Monday, November 20, 2006

On author Jill Shalvis' blog today she is praying for patience. Why, you ask? Well, it seems that her entire family is descending on her home for Thanksgiving, and there might be more than one personality clash happening over there.

What is it about holiday gatherings that can, and often does, bring out the worst in people? Why is it that when people who rarely/never see each other get in a group setting, it's only a matter of time before the digs about this one's weight or how frumpy that one is or how cheap uncle charlie is begins? Is it simply stress changing the air? Is there something besides seratonin in the turkey? Is it listening to so many christmas carols that if you hear 'It's the most wonderful time of the year' one more time you'll put an icepick through your brain?

I lucked out for the most part. My family when I was growing up all got along. I don't remember anyone having arguments during the holidays--I think part of this has to do with my family's "stiff upper lip" heritage. My sisters and I might squabble a bit but it was never anything of import. To this day there is rarely, if ever, a cross word between us.

While I was married holidays inevitably were at my MIL's house. I got on with her just fine, but there was definitely more drama in that family than I was used to. The kids (my ex included) would be squabbling over insults going all the way back to childhood while their kids were running wild in the house and it was only a matter of time before my FIL would get fed up and start shouting "EVERYBODY GO HOME!"

Now, my sweetheart's family gets together sporadically and mostly everything goes well. No one argues, though his one nephew gets seriously worked up about sports and politics so we avoid those topics if possible. Sweetheart's mom is a bit scattered, and she always brings pie. LOTS of pie. Like six of them when you just asked for one. But we haven't had a bad holiday yet even though this year we'll be living it up in Chicago instead of sitting down to turkey with them.

I can't wait.