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Old 11-08-2014, 04:15 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,485 posts, read 43,812,291 times
Reputation: 47259

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I have three grown step children- SC- (and their spouses) and two grown children-DS and DD (and their SOs) possibly coming for the holidays. It will be the first time all of us have been in the same room in many years but their dad, my husband is 75 and it is about time. We also have 2 twelve year old children in our home.

Here's how it breaks down

1 SC is avid hunter and fisherman who is all the time posting pictures of dead animals and videos of him ripping out their guts on his FB page. He loves to cook and experiment with all sorts of dishes. His wife doesn't cook (or eat from her appearance) and runs about 10 miles a day. Very right wing ultraconservative christian republicans.

1 SC who is PETA strict vegan who claims every member of her family has strange allergies. The haven't eaten in a restaurant in about 20 years and she fixes and packs their own food on their short vacations but she won't be able to do it this time cause they will be flying. Her spouse is Iranian and they speak Farsi to each other all the time in front of others which drives us all insane and I think is pretty rude.

1 SC who is pretty much peace maker in the family but her SO is war vet with somewhat bigoted views. He's a big guy who loves lots of meat and potatoes and who likes to tell war stories. They are musicians who will provide entertainment but she is avid photographer and I do not like to be photographed at all. They are both Republicans.

1 DD and her SO who used to be christian but are no longer. She is rather quiet and gets her feelings hurt easily and her SO is a computer geek who rarely opens his mouth.

1 DS who is avowed and loud atheist and card carrying ACLU member and has strong opinions about everything. He delights in pushing his sisters' buttons. His SO -if she comes- doesn't speak English very well and is shy. She's Filipina and 7 months pregnant (no marriage plans).

DH is atheist as well but not loud and in your face about it. DH and I and our kids are all progressive democrats who are keeping our minor kids free from religion.
I don't like religion conversations in our family.
I love clean up help in my kitchen but don't like anybody else messing in my kitchen.

I love my family but it is beginning to look like a very stressful time on our horizon.We have enough room for everybody to not be on top of each other but still meals will be difficult as SC will need to have kitchen to prepare her strict vegan meals for her family. There is no way we can all eat together. I've instructed DS to not pick on his sister, to not start any religion or political conversations.
I don't think the SC and their spouses and SOs will be here more than 2 days. Our kids will be here much longer.

I guess I'm just getting this all down in writing to help me see what is coming up and to make plans for pitfalls to avoid. Any suggestions?

p.s. Can I come stay at your house?
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Old 11-08-2014, 04:46 PM
 
13,174 posts, read 20,812,406 times
Reputation: 35498
Sure NK, I'll put you up! It sounds like a holiday to remember is on the horizon.

You didn't mention children, except for your own two girls, is that correct?

At this point, I'd investigate things to do outside the house. Make a list, and encourage them to indicate what they might be interested in. I'd also plan out a menu. Let them know what will be served, with some option for all the varied dietary requirements. If that doesn't do the trick, specify what hours the kitchen will be available for those who prefer to make their own food.

Two days doesn't sound too onerous. You can do this!
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Old 11-08-2014, 04:48 PM
 
Location: Houston, TX
14,698 posts, read 8,504,331 times
Reputation: 29413
Quote:
Originally Posted by no kudzu View Post
I have three grown step children- SC- (and their spouses) and two grown children-DS and DD (and their SOs) possibly coming for the holidays. It will be the first time all of us have been in the same room in many years but their dad, my husband is 75 and it is about time. We also have 2 twelve year old children in our home.

Here's how it breaks down

1 SC is avid hunter and fisherman who is all the time posting pictures of dead animals and videos of him ripping out their guts on his FB page. He loves to cook and experiment with all sorts of dishes. His wife doesn't cook (or eat from her appearance) and runs about 10 miles a day. Very right wing ultraconservative christian republicans.

1 SC who is PETA strict vegan who claims every member of her family has strange allergies. The haven't eaten in a restaurant in about 20 years and she fixes and packs their own food on their short vacations but she won't be able to do it this time cause they will be flying. Her spouse is Iranian and they speak Farsi to each other all the time in front of others which drives us all insane and I think is pretty rude.

