In preparing for hosting the Christmas dinner for the Hogues, Jeff and I have been having a pretty consistent back-and-forth argument about the particulars of the party. I guess it's because we came from two very different backgrounds as far as hosting parties and holiday celebrations are concerned. Jeff's family was always potluck and paper plates. Mine was good china and planned menus. Neither are right and neither are wrong, but it makes bringing it together for a single party a bit of a challenge.
When I was growing up, most of the family didn't have to bring anything to dinner. I'm sure a part of this is practicality and the fact that most of us were coming from a little ways off. And really, who wants to worry about cooking and packing and bringing food over when you have kids on Christmas morning? By that same token, if you're going to be close by and I need you to pick up something on your way over or you have a famous something that you can make pretty easily and bring with you, I will gladly accept it. But for the most part, if you are more than 5 miles away and coming over to my house for a meal, if you ask me what to bring, I will tell you "Nothing".
Now, in an effort at full disclosure, I will say that there is a self-serving motivation to this (besides giving me something to plan, research, and prepare) and that is the fact that I am picky, so when I am preparing everything I know what's in it and if I will eat it or not! I am very accommodating of special requests, I just have to know about them!
As we prepared for this blessed event, I was prepared for this question because I knew it was coming. I delegated the ham to my Mother-in-law. That was easy enough. For everyone else, my standard answer was "dessert, bread, or tea" since I figured those were the things we couldn't have enough of!