I’ve never had patience for big family gatherings, probably because I grew up celebrating holidays with just my parents. That helped keep planning and bickering to a minimum. I have particularly happy memories of Thanksgiving, enjoying a humble but delicious meal and watching The Twilight Zone marathon throughout the day.
This year, thanks to the contentious election, I’ve come across several articles offering tips on how to survive the holiday with relatives. While I get that family stress is real, and kept my own visits home as an adult to a minimum, it is a bit sad that we need instruction guides on how to navigate a meal without suffering a nervous breakdown. Winning an argument or criticizing someone else’s viewpoint is more important to some than recognizing common bonds and accepting the imperfections in all of us. (That being said, I do not believe toxic family members should get a free pass; repair relationships where you can but move on when necessary.)
Over the last several years I have been preoccupied with family caregiving, and I witnessed the best and worst from my parents, and from myself. For those who are grieving the loss of a loved one, the holidays are a mixed bag of emotions. I am grateful for the memories of simply, happy Thanksgiving meals with my family, and I hope that all of you find those moments this week with your family and friends.
2 responses to “Memories of humble, yet happy Thanksgiving meals”
After having to drive 100 to 1,200 miles on any given holiday, I am so grateful to be living closer to my family now. Yesterday, there were a few snide comments made by some, but it’s their personality profile. I try to chalk it up as who they are and move on. But, like you said, I don’t put up with toxic stuff. In fact, I found it toxic when everyone expected me to travel every year and no one wanted to travel my way. So, I had stopped doing it when I lived in Florida. Now, I have around 20 miles to travel, and my family is willing to make that trip here sometimes.
On a somewhat unrelated note, my mom finally agreed to move into a senior living community complex. They have different levels of care. She is going into the independent living level, but they still clean her apartment, change her sheets and offer meals. I’m so grateful. It also cuts her distance from us in half. Instead of 30 miles, it’s now 15. She moves in February. Not that you’re interested in that, but I know you understand the worry. I feel a sense of relief.
So glad you are closer to family now, definitely makes the holidays easier. And that is wonderful news about your mother!