1 SC who is pretty much peace maker in the family but her SO is war vet with somewhat bigoted views. He's a big guy who loves lots of meat and potatoes and who likes to tell war stories. They are musicians who will provide entertainment but she is avid photographer and I do not like to be photographed at all. They are both Republicans.

1 DD and her SO who used to be christian but are no longer. She is rather quiet and gets her feelings hurt easily and her SO is a computer geek who rarely opens his mouth.

1 DS who is avowed and loud atheist and card carrying ACLU member and has strong opinions about everything. He delights in pushing his sisters' buttons. His SO -if she comes- doesn't speak English very well and is shy. She's Filipina and 7 months pregnant (no marriage plans).

DH is atheist as well but not loud and in your face about it. DH and I and our kids are all progressive democrats who are keeping our minor kids free from religion.
I don't like religion conversations in our family.
I love clean up help in my kitchen but don't like anybody else messing in my kitchen.

I love my family but it is beginning to look like a very stressful time on our horizon.We have enough room for everybody to not be on top of each other but still meals will be difficult as SC will need to have kitchen to prepare her strict vegan meals for her family. There is no way we can all eat together. I've instructed DS to not pick on his sister, to not start any religion or political conversations.
I don't think the SC and their spouses and SOs will be here more than 2 days. Our kids will be here much longer.

I guess I'm just getting this all down in writing to help me see what is coming up and to make plans for pitfalls to avoid. Any suggestions?

p.s. Can I come stay at your house?
You just summed up the reason that more murders occur during Thanksgiving and Christmas than at any other time of the year: good old family. Gotta love 'em
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Old 11-08-2014, 05:02 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
17,063 posts, read 17,389,275 times
Reputation: 41538
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattie View Post
Sure NK, I'll put you up! It sounds like a holiday to remember is on the horizon.

You didn't mention children, except for your own two girls, is that correct?

At this point, I'd investigate things to do outside the house. Make a list, and encourage them to indicate what they might be interested in. I'd also plan out a menu. Let them know what will be served, with some option for all the varied dietary requirements. If that doesn't do the trick, specify what hours the kitchen will be available for those who prefer to make their own food.

Two days doesn't sound too onerous. You can do this!
That sounds like a good idea.

Most of our holiday meals have many people who love meat, plus a few vegetarians and one or two vegans and no one starves. Serving a variety of food works for us. As Mattie suggested list what time the kitchen will be open for others to make special meals.

Good luck. I hope that everyone is on their best behavior.
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Old 11-08-2014, 05:19 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,485 posts, read 43,812,291 times
Reputation: 47259
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattie View Post
Sure NK, I'll put you up! It sounds like a holiday to remember is on the horizon.

You didn't mention children, except for your own two girls, is that correct?

At this point, I'd investigate things to do outside the house. Make a list, and encourage them to indicate what they might be interested in. I'd also plan out a menu. Let them know what will be served, with some option for all the varied dietary requirements. If that doesn't do the trick, specify what hours the kitchen will be available for those who prefer to make their own food.

Two days doesn't sound too onerous. You can do this!
Thanks Mattie.

Forgot to mention one SC will be bringing her 17 year old daughter and 7 year old daughter who has ADHD and has frequent meltdowns. This is the Farsi speaking vegan family. Hopefully we will have nice enough weather where outdoor hikes and walks and bike riding will be possible. We are looking into borrowing several adult bikes to add to our own.

I like your ideas. It will take some planning and organizing and some valium but we will manage. DH has 7 kids and they have never all been together before as they range in age from 54 to 12 years of age. This will probably be the only time they will all be together so I want to hire professional photographer to capture it all and I hope it is uneventful. I will manage and I might even have fun...but right now I'm hoping for survival!
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Old 11-08-2014, 05:23 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
17,063 posts, read 17,389,275 times
Reputation: 41538
Quote:
Originally Posted by no kudzu View Post
Thanks Mattie.

Forgot to mention one SC will be bringing her 17 year old daughter and 7 year old daughter who has ADHD and has frequent meltdowns. This is the Farsi speaking vegan family. Hopefully we will have nice enough weather where outdoor hikes and walks and bike riding will be possible. We are looking into borrowing several adult bikes to add to our own.

