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Wife wants to take back holiday cooking because husband's plan isn't 'special.' AITA?

Wife wants to take back holiday cooking because husband's plan isn't 'special.' AITA?


Cooking holiday meals for the family is a massive job that takes years of experience to do well. Some houses are very collaborative, while others it's a one person show. In this post a woman was too busy to take on the holiday meal this year, so her husband offered to take over. Things did not go as planned (although maybe they went as expected). Here's her story...

I cook Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners every year for my husband, his family, and our kid, and have for 16 years. I put a lot of love, planning, and effort into making it a really special day.

This year, between work, parenting, and everything else, I’m tired and I don’t want to cook Thanksgiving. I went to him and asked if we could just go to a nice restaurant instead. To my surprise, he said he’d handle it.

However, even cooking a simple Thanksgiving meal requires forethought, like getting the frozen turkey in the fridge to defrost multiple days in advance. NOW is the time to pick up some items. I don’t know if he knows what he signed up for.

I started asking when he was planning on doing his grocery run and what dishes he was planning to serve. He just dodged the question and said he’d handle it. He has a habit of underestimating tasks and rushing last minute.

I finally was like, “Look, why don’t we work together and start planning?” He admitted he was only going to cook a simple meal of turkey breast, mashed potatoes, and broccoli. That’s it.

Basically, I said that’s not really a special holiday dinner and I wouldn’t have agreed to that had I know that’s what he meant. I said I’d be happy to work together, and balance simple like he wants, and special like I want. I suggested turkey, potatoes, packet gravy, box stuffing, pre-made mac and cheese, canned cranberry sauce, broccoli, rolls, and a store made pie.

He got really defensive and made it about him versus me, very black and white (your way or my way), his offer isn’t good enough to me, I’m just trying to get my way. When I explained no, that’s not what I mean, he insisted I did.

I cannot imagine family showing up and being served a very simple meal like that, it’s just bad holiday hosting. Maybe coordinating a potluck would be okay, but he wasn’t doing that. We already committed to hosting them. AITA?

From the comments:

mooseandsquirrel78 writes:

YTA. If you don't want to cook the dinner then you don't get a say in what is served. Stop treating your husband like he's a naughty 14 year old.

Golfnpickle writes:

Let him do it. Go put your feet up & quit micro managing him. He might surprise you.

TheRaccoonEmpress OP responded:

He served us a meatloaf that was raw in the middle once and said “I followed the instructions (shrug)”

Golfnpickle writes:

Maybe he’s improved. Give him a chance. Give ya’ll & family something to chuckle about later in life.

TheRaccoonEmpress OP responded:

This was two weeks ago.

well-thereitis writes:

You cook the entire thing yourself every year? He never chips in? This extended family doesn’t bring dishes/show up early to help cook? That’s whacky to me but regardless NTA.

TheRaccoonEmpress OP responded:

People help when I ask/direct, but yeah, it’s usually my big thing and I usually enjoy doing it. I feel really accomplished at the end.

PDK112 writes:

Why not just step back and let him handle everything? If he fails, he fails. If he asks for help, tell him no. You are going to sit back and watch the Thanksgiving Day Parade, or read a book. Relax. If any guests say anything, let them know that your husband insisted on handling the dinner this year.

Perhaps he will appreciate the hard work that you put into hosting the dinner every year.

TheRaccoonEmpress OP responded:

I will definitely be on the receiving end of judgment from family for that.

JullabyBye writes:

They raised him, I don't see why you'd want to impress them, it's not like they did an impressive job. Just tell all the guests now that hubby dearest is cooking because he's seen you slave away in the kitchen for the past 16 years, knows how tired you currently are and as he is an amazing and capable human, he is going to do his very best.

And then let him fail. If a grownass man can't adult, then it reflects badly on him, not on his partner.

TheRaccoonEmpress OP responded:

Part of his family is first generation American and they don’t function like that

hotrod58 writes:

NTA. Does he do other things to contribute to the household besides working?

TheRaccoonEmpress OP responded:

He does but it was a long battle to feel like I’m not the default parent and household quartermaster

SheiB123 writes:

YTA. You asked him to take it over and he agreed. You cannot complain about what he does when you wanted him to take it over.

TheRaccoonEmpress OP responded:

I didn’t ask him to take over. I wanted to go out but he was insistent he could handle it. I didn’t expect an elaborate feast. There are plenty of easy options.

Powerful_You_8342 writes:

There are lots of places that cater for Thanksgiving. Grocery stores. Restaurants like Cracker Barrel. Next year, either let him handle it or give him a phone number to call.

He's NTA, but neither are you. Just sounds like poor communication.

TheRaccoonEmpress OP responded:

He’s not okay with that. It was 100% his way or I had to do it all.

Either-Ticket-9238 writes:

Because he doesn’t care about your feelings like you care about his.

TheRaccoonEmpress OP responded:


BenttSaffron writes:

I'll be downvoted but YTA. You asked him to do it, he's doing it. If his idea of hosting is different, then that is what it is. The idea of having people over isn't about what kind of spread you put on the table, it is about the connection. He is doing something, not nothing.

I am not American, so I don't do Thanksgiving, but we do do other holidays. I have learned that it's not about showing off my cooking or hosting skills - it is about being with people I love. It is about the conversation, sharing memories and being together.

Some of our best family gatherings have been where the food is simple (think cheese platter) and we just spend time.

pimadee writes:

Order it all from somewhere near you. Whole Foods etc

TheRaccoonEmpress OP responded:

Deadline’s passed

hairylegz writes:

Congrats OP you got played. You didn't want to deal with the Thanksgiving meal and now you are dealing with the Thanksgiving meal.

TheRaccoonEmpress OP responded:

I know :(

Sources: Reddit
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