Why I’m (not) Excited for Thanksgiving

Ah, thanksgiving. The turkey is cooking, the football game is playing, and…

the whole family is hammered and arguing about politics.

Thanksgiving is a holiday I dread every single year. My entire mom’s side of the family gathers together to eat our thanksgiving meal, and sometimes I wonder why we bother anymore. Of course my family all loves each other, they just also…can’t stand each other.

On one hand you have my liberal hippie mom, who normally doesn’t drink. Due to this and her fairly small size, it all goes straight through her and she’s done before the pumpkin pie even makes her to the table. I don’t judge her for it—if I had to grow up with these people, I’d probably drink to cope with it too. Besides, she’s a happy drunk, and most of what she says and does is pretty hilarious.

Iiiiin the blue corner on team liberal there’s also my dad, who has never drank a drop in his life but is very devoted to his opinions. After him is my little brother, who is literally just parroting his dad’s opinions, which drives me insane. Then comes my stepdad, who doesn’t drink much, seeing as at the end of the night he has to be the designated driver. On team liberal is also me, but I usually leave when the discussion gets too heated because it’s not like I’m gonna change anyone’s opinion anyways.

Iiiiiiin the red corner on team conservative, we have my cousins’ grandma (no blood relation to me). She’s a die-hard republican and the main arguer (a lovely woman otherwise, but good god can that woman debate). Also on team conservative are my aunt (my mom’s sister) and her husband (my uncle, no blood relation to me). I’m honestly unclear as to the majority of their political views, but I can definitely say with certainty that they don’t like me very much. My mom and aunt do, however, agree on one thing—as teachers, they despise Obama’s education policies. On team conservative we also have my cousin Cassie, who is a year younger than me and one of my best friends.

To maintain that friendship, we try not to talk about politics too much.

Finally, we have team I’m-just-here-for-the-food, composed entirely of my younger aunt and my grandpa who doesn’t really do well in big groups. I guess you could say my four-and-eight-year-old cousins are part of this team, but mostly they’re just blissfully unaware of the situation.

So, there you have it. By the end of the night everyone is pretty much shitfaced. Words get slurred. Threats get made. Spatulas get thrown.

But there’s a nice moment, before dinner starts and before the drinking begins, when we all hold hands and go around the table, saying what we’re thankful for. Usually the grownups tear up. We say a quick prayer of sorts before we eat. Not to god, or anybody else. Just to who or whatever is out there watching over us.

So, yeah. On one hand Thanksgiving reminds my entire family of how much we can’t stand each other. But it also reminds us of everything we have, and everything we have to be thankful for.

To those who celebrate Thanksgiving, have a wonderful holiday. To those of you that don’t, enjoy your long weekend.

To those of you that don’t get a long weekend, and/or are working the Black Friday midnight shift…

Goodness help you.

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