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<p>I hate Thanksgiving, I hate it, I hate it.</p>
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<p>Growing up, I used to LOVE Thanksgiving.  My mom, grandma, and uncle were all the family I had, and we enjoyed Thanksgiving together.  Uncle died when I was 5, and when I was 8 my mom met my stepdad.  Once she met him, we had one more Thanksgiving at home and the rest were at my stepfather's mom's house.  (My grandma lost her tastebuds and saliva due to radiation for throat cancer, so she didn't enjoy Thanksgiving and preferred to be left out of it).  My stepdad has a big family- two sisters, and three brothers, plus a few spouses and children and his mother.  It was fun, because it was a chance to get to see everyone.  We always at dinner at 2pm and enjoyed family time during the rest of the day (everyone would leave between 5-6pm).  When I was 15, my grandma passed away, and when I was 16, my mom passed away.  I spent the next Thanksgiving with my father and his wife's family (never really knew my dad growing up by went to live with him when my mom passed as I was only 16).  Later that night I went to DHs house or Thanksgiving.</p>
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<p>The next three Thanksgivings, including this one, were spent at my DHs family's house, which is where I currently live (just on a different floor).  Everything is hectic, dramatic, and we don't eat dinner until around 9pm (this year was a little different and we ate around 7).</p>
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<p>Today was ridiculous.  DHs father decided to paint my DHs 16yo sister's room today (around noon) so the entire house smelled like paint.  No one knows how to cook a turkey and no one was willing to take any advice from me (a seasoned Thanksgiving turkey helper!) so we ate a turkey that was so dry we nearly choked.  Before dinner was served,  DHs mom and his uncle got in a fight, because we were all waiting upstairs for my MIL and SIL to join us.  DHs uncle sent her a text asking her to hurry up (his uncle and his wife came only under the condition that we'd eat at 6pm because their kids (who both have some SN) have very specific early bedtimes.  I came downstairs to get something, and MIL informed me about the text and started going off swearing about f her brother and f his wife and if her kids were that picky about their meal/bed/whatever time then f them too because "we don't have schedules and we like it that way i'm not going to schedule my life, dadadada".  She also started getting angry that her brother didn't help her with anything and that she had to do all of the shopping and that he was just "sitting there". </p>
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<p>Anyways, I left as soon as she said f the kids, and later on, after waiting to eat dinner  for another hour because of MIL, she came upstairs and we had to wait awhile longer because she started crying and made a big scene.  She exchanged some mean words to DHs uncle's wife, I believe, and locked herself in a room for others to drag her out.</p>
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<p>Things were just totally ridiculous and I didn't enjoy myself one bit. </p>
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<p>I spoke to my DH about this and he told me that Thanksgiving is pointless with his family.  His main reason is that most people, on Thanksgiving, get together with family that they don't usually see.  With DHs family, most of us live in the same house and we all see everyone else who doesn't live her MULTIPLE times per week.  His second reason is that no one gets along, no one watches their children, and everyone's drunk. Fun fun fun...<br><br>
Anyway, we left and our kids are going to be shortly.  Everyone else (with the exception of DHs aunt and uncle and their kids) is still upstairs still eating and drinking and fighting.</p>
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<p>I just don't like Thanksgiving (or the Holidays) anymore.  I miss having my family.  I feel like everything just fell apart and nothing will ever be the same.  I can't wait until my kids are grown up so they and their families (if they choose to start families) can come over for Thanksgiving.</p>
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<p>Anything I can do to help myself love the Holidays again? My mother was just so wonderful and the holidays were "our thing".  Everything is so different and I just can't stand the ridiculousness of everything.  Ahh!</p>
 

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<p>But you and your DH are working on getting out of there, no?  And then YOU will be the mama in charge of creating a wonderful thanksgiving for your own little ones and you and your DH can work on creating your own traditions and wonderful memories.  Once you no longer live there you can most certainly take control of your own holiday and chose not to share it with your inlaws.  Maybe by next year you can be free of it all. </p>
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Artichokie</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1281794/help-me-love-thanksgiving-again#post_16073727"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>But you and your DH are working on getting out of there, no?  And then YOU will be the mama in charge of creating a wonderful thanksgiving for your own little ones and you and your DH can work on creating your own traditions and wonderful memories.  Once you no longer live there you can most certainly take control of your own holiday and chose not to share it with your inlaws.  Maybe by next year you can be free of it all. </p>
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<p>I really hope so!   How on earth do we say that we won't be participating in the holiday festivities?  How do we explain that to my DD (who will certainly wonder why we aren't with everyone else) in the future?  I'm just so.. egh.  I don't think we'll be able to get out of the state (or even out of the city!) when we do move.  I'm currently reading <span style="text-decoration:underline;">Toxic Parents</span> (because of my father, not because of MIL) but I think my DH would benefit a lot if he'd read it. </p>
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<p><br>
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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>WindyCityMom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1281794/help-me-love-thanksgiving-again#post_16073715"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><br><p>Anything I can do to help myself love the Holidays again? My mother was just so wonderful and the holidays were "our thing".  Everything is so different and I just can't stand the ridiculousness of everything.  Ahh!</p>
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<br><br><p>Get out of there. End of story. I understand if you can't move out right now, but there is NOTHING saying you have to spend the whole day there. There's nothing saying you have to eat dinner there. Go OUT to dinner. You, your dh and your kiddos. Have a nice, relaxing dinner. We went to Cracker Barrel for Thanksgiving dinner. Was it my choice? Nope. But I would take that any day over what you just went through. Go out to dinner, take your kids to the park or a movie or something and spend time as a family. Don't get sucked into the drama.</p>
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
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<p>Originally Posted by <strong>WindyCityMom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1281794/help-me-love-thanksgiving-again#post_16073730"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></p>
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<p>How on earth do we say that we won't be participating in the holiday festivities?</p>
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<br><br><p>"We will be doing our own thing for Thanksgiving/Christmas/ect. Let us know if it's okay to stop by for pie later in the evening!"</p>
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<p>And then do it. Don't get into an argument about it. State it once and then let it be. If the family throws a fit, let them. If they scream and whine and cry- walk away.</p>
 

