I have been hosting Thanksgiving for years. As we have all had children and some daughter/son in laws, the number of guests has grown to 25. My 3 siblings all bring a dish but we now have 8 adult children who do not bring anything. It is difficult to cook for this many people and one turkey is not enough. I would like to ask the adult children who all live on their own to bring something as well but I am not sure how to do this politely. Also, is it OK to ask someone to bring more turkey? thank you for any suggestions.
I see no problem having one of your siblings bring another turkey- they could cook it ahead, have it cut off carcass and bring to your home to keep warm. Also adult children should be encouraged to bring something, especially since they all have adult appetites.
Since you graciously open your home to all of them, they should be grateful that you encourage the getogether.
I agree, have one of your siblings bring a turkey, or ham. Ask the children that live on there own, to bring drinks, or desert, rolls.
I have the same problem with my family.
They may be happy to contribute their talents to the meal. I know I was pleased when my aunt asked me to bring potato salad to one of the big family parties that she always hosts and it became my "duty"--not a chore! Can you find out what they are good at? Also, I was always the green salad maker at office functions. As long as they aren't being asked to furnish the really expensive part of the meal, I don't see why you should hesitate to ask.
My son still tells stories about his "witchy" Mom. "you're part of this household, kid. No help, no eat". He tells me all the time that now that he is an ADULT he appreciated the fact that I forced him to do things for himself. That being said, they are ADULTS! Tell them what you need and let them decide what they can contribute. I'm somebody's child, too but that doesn't mean I get to be a kid for the rest of my life!
"Hey, guys, the family is getting bigger, what I've been making isnt enough, I need your help. I need another meat, a couple of sides and a dessert. Jim bob, that ham you made last summer was great, can you make one for TG? Great. Sally, your chocolate cake is the b*mb, think you can make us one got TG?"
You get it.
jaysmom. I had the opposite sort of mother. I came into marriage unable to cook and not knowing how to pitch in and help out in other people's kitchens. It was a real handicap and embarrassing as well. I made sure my own daughter did not have that problem!
I am surprised that some of them have not asked what they could bring to help out, but that being said, it's time to tell them that you need help or else you can't continue to do everything for everyone by yourself. Of course, this may result in some not cooperating but it's good to get it out in the open. By all means, ask for help, see what happens, let us know what they say.
Don't forget purchased prepared food.
"Tom, there's a great bakery near your house. Please buy a couple of pies there to bring. You probably need to order them in advance."
I did this for years.
Same thing. A few brought things...others did not.
Some late. Some early. This one helped These people didn't. Then the pre-empt stuff, well if she's coming I'm not coming.
Meanwhile...I knock myself out so tired by the time the meal is served, I barely feel like getting ready.
So one year..at thanksgiving..I went on vacation. My family flipped out. They got the message. I never cooked for Thanksgiving again.thankfully...rather ate out or went on vacation.
Christmas is enough to deal with..This message has been edited. Last edited by: real estate lady,
Perhaps some of the grown kids want a chance to host Thanksgiving but just aren't sure how to approach asking you.....
When DH and I moved to Florida 10 years ago, we decided to have the Thanksgiving get-together at our home every year. I had been taking turns with my three sisters in Louisiana since 1976 after Mom passed, so I thought since no one in his family down here was doing it we would volunteer. He has two brothers and a sister who all have adult children. The number of family is usually anywhere from 30 to 40 including friends that we might invite. DH and I are used to cooking for large gatherings and don't expect people to bring their own dish, unless they have a specialty they want to bring.
DH and I both love to cook and we plan and work for two weeks with cooking ahead and baking. We always have so much food that everyone is urged to bring home goodies. Also, I never want my guests to help me set up or clean up afterward. We believe that when we invite people over it's their turn to relax and enjoy and nothing else. DH and I take our time after everyone leaves and put away leftovers and clean up.
I know this is not the normal way most families do things it's just our way. That being said, I would ask the adult children if they have any favorite dishes they like to cook or eat, if so, could they please bring it so we can all enjoy it. It can be homemade or store bought. I also send, the weekend before Thanksgiving, an e-mail to everyone invited. I usually do this in a "party invitation" type page that states the time and what's on the menu. Then I add at the bottom about the favorites or specialties if they want to bring something. I add my phone number so they can call and ask what to bring or if I need anything.
The fact that no one calls you to ask what they can bring is showing an obvious lack of social etiquette. You could also ask the parents of the adult children to ask them what they can bring, it would take the pressure off of you.
