The Art Of Growing Up - Thanksgiving Special
Once again, Thanksgiving has come and gone. Of course, the holidays aren’t over yet — Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/whatever holiday you celebrate in December is still coming up, which means there’s still plenty of family time to be had… Yay…
I think the older you get, the more awkward a family get-together seems to become. I personally love the time I get to spend with my direct family (Aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins, etc.), but I’m also one of those people who could absolutely do without the massive family reunions that include 3rd cousins, great-aunts you can’t remember the names of, and 5th uncles that are twice removed. A little bit dramatic, but you get my point.
My family doesn’t have a massive Thanksgiving celebration; we save those for Christmas, which I am eternally grateful for. The Thanksgivings we have are generally small, including only direct family that I see on a semi-regular basis. This keeps the awkwardness in-check, I think.
Instead of passing along the cringe of things that have still managed to happen at said Thanksgiving celebrations, I’ll tell you about the only celebration I’ve had so far this Thanksgiving. It happened on Thursday (One of the few times I’ve celebrated on the actual day), and it was hosted by my aunt. It was probably the smallest gathering my dad’s side of the family ever had, only herself, our family (My siblings and father), and my aunt’s family (Her husband, daughter, and step-daughter). I got to meet my baby cousin for the first time, and she ended up eating half of my pie. So all in all, I had a good time.
The biggest takeaway I want you, the readers, to get from this is that we’re in the same boat; we all have family gatherings we’d rather not go to. I sounded like the Grinch at the start, but when it comes down to it, I truly do love the holidays, awkward moments included.
It’s Thanksgiving time. A time for thankfulness, family, food, hunting, a break from school, and Black Friday. Thanksgiving means something different to each of us, right? But there is something we all endure: awkward family gatherings. I’ll share a reoccurring awkward encounter with all of you that I’m sure most will relate to.
I’ll set the scene: We host family on my mom’s side at our house every year. It becomes loud when my little cousins come and play accompanied by their parents and my grandpa. Half of my family lives in Washington, so it’s just the few of us. My mom spends all day cooking scrumptious food for us to consume when the time is right, but that doesn’t stop us from snatching off the plate once in a while. I bake a few desserts and my uncle makes his famous homemade pies. As you can imagine, the aroma is delectable. We place the tableware on the dining table, put the warm food on hot pads, and gather around the table.
Like most families, we go around the table and say one thing we are thankful for prior to digging into the food. The answers are brief but insightful; it’s fun to hear what going on in my family’s lives. We take second and third helpings as we talk and watch the food disappear. At the end of our meal, we all look at the remaining turkey and feel the same way it did before it was eaten: stuffed. The meal was wonderful and the discussions were fun.
Now comes time for the inevitable: politics. A political issue is brought up and people start discussing. Everyone has an opinion; some express it more than others. Usually, everyone has been burnt out by the topic, but two of my family members remain. My awesome grandpa and my wonderful aunt discuss for quite a few minutes after everyone else has quieted down. Depending on the topic, they can get pretty heated. While this is going on, we all, at least I, pray for the conversation to cease. I twiddle my thumbs while I sit at the table and consider my response to the points being made.
Eventually, my grandpa will say, “I don’t want to talk about this anymore.” And just like that, the discussion dissipates just as fast as it started. My aunt nods, and then we pick out a board game to play. Unlike some families, my family is respectful towards other opinions, so this conversation doesn’t ruin our day.
So, all in all, my family is great and I really love them, but the political discussions are always involved. The quirks on both sides of my family are what make Thanksgiving a special holiday. And of course, the food.
Happy holidays everyone! Thanks for reading :)