Did you and your spouse take part in a forced Thanksgiving family gathering?

I have never been a real big proponent of forced family gatherings. You know the kind where you get together with your once or twice a year relatives- more as a compulsory act than one borne out of a mutual friendship or common interests. I get it; there are certain traditions we feel compelled to uphold primarily because Hallmark and other companies have effectively created compelling commercial campaigns that prey on our basest of vulnerabilities and convince us to emotionally subscribe to their message and ultimately inform our holiday planning decisions. The real-bottom line; these companies are banking their first quarter earnings on getting us “the public” to fork over wads of cash to facilitate these fabricated family gatherings.

NOTHING forced about hanging with these people!

But here’s the thing- when you really think about what Thanksgiving is; a time to reflect on your blessings, express your gratitude and surround yourself with the people who are intimately tied into all those aspects of your life- do your distant relatives come to mind? Is your uncle, who has worn the same tweed jacket the past five years, and brought along his alcoholic common-law wife- really a person who contributes to your happiness or has anything to do with you on even a monthly basis? If the answer is a resounding no- then I say it’s time you celebrate the holiday on your own terms. I believe it’s high time you don’t allow yourself to succumb to the pressures of creating a family feast for people who may share a bloodline with you- but have little else and /or next to nothing to do with who you are, who you’ve become and who you aspire to be.

This Thanksgiving ( and holiday season) teach your kids, that family is not where you come from- but who you’ve become and who you choose to bring into your life. Family is who you can call when your kid is running a fever, and drop off your other kid at their house with little or no notice so that you can see a doctor. Family is the people from who you draw your strength and, on a daily basis, bless your life with their presence and love. In my humble opinion, creating these traditions and modeling these behaviors for your children, are what Thanksgiving celebrations truly ought to be about. And c’mon, they will definitely be a step up from fielding questions from nosy distant relatives whose once-yearly visit can often times make you wish Thanksgiving were celebrated only during leap years!

FESS UP…Did you having a fabricated family gathering this Thanksgiving?