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MIL wants to bring something


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#1 Three Of Hearts

Posted 05 December 2012 - 04:06 PM

We're doing DH's family Christmas at my house this year and MIL has said her and my SIL both want to know what to bring.  SIL asked if she should bring a 'salad or a sweet'.

The thing is, this is Christmas lunch.  Most things will be prepared and in the oven before they arrive (we have a hot lunch every year), and I have a pudding for dessert (and yes they all eat pudding).  So there is no need for sides or salads or desserts IYKWIM.

All I've come up with is ham!  And maybe some lollies for the table.  Apart from that I am stumped!  I would normally make custard for the pudding but I know MIL normally uses a carton from the supermarket, so maybe I could ask her to bring one of those and just use that?

And they are anti-alcohol so I can't even suggest they bring that!!

Any suggestions?!  I really don't want to offend her as normally Christmas is at her house and we leave all the planning up to her.

#2 Red nut

Posted 05 December 2012 - 04:10 PM

Cheese and dips to nibble on before.....

#3 Handsfull

Posted 05 December 2012 - 04:10 PM

Tell her to bring the custard, some lollies for the table and maybe some christmas bonbons.

That way at least she is bringing something useful....

#4 Amy 1976

Posted 05 December 2012 - 04:12 PM

How about asking her to bring some sparkling apple juice? The non drinkers in my family like to have it in a champagne flute with lunch. Otherwise after dinner mints or nuts would be nice.

#5 Lou**

Posted 05 December 2012 - 04:13 PM

We always have nibbles on the table before during and after Christmas lunch - maybe a cheese plate or fruit platter, some nuts or chocolates?

#6 aprilrainatxmas

Posted 05 December 2012 - 04:15 PM

Maybe some nice non alcoholic wine, or grapetiser, appletiser.

Let them bring a dish if it makes them feel more included, you can always send some mixed leftovers home with them in it.

#7 IslandMummy

Posted 05 December 2012 - 04:15 PM

Nibbles...white Christmas, shortbread, rum balls
Dinner rolls or as you said ham
What about making a non alcoholic punch or other "soft drinks"

Edited by IslandMummy, 05 December 2012 - 04:16 PM.


#8 qak

Posted 05 December 2012 - 04:18 PM

Cheese platter for after lunch?

#9 Julie3Girls

Posted 05 December 2012 - 04:18 PM

Nibbles - either savoury stuff, or something sweet.
Something to drink.
An alternate dessert - even if everyone does eat pudding, some of them might like an alternative. It's really not a big deal to have 2 desserts.
Some fresh christmas fruit - cherries, plums, peaches.

My family actually share things like the meat - my mum brings pork, I cook chickens, my grandmother contributes some ham. Mum cooks hers putting it early in the morning, and brings it over, my oven if full with a chicken and vegies.

Is there anything that she normally dose that is her "speciality"? Or something she particularly likes?

Edited by Julie3Girls, 05 December 2012 - 04:20 PM.


#10 YeahbutNah

Posted 05 December 2012 - 04:22 PM

I like the cheese idea.  Or a fruit platter/ bowl of cherries?

Or you could get them to do one of the hot sides - say a potato gratin that you can reheat in the oven.

#11 PrincessPeach

Posted 05 December 2012 - 04:24 PM

The ingredients to make a nice fruit punch to drink!

Add to that some sweets or a fruit platter for the mid afternoon munch time & that is christmas day done!

#12 WithSprinkles

Posted 05 December 2012 - 04:26 PM

We always have multiple desserts and I love it! So I definitely wouldn't mind if there was more on offer than just pudding.

Otherwise, other suggestions:
nibbles/cheese platter
softdrink/juice/mineral water
bon bons/serviettes

#13 ~spirited~

Posted 05 December 2012 - 04:27 PM

Why not just let them bring whatever they want? We do Christmas at MIL/FIL and as well as the hot lunch that MIl makes (roast pork, roast turkey, roast chicken, ham, veggies, potatoes, gravy, white sauce etc) there are salads that are brought along (I usually take a cous cous salad and one of DH's aunties usually makes crispy noodle salad) and lots of desserts (pudding, pavlova, stained glass jelly, chocolate log, fruit platters, and of course custard and ice cream!).

It all gets eaten.

I don't see the fuss.

#14 HRH Countrymel

Posted 05 December 2012 - 04:28 PM

Cherries!  Yum yum Christmas cherries!

