I love most holidays. So hating one feels strange to me. And hating Thanksgiving in particular always makes people look down their noses at me. “How can you hate Thanksgivng?! Don’t you understand what it stands for??”
Well, yes. I know what it’s supposed to be about. Unfortunately, it never seems as though people celebrate it for the right reasons. And no, I’m not getting into what I think the right reasons are. Those will vary, and none of them are wrong exactly. It’s just that to me…
It seems as though Thanksgiving is one of those times where you see family that you haven’t seen all year. And there is usually a reason for that! The great-aunt who has nothing good to say about anyone, and whines for hours about all her medical issues. She goes into excruciating detail about her last surgery, and glares and raises her voice if anyone dares to interrupt her.
Or maybe you have an uncle who does nothing but drink and stuff his face and complain that there is nothing good on tv.
The family members who want to look like they are loving, and want to spend the day with their family. But they really want to go out shopping instead. And rant and rave about the ‘selfish people’ who decided not to be open on Thanksgiving. Because, those people don’t have family and therefore don’t deserve to be able to have a day off to spend it with them.
Most of those aren’t true for my family, which is wonderful. However I still avoid family gatherings every year on Thanksgiving. Why? The last one I went to was 2 years ago. “It will be fun!” Dad said. “There’s lots of food and it’s like a party!” I was told.
I reluctantly agree to go, and take my Kindle along ‘just in case.’ We get to the house it’s being held at, and find… Five Hundred People gathered there for Thanksgiving. Of which I know all of three.
I tried mingling for a while, but everyone already had their cliques. The people they knew best and they pretty much stayed in those groups. Supposedly I was related to at least half of these people, which ones? I still have not a clue. So I sat with my Kindle and started reading The Hobbit. I got 2/3 of the way through it by the time we finally left for the night.
This is pretty much typical for ‘family’ Thanksgiving. Huge parties filled with almost no one I can actually recognize. And people always make me feel bad for saying I don’t want to go. But honestly, that isn’t my idea of a good time and so I skip it and stay home or do other things instead.
When I was living nearer to Mom instead of Dad, it was nearly as bad. Even in my mid-20’s I was relegated to the ‘kids table’, while my slightly younger cousins got to sit at the ‘adults table.’ Why? I still have no idea.
The crowds were smaller than the gathering here in Texas. Nowhere near the 500 of 2 years ago, but there would still be 50-100 people there. Most of which I would have paid someone to let me avoid.
I do love my family, don’t get me wrong. But only the ones I’ve actually met and interacted with. Some random cousin that I’m barely even related to and whom I never see except on Thanksgiving? Not so much.
So there is my anti-Thanksgiving rant. Does anyone else hate Thanksgiving? Spend your holiday hiding somewhere with a good book or a movie? Or do you love Thanksgiving? Have small, happy family gatherings?