Thanksgiving is less than two weeks away. Oh sure, some of you have it all under control. Your turkeys are ordered and your centerpieces are made and you’ve already begun testing pumpkin pie recipes to find just the right one. Bravo for you. What? Do I sound bitter? Maybe I am. My hostility has nothing to do with your perfectly-organized holiday. I wish you well, in fact. My hostility is the result of certain impending doom. Okay, maybe that was a little harsh. It’s just that I am expecting house guests this year and I’ve been so distracted by the logistics of pulling off a peaceful holiday that I can’t seem to even think about what might be on the menu.

There are seven of them. We will attempt to accommodate seven people and their assorted belongs in the nooks and crannies of our already full house. I am not overly concerned about the physical accommodations; we can surely scavenge up enough pillows and blankets to keep everyone happy. My bigger concern is that it has been over a decade since we were all staying under one roof. Oh, didn’t I mention? These house guests are my family: my mom, my dad, my two brothers, one sister-in-law and a set of grandparents. It might sound innocent enough, but I can assure you that this is sure to be a motley crew.

For starters, this Thanksgiving will mark the first time since my mom and dad divorced a few years ago that they will be staying under the same roof. Add to that awkwardness the fact that my medicinal marijuana-dealing brother and his young bride are driving in from California. My brother and I don’t exactly see eye-to-eye on his career of choice. You can imagine then that our banter always makes for stimulating dinner conversation. My other brother will be here, too, which should be interesting considering the fact that he and my grandmother haven’t been on speaking terms for nearly a year.

Tell me this doesn’t sound like a reality show in the making.

I saw this infographic the other day and I just had to share. Apparently, Embassy Suites commissioned a study on holiday house guests. The results came as no surprise to me. For instance, they found that 64% of respondents would rather go on vacation than stay with family members. Um, duh? And then, 50% said house guests would wear out their welcome within five days. Now might be a good time to note that I was not polled; five days with my house guests would most certainly result in yellow crime tape and a lengthy prison sentence. Ahem, would someone please pass the green bean casserole?

The infographic goes on to point out that more than 71% of Americans have witnessed bad house guest behavior. In this case, skipping out on group activities is considered bad house guest behavior. Without taking anything away from those Cleaver-esque families, I have to beg pardon here and question what they were thinking. I mean, why look a gift horse in the mouth? Count your blessings, people. Isn’t that what this holiday is all about?

In closing, I’d just like to say that if you happen to be one of the seven people who will soon be arriving on my doorstep, this article was meant purely in jest. Ha ha. Funny, right? (For anybody else who might be reading: send help!).

(1) comment

John Flanagan

If you could be a fly on the wall and visit your neighbors any time of day, you would realize that many families have dysfunctional relationships. Broken marriages, difficult relatives, distrust, disappointing dreams of once good relationships turned sour: life at best is often complicated. But as you sit down for a Thanksgiving Dinner, at least in your case many of your relatives at least still speak to one another. In many situations, parents and children, brothers and sisters, relatives, and former good friends sadly no longer communicate. Even the passing of years often cannot heal, and people go to their graves without sharing a kind word to those whom they probably love, if only pride and some fractious issue hadn't destroyed something good in the past.
When you share your Thnksgiving meal, just keep things light, avoid arguments, thank God for His blessings. Keep a positive focus.

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