Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Thanksgiving Day Blues

The holidays are approaching, and that means blood pressure is often rising, too. I have many memories of Thanksgiving and Christmas meals that were awful, horrifying, disappointing and downright rude. I think everyone has at least one. The holidays seem to bring out the worst in people.

Is it the stress of trying to find the right gift? Perhaps it's the pressure of attempting to make a turkey that comes out as perfect as Aunt Joan's did 25 years ago. We're trying to visit every relative in 5 states in a 2 day period, and none of them will meet in a central location. Throw in the allergy factor and you get a lot of wheezy, nasty people who are fed up with one another before they even walk in the door.

There is an article in the NY Times today, and I want to share it. It really is a good one, and it covers a lot of fun and serious stories about holiday stress.

It's The Holidays - Prepare For Rudeness,
by Joyce Walder

THE weather grows cold, the holidays are bearing down upon us and soon we will find ourselves in that seething caldron of unmannerly behavior: the family holiday gathering.

It gets rude in there. Just how rude is exemplified by the story of a teacher from the Midwest who was pregnant with her first child when she attended a large Thanksgiving celebration at the home of her husband’s parents.

For months, the teacher’s mother-in-law had been saying that she wanted to be in the waiting room when the teacher went into labor, and the teacher, who recounted her story on the Mothers-in-Law Anonymous section of, had been politely rebuffing her.

So at Thanksgiving dinner, with the family gathered around the table, the mother-in-law (referred to on this site as “MIL”) took the matter into her own hands.

“MIL announced to me and the entire family the following,” the teacher wrote. “ ‘I WILL be in the waiting room while DIL is in labor, and all of you are welcome to come too. MY SON will come and give me updates every hour on the hour.’ ”

The teacher told this reporter, “I wanted to scream: ‘Are you serious? I’ve told you that I don’t want anyone there and you invite the entire family! Who do you think you are, taking over my first birthing experience?’ But what could I say and remain tactful?”

Read the rest of this WONDERFUL article here.

In light of all this holiday stress, I regret to inform people that it looks like Sis's dad is going to die this week. She and Gray left last night at about 7pm to drive to Chicago, hopefully in time to say goodbye. It's a sad moment, although not entirely unexpected. The saddest part is that he's only 67, I believe. We have him in our prayers and have asked family and friends to also keep him in their thoughts.

It is unlikely he will survive. What we are hoping most for right now is that Sis makes it there in time to hold his hand and say goodbye. Our wish is for a safe and gentle passing.

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