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What are your Thanksgiving traditions or routines?

  1. #31
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Posts
    1
    Hi. I'm brand new to this forum and looking for advice about Thanksgiving.



    My family has always gone to my mothers house that day. My dad died last year and after much hemming and hawing, I volunteered and had all 13 family members over to my two bedroom apartment for dinner.

    A little bit of background. I "retired" after being laid off and not being able to find another job. I have an adult disabled son that still lives me and a ten year old car that is constant need of repairs. I'm trying to say that I am not well off and live retirement check to retirement check. I have three brothers that live locally. Two of them are happily married with good jobs and wives that also have good jobs. Their children are grown and out on their own.

    Thanksgiving dinner cost me $300.00 last year. I did all the cooking and cleaning on my own. It wasn't horrible and I'm not complaining about it too much after all I volunteered but it was stressful and it was expensive at least to my budget. My mother who is very well off said she would help me pay for it last year and gave me $50.00.

    This year I told everyone that I would not be able to host dinner. My tires are shot and will cost $400.00 and my son wants to continue his swimming lessons for $200.00. He has epilepsy and is both autistic and mentally retarded. I am not giving that up - he deserves something social in his life.

    So far all I've heard is crickets from my brothers. My mother however is mad at me. She said that I could host it at her house. She's a slob and my older brother (who does not live with his wife but continues to pay all of her bills) lives there and if anything he's a bigger slob. I'm talking hoarder-like here. She also has a refrigerator that sours milk within two days. I explained to her that I didn't trust her 25 year old refrigerator and didn't want to cook there. She got very angry with me and said there was nothing wrong with it although it sits in the unsafe zone on the thermometer. I also told her that for once in my adult life, I just wanted to stay home with my two kids and no stress. She is welcome to come over or go with my brothers it was up to her. She is making me feel like if Thanksgiving doesn't happen this year that it is my fault and the fact that I haven't heard from my brothers is making it worse.

    I also want to mention that I am not her favorite child and never have been and don't get why it has to be me. All my life I've felt something being the only girl and it's always been that I've been expected to do what is traditionally expected of females and my brothers aren't. Any advice?

  2. #32
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    Near Mount Pilot
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    5,396
    Quote Originally Posted by Dixie48445 View Post
    Hi. I'm brand new to this forum and looking for advice about Thanksgiving.

    My family has always gone to my mothers house that day. My dad died last year and after much hemming and hawing, I volunteered and had all 13 family members over to my two bedroom apartment for dinner.

    A little bit of background. I "retired" after being laid off and not being able to find another job. I have an adult disabled son that still lives me and a ten year old car that is constant need of repairs. I'm trying to say that I am not well off and live retirement check to retirement check. I have three brothers that live locally. Two of them are happily married with good jobs and wives that also have good jobs. Their children are grown and out on their own.

    Thanksgiving dinner cost me $300.00 last year. I did all the cooking and cleaning on my own. It wasn't horrible and I'm not complaining about it too much after all I volunteered but it was stressful and it was expensive at least to my budget. My mother who is very well off said she would help me pay for it last year and gave me $50.00.

    This year I told everyone that I would not be able to host dinner. My tires are shot and will cost $400.00 and my son wants to continue his swimming lessons for $200.00. He has epilepsy and is both autistic and mentally retarded. I am not giving that up - he deserves something social in his life.

    So far all I've heard is crickets from my brothers. My mother however is mad at me. She said that I could host it at her house. She's a slob and my older brother (who does not live with his wife but continues to pay all of her bills) lives there and if anything he's a bigger slob. I'm talking hoarder-like here. She also has a refrigerator that sours milk within two days. I explained to her that I didn't trust her 25 year old refrigerator and didn't want to cook there. She got very angry with me and said there was nothing wrong with it although it sits in the unsafe zone on the thermometer. I also told her that for once in my adult life, I just wanted to stay home with my two kids and no stress. She is welcome to come over or go with my brothers it was up to her. She is making me feel like if Thanksgiving doesn't happen this year that it is my fault and the fact that I haven't heard from my brothers is making it worse.

    I also want to mention that I am not her favorite child and never have been and don't get why it has to be me. All my life I've felt something being the only girl and it's always been that I've been expected to do what is traditionally expected of females and my brothers aren't. Any advice?
    You could stick to your guns and stay home with your son.

    Roast a turkey and invite/assign everyone to bring a dish to pass.

    Go Dutch Treat to a local restaurant and leave the work to someone else.

    or you could be the martyr and host Thanksgiving dinner the way you did last year.

    Welcome to SF, good luck to you and your family!

