Today is Thanksgiving day in the US.

Americans seem to have a love-hate relationship with this holiday. In many families it seems to be anticipated with dread at the thought of a large number of family members who do not share the same views and often do not get along with each other being expected to share a very long afternoon and evening together that can end up with arguments. And yet to not turn up can also cause problems, so it is a lose-lose proposition.

This Saturday Night Live sketch uses the framing of a Target advertisement to make this point.

Last year the pandemic restrictions gave those who would prefer not to attend these family events a good excuse to stay away. But they are out of luck this year though Samantha Bee warns that there are still some regions of the country where the number of covid-19 cases are worrying.

She also informs me of a new kind of idiocy spreading among the anti-vaxxers. Forced to get vaccinated because of various employer mandates, they are being sold post-vaccination snake oil that taking baths in Borax will remove the vaccine from the body.

I have always found Thanksgiving to be quite pleasant, spending a nice time with friends. But the fact that it was with friends may be the reason. The hosts were under no obligation to invite us and we had no obligation to accept. So the reason we spent the time together was because we both wanted to. With family, it is different. As the saying goes, you can choose your friends but you can’t choose your relatives.


  1. Dennis K says

    I bit the bullet this year and stayed home. Wife went to the in-laws alone. If I can get through this “holiday” season unseen by these people, I’ll have a set a new standard for myself. Interacting with her siblings of hardcore GOP-ers has become too much to bear.

  2. cartomancer says

    We don’t really have anything like the American Thanksgiving over here in the UK. When we want to meet up with our families we just tend to go ahead and do it. I suppose there is Christmas, where we tend to gather with family as a matter of course, but usually we don’t have any real problems getting together for a meal over the weekend. I suppose this has something to do with the fact we tend to be much closer to each other geographically than you lot.

  3. anat says

    In Israel, OTOH there are multiple holidays all around the year that serve as a reason for large family gatherings with lots of food that takes a long time to prepare. The biggest ones are Rosh Hashana (Hebrew New Year) and Passover eve (Seder night), both resulting in extremely heavy traffic before and after. My extended family had a cycle whereby certain branches of the family ‘always’ hosted a particular holiday.

    These days I live very far from any relatives (besides my husband and my son, that is). I just like having a few times a year to cook more elaborate meals and to really go out of my way with experimentation. (Sure, I could do it any time, but having a designated day for it makes me more likely to commit and carry through.)

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