Happy almost-Thanksgiving! If you are like me, I'm sure that you cannot believe the holidays are already upon us. What happened to Fall? Although the song says "Oh, there's no place like home for the holidays," despite what we see in Hallmark Channel's Five Night Thanksgiving Movie Event, the fact is that most of us experience a sense of dread as we envision our upcoming holiday gatherings. Feelings of resistance, anxiety, and resignation start to bubble up as we anticipate the drama and dis-ease that will undoubtedly accompany the candied yams and pumpkin pie. As we contemplate the upcoming holiday, our minds naturally drift back to Thanksgivings past and we automatically become stressed out thinking about our family dynamic and the scenarios that consistently cause trauma and trepidation before we get to and/or around the Thanksgiving table. Any hope of warm and fuzzy feelings turn cold and cautious as we contemplate situations like:
- How do I once again try to explain to my family why I have to bring my own food since I eat vegan or gluten-free?
- What can I do to appease my parents and in-laws, who are all divorced but expect us to show up and make their Thanksgiving meal the most significant one?
- How should I handle it this year when, at the last minute, my sister-in-law once again decides to invite four more people to dinner?
- What do I do when Uncle Bob brings up politics and the holiday goes from being about pilgrims, Native Americans, and gratitude to Democrats vs. Republicans and hate and hurling insults?
- How do I not get pissed off at my family when they stay glued to the couch and watching TV as I do all of the work in the kitchen?