Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving? No thanks!

Thanksgiving without the drama.

That sounds dramatic.

Almost blasphemous.

In the past month, no matter where you look you have been bombarded with scenes of loving families gathered around a sumptuous feast, proclaiming their love and gratitude…holiday miracles... commercials, movies, television shows, newspapers, magazines, local news channels...
The media has flooded the country with recipes, entertaining ideas, decorations, special sales… When you are so inundated with that “warm and fuzzy” feeling, you are probably hoping for that truly meaningful Hallmark Thanksgiving and you want to believe that this year it will happen!

How can that be bad?

The truth is that many of us will not have a great Thanksgiving.  Every family has their share of dysfunction- it just varies in severity. In some families it may be a matter of subtle indifference. There might be relationship issues that cause some to grit their teeth or possibly fly off the handle. Sometimes it’s a matter of family dynamics and patterns. Family members end up in permanent “roles”.  I have seen patterns in families where one or more members seem to find themselves in the “scapegoat” position. Again and again.

Many people feel immense disappointment, never experiencing that feeling of being loved and comforted and reassured.  The sad feeling of deflation that follows can sometimes lead to depression. The chances of this are magnified even further because before anyone can catch their breath after a Thanksgiving debacle, you are being assaulted with all the unrealistic hoopla that surrounds Christmas.

It seems that the universal message to all is this:

No matter how unpleasant or painful it may be…you MUST be part of a family Thanksgiving dinner. You will be thankful and happy and it will be just like a Lifetime movie.

I am going to just say it.

Wrong!

If you find it exceedingly painful to spend holidays with family, if it causes you undue anxiety and leaves you feeling deflated and let down… Don’t do it!

We don’t have to be sheep following the flock, brain washed by the media. In this day and age, the messages we receive from the media are all part of a multi-billion dollar money making machine. Holiday are money makers. We are flooded with messages to lead us in the direction that will be most profitable.  Most people don’t even celebrate holidays for their true meaning. Don’t even get me started on that!

Life is short. Here is a quote that sums it up nicely:

“Life is not a dress rehearsal.
This is your life, not a dress rehearsal.
Life is not a rehearsal.
And life ain’t a rehearsal the camera’s always rollin’.”

You are responsible for you own happiness- no one else. You must make the decisions that bring you happiness. You don’t have to put yourself in positions that make you miserable. You’re an adult and you can choose where you go and what you do.

If spending Thanksgiving with family causes you pain, don’t do it! Do something that makes you happy. Do something enjoyable. Who says you have to have the traditional dinner? If you like it, fine. If not, make your favorite meal or go to a restaurant!

Most people are very caring and nurturing to their loved ones, but when it comes to ourselves, we can be quite harsh…even mean. Let today be a day of change. Be kind to yourself. Be a friend. Be happy.