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Should we invite in laws to holidays when they don't help, don't bring anything, and invite others?

My sister-in-law always conveniently "forgets" the item she is supposed to bring. My mom-in-law brings nothing. No one helps, I do it all. I work, they don't. One year my sis in law brought me a frozen bag of green beans, was this her way of giving me the finger? We never were close, but never had words, we just don't have very much in common. I don't get it...I always end of feeling miserable during the holidays because it is overwhelming to do it all, and the fact that no one offers to help or bring anything. I do it for my college age kids who LOVE it and appreciate it. My husband feels the same, but can't leave his elderly mom out, or her other 2 sons. What to do?

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Asked by busymom954 at 10:21 AM on Nov. 11, 2013 in Holidays

Level 3 (18 Credits)
Answers (25)
  • Go to a restaurant, everyone pays for their own family, problem solved.

    Answer by NotPanicking at 10:24 AM on Nov. 11, 2013

  • Should you... No. Tell them it's their turn to host or go out like NP suggests!!

    Answer by Crafty26 at 10:25 AM on Nov. 11, 2013

  • I think the restaurant idea is a good one. Just make sure they know they are on separate checks.


    Answer by QuinnMae at 10:26 AM on Nov. 11, 2013

  • I'd just invite them. It's really not that hard to make a big meal ( I do it daily).

    I would be specific with them and be like I need you to bring mashed potatoes, if they don't bring them then there's no mashed potatoes.
    Hang a list on your fridge of what you asked sepecific people to bring, make sure you leave it there for all to see lol

    Answer by funlovinlady at 10:27 AM on Nov. 11, 2013

  • Just make it an immediate family holiday. Less stressful. Holidays don't have to be miserable and overwhelming. Since you have said this is the case, why put yourself through it? Sounds like a nightmare and reason #234 that I am glad I don't have to deal with family gatherings over the holidays. Just say no. Easier said than done but not worth the stress and money spent to be miserable and not get to enjoy these days.

    Answer by Izsarejman at 10:28 AM on Nov. 11, 2013

  • Or buy the prepared meal with sides from a store and go 'heat and eat' style.

    Answer by QuinnMae at 10:32 AM on Nov. 11, 2013

  • bite the bullet and do it all yourself once again
    meet at restaurant

    whatever you do, do what you think will bring least amount of stress

    Answer by fiatpax at 10:35 AM on Nov. 11, 2013

  • Elderly mother should get a bypass on bringing anything. I don't think making more of something you are doing anyway is that big of deal. You could change the traditional meal to something easier, like pasta or steaks on the grill. I think you include your husband's family as part of the giving spirit, or do what others said and go out to eat.

    Answer by 2kids2dogs2cats at 10:38 AM on Nov. 11, 2013

  • Elderly mom drives, is a great cook, and should offer something, even a store-bought pie. Everyone wants a home cooked meal, it would be nice if everyone offered to bring a part then I wouldn't mind doing the major cooking. Sis in law has invited her mom in the past (who also doesn't bring anything) . It's hard when I work having all these guests and all the work. I feel used b/c my sis in law gets her side taken care of without having to do any cooking or entertaining...she tells them to come here. I do it b/c I feel it is the right thing to do and I want to have the giving spirit....but I always end up feeling used.

    Comment by busymom954 (original poster) at 10:47 AM on Nov. 11, 2013

  • I do it b/c I feel it is the right thing to do and I want to have the giving spirit....but I always end up feeling used.  Comment by busymom954 (original poster)

    Then this year, truly have the giving spirit and invite others over without asking them to bring anything.  If you do not expect them to bring something then you can't be disappointed when they fail to do so.  Make the decision that you want to do this for everyone and that you are going to take care of it all and then just do it.  


    Answer by QuinnMae at 10:57 AM on Nov. 11, 2013

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