Why do I even try?

Sunday, December 19, 2010

It's official. The sister who lives closest to me wants to have more dinners at their townhouse while our family is here (other than, you know, the most important Christmas Day meal!!!), and they don't want to stay here more than Christmas Eve.

Why did I just go buy tons of dairy-free things that BIL can have?
Why did I buy snacks BIL can have for their hospitality basket in the room we have for them?
Why have I been looking forward to late night card games with everyone here and empty bottles of wine?
Why did I think for one second they would put aside this passive-aggressive competitive thing they have with us because we have a single family house and they have a townhouse right now? (I don't know why us having a house makes them so awkward. We are 2 years older. I'm sure in 2 years they will have a house, too.)
Why did I think they would embrace us hosting Christmas, and know that their time will come?

I can't do much. I can't have a baby. I can't pretend like our town has all the cool/hip bars and restaurants that theirs does. I can't regale visitors with hundreds of pictures from all our globe-trotting adventures. I can't pull a bottle of wine from our extensive diversified collection (a case I just bought from the winery doesn't count).

But I can knock hostessing out of the park. I can open our home to 6 family members (with exactly as many beds as needed!) for a long, relaxing holiday celebration. I can make up hospitality baskets for each of our three bedrooms, including snacks and water and glasses, so that our guests will feel at home. I can make you dinners that you will dream about later. I can buy new Christmas sheets just for our guests so that their sleep is restful. I can modify recipes so that people who are allergic to dairy can share in the meal. I can make a fire in our cozy wood stove to set the ambiance for the evening.

But why do I even try, if no one is going to be here?

This is bringing alot of insecurities of mine to the surface, and damned if it has to happen right before Christmas. Hosting Christmas is the only thing I can do. My parents and sisters and brother are the only family we have, and is it so awful to want us all to be under the same roof for a few days? As I told my sister this afternoon, if they decide to move 15 minutes from here in a big house and want to host Christmas in a future year, you better believe I am going to bring my dogs and park my butt at her place for the Christmas holiday, without feeling slighted because no one went to my house, too.

They go on all these fancy trips and go to all these fancy bars and have all these fancy hobbies, so I feel that we are boring compared to them. It is true that we are total homebodies, but our home is inviting and warm and relaxing. It is true that we don't have much in the way of excitement, unless you count playing ball with our dogs in the yard.

They are going on a 4-month cruise next fall (long story), and they are supposedly going to try to get pregnant during the cruise. I am worried sick that they are going to come home (at Christmas, no less), and have a gabillion pictures and tales to share about their amazing adventures AND be able to announce that they are due in the summer!!!! Seriously, kill me now.

How do we even stack up to them? All I can do is try to host the holidays, but apparently we are not good enough. You know what I think would get everyone to stay? Oh wait, the reason we have enough beds for everyone is because there is no nursery....

$100 bet that on the 26th of Christmas it is just me (crying) and Mr. A sitting down to a dinner that would feed 10 people.


Coco said...

Oh A, I'm SO SORRY! That's gotta be so hard. But honestly, and really truly honestly, I would SO much rather spend Christmas at your house than your sisters. :) I know it doesn't count for much. But I'm a total homebody too and your plans for Christmas sound absolutely DIVINE! You have gone to such amazing lengths to make everything perfect, to keep everyone included, and to just knock the stuffing out of the visit. It's gotta hurt something fierce to be slighted by your family over it. Well, at least there's this one nugget of passive aggressive comfort... if they DO come back pregnant from their cruise next year.... she will have had morning sickness and sea sickness together. HA! Seriously, that would be hell. She'll come back 30 pounds down and sickly.

Trisha said...

I'm sorry you're going through this but don't let it get you down. Keep your eyes focused on the "big prize" and He'll never let you down! If we were closer I'd definitely be over!! Praying for you!

Maegan said...

Lurker here, I've never commented before but MAN does that suck butt. If I were in your shoes I would be heartbroken and angry! I think you should (passive aggressively, haha) call your family to tell them you are so excited about the DETAILED menu and all the food you bought. And then act surprised at the news that your sister wants to host more dinners ("What? But... I have all this food!")

Your house is going to be warm and comforting... and people are SLEEPING there. That's got to count for something. They will wake up and come down for coffee, they will stay up late and play games or just talk... having them sleep there is going to be the best thing, because they won't want to leave your inviting home! Keep us posted after the holidays. I hope it's a wonderful time for you, I really really do. I want to smack your sister though.

