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  1. #11
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    Parties away from home work best for us. The last 2 years I have had caterers, but also take some food along too. This year I will make fairy bread, chocolate crackles, fruit punch, and the cake but have quiches, sandwiches and other things made by someone else to keep the cost reasonable and to reduce my own workload.

  2. #12
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    In my family (and DH's too) the host provides everything (food and alcohol) and the guests are not expected to clean up (offers would be refused).

    Both families are European, so maybe that is a factor?

    As the host I want my guests to have the best experience possible, and I definitely don't want anyone to be cleaning at a party (me/ DH would take care of this when everyone had gone).

    Having said that, if I went to someone else's house where that was not the protocol then I would chip in and help. I would always offer to help, but in my family I would expect that offer to be politely declined.

  3. #13
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    In my family we always offer to bring something and follow through - whether it's dinner on a Sunday night or a party. I'm like that with everything I go to. It's just not in my nature to turn up to anything empty handed.

    My DS was recently christened and I hosted a lunch afterwards. My mum made a salad, my MIL brought a dessert and my sister did bread (she's not really the cooking type) and my close girlfriends each made a dish too - they offered, I accepted.

    When it comes to cleaning up, everyone sort of pitches in and does a bit of tidying as we go but we'd always do the majority of clean up after everyone leaves. I think that's just part of hosting.

    It's DS's first birthday party next weekend and I'm doing it at a park, with plastic everything and a simple BBQ, fruit, cake etc. sometimes I find it's easier to just keep it simple and take the pressure off yourself a bit. People shouldn't expect too much at kids parties anyway!!

  4. #14
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    In DHs family ( my family is overseas), usually in family gatherings mil and bils wife are the official cooks . my sils and I lay the table, cut salads and make dips and wash and clear up everything. the boys put out chairs,etc. The older grandkids helps with serving the older guests. but everyone helps, only now with DD being young i dont help as much, but thats how my sils were when they had their bub s and no body minds.

  5. #15
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    It depends on which family members we're seeing as to what's expected of us.

    My grandparents put on a yearly get-together. They provide all food and cook it all themselves... though they appreciate help in bringing foods to the table, we have to serve ourselves (it's kinda buffet-style I suppose), and the younger males (my generation - so all 20-40ish) usually drag the chairs and tables out and set them out. Disposable stuff is usually used so it's just a matter of throwing away rubbish at the end. People tend to make sure stuff is not left behind because my grandparents are in their mid-late 80s. They don't need to be cleaning up after people.

    At Mums, it's a similar deal I suppose. Usually help is offered in the kitchen afterwards as we don't do disposables there. I ask if she needs me to bring anything, she normally doesn't need us to.

    MIL doesn't like us in her kitchen and will not allow help. Mind you, she just chucks everything in a dishwasher so she's not really slaving over the sink after a family get-together either. I offer help prepping stuff... normally she doesn't require it, sometimes she does.

    I'd say if you're having troubles, ask for help. Anyone who says, "no," is going to come across as outwardly rude and MOST people out there don't want to present themselves that way even if they really don't want to assist you... so they'll say yes anyway. Ask them to bring a plate. Ask them to help clean up. Etc. Some families that's how it works, so they're used to it... but if you're not keen to have things go down that way, it's probably just a matter of letting them know your expectations of them while they're at your house.

  6. #16
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    My family is weird - like extended family. I'll offer to bring something, or be asked to bring something, then not told what (snack, sweet, salad, meat? What's needed?) but then hear a long whinge about how nobody helps. :-/ OR after being asked to bring something, I prepared something, then was told what I'd prepared wasn't needed but I could contribute money umm no... Seeing as ONLY me & df were asked to contribute - nobody else.

    My inlaws like to do everything. Even at our place they bring ALL the food. Which is lovely in some ways... A little insulting though inviting someone for lunch, planning a meal and they turn up with enough food to feed a small army & take over my kitchen. There's 'bringing a plate' and then there's bringing like two whole chickens, bread, salad, drinks, etc. Including pots & pans (because I mightn't have any)

    I like a balance. I don't want to do everything. I like The 'bring a plate' culture. (as both a guest & a host) i put it out there as 'feel Free to bring a plate' because if half the families who come bring something & We put on The main meal part, which Chips & Frozen party food as back up, it works well!

    And I'm happy to do all the cleaning when everyone leaves.
    Last edited by Boobycino; 12-02-2012 at 16:33.

  7. #17
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    We have regular dinners or days with my parents, my family and my sisters family. We all bring something (I don't now we live at my parents), and all help put with setting up, cooking and cleaning.


    Me -28 & my boys 7, 5 & 4
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  8. #18
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    There isn't a lot of people in dh family. Mil only has one brother and they have each only two kids. I'm the only inlaw currently and dd the only grandchild. Mil and fil usually host. My dhs Aunty and uncle bring food though and sil and I help mil mostly sil does it all. Than fil cleans up

    If they came to dinner at our place we do everything and fil and mil bring wine

    In my family we generally host and do it all (we is in dh and I live with my mum, sister, her dp and my young brother) so if dad my brother or our uncle Aunty and cousins come mum, dh and I host, provide, cook, clean up later

  9. #19
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    We are always told not to bring anything but always take a few bottles of wine and a box of chocolates as a token gift sort of thing and we always try and do the bulk of the cleaning up afterward unless DS is falling asleep (he is the only child ever at these things) in which case we wont wash up but do clear the table etc.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by missie_mack View Post
    I was always taught growing up never to go anywhere empty handed. Having said that often when I go to my family do's nothing is wanted but it is hands on deck to do prep etc. My Dhs family is different. My MIL always appreciates something (and always offers herself to be fair) but BIL will just turn up empty handed and expect everything his way. One day we were having pizza for a kids birthday and he complained that nobody had bought meatlovers despite everyone but him chucking in When I have them to my house I always ask them to bring their own drinks because they never like what I keep. MIL always offers but I decline because I think she often does too much to cover her freeloading sons share and they are just pensioners already doing more than their share (they feed BIL and his family two nights a week, every week without any thanks or appreciation)
    WOW, we must have to same BIL!! That is another side to my rant. whenever there is a family gathering at Hubby's brother's place - kids party etc MIL supplies everything?????? Meat, cake, salad, drinks, disposable plates etc. I don't get it because she doesn't do it for us and SIL and BIL always come to their place empied handed with 4 kids in toe expecting to be waited on hand and foot. and don't ever help clean up afterwards, There seems to be one rule for them and a different one for us which is weird because I always go out of my way to contribute someting nice and alway's help to clean up.


 

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