  3. #33
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Nashville TN
    Posts
    301
    Quote Originally Posted by jujube View Post
    I always defrost my turkey in the dryer. Does the double duty of defrosting and tenderizing. I just tell everyone it's my tribal drumming group practicing out in the garage. They're getting suspicious, though.
    I don't know why this reminded me, but it did. My brother's wife (passed away a few years ago now) was german. She had a very quaint way of speaking, and would sometimes mis-use the english language. One of my favorite things is she'd refer to "de-thawing" the turkey (or whatever else was frozen) No matter how many times she was corrected, she couldn't seem to grasp that "thawing" was the correct word. Frozen things were always de-thawed. Cracked me up every time!
    Everything is always OK in the end. If it's not, then it's not the end!

  4. #34
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Connecticut USA
    Posts
    12,295
    Welcome Dixie-

    My advice is to not host the family for Thanksgiving. Let your brothers do it. You can justify this by telling the truth- you did it last year, now someone else can take a turn, and offer to bring a pie.

    As for your mother- I wouldn't set foot in her house. You can have her over to your house for visits, but stay out of her pig sty.

    Don't worry, they'll all get over it.

  5. #35
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    781
    Dixie48445, I wouldn't do it. You did it last time and it's time for someone else to do it. If you do it again this year, they may expect you to do it every year. You have to take care of yourself and your family first. They're not going to help you take care of them! Your brothers have wives, so let them take their turn and don't give in to doing it this year.

  6. #36
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    2,556
    Last couple of years we have cooked Thanksgiving Dinner at home, but not this year. We will be making reservations at Cracker Barrel. We did eat a couple of years at Mimi's Cafe, but we both got sick when we got home. Don't know what caused it, but no more Mimi's for us at Thanksgiving. We love going there for Saturday or Sunday breakfast and a Bloody Mary to boot.

    Last time we had Thanksgiving with any member of my wife's family was the first Thanksgiving we spent in Colorado in 2002. Wife's sister flew in and had a Time Share in Silverthorne (in the mountains off of I-70 next to Dillon Lake). We drove up and helped her us cook up a nice Thanksgiving Dinner. Spent two days there and went to Dillon Lake, Frisco and Breckenridge Ski Resort. On Thanksgiving night, a snowstorm hit where the Time Share was and boy did the snow come down.........we loved it. On Saturday, we brought her sister back down to our apartment and took her to Sportsman's Warehouse. She loved the place.

    Before we left So California to move to Colorado, my wife's family would get together for Thanksgiving and Christmas. It was wonderful. But, after we moved, only her sister came to visit us in Colorado. Both wife and I agreed on one phrase "oh well, we miss them, but......"

    This will be our last Thanksgiving in Florida (thank God).
    Love Rocky Mountain And Yellowstone National Parks

  7. #37
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
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    I think I'm in Florida, but I'm not sure any more......my GPS blew away.
    Posts
    7,382
    Quote Originally Posted by Dixie48445 View Post
    Hi. I'm brand new to this forum and looking for advice about Thanksgiving.

    My family has always gone to my mothers house that day. My dad died last year and after much hemming and hawing, I volunteered and had all 13 family members over to my two bedroom apartment for dinner.

    A little bit of background. I "retired" after being laid off and not being able to find another job. I have an adult disabled son that still lives me and a ten year old car that is constant need of repairs. I'm trying to say that I am not well off and live retirement check to retirement check. I have three brothers that live locally. Two of them are happily married with good jobs and wives that also have good jobs. Their children are grown and out on their own.

    Thanksgiving dinner cost me $300.00 last year. I did all the cooking and cleaning on my own. It wasn't horrible and I'm not complaining about it too much after all I volunteered but it was stressful and it was expensive at least to my budget. My mother who is very well off said she would help me pay for it last year and gave me $50.00.

    This year I told everyone that I would not be able to host dinner. My tires are shot and will cost $400.00 and my son wants to continue his swimming lessons for $200.00. He has epilepsy and is both autistic and mentally retarded. I am not giving that up - he deserves something social in his life.

    So far all I've heard is crickets from my brothers. My mother however is mad at me. She said that I could host it at her house. She's a slob and my older brother (who does not live with his wife but continues to pay all of her bills) lives there and if anything he's a bigger slob. I'm talking hoarder-like here. She also has a refrigerator that sours milk within two days. I explained to her that I didn't trust her 25 year old refrigerator and didn't want to cook there. She got very angry with me and said there was nothing wrong with it although it sits in the unsafe zone on the thermometer. I also told her that for once in my adult life, I just wanted to stay home with my two kids and no stress. She is welcome to come over or go with my brothers it was up to her. She is making me feel like if Thanksgiving doesn't happen this year that it is my fault and the fact that I haven't heard from my brothers is making it worse.

