Thanksgiving is around the corner, many families will gather to celebrate the joyful time of being together. Where the little ones will be watching the parade with Grandma and Grandpa and seeing the big floats go by. Where many will sit around the table, sharing a meal and recounting the joy of being together and how thankful they are to have that Aunt Susie or Uncle Tom in their life. Life would be so grand.
This is a Hallmark illusion
The fact of the matter is that not all families are perfect. Some have uncles and aunts who don’t know where the line ends and that it doesn’t bend for egotistical ideologies during the holidays. Some grandparents want the holidays to be a catered dinner where they are the star of the show, even tho their isn’t an audience to feed them what they want. The illusion of families being perfect for the holidays where every grudge and nasty deed preformed in the year gets put aside for one day is a dream that only a child could conjure up. I like to think when we start our own families that we aspire to this ideal but do not let it takeaway reality of what goes on in the world. Families are not perfect.
I can remember from my own personal experiences of how thanksgiving use to be for my family. It was always a rush to eat so everyone could go up to my uncles for desert and drinks. My mother would be so stressed to cook, clean and be up there that it ruined the holidays for her. She catered to some that would never be grateful for her work like i was. Going to my uncles wasn’t that great either; always stuck at the kids table, always the butt of a joke, never an enjoyable time no matter the holiday. This was coming from a 12 year old kid who could see through the stress that was piled up on my parents to put on a meal just so everyone could go get hammered at a house of nightmares. I still cant stand my family, but i decided that family doesn’t have to mean they are a part of my holidays.
Ever since freshman year of college, we have not invited family over to dinner and we have only gone to one place afterwords, but it is nothing that would leave a stress mark on my mind. We hang out at houses and even with the newest trend of “Friendsgiving” we get to be with friends from near and far to celebrate each other during this time for thanks. Holidays have become more enjoyable since we focused more on who really makes up our family. My mother will always take a moment during the dinner to show the fact that she can finally enjoy the holidays once more, something i think should never be overlooked.
In my opinion, family are the ones who stand by you in the good the bad and the ugly, they are the people who lean on you and you lean right back when needed, they never have to be blood but they damn sure feel like it. This is why we still invite people over. We still have a standing invitation for anyone from either work, school or anywhere in between to join us for a holiday meal if they have no place to go. In the years since some have taken up the offer and really add an enjoyable tone to the dinner. Less stress for mom is always a plus as well.
I guess that what i am trying to convey is the fact that even tho you have family members doesn’t mean they are family. The real family you have are those who you deem worthy of having the title of “Uncle”, “Aunt” or any other title you like to give. People say you cant pick your family, i say different. If anything you cant pick the good ones but you chip away the bad ones.
Holidays are meant for peace on earth and good will towards all.
Its OK to make some man made peace yourself.