Wednesday, November 4, 2009

How do you do it?

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, a time of togetherness.
But, it can also be a time of stress and conflict and that all can start early in the month.
Because this is when the phone calls and emails begin regarding...
Where. We. Will. Go.
Now, if you have ironclad, traditional "over the woods and through the snow" type plans every year, you can stop reading. ( unless you like knowing about other people's misery)

For us, it changes yearly. It usually works out fine and we always have great thanksgivings, it's the time leading up to Thanksgiving that isn't so great.

If my kids had their way we would always host. Then they could make an appearance and then slink off to their computers, TV, bed. If we go to another home they have to actually interact and socialize the ENTIRE time.

If my husband had his way we would host and have both our families and their inlaws, he's nice like that.
I'm not.

I like doing it with my family and my extended family. My sisters and my mother all pitch in until the end. it is a no hassle relaxing Thanksgiving, even if I'm the host.
But, I know it isn't all about ME.

And then there is the food issues. My family does a traditional, european style, sit down dinner. My husband's family throws in some ethnic dishes and it is always buffet.

So, that is why we have endless discussions about what we all would like to do for Thanksgiving.

what do you do?
Are you my husband and try to make everyone happy?
Are you my kids and try to barely have a thanksgiving?
Are you me, kinda selfish and want it my own way?


Reenie said...

Thanksgiving is always kind of strange for us.

As with all Holidays with our family it's a week long event, starting with dinner prep on Tuesday and Wednesday and then ending with cutting down Christmas trees in Connecticut.

Dinner itself though is buffet style, because with the 20 or so people who show up for Thanksgiving, sit down is impossible.

And if we vary from a traditional thanksgiving menu (and this includes little things like say a homemade cranberry sauce rather than from the can) my grandpa won't eat it.

Ina in Alaska said...

Being in Alaska and away from family, what I do is invite good friends who may be alone for the holiday. The friends contribute to the feast and I enjoy cooking and setting up. I even enjoy cleaning up. Thanksgiving is a very happy day for me. After dinner we bundle up and take a big walk, then head over to daughter Niki's* house for dessert.

*True Confession: With apologies to those with young children.... while I like them, I do not enjoy having young children underfoot and get very stressed if they are running around and messing with house and dogs (which her kids are 7 and under) so we always go over there for dessert. No stress!

Frau said...

I think whatever way is less stressful is better. This is our second Thanksgiving without celebrating so at this point I'd welcome crazy or nothing.

OHN said...

My family is too far away to do Thanksgiving...we wait till Christmas (then the fun REALLY starts--not.)

Thanksgiving is always at one of three houses..ours, husbands oldest brother or middle brother. The olders bro's wife is wonderful..makes it fun, we all bring a dish, and all is good.

When it is time for the middle brothers house...we all roll our eyes and double the antidepressants. Sister in law is overwhelmed by life (poor dear, has never worked a day in her life, lives on 20 acres, has more money than God...yet, cooking a turkey becomes a huge deal and doesn't make ANY of us feel welcome. Hell, her own son won't come home for it, if that gives you any idea).

Thanksgiving for me, honestly, I would rather do here with my little nuclear family...though when that happens, I do all the cooking, while the menfolk sit on their that kinda sucks.

You don't want to hear about our Christmas :)

Ronda said...

Hi there, good topic. I could have stopped reading, but didn't. I guess I'm a little bit of everything you said. I host Thanksgiving every year. There is usually about 23 people. We do it in Maryland. It is our family, mother in-law, my husband's family, one of my sisters and her family and a few friends. This year my mom is also coming from Arizona, and my brother from Michigan. So I will have a house full!
I guess you could say everybody else in stress free, because they already know it is taken care of.
Now me, on the other hand, I get a little nutty. This starts right about now!
Tomorrow night is the night I start making my pumpkin apple bread to freeze for dinner....and so on and so on. I do enjoy doing it, I just have to get through the initial few weeks!
Oh, and we do the traditional, sit down dinner too!
I hope you don't get too stressed out this year!

Pink Martini said...

I've hosted T-day for years because it is son2's favorite holiday. He loves waking up smelling all the foods cooking. It's cozy at home and relaxed not like Christmas where by the time it's Christmas day everyone is shot from shopping and wrapping. Exhausting! This year we are going to one brother's or the other's but I had forgotten how I dislike choosing whose house to go to. I was just thinking of this today and wondering how I could just stay home and pull the covers over my head. Come Christmas I dig in my heals and stay put as I have done since I had children. If people want to come over, great, If not, we'll catch up on another day. I think we are doing a leftover gathering here on Friday with the other side of the family so I guess it all comes out in the wash. :)

Her Preppiness said...

I like to host!! However I like to choose the menu and the time of day if I host. However my Sister in Law likes to host too. So we are going there

Susan said...

My FAVORITE thing about Thanksgiving is NO GIFTS... all centered around a meal together. My lease favorite thing is accomodating my in-laws EVERY YEAR...they wait for the phone call... The ONE year we did not include them and went to a relative on my side...they were sure to be invited someplace else! I love MY tradition, but will bend when it's reasonable...going out to dinner is NOT an option - that came up once! HA - how depressing to even consider! I'm just HAPPY we don't share Christmas...another topic.

Mom on the Run said...

I was just having this discussion with DOTR last was easy before his entire family moved here. I hosted it as they came one by one, until the girls were in the Nutcracker and that whole period was just too insane to host anymore so my SIL took over. Then MIL wanted to have it at her (miniscule) house AND she can't cook worth crap. Neither can either SIL, so my kids had no idea turkey could taste good. We also eat dinner on ***gasp*** paper plates, which makes me CRAZY since I have china with turkeys on it, for pete's sake!

Anyway, I have toyed with taking over and fixing the entire meal for all of us (around 30 ppl), but I think I'll try to talk my SIL into talking MIL into just going one place for dessert and we can all eat at our own houses. BIL runs in the ATL half marathon on Thanksgiving morning, we have a huge 5k for charity on our square that we'd like to participate in if we didn't have to do the family obligatory we'll see what happens this year.

Next year we are going to Maui again. We already have the condo booked, so it's a luau.

Beth Adamson said...

It is also one of our favorite holidays. This is my second year without a sister in town. (you know which one,(Frau) so it will be easy to spread out our day. Mom and dad are in town. I have been considering going up to our cabin and celebrating up there. Two reasons, it is cozy, relaxing and the kids can not get on the computer, go hide. Jeff is like Marc,and I am probably both. My inlaw side is great, they all pitch in and are amazing cooks. Hard to decide. As families grow and move on traditions need to adjust. Good luck and I am sure you will have a great day. Love to all,Beth