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Old 01.01.2015, 12:53
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Re: ugh, bah humbug

Ooh, it's so good to hear that it's not only our in-laws who are anti-social! Thank you. And Happy New Year.
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Old 01.01.2015, 13:19
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Re: ugh, bah humbug

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Ooh, it's so good to hear that it's not only our in-laws who are anti-social! Thank you. And Happy New Year.
Mine too, and they don't even have the excuse of being Swiss...
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Old 01.01.2015, 15:04
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Re: ugh, bah humbug

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If you want your Christmas to be different- make it happen. Just do it - they might even enjoy it. Or just see them for dinner on Christmas eve (as per Swiss tradition) and have the 25th on your own. Why be a victim or a martyr?
You call it victimising or martyrising yourself. I call it being sensitive to others and what they might want. Yes, its a thoughtfulness that is not being shown back towards me but when was that ever an excuse for bad behaviour?

And before you ask, I can align my actions with what others might want but still not like what I am doing. I see no dichotomy there. Just honesty that I chose to not divulge to persons whom it would otherwise upset or anger.

Edit: reading this over it came out as rather bad tempered for which I apologise. But it does not change what i am trying to say - and that is that in our circumstances to do something different, to leave this person out of our family at this time would cause her a lot of anger and upset and this would only continue to rebound in different ways upon us. So it's not martyrising but making the best of a bad situation, taking all things and everyone into account. Your version is too simplistic.

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Old 01.01.2015, 15:07
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Re: ugh, bah humbug

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Some of you are married to very weird Swiss guys with very weird families- it seems, honest.

Plenty of traditions over Christmas in Swiss homes, presents and very good food. I love raclette, but I do not know anyone here who has raclette for Christmas??? If you were hosting, why didn't you say 'I will cook you a turkey, as we do back home, with all the trimmings and trifle for pudding and great British cheeses. Lots of Christmas baking done in Swiss families over advent, but not on Christmas day- it is busy enough, surely. Presents are not opened first thing in the morning, but after late luch, when it gets dark and the candles are lit on the Christmas tree for those who still carry this tradition, as we do.

My parents always came to us in the UK for Christmas- so we mixed the tradtions. We had a tree with real candles- and the kids were allowed to open Santa's presents first thing in the morning- but then wait till after lunch and the tree to receive and give other presents. My parents always thought our kids had too many presents- and now I am a grandmother, as much as I love my grandkids, I too think that they get far too many, and that it is truly not necessary. Wouldn't dream of saying so- but I may have inadvertently hinted at it And yes, I did ask sil to turn the music down at one point in the day as we were putting the finishes to the meal and kids were running riot... and it was fine. TV remained switched off all day, thank goodness.

With 39 years in the UK, traditions seemed a bit thin on the ground- with many (too...) families watching crap on TV all day

If you want your Christmas to be different- make it happen. Just do it - they might even enjoy it. Or just see them for dinner on Christmas eve (as per Swiss tradition) and have the 25th on your own. Why be a victim or a martyr?
I'll agree that there is a bit of weirdness going on around here!

As for a short visit, that's not really feasible. They're 3 1/2 hours away, not across the street!

The presents were one small doll house (really small, actually), and a small painting set, a sweater, some chocolate, and a couple of books each. Hardly overboard, even for the most old-fashioned among us!

We did try imposing a more blended Christmas one year, with stuffed birds (turducken, actually) and pie, but that didn't go over well. We're very big on no TV, so that's not part of the "tradition."

No victims or martyrs here-just the run-of-the-mill expats trying to make mixed families work...
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Old 01.01.2015, 15:08
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Re: ugh, bah humbug

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Your Christmas sounds lovely and all, but I think mine is the bestest:

I stay in my pijamas aaalll day (shower optional), eat and watch tv

Top that
Wait, I thought that was for New Year's Day!
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Old 01.01.2015, 15:13
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Re: ugh, bah humbug

Well, at least you didn't get food poisoning for Christmas, from your mother-in-law's cooking, like my entire family did.

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Old 01.01.2015, 15:16
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Re: ugh, bah humbug

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Well, at least you didn't get food poisoning for Christmas, from your mother-in-law's cooking, like my entire family did.

