Thanksgiving, Schmanksgiving

What is it about this holiday, this holiday that we’re supposed to be giving THANKS for all the wonderful things in our lives, that makes me just despise it altogether?  (No, Zoe, its not because that Columbus really was a dirty b@stard… but, I still haven’t pieced together why this holiday really is a sham).  Every year its always the same… trying to work out schedules and places and people and food and trying to make everyone happy and ultimately trying to force ourselves to enjoy this day of “thanks”.

Normally, we split this holiday up between Ryan’s family and my mom’s side of the family.  Yes, that means we eat two of the same meals and normally they’re only a few hours apart (the earliest being ready by 1pm, the next being served at 4/5ish).  Its rush rush rush.  Hi, stuff your face, goodbye see ya later!

I hate cramming it all in.  Every time we just get comfortable and having fun with one side of the family, its time to pack it up and head over to another meal.

This year Ryan and I had a good long talk about it all and decided to change things up.  See, *ideally* we would have sold our house by now.  *Ideally* we’d be in a larger home and *ideally* we’d be the ones serving dinner and inviting both sides of our family over, as well as some close friends who may want to join, and having a big, ‘ol “Thanks-for-all-the-great-things-in-our-life” meal.  But, of course we’re still stuck in our tiny little house so that means yet another year of swap, chow, swap.

So, our big discussion.  We decided that the only way to make this a happy holiday for US would be to only have one place to go.  We decided to do every other year with each of our families, that is, until we have a larger home and then we’re going to start our own tradition of us being the ones serving Thanksgiving dinner.  I know our decision hasn’t made everyone happy, but its a small price to pay to make it bearable for us.

Now, I guess what my post is about…. I just wonder if there are any other neat ideas that your families do for Thanksgiving that make the holidays easier and less-rushing on your family.  Do you visit each side of the family on the same day?  Do you split it up into two days? Heather had suggested doing the meal (a late lunch) with one side of the family and then joining the other side later in the evening for dessert.   ((I do like that idea, however, this year we’ll have dinner with my mom.  And the entire day after T-day we spend with Ryan’s family regardless of who we spend T-day with, it seems silly to drive across town for a late evening desert and then drive back out the next morning.))

So, back to the question… what “schedules” have you made up?  Have you come up with a kick-ass plan that makes EVERYONE happy?  Share it, will ya!

  1. I honestly don’t think anyone is ever happy, but we try by switching between the in-laws and my family every other year. After the big meal, we will usually hang out and stop by to say hi to the other parents on our way home. I hate the hustle & bustle and trying to make everyone happy and I’m sure it will only get worse when we add more kids to the mix, but in the meantime this works until we start our own tradition of hosting Thanksgiving.

  2. this is why i am happy that both sets of our parents don’t live in the same place. Although we aren’t seeing ryans family for any holiday this year. (but after last years christmas drama with his fam– I am SOOO ok with that!)

    Hope this works better for you. It should be relaxing. Not stressful!

  3. Every year that Tony and I have been together, we are always doing the family turkey day shuffle! And fitting in THREE dinners. We always go to his grandma’s house at 12, his aunts house at 2, and usually my moms in the evening around 4/5. This makes for full bellies and lots of travel time all over Jackson! Although we would love to one day start the tradition at our house when we too get a bigger house, but feel all the “traditions” are already started and would step on toes if we took over for the dinner. This is usually the same schedule we have for Christmas as well! Oh JOY!!!

  4. Well, despite the fact that Thanksgiving is long over here…

    We do it all together – Brad’s parents, us, my mom and sister and Brad’s brother/finacee (when they are in town).

    Works well, the mom’s decide whose house it will be at that year and the other mom usually brings a couple things.

    We do the same for Christmas. Everyone comes to our house for Christmas morning/breakfast (cause we have Morgan) and then we go to Brad’s parents house (all of us) for dinner.

    I think it works out cause there isn’t a zillion of us and the parents get along. Makes life SO easy!

  5. We go to my in-laws for dinner and do dessert with my family, usually. I did tell my Mom this year that I wasn’t 100% sure we’d make it for dessert. I said we’ll try. Though we probably will.

  6. We always have had Thanksgiving dinner with my mom, brother, grandma, and grandpa. Then on Friday, we have dinner with his parents and brothers and family. This year I volunteered to have EVERYONE at my home. What was I thinking?!

  7. Being that my parents are divorced, we always have had Thanksgiving w/ my in-laws & I invite my Mom & Step-Dad along. My Dad gave up long ago on having Thanksgiving since he always was the last one stop to visit because he lives further out, so he was left in the lurch. Sooo, we try to get together w/ him & celebrate Thanks-mas 🙂
    Christmas is a cinch! Christmas Eve has ALWAYS been my side of the family (Mom & Step-Dad, Dad, brother, etc.) Christmas morning is @ home & Christmas day the in-laws can do what they want w/ us.

  8. For the last few years, we’ve spent either the weekend before or after Thanksgiving with my family, and Thanksgiving day with Tom’s family. This works well for us because a) my parents live an hour away, so doing both in one day would be pretty ridiculous b) I get to spend an entire weekend with my parents instead of just one afternoon c) we get two Thanksgiving dinners a few days apart, which we love, and which is better than a few hours apart. 🙂 My mom still makes the turkey and everything, and my grandma and sometimes others come over. We have a tradition of going bowling that night. I don’t really understand why people put so much emphasis on the DAY – why does it have to be November 22? Even Christmas… as long as you are with your family and eating something good, does it really matter what day it is? I think my mom understands that, and I hope that someday when Max has his own family we’ll have the holidays whenever he’s able to make it home, too.

  9. #1 on the list of things I will NEVER do to my children: Fight over holiday time. I will have Thanksgiving in June if it’s easiest on my kids and Michael and I will go to Hawaii (or wherever) on the years they are with their in-laws. We have made a pact and signed it and have promised eachother if one or the other gets crazy about holidays and starts pressuring our kids, we will get the pact out and use it to talk some common sense in to the other. I can’t control the craziness from our moms (I have tried everything I can think of to make it better and it never is) but I can control how I behave with my kids.

  10. yeah is is an odb!!! but anyway. i still love thanksgiving for the giving thanks…maybe just not the history. we go to my moms and that is it. luckily we don’t have to shuffle around.

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