No family near by and we wouldn't go anyway with our dietary issues and past experiences. My parents are out of the country until they retire. My ILs are in either TX or OK, they don't tell us. My sister is in FL, well over a days drive away.
I cook a Gluten Free Thanksgiving meal for the 5 of us (and Christmas). That is the new tradition since last year and it will just stick. Even if we went somewhere I would have to cook a full meal to bring a meal for my Celiacs that I could be sure were free from cross contamination. From turkey to deserts all GF and my kitchen is GF now -- so no one can bring anything into my house with gluten either.
Prior to that, I took full advantage of Cracker Barrel on many Thanksgiving occassions especially pregnant! I did not want to cook dinner and feel obligated to invite up my MIL and her 3H who lived with us for 5 1/2 yrs (free of all financial obligations), so I made sure we left and they could fend for themselves especially in the last few years before I told them their time here was expired and they had to move out.
I prefer the holidays without "family". I never hear anything good from most folks, there is always a grip about something. I'm right there griping too and the frustration isn't worth it.
For example: My ds1's first Christmas my dh insisted that we go see his sister in IA. I was a little less than 8 wks PP and still having a lot of healing issues and bfing issues. We got there and had to sleep on the floor. My dh's mother and step dad were on the sofa bed, they were there too. Christmas morning came and went with everyone ripping into gifts and not paying on bit of attention to anyone else -- all about the "me's" and then his sister, her dh and children disappeared for a time upstairs. They later came down all decked out and stated they were going to his family's house for Christmas dinner and a crock pot of chili was heating up for us!!! We loaded up the car and left before they returned! My MIL was just as peturbed with her daughter and if she had known and been forthright with us, my MIL would have had a turkey etc. But on Christmas day, that was not happening.
And my dh made me endure another Christmas this last time pregnant on the floor again with his family. After that disasterous 2003 Christmas I laid down the new traditions law!
"The actual days of any holiday are going to be spent with our immediate family - you, me and our children. If you want to take the kids to see your family, we will make arrangements to do that either before the holiday or after. And I will do the same. I have no problem if family wants to be here with us, but we are not traveling to anyone elses house for the holiday. We are making our own traditions and developing what we want for our kids to remember." The next year we were dealing with CD and the GF diet, problem solved.
Can you tell I have some real issues...