Is she a shortbread maker? If so then shortbread.

Something special to drink perhaps?


Just a thought: my family are BIG eaters (some would say gluttons, I say 'festive fare enthusiasts') when Christmas dinner is at my skinny minny sister's house they never have enough to slake our 25th of December gorging needs - Mum and I would always 'bring something' to ensure that the porcine members of the family didn't get forced to subsist on 'regular' sized servings of food!

She and SIL aren't afraid of such a thing happening to them are they?


#15 ~mimo~

Posted 05 December 2012 - 04:29 PM

Drinks/punch (non alcoholic)
Nibblies (sweet/savoury)
Bon bons

#16 The Fright B4 Xmas

Posted 05 December 2012 - 04:41 PM

Everyone has things they like and that define Christmas for them. It doesn't matter how much food other people provide, or whether or not they think an extra dessert or salad is 'necessary'.

In these situations, I tell the other party what I will be providing and tell them to bring anything they would like that they think would complement the meal.

#17 harryhoo

Posted 05 December 2012 - 04:46 PM

What about cherries? We always have a bowl full on the table.

Or maybe some seafood to have as a little starter. We always have a "bucket" of prawns to get the festivities starter.


Or I think sometimes it's nice to have a fresh green salad to go with hot meal just to lighten the meal a little.

Or are they into making chocolate truffles or brownies or pavlova (YUM!) or something. Not everyone in our family are big pudding eaters, so it's nice to have an alternative.

Perhaps just ask them what they'd like to bring and if it fits in with the menu (ie - not a potato salad if you're already having roasted potatoes) just go a long with it. It's nice for them to feel they've contributed.

#18 Missy Shelby

Posted 05 December 2012 - 04:51 PM

QUOTE (PrincessPeach @ 05/12/2012, 05:24 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The ingredients to make a nice fruit punch to drink!

Yum, that is a great idea!

I was going to suggest maybe some home made sweet slices/biscuit e.g. lemon slice, caramel slice, shortbreads to have with coffee and tea after dessert.

#19 Three Of Hearts

Posted 05 December 2012 - 04:56 PM

QUOTE (Julie3Girls @ 05/12/2012, 05:18 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Is there anything that she normally dose that is her "speciality"? Or something she particularly likes?

Umm... garlic bread! roll2.gif Actually I could tell her to bring a french stick!  Thanks I had totally forgotten about the garlic bread until you asked if she had a speciality!  And it's just french stick and supermarket bought garlic butter so they are two easy things she can bring.

QUOTE (~spirited~ @ 05/12/2012, 05:27 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Why not just let them bring whatever they want? We do Christmas at MIL/FIL and as well as the hot lunch that MIl makes (roast pork, roast turkey, roast chicken, ham, veggies, potatoes, gravy, white sauce etc) there are salads that are brought along (I usually take a cous cous salad and one of DH's aunties usually makes crispy noodle salad) and lots of desserts (pudding, pavlova, stained glass jelly, chocolate log, fruit platters, and of course custard and ice cream!).

It all gets eaten.

I don't see the fuss.

Thats not how we do it, so it wouldn't work for us.

QUOTE (countrymel @ 05/12/2012, 05:28 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Just a thought: my family are BIG eaters (some would say gluttons, I say 'festive fare enthusiasts') when Christmas dinner is at my skinny minny sister's house they never have enough to slake our 25th of December gorging needs - Mum and I would always 'bring something' to ensure that the porcine members of the family didn't get forced to subsist on 'regular' sized servings of food!

She and SIL aren't afraid of such a thing happening to them are they?

No they shouldn't be!  They're actually really small eaters.  Once I got told off for serving up birthday cake in portions that were waaaay to big apparently! ddoh.gif

Thanks everyone for the suggestions so far!  I think the non-alcoholic drink is a good one.  MIL normally asks DH to bring a bottle of softdrink so I guess I can turn the table on that one and ask her to do the same.  I think extra nibbles will be a good one too.  They're not cheese and biscuit people but I'm sure she'll bring a lovely bag of twisties or something grin.gif   I like the cherries idea too.  Very festive!

MIL isn't really into making things so it's more ready-bought things she can bring.  So I guess if I give MIL a list of things to buy then she can delegate them out between SIL and the other siblings.

Keep the ideas coming!!!

ETA- And they all have to travel a distance to get to us, so bringing something hot and ready to eat is out of the question

Edited by Allie_D, 05 December 2012 - 05:01 PM.


