Thanksgiving and Family


Yup, I’m starting off Monday with a double whopper of potentially explosive words – Thanksgiving and Family.  Maybe you don’t find them to be like mine fields, but they have the potential in my life to be loaded.  How about you?

You see, now that I’m divorced, there’s that whole holiday switcheroo and Thanksgiving is the tip of the holiday season where the kids have to straddle mom and dad and our separate families.  This year, I get the kids for Thanksgiving Day itself (last year he did) and he gets them on Friday for a Thanksgiving meal with his family.  Unfortunately, this makes the kids who aren’t big fans of turkey, stuffing etc, have to eat 2 big meals of foods they don’t particularly enjoy, especially two days in a row.  Talk about feeling guilty as a Mom!  But such is life and there’s not a lot I can do about it.  Last year, when he had Thanksgiving Day with his family and the kids, on Friday, when it was my turn, we went to a movie and then to Five Guys for burgers afterwards for our big Thanksgiving holiday meal.  They were grateful and told me so because the thought of two turkey meals in succession was too much for them.  I hope they remember that, because to me, it’s all about putting the kids first.  Frankly, I think it’s the kids who get punished in a divorce sometimes, don’t you think?

I’m not a huge Thanksgiving fan myself, so I understand.  On Thanksgiving itself last year, I went alone to my brother’s house.  It was really awkward for me and I didn’t like it at all.  We are going back there this year and it will be better because my kids will be there to hang out with their cousins.  Last year, being just me and his family was awful.  I just felt like the loser Aunt who’s divorced and alone.  I think I would have rather stayed home by myself honestly.  I mean, it was nice that they invited me, but I was uncomfortable.  Maybe it’s me, but I felt like a third wheel and I was overly sensitive to the fact that I was alone and my kids weren’t with me because they were at their dad and his family’s celebration.

How do you deal with the start of the holiday season?  What do you do on Thanksgiving?  How do you share the holidays?  Whatever you do, I hope that you feel good and that the kids are at peace too.


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5 Responses to Thanksgiving and Family

  1. TJ Fox says:

    Last year was the first holiday without my family. I ended up doing the whole big thing with Hubby’s dad and sister (all that is left on that side). It was a lot of work, but I love cooking and feeding people, it is one of the ways I show how much I care. It wasn’t horribly different because I’ve done it that way in the past as we always tried to be fair between the two families, but Christmas was a whole other ballgame. Still, I loved our holidays last year because I didn’t have tons of outside expectations that ended up making what should have been a fun and exciting season just a lot of work. We did exactly what we wanted as a family and it was one of the best we’ve ever had.

    I had one of those “really getting it” moments when I watched BG dance a couple of weeks ago and there were hardly any parents there. We are only allowed so many times to get to watch throughout the year. These girls will only be dancing for so long. Why on Earth would you miss a single one unless you had no choice?! This follows that same kind of thought. Kids grow up and have lives of their own. The things you do now could very well change or just not be there later. Enjoy every single second you have with them. When you have to do a holiday without them, my advice, again, is to do what makes you happy. No one said you HAVE to spend the holidays with family. Enjoy a nice dinner alone or invite friends. Whatever brings you joy. Isn’t that kind of the point anyway?


    • janieleeds says:

      Thanks TJ – and a big warm thank you hug as well. I am so glad you went to see BG dance as those moments come and go in a flash and boom they’re all grown up and you’ve lost that precious time. That’s why I go to everything still and feel badly when I can’t go. It takes effort and I’m always glad I went even if it’s a pain to go. Know what I mean? Thanks I have the kids for Thanksgiivng itself. I have yet to decide what I will do on Christmas eve when I’m alone. But I’ll figure it out! I’m sure I will talk about it! Have a lovely happy day! xo

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The way you Americans do Thanksgiving and the philosophy behind it appeals to me so much more than the ultra-commercialised Christmas holiday period we have in Australia. I used to enjoy Christmas a lot more when my boys were little but now that they’re teens and their dad only sees them a few hours a week, it’s so much more unpleasant and loaded with potential for flare-ups because of course are all SUPPOSED to be happy! No wonder it’s peak suicide season with all this expectation for joy and contentment!


  3. Pingback: I Can’t Sleep Because Holidays Are Coming | Authentically 50 ~ Embracing Life's Changes

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