Now I'd like to start off the New Year with blogging about something positive and happy but I can't. I find myself thinking about the holidays and how low key they were and blah blah. Now I made a conscious decision to have low key holidays. I didn't want to have 800 people coming through my doors or going to visit 800 people. We wanted to take it easy because when we do our holiday parties its always huge and we don't get to enjoy them. George and I are always in the kitchen cooking something, checking on something, refilling someones beverage, making sure the bathrooms remain clean.... and it gets to be really NOT fun although everyone else enjoys their time at my house.
Now something happened during Xmas 2008 that really pissed me off. It was my first year married and I wanted to host Christmas Eve OR Christmas Day at my house. Well guess what happened? One of my cousins decided to call everyone BEFORE HALLOWEEN to invite them to her house for Christmas. Now yes, she has always hosted the holiday but thats because no one else would step up do it. I did the bigger person thing and called my cousin and said, "Hey Cousin, why don't we split the holidays? You can do either Christmas Eve or Christmas Day at your house and I'll do the day you don't want at my house." I thought it was very nice of me to put it that way and give her the choice. I even explained to her that its my first married year and I'd like to host a holiday. She was like, "Um no. I want to do both holidays because I ALWAYS do them and besides there is always so much food left over." So I said something along the line of, "Yes you always do it therefore you should SHARE the holiday and if the amount of food is an issue, just cook LESS." The bottom line is she was a stubborn bitch about it and refused to budge. She wanted to do both days at her house. Her excuse was, "You hosted Easter..." Um yeah I did do Easter because its my husbands favorite holiday and its the first holiday that came after our wedding.
So what did I do? I called my favorite aunt and explained to her the situation. I informed her that I was very well aware that my cousin called everyone to invite them to her house for Xmas Eve and Day however I was doing Xmas day at my house. I understand if they can't make it but I will be doing that. My aunt explained that she had already RSVPed to my cousin's house but she would leave early to come to my house. I did the same thing with some cousins and everyone told me the exact same thing. They would go to the cousins house because they said they would but they would go early and leave early so they could eat here. I did NOT invite the selfish cousin nor did I invite HER parents. I mean, that'd be kinda rude to tell them, "Hey I know your daughter is hosting a day at her house but why don't you come to mine instead?".
My husband and I discussed what we should do for Christmas Eve since I was only doing ONE of the two nights. We decided to be bigger people and go to that cousins house for a little bit. The only reason we went was because my sister was going to be there and Alex and I have NEVER had Xmas apart. We showed up to the cousins house with presents for the kids, a gift for the hostess, and stayed for a while (not as long as we had stayed in previous years). When we got up to leave we didn't mention the usual, "see you tomorrow" but she did ask my sister, "So will we be seeing you and Mike tomorrow" to which my sister responds, "No. My sister is doing Christmas Day and I will be there!"
Christmas Day rolls around. My hubby and I wake up early to clean the house, and start preparing our feast. When I say feast I mean a feast. We must have spent the better part of the day cooking the main meal not to mention the amount of appetizers we'd made. Everyone who came over really enjoyed it and commented on the vast difference in quality of food they were eating today compared to yesterday. It's not that my cousin cooks shitty quality food, she just isn't the best cook in the family!
My cousin didn't call me to wish me a Merry Christmas that day. I didn't really notice but of course my hubby does. He notices the strangest things!
We decided to host NYE and New Year Day at my house last year. My mom always wants to do it but she had just renovated her basement and did not want all of the cousins kids to go there and ruin it so we did it at my house. My mom paid for a lot of the dishes and even cooked a bunch of them but we just had the event at my house. My cousin didn't come. She decided her friends were more important than her family that particular day.
So now Xmas 2009 rolls around. Of course the cousin calls me to invite me over and I say, "I'm unsure of our plans. I'll have to check with my husband to see if anyone on his side is doing it since we did it last year." She said okay and to let her know. I didn't let her know but I didn't plan on going there from the get go. I had told George that I would rather stay home alone doing nothing than go there. I told him I refuse to go there for 6 years! Why six? I don't know its just a random number I came up with. In all honesty, we aren't comfortable going there. It's just that there are SOOOOO many people in such a small space that its very uncomfortable. The house gets all hot and loud. We had NYE here last year 2008/2009 and we got uncomfortable and I have 3 floors of house! My cousin has a 3 or 4 bedroom apartment. If we felt stuffy at my place imagine what you feel like there?!
My cousin told my sister that she was upset with me because I didn't call back to RSVP for Xmas. I told my sister that common sense says if one doesn't respond they aren't coming. I mean, if you don't respond to my sister's wedding shower I'm assuming you aren't coming, I don't assume you will be there.... I don't care if shes upset.
Oh, she didn't call me this Xmas or New Years in order to wish me happy holidays. Oh well, I didn't call her either. I had to call to invite her to my sisters bachelorette though. Ugh. Hated it.
Now my sister is getting married in 29 days. I discussed this with her today. Would she like to split the holidays? I realize that I will have a young child during the holiday season next year but I still want to host a holiday. My mom will go back to hosting NYE therefore its just Xmas Eve and Day that are left for us to split. She said shes interested. I told her to let me know which date she'd like and then in November of 2010 we'll call our aunts/cousins together and tell them what day they are invited to our respective homes.
What irks me is that the holidays are meant to be about family and sharing. My cousin refuses to share. It's her way or no way because she's done something for 10 years. Yes, but no one else wanted to do the holidays. Maybe they don't want to spend the money entertaining a bunch of hungry Greeks, maybe they don't want to exhaust themselves cooking and cleaning, whatever the reason may be no one but her would offer to do it. How can you be so selfish about hosting a meal at your house? My sister in law called me about 2 weeks before Xmas to ask me what I was doing. I told her I had no plans for Xmas Eve but since my mom was flying in on Xmas Day I was going to do a very small dinner. Just me, George, Alex, Mike, my father in law, and our kourbari (like bestest friends), if they'd like to come they are more than welcome. She told me that her family will come to my house after they go to HER sister's house and that we are invited to HER house on Xmas Eve since we aren't doing it. See how it works? Everyone wants to host something yet they call to find out who is doing what so that it can be shared.
Now I find myself asking this question, its a whole year later and I'm still bitter about this. Is it too long to hold a grudge? Am I blowing things out of proportion? Should I just drop this whole, "5 more years of no Xmas at cousin X's house?"