To be up front and totally honest, I have to admit Thanksgiving may be my least favorite holiday. Probably not for any of the usually suspect reason one might imagine (i.e., forced family gatherings, awkward family conversation, even more awkward family house guests, eating too much, drinking too much, hangovers, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Creepy inflatable parade characters, and well the list goes on). No sadly, my distain for Thanksgiving is a bit more morbid and related to a family history of untimely death related to the holiday week. First memory was my great grand-mother, second was the tragic accident involving my grandfather’s truck brakes failing while driving through the Rocky Mountains, and last but not by any means the least, was the death of my father from a pro-longed terminal illness, which after years of touch and go, occurred one week prior to, yes you guessed it, Thanksgiving!
That last one, my father, well it had a resounding affect on my ability to enjoy anything that involved turkeys, family dinners, or the entire week before or during the holiday! The very thought of the impending holiday for many years, resulting in utter panic related anxiety, worrying which stone might drop next. As a reasonable adult, I have discovered a coping mechanism that involves masking my fears with alcohol, cooking, fake merriment, and basically trying to ignore the holiday, while focusing on preparation for Christmas, which ironically, is my favorite holiday! I know none of this makes much sense, but it is my sound theory that many people have such fears and anxiety that surround them during the holiday for a variety of reasons at the typical family gathering, and thus results all the “awkward” family merriment! We’re all a bunch of freaked out fakers, just trying to get through it.
With all this said, one of my “coping” mechanisms involves looking forward to the many traditional Thanksgiving TV specials, which for whatever reason, seem always to be very entertaining (read all awkward moment notes above)! The following are some clips from some of my very most favorite TV moments from over the years. I hope you enjoy them, and read through to the end, for my most memorable family Thanksgiving moment, it’s pretty funny!!
My early favorite holiday show was of course, Charlie Brown’s Thanksgiving:
Probably my very most favorite Thanksgiving TV moment EVER, and very close to my heart as it re-aired the day my oldest son was born, and caused me much pain due to belly laughing after a c-section……Anyone remember WKRP in Cincinnati? “Turkeys away”
“As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly!”
One of my favorite overall sitcoms of all time is Friends, so it’s hard to decide which one of their Turkey Day shows is my favorite, so you decide:
And perhaps the most watched Brad Pitt Thanksgiving episode!
Everybody loves the Huxtables! Remember “Cliff’s Wet Adventure”
There are many other funny moments, touching moments, and it looks to be another funny season ahead. I will finish the blog by sharing my funniest personal holiday moment. This story takes place several years back when my youngest son was still in high school, and my oldest son was working as a chef (but still living at home), and my dearly departed mother was still alive and living with out family. As referenced previously, I was making the most of the holiday, starting out with a huge holiday breakfast, served with mimosas and chocolate fondue with fruit. My oldest was working all day, and my youngest had holiday rounds to make with friends, all promised to return with their friends for dinner at our house in the early evening. Mom is doing her usual criticizing of my cooking while she sits on her perch, I mean chair crocheting, and I am working away while sipping my wine) anxiously awaiting the large group of my children and their friends I am expecting for dinner. Five o’clock turns to six, phones calls are received promising a later arrival, wine turns to beer, seven o’clock phone calls promise eight o’clock arrival, and finally at 8:30 p.m. my mother and I sit and eat alone. While cleaning up the kitchen I switch to bourbon (my go to favorite), and by 9:30 the kids all start rolling in, all talking about how full they are from all the other places they have eaten. Let’s be honest, I am soused, I mean really a little loud and more than a little pissed off. “No problem”, I say, “I just cooked a 18 pound turkey so we can eat left overs for the next month!! Don’t worry about it!” They all glare at me, and I immediately head upstairs to my room, and promptly pass out, I mean go to bed for the night. There was a low grumble of….”what’s her problem”, clearly they don’t get it…..and I’m, well drunk
Next morning I wake up, recovered, refreshed, and ready to have a turkey sandwich and start decorating for Christmas, once again forgetting that Thanksgiving even happened. As I walk in the kitchen I see the dish the leftover turkey had been in laying in the sink, along with an array of other leftover dishes. This must be a joke, they all said how full they were!!! I didn’t go to bed until 9:30 pm!! In the course of the evening, a group of probably six or seven young men had literally eaten an entire 18 pound turkey, right down to the bones! Needless to say, that was the holiday with no turkey sandwiches! Happy Thanksgiving eveyone!!! Stay safe, and God Bless!!
Life is a journey for sure and it is a blind journey without communication. Sometimes it is fun to wonder what goes on in the mind of those around us whose lives have no baring on our own, but when it is someone you care about, it isn’t fun to guess and it is an unfortunate failure when a relationship ends with a complete lack of communication, particularly when the failure is the result of the imaginative mind run amuck….the guessing, the pondering, the placing of thoughts that don’t exist. Be it intimate, family, friend or foe, it is never a good feeling to find that someone has thought ill of you and based those thoughts on a complete lack of knowledge and this is a situation that can not be resolved. Though it feels awful. a realist knows that there is no need to simmer in a debate with yourself, but rather better to evaluate, recalculate and move forward with knowledge for the future. With these thoughts in mind, I submit my new personal tools, THE TEN COMMANDMENTS OF COMMUNICATION:
1.Find a peaceful time to talk-the best time for objective talking is when everyone is in a good mood. (Suggest a good bottle of merlot be served at discussion.)
2. Decide what’s important to say-don’t discuss the last 18 things that caused you grief or need discussing, pick the things that really matter the most, otherwise you just overwhelm the person and are likely to get no response at all. (Girls, turn off the digitel rolodex in your brains.)