#20 ~spirited~

Posted 05 December 2012 - 05:02 PM

QUOTE (Allie_D @ 05/12/2012, 05:56 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Thats not how we do it, so it wouldn't work for us.



Where's the fun in that?  wink.gif

#21 Three Of Hearts

Posted 06 December 2012 - 08:06 AM

QUOTE (Ferdinand @ 06/12/2012, 08:54 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'd get them to bring a second dessert.

Couldn't you heat up hot foods at your place upon arrival?

It's sounds like you're being intentionally difficult.


Oh yes, that's it, I'm trying to be difficult!  WTH!!

As I have said above, my MIL and SIL are not into making things, I have all the hot food and other things under control and I am looking for items that can be bought and brought along easily.  MIL would be horrified if I said I had everything done and didn't need her to bring anything, so I am trying to be nice and think of easy things for them to bring.  But please.... turn this into some b**chy stupid thing it's not meant to be. shrug.gif

Edited by Allie_D, 06 December 2012 - 08:08 AM.


#22 unselfish

Posted 06 December 2012 - 08:13 AM

everything sounds too heavy for me, so far. i'd be asking them to bring along light and fresh salads. and or a lovely fruit platter or fruit salad.

eta: tell them they're more than welcome to bring along alcohol for -cough- those of us that do enjoy it.

Edited by unselfish, 06 December 2012 - 08:22 AM.


#23 smultron

Posted 06 December 2012 - 09:40 AM

Sounds a bit like me- control freak!! lol  I find it difficult to delegate but if they are asking then as PP have said, give them things that they will be comfortable to help with- as you've said, garlic bread, a bag of crisps or nuts, a soft drink or non-alcoholic apple cider..

One year my SIL asked what to bring but we have very different ideas of things- I make everything from scratch-well definitely salads on Christmas day.. but I said, oh, maybe a salad.. they turned up with tubs of coleslaw, potato salad and pasta salad from supermarket.. Perhaps your SIL could bring some chocolates for afterwards.. we always have a pudding but we always have at least one other dessert too- like a pavlova and a platter of fruit and berries.. Sounds liek you don't trust them to bring what you want (nice nibbles vs twisties etc)  so if you are specific then you should all be happy- they feel that they are contributing and you still play hostess to a gorgeous feast.  SIL can bring a couple of mangos, a punnet of raspberries, blueberries and some cherries for example then you can make up a fruit platter at your place.

#24 niggles

Posted 06 December 2012 - 09:49 AM

I'm not sure bringing a french stick is going to make her feel like she's contributed. I'd just say yes to whatever dessert or platter she wants to bring and serve two, or serve the platter before or after lunch at the cocktail hour.

#25 Three Of Hearts

Posted 06 December 2012 - 10:18 AM

QUOTE (smultron @ 06/12/2012, 10:40 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Sounds a bit like me- control freak!! lol  I find it difficult to delegate but if they are asking then as PP have said, give them things that they will be comfortable to help with- as you've said, garlic bread, a bag of crisps or nuts, a soft drink or non-alcoholic apple cider..

One year my SIL asked what to bring but we have very different ideas of things- I make everything from scratch-well definitely salads on Christmas day.. but I said, oh, maybe a salad.. they turned up with tubs of coleslaw, potato salad and pasta salad from supermarket.. Perhaps your SIL could bring some chocolates for afterwards.. we always have a pudding but we always have at least one other dessert too- like a pavlova and a platter of fruit and berries.. Sounds liek you don't trust them to bring what you want (nice nibbles vs twisties etc)  so if you are specific then you should all be happy- they feel that they are contributing and you still play hostess to a gorgeous feast.  SIL can bring a couple of mangoes, a punnet of raspberries, blueberries and some cherries for example then you can make up a fruit platter at your place.


See you know where I'm coming from!! My family and DHs family are from different planets.  I'm not saying either is right, they are just very different.  MIL really does put twisties out on the table on Christmas day!  And she does serve garlic bread!  Once we had them all together for Mothers day with strict instructions not to bring anything (because it was their day IYKWIM).  MIL brought out an apple crumble that needed cooking, when I'd already made a huge buffet of cold items so that we could spend the day together without anyone being in the kitchen.

In my perfect world I would tell them all not to bring a thing, and I'd have it all planned out and ready to go before they arrived, but I know that would offend so I am trying to do the right thing.




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