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Time to Spread My Thanksgiving Wings

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Andrea of "Bedtimes Are for Suckers" wonders: Isn't it time I made a move from the "kids' table" and started my own Thanksgiving family traditions?

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Andrea of "Bedtimes Are for Suckers": Every Thanksgiving for the last 30 or so years, I have been at one place and one place only: my parent's house. Every year, the same relatives show up ... the young, the old and the really, really old. Every year, I eat my own weight in my dad's amazing stuffing. (But, I admit, I pick out the celery.)

My parents live for Thanksgiving. Even though they are well into their 70s, they've continued to host the event every year for decades. Their house is always festively decorated to celebrate fall, their favorite season. They look forward to it all year.

So how can I suddenly say, "Next year, I'm outta here"?

I have this crazy idea that this year I'm going to broach the subject of having Thanksgiving at my house. As a new parent, I have my own family now. I think it's time I tried my hand at this Thanksgiving thing. But I don't want to hurt my parents' feelings. I would, of course, invite them to my feast -- but the rest of the extended family? I'm afraid some of them wouldn't make the cut. It's not that I don't love all of my relatives (OK, I don't), but the sheer number of them would make it impossible to accommodate. Unlike my parents, we live in a teeny house. That means it would be a small affair ... which I think is all I could handle. I'm not renowned for my cooking. I'd be a nervous wreck. While my parents can put together a Thanksgiving bash in their sleep, I'm sure I would lose sleep hosting such an important family event. (Unless my Thanksgiving tradition included Swanson's Turkey Pot Pies.)

It seems daunting to start my own tradition when doing so would mean dismantling my parents' Thanksgiving legacy. Then again, how am I ever going to get good at cooking and carving a turkey if I don't start now?

Am I not allowed to host my own Thanksgiving unless my parents are too old to do it themselves?

Read more from Andrea at "Bedtimes Are for Suckers"


next: When Should Kids Start Giving Their Own Presents?
25 comments so far | Post a comment now
Gabrielle November 16, 2010, 8:41 AM

I must admit I to have never hosted Thanksgiving. I am not looking forward to it. I will let my mother cook Thanksgiving dinner as long as she wants. I always help, but I have not desire to have all that stress for one meal. I guess you can tell I am not a big fan of turkey, but always thankful.

Jessica November 16, 2010, 9:55 AM

This will be my first year hosting Thanksgiving! I told my mom a few months ago that I was thinking of hosting thanksgiving this year and she was glad she didn’t have to do the cooking! We have a small family so it shouldn’t be that hard, right?

Jonie November 16, 2010, 3:05 PM

It sounds like your parents really, really enjoy doing this. You have every right to do your own thing, but I wouldn’t expect them to come, since it seems extended family are counting on your parents to host their annual feast. You could just throw a small dinner party that doesn’t have to be Thanksgiving. That way, if microwave pot pies are more your thing than roasting a 25 lbs turkey, you could make something else more your style.

Jaclyn November 18, 2010, 8:55 PM

My parents visit my father’s relatives on Thanksgiving, and have another dinner the Saturday after Thanksgiving for my mother’s side, since on of her sisters comes to NY from Canada for the holiday.

The Saturday dinner isn’t a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, but it is a nice family meal. So I would second Jonie’s suggestion if your mother is resistant to the idea of giving up Thanksgiving.

ARe there any holidays that haven’t been claimed in your family? I started hosting mother’s day, since no one else celebrated it at home.

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