What do I do about Thanksgiving this year?

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New Member

Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 16
   Posted 11/20/2011 7:30 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi everyone,

Thanksgiving is coming up and it is my absolute favorite holiday. My family and I have Thanksgiving at our house and it is a really chill day of eating, lounging around and being together. This year, my extended family from my father's side invited us to their house for Thanksgiving. We haven't seen them in years and they decided to have a huge Thanksgiving dinner to get everyone together.

I don't know what to do in this situation. My family kind of wants to see the extended family because we rarely can see them and the family members who invited us are getting old. My family's take is that we should take advantage of this opportunity to see them and be together with them for Thanksgiving. I, on the other hand, am dying inside. I love spending a quiet day at home with just my family. Our Thanksgiving dinners at home as a family are the only thing I look forward to all year and the only thing left that makes me happy. I have horrible depression and anxiety so being around other people I'm not used to (extended family) would sky-rocket it through the roof and would make it a really difficult day for me.

I know if I told my family, they would instantly and without question stay home and do the traditional Thanksgiving. I feel horrible doing that because they would be sacrificing what they want for me and who knows when we would be able to see our 90+ year-old extended family members again. On the other hand, (not to sound melodramatic) I feel like I will have a nervous breakdown if I am robbed of my one happy day of the year. I haven't slept at night for a week from the idea of it.

We also can't have our traditional Thanksgiving dinner on any of the other days because of different family obligations for the rest of the weekend and then school starts up again Monday. It would also feel pointless to me if we even could do it on anther day because it would be a turkey dinner, not Thanksgiving.

I have no idea what to do in this situation!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 898
   Posted 11/20/2011 9:23 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Lola.  You are very lucky to have such a close-knit family that you enjoy being with.  I could actually feel the warmth of your relationship through your words. 
I sympathize with you about this change.  I myself have a difficult time with change so I respect where you are coming from.  However, change can also have positive points too.  If your relatives are in their 90's your dad may have a point.  There are probably not going to be too many holidays left that can be spent with them.  Have you spent holidays with them before?  While it may be different, do you think it is still possible to have a good time?
Also, Christmas is right around the corner too.  Does your family get together to celebrate on this day as well? 
I'm not sure if you take any anxiety medication, but sometimes when I know I have the potential to be stressed out I will carry a Xanax with me.  I'll take half of my 0.5 mg. dose.  It's enough to relax me so I can cope and not too much to knock me out.  Or perhaps if you feel as if you are getting stressed you could take a short walk or maybe a time out in a bedroom for breathing exercises.
Let us know what you decide.  But either way I think you are so lucky to have such a close family.  Maybe if you let them know you feel anxious they might find ways to help make you feel more comfortable too.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 2042
   Posted 11/20/2011 10:30 PM (GMT -6)   
Any time you can have your family together and share anything with them, be it a meal or a conversation, should really be a day of Thanks, and that really is what Thanksgiving is all about. It is nothing more than a day that has been officially marked on the calendar to remind us to slow down, take a look around and remember all that we have to be thankful for.

For 8 years I worked as a truck driver and it was very rare for me to make it home for Thanksgiving day. Because of that my Mom did whatever was needed to have her Day of Thanks meal when it was possible for me to be there. Some years it was the weekend before, other years it was the weekend after, and one year it was 2 weeks before Christmas. To be quite honest no matter when it was held it felt the same. It also didn't matter if it was turkey, ham, or pot roast served as the main course. It wasn't what was on the table that mattered but who was around it.

Today I look back on those days with a tear in my eye. My Mom passed away in December of 2007 and with it the tradition. I have not seen or spoken to any member of my side of the family since her funeral....their choice not mine. Most years now we, my wife, son and I, go to my in-laws for Thanksgiving and Christmas and I thank God to have been welcomed into my wife's family and I know that when the day comes that tradition ends it too will be sorely missed.

My whole point is that if time with your immediate family is important to you that is fine, but be flexible and appreciate ALL of the times, not just the ones the calendar say you should and also don't miss out on ANY opportunity you have to spend with those you call your family because before you know it those chances will be gone forever.
2 confirmed herniated lumbar discs. Spinal Arthritis. Spinal Stenosis, diabetic peripheral nueropathy.

It's Genetic
Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 1540
   Posted 11/21/2011 3:16 AM (GMT -6)   
Showtime, Lola!

Get your hair done the day before, wear your best Sunday dress, etc.
and take a Xanax before you get there. You may be sure there will be
pictures for memories' sake and it will probably be catered since your
family hosts are elderly. Arrive on time and leave early if necessary,
but please go just this once for the sake of memories for your children.

They will all love you for it, and you won't be there all day.

Take care and have a good Thanksgiving.

Welcome to the Depression Forum, by the way.

It's Genetic

Post Edited (It's Genetic) : 11/21/2011 2:26:37 AM (GMT-7)

getting by
Forum Moderator

Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 42206
   Posted 11/21/2011 8:28 AM (GMT -6)   
I agree, you should try to spend this year with the extended older family. YOu may not get another chance. As they are elderly. And you can have Christmas with your close family. And I think that they would love you enough to understand. And just think, no cooking. tada...

Do what your heart wants. But do think about the elderly. And the fact that you wont have many more oppertunities.

Did I confuse you more? I am good at that.

Hugs, Karen
Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia

fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression, allergies

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 2386
   Posted 11/21/2011 8:43 AM (GMT -6)   
I apologize for being blunt LoLa, but seriously I'd go to your family that you rarely see. They are elder. You don't know when they will be gone and remaining in your heart only.

Or you can do something like what I did. I didn't talk to my brother after he joined the ARMY. Guess what? He was killed in action over in Iraq. See what happened to me? I never got to see him, I never got to say goodbye, I never made up with him.

So with that my friend, realize this: Physical life is short, eternal life is a lifetime. Enjoy the physical life whilst you can, and devolope great memories to last a life time for that will always stay with you.

You aren't dying in the inside, its your insides working overtime. Take a breather. Enjoy life again. I don't find anything happy since my brother died, and I put on a front and pretend to be happy. I smile, I laugh but in my insides, I'm weeping. Cherish the times you have here on earth with people you know. You don't want to be all alone in this bitter cold world. Look at me, I think the world is a bitter cold place and medication doesn't help one bit. But I at least move on and try to find something enjoyable. I also know because of chemotherapy, its only a matter of time when I am gone, and I want to make the most of it.

You can do it! I know it.
"The Walking Medical Mystery"

Too many Allergies / Too many RXs & DXs

A Rare Gem for Doctors and Guinee Pig
~Medical Caregiver and Doctors Worse Nightmare~
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