Whether You Think You Can Or You Think You Can't..... You're Right - Henry Ford
I am also the host for the family Thanksgiving. I also cook for about 30 people. Everyone that comes contributes. I cook the turkey, and the rest of the meal is assigned out. Although I sometimes make a few pies, because I like doing those. I call members of the family a few weeks before Thanksgiving and ask if they are coming, and then we talk about what they will be bringing. I actually think it is better if everyone helps as I think people are more invested in the holiday if they contribute.
It is so hard to ask people who have not brought anything in the past. The truth is, it is really hard for us to afford this anymore and everyone knows if I do not host no one will and another family tradition will have been lost to everyone's busy schedules. I stumble with the wording..." We will eat at 4pm, what can you bring?" or "can you bring a pie?" when they are all used to not bringing anything. It is hard to refer to something delicious they have made in the past because they do not ever bring dishes to anything.
If you can't summon the courage to ask them to bring something for the meal, then maybe it's time to let this thanksgiving dinner go for a year. Then maybe the family will wise up. You can easily say the group has grown in numbers and you no longer have the ability to provide for all of then without some help. I would venture a guess that most families share the load. Good Luck!!This message has been edited. Last edited by: mamaspoon,
dlm, it sounds like it's time to let this tradition go. If you can't afford it and the rest don't care, what's the use?
dlm4mom, Through the years, our family has also grown (about the same numbers as yours).
Between me and two other sisters...we've always taken turns. I can't remember when our parents stopped doing it but that doesn't matter.
There have also been years when one of us had health problems, finicial stress, etc that would make hosting the family dinner impossible for that year. So one of us would always step in and volunteer.
A couple years ago, everyone was having a tough time in one way or another. We actually decided to get together...but go OUT somewhere. While that was my least favorite thing to do, it did allow for everyone to pay for their OWN meal.
I would definitely get on the phone and start calling. Make a list before you call of everything that you think is needed. Then starting with the grown children who have adult children, read the list and ask what they might be able or willing to pitch in on.
If you truly feel that your family members will not go for this idea, take this year off. Or better yet, maybe try suggesting that one of the others host Thanksgiving this year.
Oh yeah, something our family does is go ahead and discuss Christmas dinner at some point of the day. We all sit down, make the list and everyone now knows what to plan for for Christmas dinner. Might not work for all families, but seems to work for ours
"Until one has loved an animal, part of their soul remains unawakened"
What I did after our sons married was to ask their wives if they would mind bringing a side or dessert that I didn't serve that was something that they liked and was a tradition in their families to serve whether it be a side dish or a dessert or both. We got to try something new and they enjoyed contributing. My one DIL and grandson (he is 12 and takes after his mom in that respect) are picky eaters... so this also guaranteed there would be something they liked. It works well for everyone.
I am so surprised no one has posted this for you yet!!
It has been floating around the net for years! PLEASE these are NOT real names!!
The Thanksgiving Letter
Happy Thanksgiving: OCD-Style
posted November 25, 2008
As you all know a fabulous Thanksgiving Dinner does not make itself. I need to ask each of you to help by bringing something to complete the meal. I truly appreciate your offers to assist with the meal preparation.
Now, while I do have quite a sense of humor and joke around all the time, I COULD NOT BE MORE SERIOUS when I am providing you with your Thanksgiving instructions and orders. I am very particular, so please perform your task EXACTLY as I have requested and read your portion very carefully. If I ask you to bring your offering in a container that has a lid, bring your offering in a container WITH A LID, NOT ALUMINUM FOIL! If I ask you to bring a serving spoon for your dish, BRING A SERVING SPOON, NOT A SOUP SPOON! And please do not forget anything.
All food that is to be cooked should already be prepared, bring it hot and ready to serve, warm or room temp. These are your ONLY THREE options. Anything meant to be served cold should, of course, already be cold.
The Mike Byron Family
1. Turnips in a casserole with a lid and a serving spoon. Please do not fill the casserole all the way up to the top, it gets too messy. I know this may come as a bit of a surprise to you, but most of us hate turnips so don't feel like you a have to feed an army.
2. Two half gallons of ice cream, one must be VANILLA, I don't care what the other one is. No store brands please. I did see an ad this morning for Hagan Daz Peppermint Bark Ice Cream, yum!! (no pressure here, though).
3. Toppings for the ice cream.
4. A case of bottled water, NOT gallons, any brand is ok.
The Bob Byron Family
1. Green beans or asparagus (not both) in a casserole with a lid and a serving spoon. If you are making the green beans, please prepare FOUR pounds, if you are making asparagus please prepare FIVE pounds. It is up to you how you wish to prepare them, no soupy sauces, no cheese (you know how Mike is), a light sprinkling of toasted nuts, or pancetta, or some EVOO would be a nice way to jazz them up.
2. A case of beer of your choice (I have Coors Light and Corona) or a bottle of clos du bois chardonnay (you will have to let me know which you will bring prior to 11/22).