I like your ideas. It will take some planning and organizing and some valium but we will manage. DH has 7 kids and they have never all been together before as they range in age from 54 to 12 years of age. This will probably be the only time they will all be together so I want to hire professional photographer to capture it all and I hope it is uneventful. I will manage and I might even have fun...but right now I'm hoping for survival!
I agree that a professional photo would be a fantastic way to save the memories.
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Old 11-08-2014, 05:34 PM
 
3,753 posts, read 9,610,770 times
Reputation: 7049
I wish you the best but having all of them at home and not in a hotel is a recipe for ...............................

Even in the best of families, the issues raised by SO's, children with issues, radically different politics and religions is hard to accomodate. You might want to talk to each child about the potential issues and ask them to police their own families for these two days.

Thankfully it is time limited. I am sorry but there are few houses where these families will not be on top of one another. Make sure there are spaces or places where they can separate for peace.
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Old 11-08-2014, 05:38 PM
 
Location: Lebanon, OH
5,905 posts, read 6,335,997 times
Reputation: 12589
Quote:
Originally Posted by no kudzu View Post
one SC will be bringing her 17 year old daughter

DH has 7 kids and they have never all been together before as they range in age from 54 to 12 years of age.
So the 17 year old has a 12 year old aunt?

Hopefully the the topics of conversation will not light any powder kegs, good luck!
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Old 11-08-2014, 05:46 PM
 
1,140 posts, read 1,043,161 times
Reputation: 2147
Quote:
Originally Posted by no kudzu View Post
I have three grown step children- SC- (and their spouses) and two grown children-DS and DD (and their SOs) possibly coming for the holidays. It will be the first time all of us have been in the same room in many years but their dad, my husband is 75 and it is about time. We also have 2 twelve year old children in our home.

Here's how it breaks down

1 SC is avid hunter and fisherman who is all the time posting pictures of dead animals and videos of him ripping out their guts on his FB page. He loves to cook and experiment with all sorts of dishes. His wife doesn't cook (or eat from her appearance) and runs about 10 miles a day. Very right wing ultraconservative christian republicans.

1 SC who is PETA strict vegan who claims every member of her family has strange allergies. The haven't eaten in a restaurant in about 20 years and she fixes and packs their own food on their short vacations but she won't be able to do it this time cause they will be flying. Her spouse is Iranian and they speak Farsi to each other all the time in front of others which drives us all insane and I think is pretty rude.

1 SC who is pretty much peace maker in the family but her SO is war vet with somewhat bigoted views. He's a big guy who loves lots of meat and potatoes and who likes to tell war stories. They are musicians who will provide entertainment but she is avid photographer and I do not like to be photographed at all. They are both Republicans.

1 DD and her SO who used to be christian but are no longer. She is rather quiet and gets her feelings hurt easily and her SO is a computer geek who rarely opens his mouth.

1 DS who is avowed and loud atheist and card carrying ACLU member and has strong opinions about everything. He delights in pushing his sisters' buttons. His SO -if she comes- doesn't speak English very well and is shy. She's Filipina and 7 months pregnant (no marriage plans).

DH is atheist as well but not loud and in your face about it. DH and I and our kids are all progressive democrats who are keeping our minor kids free from religion.
I don't like religion conversations in our family.
I love clean up help in my kitchen but don't like anybody else messing in my kitchen.

I love my family but it is beginning to look like a very stressful time on our horizon.We have enough room for everybody to not be on top of each other but still meals will be difficult as SC will need to have kitchen to prepare her strict vegan meals for her family. There is no way we can all eat together. I've instructed DS to not pick on his sister, to not start any religion or political conversations.
I don't think the SC and their spouses and SOs will be here more than 2 days. Our kids will be here much longer.

I guess I'm just getting this all down in writing to help me see what is coming up and to make plans for pitfalls to avoid. Any suggestions?

p.s. Can I come stay at your house?
Please record all arguments and post them on cd verbatim.
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Old 11-08-2014, 06:01 PM
 
Location: CO
2,455 posts, read 2,629,336 times
Reputation: 5199
Kudzu, you have room for possibly ten extra people at your house? I'm impressed! This actually sounds a lot like our family reunions, but upwards of 30 people, with all kinds of personalities. Having planned and attended several of these, all I can say is have a general idea of what you're going to do for meals and activities (which sounds like you have) but be prepared to go with the flow. You can't control all these people anyway, so relax and enjoy it!
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