get together with the other two families who do pull their weight and leave the non reciprocators out.

Stellato Thu 07-Sep-17 07:11:59

I'd just ask family 4 why but I'm not English smile

KichenDancefloor Thu 07-Sep-17 07:13:30

Family 1 hosted last Christmas. Family 2 hosted at Easter. We had a big summer party (with more people than just these friends) and we also hosted the previous Christmas. I'm not sure whose turn it makes it if we're discounting Family 4!

Berthatydfil Thu 07-Sep-17 07:15:14

Can't one of you grasp the nettle and say "mum4 dad4 it must be your turn this year?" And then say nothing.
If it's been about 5 years since they hosted and there are 4 families involved then it's possible they have forgotten and missed their turn and just need prompting.

GemmaCollinsBabes Thu 07-Sep-17 07:16:07

I couldn't be doing with that. Why would you even want to spend Christmas with people who don't want you at their house?

However if you really want to push it go down the route of putting the onus on them.
The second the discussion about Christmas comes up
"I think we all know it's couple 4's turn! What time shall we be at your house with the champagne!"
And then just smile. None of the Mrs Doyle "no, no we'll host" stuff, cut it dead.

KichenDancefloor Thu 07-Sep-17 08:58:08

I think I'll go with:
'Mum and Dad 4, would you like to host this year?'
Hopefully direct and open ended.
The Mrs Doyle comment made me laugh. I have been accused of turning into her!

I'd rather not leave family 4 out. I would be hurt if an established group of friends all met without me. But if I'm honest they have become acquaintances rather than friends and have withdrawn from all of us. They're still happy to show up to anything that other people organised though. Perhaps they're having a hard time with something that they don't want to share.

ChinkChink Thu 07-Sep-17 20:49:13

Why don't you just mirror what they do? Stay mute when it comes up.

Works for them.

WhichJob Thu 07-Sep-17 20:54:16

Good luck, OP. Come back and let us know how you get on.

CurryInAHurry Thu 07-Sep-17 21:16:36

They may feel their house / kitchen isn't as suitable as yours, less confident about their cooking, or so fully stretched by work and life that they can't contemplate. They may have issues they haven't discussed.

If you enjoy their company keep inviting them: being a host to your friends is being a host.

ChinkChink Sun 10-Sep-17 16:25:32

What happened OP?

KichenDancefloor Sun 10-Sep-17 19:18:37

I got the wrong weekend is what happened!

I'll see them all next weekend. I'm trying not to preempt fam 4 having a weird attitude. I'm hoping to be open minded yet have a backbone. I'll let you know how I get on next Sunday

Thanks for asking.

BellaGoth Sun 10-Sep-17 19:24:11

I have to admit that I could be perceived as family 4. I avoid having people over because I'm so ashamed of our home. Perhaps there's a reason they feel they can't host?

I'm not saying don't ask them, but please be tactful about it. You just don't know what's going on. Can you catch one of them alone and quietly suggest they host, so they're not put on the spot in a big group?

QOD Sun 10-Sep-17 19:29:25

Wedging my butt in for an update next week


Love51 Sun 10-Sep-17 19:29:48

I am quite close with a family who never host. I was briefly offended about this, til I copped on to myself and realised it isn't about me. They will meet up out and about, if they come to mine or someone elses they bring drinks / desserts/ any contribution I would ask for. I am aware of some of that families particular reasons. There could be several others
Disabled family member who would be disrupted by a crowd.
Anxiety disorder
Pets get unsettled by strange children
Crap at housework
Crap at cooking
Small house
Sense that house is inferior (I've had this, at my old house I could invite one family to visit, not 4 families at the same time).
None of these impact how they feel about you.

ny20005 Sun 10-Sep-17 19:48:23

It could be any of the above reasons but surely they'd be more helpful at others houses if they don't want to host

Doesn't explain why they don't help out at others houses

KichenDancefloor Sun 10-Sep-17 20:43:44

Thanks. It's helpful to see this from their perspective.

Without this family verbalising it I can only guess why the offers haven't been forthcoming, but yes it could be;
- one of their children has difficult behaviour. Not SN. Are we just allowed to say naughty these days?!
- they have chosen to spend their money on general stuff and experiences when the other families have spent money in recent years on renovating/extending our houses. For context we all have 3 bed suburban houses, so no one in mansions or bedsits! No judgement on this one way or the other. Just different choices.

They used to have no problem with a big crowd at their house but then all the invites dried up. That in itself is fine, but I wish they would just SAY SO if they don't want to do so anymore.

I think that's what's hurtful. We all did a lot of growing up together and have confided in each other in the past. I would hope a true friend would let me know if they had a concern.

crunchtime Sun 10-Sep-17 21:01:23

Maybe they just want to be them at Christmas?

KichenDancefloor Sun 10-Sep-17 21:14:10

Oh good grief, I'd totally get it if it was AT Christmas. This is our group's Christmas get together which can be as early as November or as late as January depending on everyone's other commitments with jobs and family.

NapQueen Sun 10-Sep-17 21:18:02

Id be rather forthright. "Fam4, your turn for Christmas this year, by my reckoning, any dates which work best for you?" And see what they say.

ChinkChink Sat 23-Sep-17 10:36:57

Update OP?

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