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February 5, 2007 / missknowitall

Hosting Hangups

Dear Little Miss,

My younger brother, his wife, and their child live with my Dad.  Every year, for the past 3 years, they host Thanksgiving, but they don’t know how to cook and their house isn’t very comfortable.  We usually end up doing a lot of the cooking (at their request, which we either do ahead of time or in their kitchen, devoid of all normal cooking supplies and utensils).  My husband and I desperately want to host Thanksgiving this year, but 1. we don’t know how to get them on board without any hurting feelings and 2. if they say no, we’ll end up doing Thanksgiving with no guests (as will they!)  Please share your best big-sister-bossing advice!

Dear Wanting To Host,

If you want to avoid having to ask them outright then the answer is an easy one.  About 3 weeks before Thanksgiving go visit them and hide pieces of raw seafood throughout the house, or empty a box of mice in their crawl space.  In a week or two they will be begging you to host Thanksgiving at your house, heck, they may ask to move in all together (Ok, if you can’t tell that I’m being sarcastic then you should never read my advice column!).  Seriously you should just ask them.  The art, here, is how you ask.  Don’t tell them that you are tired of catering their party, or that you can’t find a comfy spot to sit.  Thank them for hosting all these years and then tell them you want to have a turn to pamper them.  Play up the fact that all they will have to do this year is to show up with the green bean casserole and you’ll do the rest.  They can’t be offended if you show them that you are just trying to make their life easier.  If they say “no” to your invitation you are not required to eat your meal alone.  Have guests of your own over to your house, then meet up with your family later in the evening for dessert time (pie is always the best part anyway).  New traditions can become the best traditions.

Save me some pie =)

Miss Knowitall  

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