Two years ago, my younger brother refused to allow his family to attend Christmas at Mom's house. It was his house or nothing. It seems he knew better than Mom what she wanted or would enjoy, and would hear of nothing else despite Mom's tears, pleading, and general extreme unhappiness. We did Christmas at our house without them, refusing to give in to emotional blackmail. The gifts that had been already purchased were delivered to his doorstep and left.
Last year, he made Mom promise that this year that she would do Christmas at his house this year before he would allow his family to attend that years Christmas festivities. She agreed, and is sticking by that extortionate agreement.
I cannot bring myself to support an event at which my Mothers attendance is extorted by blackmail. I had initially planned to simply go ahead and do a later dinner at Mom's house and ignore the other event. Regrettably, my guest list is falling apart due to other commitments and various ailments imposed by the fates on some of the intended guests.
Pondering options, I have a 14-15lb Turducken reserved that I've already paid for...but cooking it for just myself seems a bit silly. As does making up the whole Christmas dinner for just myself.
Barring a new set of invitees, I am contemplating other options. Given that attending any event created through blackmail is deeply offensive to me, that rather rules *that* out as an option. It is quite bad enough that such a thing occur and that Mom not only go along with it, but try to make excuses for it.
At this late date expanding my social circle either to garner an invitation elsewhere or alternatively to gather bright shiny new guests seems both a bit self-serving for my tastes and - given my basically introverted nature - a bit unrealistic.
That, I suspect, leaves dining out as a moderately less cheerless choice than staying in for a grilled cheese sandwich.