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Family dinners/gatherings - What does your family do? Do you contribute?

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  • Family dinners/gatherings - What does your family do? Do you contribute?

    I want to get an idea of what other families do when it comes to food & ediquette at family dinners/gatherings.

    1.Do you all bring something along or does the person who is hosting it provide everything?

    2. Do you help to cook, serve, clean up afterwards? Or do you expect to be waited on as a guest?

    We just had our daughters birthday today and I'm exhausted. As usual my hubby's family came along, sat on their behinds, ate, drank and then left. Food was everywhere, toys all over the place, dishes pilled up.
    Given that we're a large family now, when they come over they never offer to bring anything, which would lighten the load and make it much more enjoyable for me too. I always offer to make something to take along to there gatherings, but it's never returned unless I ask (which they hate) which makes me feel so uncomfortable doing.

    In my family, it's a shared load. With every gathering we all happily contribute. To me it's just manners. They don't see it this way. I'm so sick of slaving for these rude, ungrateful slobs, who don't even teach their kids to say please and thank you.

    So how does it work in your family?

  • #2
    We always chip in & bring something....inevitably the host usually ends up doing a bit more than others, but still, everyone will bring a salad/dessert/cheese platter/whatever.....and the ones we know are no good cooks get delegated things to bring like drinks, bread, lollies, etc

    I dont think it's unreasonable of you to ask them to bring something, they're family! Or at the very least help with the dishes before they leave....

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    • #3
      For our family, the hosts provide everything. Usually everyone offers to bring something but its more a gesture than anything because its always refused
      Alcohol is not supplied tough, if you want to drink, you BYO.

      Everyone pitches in once at the event though, cooking, serving etc. Everyone cleans up afterwards, Men , women & children..except my grandma..she is 91, she sits down or is held down

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      • #4
        DHs family everyone brings a plate.

        Then kids clear up and do dishes, sweep, vacuum.

        They also dish up for their grandparents and get them drinks as needed.

        DHs parents, siblings, siblings spouses, nieces and nephews, great grand kids etc... comes to 50 people. We get together very often.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by BlissedOut View Post

          Then kids clear up and do dishes, sweep, vacuum.

          They also dish up for their grandparents and get them drinks as needed.
          I should adopt this method..

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          • #6
            Our family has a boy meat and alcohol policy and the host provides salads bread sauces etc. None of us like washing up so we generally us disposable plates and bowls most of the time. There are also about 50-60 of us if everyone can come.

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            • #7
              the host provides most, everyone esle contributes

              BYO Alcohol is a MUST

              The children do minimal - we'd prefer they run and play with their cousins

              The Grandparents do minimal - they've done their share over the years ('Cept for Grandma's home made fresh cream sponge) - they generally watch the younger grandkids if needed

              The adults do the mostest

              A family gathering can be up to 30 adults - as many as 30 kids or more

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              • #8
                Thanks for your replies. Oh my what wonderful families you have. Can you adopt me? I just said to my hubby that I find birthday's such a chore and hate them, which is wrong because I should be enjoying it with my kids, not slaving in the kitchen. My hubby's family is from europe, so do you think this is what Europeans do?? I would think not, but maybe I'm missing something.

                I told my MIL that I am exhausted, and she just laughed it off. Hubby and I need some ideas of what we can next time. His sick of it too. Any ideas??
                They annoy me so much. Thay are such scabbby cheap skates!!!

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                • #9
                  For a birthday party, say it was dd's party, I would organise then clean up after. Yesterday my mum wanted to do lunch so I bought some veges, helped cut them up, my mum cooked it all, my brother and his girlfriend brought the dessert. They brought up the big table, my brother and I set the table, then when we were done my dd cleared off the table, I washed up, my brother's gf dried and dd put it all away whily my brother got the dessert ready then after dessert my mum washed everything up for my brother to take home again. Sometimes we have bring a plate gatherings and we take our own dishes home but because we do finger foods we don't really use plates or anything.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by mummyoftwo View Post
                    Hubby and I need some ideas of what we can next time. His sick of it too. Any ideas??
                    They annoy me so much. Thay are such scabbby cheap skates!!!
                    Go to a park

                    I also have a couple of family members who don't get the rules (they'd arrive empty handed if they could) - so I specifically ask them to bring XYZ on Saturday/Party Day

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                    • #11
                      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.

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                      • #12
                        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.

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                        • #13
                          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!!

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                          • #14
                            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.

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                            • #15
                              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.

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