Thank youing you doesn't seem quite right in the circumstances. I wish there was a commiseration button
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Old 01.01.2015, 15:42
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Re: ugh, bah humbug

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You were lucky to get away with raclette. Everyone in the butcher's queue ahead of me today was collecting their order of horse.
Five or six years ago, two of my sisters and their families came to visit from the US.

My wife thought that we should really make something special, so horse filet it was.

My sister still talks about the Christmas she was fed raw pony!

And one of my daughter's biggest complaints about life in LA is that they don't sell horse meat.

Tom
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Old 01.01.2015, 16:06
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Re: ugh, bah humbug

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Five or six years ago, two of my sisters and their families came to visit from the US.

My wife thought that we should really make something special, so horse filet it was.

My sister still talks about the Christmas she was fed raw pony!

And one of my daughter's biggest complaints about life in LA is that they don't sell horse meat.

Tom
Yikes! I think I would have been scarred for life! I think it's actually illegal to sell horse meat in the US.

I know it's common to eat it here, but for someone who was raised in a culture where it would be considered very bizarre and taboo... well...

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Old 01.01.2015, 16:17
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Re: ugh, bah humbug

Well, I'd say insensitive, to be honest. When we have guests we always make sure we find out about their likes and dislikes- and would never cook for them anything they had an aversion to- although we do try to include new foods and local specialities. Woudln't dream of serving them anything that would make them feel uncomfortable, like tripe, or kidneys- or indeed horse if unless we'd discussed it with them. Common courtesy, I'd say.

I choose not to eat horse- and our friends respect that. Last night we had Fondue Chinoise with some friends and neighbours, and both beef and horse were served separately- so people could make their choice. We once went to friends who served us steak, and then he giggled and said 'did you enjoy it?' 'delicious, I replied' and he laughed and said 'ahahaha it was horse, lalala'. I was quite annoyed at being tricked and made a joke off- still a very good friend, of course, as we have been since we were toddlers- but for many it would have been a true breaker. I wouldn't ever do something like that to anyone- surely you knew, even if your wife did not for cultural reasons- that your sister would not feel comfortable with eating horse. So why???
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Old 01.01.2015, 18:07
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Re: ugh, bah humbug

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Wait, I thought that was for New Year's Day!
You got me there. I spend the whole 2 weeks like this, with short visits to Coop and bathroom breaks...
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  #32  
Old 01.01.2015, 18:29
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Re: ugh, bah humbug

It was the opposite for hubby and me, we visited family back home in the UK for a week.
To make life easier for my sisters and parents, we stayed in a local hotel, borrowed a car from my husband's brother, and helped ferry my parents around as well as taking them out to their favourite pub for a meal.
We helped to prepare, cook, serve and clear up Christmas dinner (there were 15 of us).
We are veggies, and my elder sister and her husband cooked a veggie main course for us, which was amazing!
We all bought bottles of wine etc, and generally we all did our bit.
We had a great time, everyone was happy, from grandparents to children and dog!
Saying that, it's nice to be back for a rest.
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Old 01.01.2015, 18:36
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Re: ugh, bah humbug

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It was the opposite for hubby and me, we visited family back home in the UK for a week.
To make life easier for my sisters and parents, we stayed in a local hotel, borrowed a car from my husband's brother, and helped ferry my parents around as well as taking them out to their favourite pub for a meal.
We helped to prepare, cook, serve and clear up Christmas dinner (there were 15 of us).
We are veggies, and my elder sister and her husband cooked a veggie main course for us, which was amazing!
We all bought bottles of wine etc, and generally we all did our bit.
We had a great time, everyone was happy, from grandparents to children and dog!
Saying that, it's nice to be back for a rest.
Glad you enjoyed yourself and all that, but what do you mean back for a rest???? Those spammers won't ban themselves, you know, and we were working our arses off since you left
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Old 01.01.2015, 18:40
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Re: ugh, bah humbug

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I think it's actually illegal to sell horse meat in the US.
Only in California, not the US.

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Well, I'd say insensitive, to be honest. When we have guests we always make sure we find out about their likes and dislikes- and would never cook for them anything they had an aversion to-
Sorry, but I never consult with guests before deciding what to prepare, I'm not running a restaurant.

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Woudln't dream of serving them anything that would make them feel uncomfortable, like tripe, or kidneys- or indeed horse if unless we'd discussed it with them.
Never come to dinner then, as you risk being served all of the above.