Amanda said...

I agree with Maegan. Tell your family how excited you are about you hosting Christmas. I would also tell your sister that it would mean a lot to you if they would stay. Maybe she doesnt realize all of the plans you have? Fight for this one girl!!!

Your plans sound divine!

hollytraveling said...

Well, first of all, now I want to stay at your house for Christmas. All that planning and thoughtfulness, that's truly amazing and in my opinion knocks any bar or traveling tale right out of the water. Of course, I am a huge fan of home too.

I really, really hope you can talk to her and work out something where she'll back off a little and let you have this. No matter how passive aggressive they may be, she's still your sister and my big sister to me is tops. No one trumps her. So hopefully your little sister will put your feelings first. I hope. Because I got to tell you, your plans sound tremendous.

Lastly, a 4-month cruise??? Did I read that right? Holy Toledo. Too bad I'm not your sister. A. I have no hosting skills and B. I'd need a 4-year cruise to come back pregnant.

brigittemarie said...

I do believe we need to have an airing of grievances sometime during the holiday! And don't worry I'll be there on the 26th :D Hospitality baskets... Oh my goodness!!!!!!

Hillary said...

Gah, I am SO sorry! I could tell through previous posts how excited you were to host, and how much time you were lovingly putting in to the planning and preparations. I obviously don't know your family dynamics, but I agree with some pp's that maybe it's time to speak up and just say how much it would mean to you?


JC said...

I'm so sorry for all the big let downs with hosting Christmas. I know you were really looking forward to it and it sounds like you have everything ready. That's so not fair after you've prepared so much and done so much for your company. I agree that I want to come stay at your house, lol! I know it's going to be fabulous. As bad as it sounds I'd go ahead and prepare for it to be just you and DH and the dogs after Christmas. Maybe go get something special for you guys or make some plans so that you're not too disappointed. ((hugs))

the misfit said...

I agree - you should level the maximum humanly possible amount of guilt at your parents and other siblings to make them stay with you. They know you've been having fertility problems...you can't have children of your own but you treasure hosting the family you do have...no doubt your sister will have a baby soon and then the family will spend all their time with her, and you just want an opportunity to spoil them all before they basically turn their backs on you...as passive-aggressive as humanly possible.

Oh, and the later you can keep people up at your house every night, the less likely they will be ready to head elsewhere by dinner time :).

Final thought: as soon as you find out the sister is pregnant, buy plane tickets to spend next Christmas someplace by yourselves where you've always wanted to go but have never been willing to spring for. Fortunately my family is so dysfunctional we can never get more than three or four of us together for Christmas at a time so this will never happen, but if I were under threat of sharing Christmas dinner with a pregnancy announcement, I might just find I had to attend midnight Mass at St. Peter's. So many lovely places I haven't seen that have nice churches...

Katie said...

Oh, sweetie. I am so sorry. I sincerely hope that they spend more time at your place, and you are able to enjoy each other's company. And I REALLY hope that they don't get pregnant on their 4-month long (!) cruise next year.

Thinking of you. (((hugs)))

Leah said...

I would just talk to your sister about these things. She may understand. You have every right to feel the way you do, but your sister and family probably do not read minds, and perhaps they would be understanding of your hurt feelings surrounding this?

I think your plans at your house sound amazing, and I hope it all works out and that you guys have a wonderful Christmas.

callmemama said...

Ugh. This just sucks :(. I'm so sorry...
I can't understand the competition thing - your sister is your family, and she must know that you had plans and was looking forward to hosting. Obviously, it takes planning, and most people buy things ahead of time, so what are you supposed to do, return everything?! What is her problem?
I'd almost be tempted to just start spiking everyone's egg nog the minute they walk in the door to ENSURE no one was going anywhere :).

TeeJay said...

Oh, A...I'm so sorry. I have been reading about all your prepping and shopping and food planning and I have just been wishing that we could come over to your house for Christmas. I'm serious, I'd love to play a late night card game and have a few drinks and dig into a goodie basket in my room. You are such a sweet and thoughtful person. I'm sorry that it hurts you that your sister is taking so much of this away from you. It's obvious that she either doesn't realize how much this means to you or she's just cold...and you know what? If she's cold, then her house will be cold and people will not be relaxed and comfy, like they would be at YOUR house. Hang in there, sweetie. I think you should try one more time to get her to realize all the prep work you have done and maybe she will change her mind? Here's hoping.