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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12-02-2012 13:00 #11
12-02-2012 13:19 #12Senior Member
- Join Date
- Oct 2009
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.
12-02-2012 13:34 #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!!
12-02-2012 16:06 #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.
12-02-2012 16:15 #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.
12-02-2012 16:30 #16
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.
12-02-2012 16:33 #17
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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12-02-2012 16:35 #18
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
12-02-2012 17:19 #19Senior Member
- Join Date
- Nov 2011
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.
12-02-2012 21:18 #20Member
- Join Date
- Jan 2008
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