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surely you knew, even if your wife did not for cultural reasons- that your sister would not feel comfortable with eating horse.
No, I didn't, how would I?

Tom
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Old 01.01.2015, 19:08
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Re: ugh, bah humbug

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And one of my daughter's biggest complaints about life in LA is that they don't sell horse meat.

Tom
They most cetainly do! It comes in jumbo portions usualy with 4 legs and hair though
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Old 01.01.2015, 19:15
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Re: ugh, bah humbug

At my wedding, my aunt grabbed a big piece of lamb ham, and was wolfing it down until my FIL asked her "how do you like the lamb's ham". Some of my family have eating preferences that are almost at the level of eating disorders. Life is too short. I can't remember if I've had horse, but anyway.

So, my question is how is feeding someone something they've not eaten before any more insensitive than telling someone to "make their own holiday" absent an understanding of family dynamics. Sometimes you can only complain.

Happy New Year anyway. I'm happy to see the ass end of holiday season.
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Old 01.01.2015, 19:36
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Re: ugh, bah humbug

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Sorry for being unclear-the in-laws don't like presents or music, so the first part was from their point of view. We did have presents (too many, they think) and music (too loud, apparently). My traditions are deemed to tacky, theirs are...uh.,.complaining anout mine?

Just book a hotel room for theme
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Old 01.01.2015, 19:49
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Re: ugh, bah humbug

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Yikes! I think I would have been scarred for life! I think it's actually illegal to sell horse meat in the US.

I know it's common to eat it here, but for someone who was raised in a culture where it would be considered very bizarre and taboo... well...


http://weeklyworldnews.com/headlines...le-across-u-s/




My guess is The slogan 'I am hungry like horse " will change " I am hungry for a horse"
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Old 01.01.2015, 20:33
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Re: ugh, bah humbug

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You call it victimising or martyrising yourself. I call it being sensitive to others and what they might want. Yes, its a thoughtfulness that is not being shown back towards me but when was that ever an excuse for bad behaviour?

And before you ask, I can align my actions with what others might want but still not like what I am doing. I see no dichotomy there. Just honesty that I chose to not divulge to persons whom it would otherwise upset or anger.

Edit: reading this over it came out as rather bad tempered for which I apologise. But it does not change what i am trying to say - and that is that in our circumstances to do something different, to leave this person out of our family at this time would cause her a lot of anger and upset and this would only continue to rebound in different ways upon us. So it's not martyrising but making the best of a bad situation, taking all things and everyone into account. Your version is too simplistic.
Totally agree about very close relatives and mother-in-laws and I did acknowledge that in an earlier post, with my sympathy and empathy.

The people I am talking about, and not on EF but around me here, and on another expat Forum full of older people in another country- are those who invite the same people, more distant relatives , neighbours and other expats- year in, year out- but then go on and one about what a pain they are. Why on earth do they invite them again and again, is my point.

On this thread, a few posters seemed to indicate the Christmas event, traditions, food, music- were totally out of their hands- and I am saying that perhaps there is a way of regaining some control for next time. The Swiss traditionally celebrate with dinner on 24th- so sacrifice that and then enjoy the 25th doing what you want, with whom you want- (which is clearly not possible if parents and pils/mils or fils come from afar- but would be totally possible with Swiss in laws.

Did say too that we do cook local foods and delicacies for guests- but if we know someone is 'funny' with offal- or comes from a cultural or religious background which may make some foods difficult or impossible to eat- we always cook conservatively when they arrive, and discuss any future meals with something like 'thinking about cooking with such ans such tomorrow' and see the reaction and adjust accordingly. Tom, I thought you were talking about your sister here- you must have been aware that she is fond of horses in a different way to you, and that horse meat is not the 'norm' where you and she come from, surely?

Last edited by Odile; 01.01.2015 at 21:18.
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Old 01.01.2015, 21:11
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Re: ugh, bah humbug

I find it sad that so many people feel pressured and misunderstood because of the different traditions amongst families. I only had the pleasure of having my side of the family here once. We celebrated Swiss Christmas on the 24th with Fondue Chinoise and British with the full monty dinner on the 25th.

Both sides found merit and negatives in each others traditions but respected the differences. I don't know how I'd feel if I had to do it year after year though. Traditions are anchored so deeply within us it's hard to let go or embrace the new.
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