I was on a call recently, and people were stressing about not traveling and being with family this holiday season. There is a lot of anxiety about this. People are planning Zoom dinners, one person's family is making dishes to share by dropping them off on family members doorsteps. I thought for a moment, and had to share my side of stress and holidays, hence the following.
For the first three and half decades of my life, the holidays, especially Thanksgiving were filled with stress and family drama. One person was obsessed that if dinner late by a minute, the holiday was a total failure. Another was fussed that if the turkey was not cooked nearly to the point of being petrified, we would all get sick and die. Another was concerned that the turkey would be dry. Everyone was guessing how late Aunt Edith would be, and we knew she would be late. Edith was 20 minutes late to her own funeral. For years my father and grandfather would re-hash every mistake they made on the farm and debate how to control the weather and crop prices in the coming year. For years I thought the knot in my stomach was from overindulging.
Then in my mid-30’s following love and opportunities I moved 814 miles away. My parents reminded me it was 814 miles. When I moved, to avoid the temptation to bail on change and return to the familiar, I committed to not go home for at least a year. That Thanksgiving I discovered that you could celebrate a holiday without stress and family drama. It was the two of us, with special treats, time to relax and be thankful. It was wonderful. If your holidays have been festivals of stress, this is the year to say, “I am staying home, treating myself, and relaxing.” Wishing you a stress-free holiday season.
Don't they look happy and stress free in the photo from the early 1950's?
Note: I parted with the "Mexican" china this past year. It was give aways from gas stations in the early 1930's. My grandmother had a complete set. I hadn't taken it out of the box in a decade. I hope it has found a new home, and stress free family traditions.
the woman in the purple apron reminds me of my maternal grandmother. grandmom would have a wonderful feast each holiday. all home cooking in a small philly rowhouse kitchen.ReplyDelete
as an adult, however, things got complicated (1982-2005). in-laws, parents, siblings bullshit. UGH!
now it's just the 2 of us; a much more civilized day, a quiet day.
In the purple, was my great grandmother. I just realized, only one person in that photo is still alive.Delete
who is seated round the table and who is still alive?Delete
My oldest brother, with the red hair (when he had hair.)Delete
Every years people bitch about going to family dinners. Now this year they bitch because they can't go. Make up yer mind!!!!ReplyDelete
I guess Im lucky. Our holidays were always stress free, and enjoyable. I guess we're just laid back. And cosmo's and wine help.
Not a glass of wine or Gin in sight on the above photo.Delete
I am quite pleased we don't celebrate Thanksgiving, especially as it is so close to Christmas.ReplyDelete
Just a month apart.Delete
Yeah, when it's not going well it's a miserable rush of stress and confusion. When it does go well, however, it's kind of a month-long holiday. Trade offs... Doing it well requires a bit of practice.Delete
What a great photo! And, yes, it sure does look like fun.ReplyDelete
No idea what my oldest brother was saying, that my mother was ignoring, but not forgetting.Delete
A valuable lesson learned!ReplyDelete
I am much happier nowDelete
I remember holidays being stressful too. Nothing earth shattering, just feeling the stress of tying to please everyone and get the timing right. I have one sister who longs to get the family together while I long to keep it simple. We have two completely different ways to look at the holidays.ReplyDelete
Listen to your inner peaceDelete
Thanksgiving is the one holiday of the year that is not filled with expectations, as Christmas is. I loved Thanksgiving dinner growing up and later as an adult--in the dining room, white table cloth, good china, water goblets, etc. Lots of food to pass around, and my father's prayer before eating, always the best. (He was an ordained minister turned college prof.) After the meal, but before dessert, the guys would watch football, and the women cleared the table. My mother would brew a pot of Constant Comment tea, and we women would sit back down at the dinner table, drink tea, and reminisce, gossip, and have a wonderful time. Later was dessert, naps, and later still, leftovers laid out on the kitchen table for a serve-yourself supper. It was the best day of the year. This year my husband and I are staying safe: getting a take-out Thanksgiving meal from a local restaurant, and eating at home in front of the TV.ReplyDelete
Sounds like a relaxing dayDelete
Curiously a lot of patient of mine are telling me they are relieved not to have to go/do/travel this Thanksgiving. Covid has given them the excuse to stay home.ReplyDelete
Encourage them to relax, family holidays can be so stressful.Delete