AAAAHHHHH freeloaders

Having spent the last 10 years hosting whichever members of my family have decided they want a freebie with fine food and entertainment over Christmas and at any other time, including this past year, I asked my sisters to make sure they took their turn for Xmas 2012, not for us - we have already made firm other plans but for an elderly family member,..... interestingly both already "have other plans" see me as an old harpy for even raising the question so early and don't seem to think there has been anything wrong in either one of them inviting themselves over to us whenever they fancied a free holiday...... they have now both gone whinging to ther person in question, the last thing I wanted, and they have with huge sighs told me they never want to be a bother......

Is it just me or do we really have to be rude to stop being taken advantage off, and how can I try and stop being seen as the villan of the piece when we do just say "NO"???

Yes they may love you less...but what about you and what you want?
Is important.

It is so selfish of friends and family who use us to come on holiday and

have a freebie.

Time to weed out those who care and those who don't...and for those who don't goodbye.

very good chris but the "rules" above are all really common courtesy/sense actions. at least they are with all of our guests but maybe we are the fortunate ones.....or......ours are mainly ex-services.

We are all too polite!


A fortune cookie once yielded a prize...........

"Don't bother to explain because your real friends won't care and your enemies won't believe you anyway!"

So............ don't explain...and don't worry! Easier said than done, but in time, you'll sleep easier!

Bonne chance!

hit it on the nail my friend, on the nail!

It doesn't happen that way though does ? I mean, just take the freeloaders point of view, ---Hey I'm Going to France for a freebie ------ then think ----------- why on earth would someone , born in the U.K. want to come back home for a ???? HOLIDAY !!!! ------- and as far the old folk are concerned, it will be good for them to get away over christtmas coz we will be enjoying ourselves and won't have time to visit. And if you ask for help --then girl --- you are way above your station --- you moved to France didn't, ? not our problem.

Mine was also initially a nightmare...I wasnt Princess Anne so was never going to be good enough.. we had inlaws for Xmas for 25 years...with no more than 4 xmas's provided by their other (5 kids!) but worked for us...I pulled out all the stops...worked my backside off...always made it as near perfect as I could...they always came for a kids loved having grandparents as Xmas...and eventually we became great friends...and before mother in law died she said I was as close as any daughter could be....wouldnt have changed it for the world...

I do sympathise...I would be inclined to continue where you left off...say you all need to make sure that said elderly relative is taken care of and that as you have undertaken (x number of years of providing Xmas for one and all) that it is only fair the others take a turn....or maybe ask when its your turn to come and stay with them for Xmas? good luck!

I do

Mother-in- law sweet actually, simpering husband who insists on acting like Jeeves for the week... well thats another story.

I am sorry Nikki,my mother-in-law was a nightmare and I just hope that your husband stands up for you.

I find it funny that as finances get tighter we seem to have people beating a path to the door this year. visitors are ok but I do find the whole thing a bit like childbirth how soon you forget, the screaming, The pain, holding your husbands hand too tight and swearing never again you bastard never again! And in all fairness thats just the effect his Mother always has when she comes to stay.

Liz I could write a book on visiorswho come for free holiday, "to see us". I found a good way to say no. I suggested I would love to see them but unfortunately could only fit them in for the weekend. Not actually saying no, naturally this did not suit them. I am still talking to them but have not had a visit since. Families are more difficult Good luck.

I must be the odd man out here. I miss my friends and love it when they come to stay. I was a bit glum when an old friend cancelled her trip here last week. But I don't take on more than I can manage.

I did find that when I sold my home in New York and needed a place to stay until I found another apartment, absolutely no one offered me a bed and I ended up renting a room in the Bronx.

I put this down to my being single and pretty much always enjoying the companionship of others, whereas most people seem to have stressful and demanding lives.


Excellent, Nikki! Little mantra many of us will be muttering when the next email arrives from friends looking for a bed.

If you come for a day, Its a damn long way

If you come for two bring a bottle with you

If you come for three you cook not me

If its for four you can help out a bit more

If you come for five, make sure you can drive

If you are still here now, No matter how hard I cough!

remember guests are like fish, three days they go orf

I guess I should add that I have three independent buildings, so I can carry on with whatever I am doing if I am busy. My guests really don't impinge and I love having them here.

After a couple of years of seeing our money draining away on guests who simply (in the main) did not realize the scale of our spend, we decided to tell everyone the truth...

it costs us around £300 per visit for about a week... food, wine, petrol, electric, hot water, laundry etc. (its probably more in reality)

We told everyone we get around 10 visits a year so that's £3000 or around £300 per month. Most of them where shocked and simply never thought about the scale of it. its the scale that's important.

On the back of this we explained its untenable for us and all of them agreed and some said "We could not do that"

This positioned it for us to ask everyone for a contribution of £100 (e125) plus petrol and its never a problem since. OK the £100 doesn't cover it all but it makes a big difference and we don't feel like we are taken for granted. Especially when they fill a tank of petrol also.