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<p>Well, I've never lived with family, so take my advice with a grain of salt, but....</p>
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<p>I refuse to spend the holidays with people if I don't enjoy their company. DH feels the same way. We usually have Thanksgiving dinner with DH's uncle and aunt, a few cousins, and some good friends who don't have any family to spend the holidays with. My family lives waaayyyyy far away, and DH's family is all local (save for his dad).....but we don't celebrate with his mother, brother, or maternal cousins because they just suck to be around. My MIL lives less than a mile away from us and we haven't seen her since 4th of July. His choice, although I'm more than happy to oblige. My children are from a previous marriage and they have no real connection to DH's family, so it's not like they're missing out in that regard.</p>
 

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<p>I read a post on another forum where the family went to a church/salvation army and served meals to the poor,then they ate,then helped clean up. They said it was a really nice time compared to the usual family meal get-together drama. I would opt for that OR find a friend who is not having a meal with their family get together with them. In the least I would go out to eat just to get away from your family. Hope you move soon!</p>
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<p>Smelling paint and eating dried out meat THAT LATE sounds horrid in addition to the undertone of hate that was obviously eminating from your family members. I would get out of the house or as another thread mentioned-used the kids to get out of it.Someone can be sick.Hmm whole family has a stomach bug and you need to stay home with no visitors.</p>
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<p>Family is family but if you are creative you can find ways to avoid them if they are fun suckers without them ever realising.And even if they did figure out you are avoiding them-so what??!?! Sometimes people need to be told the way they act stinks and you won't tolerate it anymore.</p>
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<p>Hope the next celerbration goes better.</p>
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
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<div>We went to Cracker Barrel for Thanksgiving dinner. Was it my choice? Nope.</div>
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<p>In my experience, kids love that place and it's very kid tolerant.  There's a big fire and "homey" food (that isn't great, but the breakfast is usually pretty good) and you won't be rushed.  It's not a bad plan if you need to eat somewhere on a holiday.  We usually let our daughter have a look at the toys and buy a bag of peppermints on the way out.  It is the highlight of her month.</p>
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<p>Anyway, yes, certainly make your own plans and just do something else!  For many years, my husband and I just couldn't come home for Thanksgiving so we had some kind of special dinner, stayed in our pajamas all day, watched movies, and did our Christmas cards.  It was low key but we just stayed home all day eating cookies and drinking hot chocolate and it was fun in a totally not frantic way. </p>
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<p>I understand you probably won't have moved before NYE, but for next year's holidays - just tell them you have plans, don't discuss it, and go enjoy yourselves.  There is NO reason to spend holidays with people who just cuss at each other and make each other miserable.  NONE.  You're not obligated.</p>
 

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<p>Seriously, if you already have to live with these toxic people, you can stand up for your family and decide to celebrate the holidays, especially Thanksgiving, somewhere else.  If you happen to still be in the same situation next year (and gosh, I hope not), then you just let them know your own little family will be going out to eat and spending the day together - go to the movies or something - and that is that.  They can complain, whine, guilt-trip you all they want, but if you want to get out of this vicious cycle, you have to stop letting other people control you.  It's your life, for goodness sake.  If you can't take charge of the situation, well then I guess you just have to make do with crappy, drama-filled holidays with your IL's.  I feel bad for your kids, though, and think that they alone are enough reason to be strong enough to just say no. </p>
 

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<p><br>
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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>NiteNicole</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1281794/help-me-love-thanksgiving-again#post_16075659"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>In my experience, kids love that place and it's very kid tolerant.  There's a big fire and "homey" food (that isn't great, but the breakfast is usually pretty good) and you won't be rushed.  It's not a bad plan if you need to eat somewhere on a holiday.  We usually let our daughter have a look at the toys and buy a bag of peppermints on the way out.  It is the highlight of her month.</p>
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<br><p>Yup, it is fairly kid friendly. Except on Thanksgiving when the place is absolutely packed and usually has a 2 hour wait. And you have an autistic kid. Then it's not so fun. But we made a deal with my future IL's- if they wanted us to go to dinner with them at Cracker Barrel then they could go and put our name on the list. When there was 15 minutes left before we got a table they called us up and we brought ds. We ended up getting there right after they got sat down (at a corner table- even better as ds was out of the hustle and bustle). I don't care for their Thanksgiving dinner so, while everyone else had it, I had a pork meal (which was really good) and a salad. DS had his usual- steak fries and applesauce <span><img alt="lol.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/lol.gif"></span></p>
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<p><span>But I would take a 2 hour wait at Cracker Barrel with an autistic child over what the OP did for Thanksgiving any day.</span></p>
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
<p>Thanks.  I just feel sometimes that DH and I aren't on the same page regarding his family. </p>
 
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