How do you deal with an elderly father who won't participate in holiday dinners that involve other people?

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My boyfriend suggested that we do a big "family" Thanksgiving dinner at his house with his parents and my father and my handicapped sister. I mentioned this to my father and he said he was done "trucking around" for holiday dinners, that he did that for years and was done with it. The last time there was a big family holiday dinner was 30 years ago. This is a chance for him to meet my boyfriends parents and he says he doesn't want to meet anyone. My boyfriend already has solidified plans with his parents to come over. Since my father refuses to, I now am cooking two Thanksgiving dinners - one at my father's and one at mine and my boyfriend's home. My father has now invited his brother down and said he doesn't know what time he'll arrive. I told my dad he needs to let his brother know dinner will be served at 1PM so that I can finish cooking for dinner at 5 PM at home. My father said, "well he'll get here when he gets here" and "THIS is your family" and I pointed out how my boyfriend and his parents are my future family and I really want him to meet them. Then he switched topics and said I don't do anything for him besides helping him pay his bills. He said I don't clean his house. I offered many times to hire a cleaning service. I told him I work 45 hours a week. I'm not sure how to handle him and I'm dreading Christmas and how he's going to be for that. He's 69, is extremely mobile, but won't do anything other than complain he has no money and watch TV.

Answers 1 to 6 of 6
I would not cook two dinners -your dad and his brother can eat TV dinners or whatever and you can spend the day with your boyfriend and his family and just tell his family what happened if you wish or whatever-he is being childish-if you give in you will be doing that for many years to come-my late husband always told people I did not do much for him-some people believed him but the people who knew me did not believe him.
Top Answer
bluebird, your dad sounds like a pouty little boy to me, and I'd treat him as such. He needs a 'time out' apparently, and if that means sitting at home alone then he's more than welcome to do just that. Why can't you circumvent your dad by calling your uncle to invite him to spend Thanksgiving with you and your future family, then he can go see pouty afterwards if he wants.
Does he think you should cook for him and your uncle because you're female? Are both of their spatula wrists broken? You would think two grown men could scrap themselves a dinner together. One idea -- Cracker Barrell makes excellent Thanksgiving dinners. Pick them up a couple of plates. Sometimes I would eat at Cracker Barrell with friends for Thanksgiving. It was excellent food. They can join you at your boyfriend's or they can eat Cracker Barrell -- their choice.
I definately would not cook two meals - ridiculous. My MIL does the same thing. We are volunteering to bring her over a plate of food. If she doesn't want that, she can heat up a TV dinner. It is her choice to sit alone. I wonder if this is common? Our daughter is getting married in the spring. Already pretty sure she will back out of going to the wedding. I think there is some anxiety about being in a large group.
I would just tell your dad that you understand how he feels about Thanksgiving, then order a nice Thanksgiving dinner for two (he and his brother) from Boston Market or a similar facsimile with reheating instructions. Then go to your boyfriends house and be done with it. Don't get into house cleaning now, if he brings it up say "dad if you are serious about it we will talk about this after the holidays.
if the meal idea is not to his liking say "invitation to my boyfriends house still stands" then end the discussion.
All excellent advise...

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