To paraphrase the great Johnny Carson, Thanksgiving is that one day a year that we spend visiting our relatives that we hate. And then discover why we don’t see them very often and just once a year. Hate, might be too strong of a word here. Or at the very least worth debating if its too strong of a word in this case. I don’t actually have any relatives that I hate (that I know of) and my family is relatively small even if you include both of my in laws.
Thanksgiving is that one day a year where we can be proud of the fact that 1/2 Americans are obese, because one of the major activities during Thanksgiving is of course not just eating, but seeing how much you can eat before you break the chair you’re sitting on or literally lose everything you’re eating. And not because the food is bad but because you overindulged. Perhaps the number one motivation for actually seeing those relatives that you spend 364 days a year pretending you don’t even know, because you know at least the food will be good and more importunely it will be free.
Not to make too much about Thanksgiving because it is literally that one day a year where we can celebrate eating, which just happens to be one of my favorite holidays. As well as little things like being thankful for what we have and thank our military personal for the great job they do protecting our country so we can celebrate holidays like Thanksgiving. But there reasons why all of us have relatives and even close relatives like siblings and even parents that we not only not see very often, but stay away from and not even communicate other than maybe email and its not just because of physical distance. Some of that distance is personal as well.
Relatives might be that only group of people where you have so much in common with those people physically and as far as DNA and everything else and yet you seem so different from them personally. And end up socializing more not just with your friends, but your coworkers and even clients, because personally you’re more in touch with those people, than you are with people who have the same face, or eyes, or hair, like your parents and siblings, or even grandparents. And its not because you’re a bad person or your relatives are bad people. Well, in most cases thats true, but because no one knows you better than your siblings and parents. And they probably know you better than anyone else.
Our relatives know all of our strengths and weakness and we know all of their strengths and weaknesses as well. We know each other so well and like the Americans that we are we tend to focus on the things about people that we don’t like even to the point that we try to change people that are close to us to make them more like us or more acceptable to us. And tend to forget about the things that we have in common with the people that we’re supposed to love like our relatives. And we end up driving each other crazy and go a year or years without seeing each other. Thanksgiving gives us an opportunity every year to be thankful for what we have and not dwell on what we don’t have. And an opportunity to discover our relatives again and hopefully see why maybe we should get together more often in the future.