We will not be with my parents this Thanksgiving ... and we won't be with my husband's parents, either. The only trip we're taking this holiday season is a guilt trip ... come along for the ride!
Momlogic's Julie: There are definite advantages to NOT spending Thanksgiving with faraway family members. No fights over politics or religion. No stress over spending time at one house then dashing to another. No grandma's Jell-O salad to pretend to eat.
But when you spend Thanksgiving away from your family, there is definite guilt that comes along with it. You feel guilty you didn't make the effort to fly cross-country to see them ... because, you know, that's what you're supposed to do. (Or at least that's how the world makes you feel. It's the busiest travel day of the year, after all -- which means they're all making the effort to get somewhere and you're not. Which must mean you don't care as much as they do. Right?)
Then there's the guilt you feel for your children. All those Thanksgiving memories you have of a huge table full of food, surrounded by aunts, grandparents, and cousins? Your kids won't have any of those. And it's your fault.
But after you stop feeling guilty, you start feeling thankful for what you do have. We spend every Thanksgiving with our nearest and dearest friends in Los Angeles. There are about 10 or 15 of us who get together every year for a potluck dinner. Between us, we have 12 children, and there's another one on the way. These are the memories my kids will have of Thanksgiving: Being surrounded by friends who love them dearly, eating good food, laughing and having fun. Sure, those are different memories than I have of growing up, but they're just as meaningful.
And that's something to be thankful for.