    I also want to mention that I am not her favorite child and never have been and don't get why it has to be me. All my life I've felt something being the only girl and it's always been that I've been expected to do what is traditionally expected of females and my brothers aren't. Any advice?
    First of all, welcome to the forum, Dixie!

    There's no winning in this Thanksgiving situation, Dixie, so you have to take the solution with the least casualties. I like the idea of Thanksgiving dinner at a restaurant, Dutch Treat. Second would be dinner at one of your brothers' houses (it's their turn). Waaaay down the list would be dinner at your mom's ("would you like another serving of ptomaine?").

    Stand fast, dear, and do what's right for you and your kids.
    If we're ever in a situation where I am "the voice of reason", then we are in a very, very bad situation.

  8. #38
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    4,499
    Hi Dixie. Welcome. I feel for your mother. Maybe she's not a "slob". Maybe she has a mental disorder and can't help it. I do however agree that her place does not sound like it would receive a very good sanitation score and therefore it wouldn't be healthy to be cooking and serving Thanksgiving there. She sounds sensitive and hurt that you don't approve but she also probably knows that you're right.

    Maybe you could take her some fresh flowers, apologize for any critical remarks you may have made, and tell her you've got a new and unique idea for celebrating Thanksgiving with the whole family.

    I don't know your location or weather but if it's possible to have a potluck-style picnic in a nearby park, you could push 2 picnic tables together end-to-end, cover with a couple of tablecloths from home or dollar store disposable tablecloth, set a cornucopia of fresh fruit or homemade flower arrangement in the center (made of pine-cones, evergreens, and a few fresh sunflowers from the store or pumpkins). Make it low and long so guests can see over it to talk. If it's a little breezy, weight everything down with pretty handpainted rocks.

    Then, after clean-up, take a family walk down a nice path in the park. Play frisbee, hula hoops, soccer, bubble-blowing, etc with the kids.

    Before going home, hold hands together in a circle and say a prayer of gratitude or sing a familiar song the whole family knows. Or have each person say what their grateful for. Mention your gratitude for your mother as she's the "matriarch" of the family and deserves respect for that even though she's lost her way in life a little.

    Happy Thanksgiving

  9. #39
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Connecticut USA
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    12,295
    All of these alternatives are great, but why is it up to Dixie to make the suggestions? I mean, who put her in charge?

    Dixie are you yourself, assuming responsibility here? If so, that's fine but if they don't go for your suggestions, don't feel bad.

    I think we all know that hoarders and people who allow bacteria in their homes and food have an illness.

  10. #40
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    Jul 2015
    Location
    North Carolina
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    4,499
    Quote Originally Posted by RadishRose View Post
    ...but why is it up to Dixie to make the suggestions? I mean, who put her in charge? Dixie are you yourself, assuming responsibility here? If so, that's fine but if they don't go for your suggestions, don't feel bad...
    It happens in many families where one person has a gift of being a caregiver, a selfless helper, a peacemaker, and a healer. Others kind of take advantage of that unknowingly or knowingly. And sometimes, the one being used doesn't look at it that way since that's their gift. They enjoy helping others for the most part...unless their efforts aren't appreciated or respected or supported at all.

  11. #41
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    Jun 2014
    Location
    Connecticut USA
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    12,295
    I agree, Lara, and we know good souls like this. I just hate to see people low on funds as it is, being taken advantage of, as what sounds like is being suggested here.

    Wishing you well Dixie, whatever you choose to do. Only you really know

  12. #42
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    2,696
    Quote Originally Posted by Ronni View Post
    I don't know why this reminded me, but it did. My brother's wife (passed away a few years ago now) was german. She had a very quaint way of speaking, and would sometimes mis-use the english language. One of my favorite things is she'd refer to "de-thawing" the turkey (or whatever else was frozen) No matter how many times she was corrected, she couldn't seem to grasp that "thawing" was the correct word. Frozen things were always de-thawed. Cracked me up every time!
    Yoopers say "unthaw." Well. Okay. I'm a Yooper and don't say unthaw. My mother, not to mention my grandmothers and aunts, would have raised their eyebrows, then corrected me on the spot!
    Retired. Nowhere to go and plenty of time to get there.

  13. #43
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    Omaha
    Posts
    46
    Holidays certainly evolve and change over the years. Especially after your parents pass. All of my siblings and my husband's siblings have their own traditions with their own families now and we seldom get together anymore. However, this Thanksgiving my sister, my daughter and I are going to one of the casino's buffet. My hubby has to work and my sister's family apparently doesn't want her with them. So it will be our small party with a bunch of strangers around us. This is the first time I've eaten at a casino for a holiday. I'm not sure how this will work out, but I guess it's better than just sitting at home. We will have a small Thanksgiving Friday with hubby.

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