Monday, November 19, 2007

So Begins the Holiday Season

Well, folks, it is Thanksgiving week here in the U.S. It is the best of times. It is the worst of times. Families gather in heartwarming displays of love and gratitude and appreciation of one another. Well, at least I hope some families do. In our typical display of dysfunctionality (this may not be a real word but it is so appropriate here) my family will celebrate Thanksgiving scattered as though it would somehow inflict grave bodily or psychic harm on us to be within the same walls. Perhaps we’re just smart enough to know that it would inflict harm so that we are all better off in our little nuclear family settings, undisturbed by other branches of our family tree. It is after all bad enough that we will have five family members in one house together.

So here’s how it will go down for our family.

W, N and I will leave Wednesday after I get off work and head to my parents’ house for three glorious days. As usual, I offered to bring something, pie maybe, to contribute towards dinner. As usual, my offer was declined. As usual, I then insisted on bringing something so instead of baking pies tomorrow night I will be making homemade cinnamon rolls for us to have for breakfast on Thanksgiving day. Now cinnamon rolls are a whole lot more time consuming to make than pie, but what the hell. At least I get to make something. I won’t be allowed in the kitchen once we’re at my parents’ house, at least not for the purpose of cooking, so I’ll use all my cooking energy on one project Tuesday night and then sit back and let Mom slave all weekend. She seems to prefer it that way.

Thursday we’ll all get up to watch the “Macy’s Day Parade” on TV. We’ll eat cinnamon rolls. Mom will slave away in the kitchen turning down any and all offers of help. Once the parade is over all of us (except Mom still slaving in the kitchen) will sit around looking at each other, wondering what to do next (sometimes I wish our family cared about football, but alas we do not). N will likely charm us into playing a board game on the floor of the family room. If N is not the winner, he will likely have a hissy fit over it while W yells at him for having a hissy fit. Dad and I will look away from the scene and each other in discomfort. Chances are good that we will all then scatter to various rooms throughout the house in the hopes that solitary confinement is good for the soul. Late in the afternoon Mom will call us all to dinner, and we will sit down to a feast that will crowd the table and the stomachs. Fifteen minutes later it will all be over, and we will return to our discomfort with one another’s presence. At least now we’ll all be sleepy from a heavy meal and can escape for a while into naptime.

On Friday, I will get up and try to make my escape into the chaos of retail therapy. If I’m lucky I’ll get to do this on my own. If I’m not, I’ll be saddled with one or more family members tagging along wanting to go to entirely different stores than those I wish to patronize and with entirely different agendas than mine.

On Saturday, we will all be relieved on the inside but express our regrets to one another that our visit is over. W, N and I will head home. I’ll just be happy if we’ve made it through without major meltdowns by any of the participants.

God bless the holiday season.


Bunny said...

Good luck with your holiday plans! We are going to my parents' house also, but my mom lets us bring stuff. I'm bringing pies, cranberry butter, green beans, and one sweet potatoes dish. Yummo - getting hungry just thinking about it!

Have a great holiday!

Cat said...

Good Luck with your holiday plans. My family is descending on my house this year as they have for the past 3 years (hey this is becoming a trend). But as much as I hate it all, the drama, the dysfunction, the inevitable Corey meltdown. I must admit I love it. The food, going to the parade, being off work for 4 days in a row...

Fusion said...

Today I wrote "Happy Thanksgiving" to another blogger, and for the first time I had pangs of guilt and sadness about moving down here and missing the holidays with my kids...
However dysfunctional a family is, it's still your family...

Happy Turkey day TS.

Trueself said...

Bunny - Thanks. You have a great Thanksgiving too!

Cat - I totally understand the love/hate relationship with the holiday. It is good to see family even if you don't always get along so well.

Fusion - I have spent a few Thanksgivings away on vacations (mostly just to get away from the family chaos). There is kind of a pang of sadness to it though when you're sitting down to eat on Thanksgiving day and it's just some everyday thing not an event. One Thanksgiving we had Subway sandwiches! So call your kids on Thanksgiving and wish them well, and then go enjoy that fine warm weather you're having without a thought to those of us in the rainy, sleety, snowy Midwest!