Exhausted Holiday Hostess

By Amy Dickinson | December 16th, 2023

Guests asking to bring guests is driving her over the edge

candlelight dinner party, by Mykyta Starychenko. Article on exhausted holiday hostess

After years of hosting the holiday gathering, including uninvited guests, this exhausted holiday hostess asks Amy Dickinson for advice.

Dear Amy:

For years our home has been the go-to home for the holidays. We purposely created this sort of environment because we have large families on both sides and a big circle of close friends.

Our “smallest” gatherings are no less than 25 to 30 people.

The problem is that as the years have gone by, and the kids get older, the list has expanded exponentially with the adult children of our close friends wanting to bring their own friends or dates to the gathering.

I am trying not to let it bother me, but I cannot help but get increasingly annoyed with the asking and bringing extra people.

Don’t get me wrong, everyone has a good time and helps, but I just feel it’s RUDE to continue to put me in the position. This Thanksgiving alone, I had SIX additional “can they come” guests I don’t even know. Your thoughts?

– Exhausted

Dear Exhausted:

Understand that each person asking to bring an extra person doesn’t realize that several others have also asked.

There is something of a tradition for people to debut new partners at the Thanksgiving feast, and so if younger family members want to bring a new squeeze to meet the family, it would be hard to say no.

You may have to draw the line with your friends’ adult children bringing extra people.

Want to get even more life tips from Amy? Read more of her advice columns here!

In the tradition of the great personal advice columnists, Chicago Tribune’s Amy Dickinson is a plainspoken straight shooter who relates to readers of all ages. She answers personal questions by addressing issues from both her head and her heart – ranging from an exhausted holiday hostess to dark family secrets and DNA surprises. A solid reporter, Dickinson researches her topics to provide readers with informed opinions and answers. You can email Amy Dickinson at askamy@amydickinson.com or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068.

©2023 by Amy Dickinson

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