3. Speak with the same respect and tone you would want for yourself-if you don’t like to be yelled at, then don’t yell……..get it? (Unless of course the person you’re talking to has turned up the music to drown you out, then suggest avoid conversation all together, because it’s probably going no where anyway.)
4. Start and end with a positive statement-let the person know you’re not just griping, you are hoping to reach a better place. (That’s right, bite your lip and forget all the dumb stuff you know isn’t going to change anytime soon.)
5. Explain, don’t complain-self-explanatory, no one likes a whiner (unless you’re a winer, and serving a good cheese.)
6. Use positive words rather than negative words to say the same thing-instead of saying “you’re wrong” maybe say, there are other ways to see the situation. (Also suggest avoiding words like; idiot, moron, stupid, dumb-ass, and well, you get the point.)
7. Ask for more sensitivity to your needs-don’t ask anyone to change, ask for for what you need from the person and leave it to them to decide to act differently toward you.
8. Say it just once-honestly, no need to keep repeating yourself, just because there is no instant response doesn’t mean the other person didn’t hear you, they may just need to process and respond. Not everyone works on the same time clock, so say it and move on. (If the other person hasn’t brought the subject back up in oh say, six weeks to six months, then the subject may warrant a re-visit.)
9. Learn to listen as much as you speak-if you miss the response when it comes, then what’s the point? (To truly listen, you can not be quietly thinking through your witty, yet poignant response during the time the other person is speaking!)
10. Let the other person know how much you appreciate them listening to you-because TRUST ME, when they never give you a chance to talk (i.e. they never listen to you), and then it ends without any communication, well it’s just a shame. A very good thing can get tossed away without any effort at all.
The Ten Commandments were originally provided to me in some company team building (ha!), so I take no credit for the commandment tools, just the extenuating comments. It all seems to make pretty good sense, and yet at times is very hard to do. So is the journey through life, that becomes so interesting. But I can tell you with certainty, what I find to be true personally, if I feel a burning urge to simultaneously break all of the commandments, that’s the time to duck and run……….gather my myself………and communicate at another time!
A re-post from an old blog, oddly up to date and accurate:
Life is one long series of choices…..itsn’t it great?! For the most part, practically from birth, we get to choose how we get from point A to point B, how we react to every situation, and by our reaction, in reality, we often set in cast the outcome, thus the future, thus, we choose our futures by our reactions, which was our choice………………..Now this is a powerful proposition, but only if you understand that you possess it, and not only that you possess it, but that you can figure out how to refine it and use it not just for your personal gratuitous satisfaction, because if I’m honest, that’s not always the best choice, but for the best long term out come in your life. WOW……I can choose how my life turns out? Yes, I believe to a great extent, if not totally, we can. I also believe that most of the bad stuff that happens to us, well it’s because of some bad choice or choices, we made, somewhere along the path, the journey, if you will…..called life. God will help you get out of your own way….believe me, I know!
Now because we all make bad choices at some point or another, no matter how hard we try not to, no one has found that perfect utopia. At least no one that I have met…..and even if I met that person, well I guess I would think…”how long can that last before it crumbles” lol….or bullshit “no one is that flipping perfect”. And if the eternal search was over, what would there be to live for? I do have a couple of friends who have with pistol point precision vision, maneuvered their lives to a point of success that they aspired to without falter. When things weren’t going the direction they aspired to, without hesitation, they were able to make those difficult choices, decisions or re-set priorities, that allowed they to move in a different direction to get where they wanted to be. When women do it, it’s like fine art in motion….crafty, sleek and beautiful…..even those women we hate for being able to stay to the path like no other,we respect…..for some reason, the lazy women who will never reach such inspiration choose to call those women bitches, because well that makes them seem less attractive to men. True or not? That’s another discussion.
When I reflect on my christian beliefs and what I have learned in my life studies as what I choose to believe as my struggle to live a spiritual life, it sums up to one thing, and that one thing is what I always, always tell my boys…..you have to know what you want, and then you just have to get your priorities straight if you want to get on the right path. Some people simply accept the right now as their reality and see no way out of it. That’s just lazy. Sometimes it’s hard to change your life or attain a big goal…..didn’t say it would be easy. I just said, I believe we can achieve most things in life, simply by getting our priorities straight. Making the “choice” to turn down a certain path, make the correct decision, then once that decision has been made, figure out the priorities necessary to get to the goal line.
Here’s a clue…if nothing changes, nothing changes….if you’re not happy with how much money you make, don’t tell me you didn’t go to college, that I don’t understand. That’s such garbage. My mother didn’t have money for me to go to college either, but I figured it out. I have friends who married young and then decided to go back later to find a career after having kids. And hey, it took 8 years of night school to get their BA, but they did it! It was hard, it took sacrifices, but they kept their eye on the prize, set their priorities, exercised patient (a key ingredient to the process). And now two such friends, are working their way up the corporate ladder, and both make more money than her husbands.
Now after all the diatribe, I must admit, I am struggling myself at this time, to get my priorities where they need to be. Mine is not a goal to attain riches and treasures. Mine is more a goal to be the kind of person I want to be. God…..Family….Community…..what can I say, it’s a work in progress. I won’t say I am trying, because it’s more than that! I am acting daily on my desire. But it’s not a perfect plan, and I fall off the path and it’s really hard when being on the right path and keeping your priorities straight, means cutting someone you care about out of your life……………………that’s the worst! For now, this moment, one down………….still not sure it’s the right thing. BUT, negative energy breeds more negative energy………..
So tomorrow, you get up, think about your goals, what you can do today to keep moving forward…..working towards being the person you want to be. I guess I just feel lucky that I at least know that the choices are mine, that I can look in the mirror, and what I see is hopefully who I want to be.