As much as I love the holidays, it seems there is always some family drama as Thanksgiving and the holidays approach. My husband and I are in trouble this year because we are not eating Thanksgiving dinner with his side of the family. We will visit the family, but we are not actually sitting down to eat with the family.
We never get any stress or anxiety from my folks about the holidays. My mom said she and my dad had to deal with that for so many years, they vowed they’d never put that kind of pressure on us. My husband and I are in our forties, we do not have children, and we have the freedom to go where we please. Last year we tried to spend Thanksgiving with both sets of family. We shared lunch with my family and dinner with my husband’s side of the family. It was exhausting and we were overstuffed from eating two dinners.
Both my husband’s parents have passed away and this time of year is bittersweet for a variety of reasons for some of the family members, so that alone offers some underlying tension. You throw in some intense personalities and some alcohol into an already tense situation and it’s even more uncomfortable. We do love the family, but we feel we deserve the same love and respect that we show to them. My mom felt too much was made of our choice to do something different. My family is not upset. My parents said that there are two sides to the family and we also have an extended family, so no one should be upset about the way we choose to spend our holiday.
My husband and I have elected to spend Thanksgiving with dear friends of ours who are like family. They are warm, wonderful people who are loving and kind and do not create any tension in our lives. It also happens our friend’s birthday falls on Thanksgiving, so we want to be there to celebrate her birthday. I am making a special dessert. Along with turkey, she is making lamb to celebrate her Greek heritage. She is a wonderful cook and we cherish the time we spend with out dear friends. Her husband once told us if there was anything we wanted after he died, to speak up now. The only think we truly want is the gift of time. Material things cannot measure to the memories and times shared with wonderful people in our lives.
Other people have told me they are experiencing little dramas within their families. There are hurt feelings, demanding relatives, family conflicts, and the holidays aren’t even here yet. Some people have indicted they are glad they live out of town and are spared the tension of Thanksgiving and Christmas family get-togethers.
Every Thanksgiving, until the day he passed away, my grandpa reminded us all of the many things we had to be thankful for. We had a delicious meal, a warm place to be, and a table of family and friends that we all loved surrounding our table. It is this time of year I miss my grandpa the most. He had a way of always putting things into perspective.
If everyone would be a little kinder and a little nicer every day, especially around the holidays, the world would be a much gentler, loving place to be.