Girl, I have so been in your shoes. When you and your husband said your vows, you pledged loyalty to eachother. You did not pledge to cousins, sisters, in laws, aunts and whoever else demands your time and money. Of course this is a strain, it would be on anyone. For your extended family not to have the common sense to realize this is down right selfish is crazy! Your mother in law sounds like an over bearing control freak who will have you guys at her disposal if you let her. (I am sure she has her good points, just not seeing any in this situation.) I can say this bc I have a mother like her. Mine dictates where eveyone will sit, what we will eat, what time and what we'll wear, I am not kidding. The next time this ridiculous invite comes across the airwaves, respectfully decline and say you will catch them next time. You do need to make/have those relationships with extended family, but not 6 times a year. It is way out of line for them to expect this. Now, prepare yourself, the first time you do this, there will be tears, drama, near nervous break downs, but be strong, she WILL live. Not only will she survive, BUT she will began the process of realizing, understanding, and respecting the very simple verse in Genesis, that states "for the reason of marriage, a man shall leave his mother and father and cleve unto his wife." Really, in Biblical times, many times when a child would marry, mommy and daddy never saw them again. This is a completely natural process that God designed us for. Don't you know people who have their parents still dictating what happens in their marriages? They are a mess. Anywho, there is an underlying message you must send her in order for her to respect your marriage or you will struggle with this for years. That is that you and he love her, but she is not the boss. She was at one time, but she got demoted on your wedding day. Quite obviously, she is accustomed to running the show, so this will be difficult at first, you guys will be the most horrible, ungrateful children, neice, nephew, sister in law, whatever. She may even cancel the whole event, don't laugh, we had this happen at Christmas one time. BUT, I can say from experience, they will get over it, they will still love you, and I guarantee you, will be invited "next time." Amazingly, our marriage actually inspired other family members to be more loyal to their spouse than extended family. The end result is, thankfully, our parents, etc., respect us, our marriage, our bond and loyalty to each other. They know that we will come when we can, but our priority is our marriage and child. It did take a couple of dramas, but it will work out. A final note, it is rude to ask people to bring anything. The only time this is socially acceptable is if the attendee offers to bring something. Maybe for Christmas, or better yet, her next birthday, get her a book about manners. Stick to your guns, you will be glad you did.