Wedding Woes

Tell her to get a grip.

Dear Prudence,

I have a very large, very close extended family. My parents both have several siblings and normally everyone (spouses, in-laws’ families, family friends, etc.) is invited to every holiday gathering. Our family always splits holidays the same way. For example, Aunt A does Easter every year, Uncle B does the Fourth of July, Aunt C does Thanksgiving, etc. and it has been like this for as long as anyone can remember.

My parents always do Christmas. Obviously, the last two years were a bit different. Most of my relatives took COVID very seriously, so naturally, holiday plans were canceled and we did small celebrations with immediate family and had a group Zoom call after dinner. My parents unfortunately believe COVID is some sort of hoax and didn’t host Christmas only because they were angry that no one else did their assigned holidays.

This year though, with most people vaccinated, holidays have resumed, and Aunt C will be hosting Thanksgiving at her house for the first time since 2019. I thought everything was fine and the plan was we were all going there, but my mother called me and my siblings and told us we were forbidden from going to Aunt C’s house for Thanksgiving because she hadn’t done it for the previous two years and it “wasn’t fair.” She also said she wasn’t doing Christmas this year or “ever again” because the last two years were canceled, and only her immediate family will be invited over for Christmas.

I tried to get to the bottom of her thought process, such as that my parents are getting older and maybe don’t want to host as many people, but I don’t think that’s the case because at this point even though it’s held at her house, my siblings, cousins, and I, and our spouses, do all of the cleaning, cooking, and prep work before and after. The event is just physically held at my parent’s house because they have such a big space. My mom is still insistent that no one goes to Aunt C’s house for Thanksgiving, and that if we go, we won’t be invited to her house for Christmas.

I’m torn. I love these family gatherings, and my kids and even my wife are really looking forward to Thanksgiving. The last two years/holiday seasons have been tough for us because we’re all so close. I think my mom is being a brat and I can’t believe she just wants to sit at home with my dad by themselves on Thanksgiving rather than seeing the rest of the family. Do I go to Thanksgiving and get banned from Christmas or tell my mom to get a grip?

—Childish Parents

Re: Tell her to get a grip.

  • Mom is being petty. How many more Thanksgivings does she have? Let it Go and eat some turkey with your family. She can talk about Aunt C in the car on the way back home. I'm sure that's what she does anyway.
  • Geez!  I don't even follow the logic of how it is "unfair".  Nobody hosted their "assigned" holidays for those two years, even the LW's parents.

    Sounds more like they are butt hurt nobody joined them in their delusional "conspiracy theory".

    If there is room at either the LW's or their siblings house, that would be great for them to volunteer as the venue.  Otherwise, they should talk to the rest of their family that their parents will no longer be hosting Christmas.  Figure out the next best location, with the same people who usually help with cleaning/cooking still doing that.

    If it were me, I wouldn't care about the parents' ultimatum.  People who make ridiculous demands can live by them, but I won't let it affect my plans.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
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