The Lisa Byron Chesterford Family
1. Lisa as a married woman you are now required to contribute at the adult level. You can bring an hors d’ouvres. A few helpful hints/suggestions. Keep it very light, and non-filling, NO COCKTAIL SAUCE, no beans of any kind. I think your best bet would be a platter of fresh veggies and dip. Not a huge platter mind you (i.e., not the plastic platter from the supermarket).
The Michelle Bobble Family
1. Stuffing in a casserole with a serving spoon. Please make the stuffing sans meat.
2. 2.5-3 qts. of mashed squash in a casserole with a lid and serving spoon
3. Proscuitto pin wheel - please stick to the recipe, no need to bring a plate.
4. A pie knife
The June Davis Family
1. 15 LBS of mashed potatoes in a casserole with a serving spoon. Please do not use the over-size blue serving dish you used last year. Because you are making such a large batch you can do one of two things: put half the mash in a regulation size casserole with lid and put the other half in a plastic container and we can just replenish with that or use two regulation size casserole dishes with lids. Only one serving spoon is needed.
2. A bottle of clos du bois chardonnay
The Amy Misto Family (why do I even bother she will never read this)
1. A pumpkin pie in a pie dish (please use my silver palate recipe) no knife needed.
2. An apple pie in a pie dish, you can use your own recipe, no knife needed.
Looking forward to the 28th!!
Life is GOOD!!
Kathy, unfortunately, many of us know just such people!
This is a key consideration. Some hosts may like to cook o.k. but not LOVE to cook.
Also dim 4 Mom mentions cost which are an issue with her and evidently not with you.
I think you are well within your rights as hostess to ask for help dim 4. Inc.. the children of your siblings who now keep house for themselves. One thing. . . (as I was strongly reminded at my last family event) children, no matter how old they are are (e.g 62!) still are viewed favorably, tolerantly, excuses made for,
wrongs forgiven, (no matter how egregious) . . . by their own parents. So that part of the deal may be a little dicey and I would recommend family public emails spelling out what you want and not calling individual members esp those younger than your siblings!
I think that is the best idea...e-mails.
LOS you have a point....if DH and I didn't love to cook we wouldn't volunteer to host Thanksgiving or Christmas dinners at all, the preparation would seen like drudgery.
Whether You Think You Can Or You Think You Can't..... You're Right - Henry Ford
It seems apparent (to me, at least) that there is some reason the OP does not feel comfortable about asking for help.
I think discuss the basic menu with your siblings and then discuss what the adult grands should bring. Then each parent is responsible for instructing their children in what to purchase or make for Thanksgiving dinner.
With us, it is family. You are part of the family and this is a family event so you are expected to do your fair share. IMHO - Some of the grands may appreciate finally being treated as an adult!
But, my real reason for posting - Thanksgiving again, already?
I don't know if it is good news or bad - it is my turn to host this year.
Yes, that is apparent otherwise she would not be posting asking for advice. However she does say she would like to ask adult children to bring something and also for help bringing more turkey.
Think she is asking for advice about how best to achieve those goals in a way she will feel comfortable with.
LoS, if you look back, her second post says it is hard for her to ask for help. How else is she to achieve her goal if it is too hard to ask for help? All I was doing was stating the obvious. If she can't ask for help, maybe it is time to let the tradition go. She also says no one else will rise to the occasion. It doesn't sound as though the holiday means much to her extended family.
Think of it this way as related to the first Thanksgiving...you and your immediate family are the Pilgrims and you have invited your guests, aka the Indians, to join you in the feast. Like the first Thanksgiving, both contributed their bounty to the shared feast and gave thanks. Time to round up those adult Indians and suggest what they can contribute. No able bodied person should take offense to your request. BTW, the second meat could be a ham as suggested and can be purchased already cooked and spiral cut for ease of serving. Be sure to include a variety of veggies for those with special dietary restrictions.
Frankly, those young adults should feel ashamed to accept the invitation and arrive empty handed. Don't waste time in setting the etiquette they apparently were not taught. You are entitled to enjoy the holiday too after all.
dlm4, although I understand your situation, it's time for you to speak up....tell the kids it's their turn to contribute more than gracing your table with their presence.
Historically, American Indians didn't fare wellThis message has been edited. Last edited by: tessa89,
I believe the true history, (not the stuff we were expected to swallow years ago in school), was that the Indians might actually have saved the Pilgrims from starvation in showing them what they could gather and find to eat that first winter. They did not fare well, due to their generosity and not letting the settlers just die.
Wonder what they would have actually have chosen to do...if they knew what the future held for them?
Happy Thanksgiving, whatever is decided.
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