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Who else is choosing to spend Thanksgiving with only immediate family?


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My husband and I take our girls and go to Cracker Barrel for Thanksgiving. I used to cook for my ENTIRE immediate family. Yes, one person, me, cooking for at least 14 or 16 people. The last year I did it, I was 35 weeks pregnant with Cora, and I decided never again. So we have gone to Cracker Barrel every year since then. In the next couple of years (when I get over my rebellion), I will probably cook again, but just for us. ;)

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We've been spending the holidays at home for the past few years now, and it's been great!

 

It was exhausting to haul 3 kids around, worry about pets, and deal with traffic. Now that we're going on 5 kids, I'm so glad we broke that tradition.

 

Our house is way too small to host all our family, so we usually invite smaller groups over the course of December. But probably not as much this year!

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Always! Ok, not the first 3 years of our eldest child's life...but since then when I realized that we were either driving or else I was stuck in the kitchen cooking for a million people and missing out my baby opening her gifts. Since that realization we have gotten together with the extended family before or after the holidays but not the week/day of.

 

Instead....we eat what we want (this year Thanksgiving will be Tempura and homemade sushi/sashimi etc)....do what we want (relax, play on computers, watch movies, whatever we want to do).

 

And at Christmas we will have enough time to actually enjoy the slow opening of presents one at a time.....and then spend the rest of the day enjoying our gifts. Not sure what dinner for Christmas this year will be....last year we BBQ'd steak, had baked potato, salad, sauteed onions and mushrooms and something else I can't remember now, lol.

 

New Years Eve day we make a bunch of yummy appetizer/finger food type things to eat for dinner....unbalanced junk actually, lol.....and then around midnight we make chocolate fondue with Sparkling Cider.

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I always cook for a crowd, just in case, but only plan for the five of us. If it turns out to be just us, it wonderful because we love the leftovers! If it turns out that someone comes to share it with us, that's wonderful too. I keep it very informal and casual. Good food. Good friends. Closest family.

 

Last year, at the last minute, I invited a mom friend and her kids. Her husband was working out of town. This year, it turns out that my brother and his family will be in town. They're usually not here. So, that's good too.

 

I cooked for my whole extended family once. It was a miserable experience. I won't do that again.

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We spend the holiday alone, just the three of us.

We moved 600 miles away from family over 20 years ago. The first few years, we went home for either Thanksgiving or Christmas, but the weather driving north that time of the year was just too iffy.

For years it was just DH and I and we would go out to eat, vacation south or go camping over Thanksgiving.

Then DS came along.

Everyone thinks we are nuts for spending the day "alone." Since DS was born, we have accepted invitations to three different families for Thanksgiving. After last year, I said - Never, ever again. My own dysfunctional family is enough for me. I don't need to suffer through any other dysfunctional families! :tongue_smilie: Thankfully, DH agrees. So we are revisiting our old traditions, pre-DS. :D This year, we are going to a nearby hotel to spend the night, enjoy their holiday displays and eat out.

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Well, we spend it with *MY* immediate family - my parents and seven siblings plus their significant others. Oh, and all of our kids.

 

I wouldn't enjoy having to run everyone around town, trying to make sure everyone was visited. I also wouldn't enjoy just myself and the kids celebrating Thanksgiving. I'm thankful there are options for all of us, and for our respective needs!

 

We also do potluck; everyone is assigned something. I'd hate to cook for a crowd.

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My parents come every other year, but we always stay here, since dh has the service at church.

I like it both ways.

This year, I appreciate my little family even more--ds will be home from college. It's amazing how quiet it gets when even the quietest kid leaves home! It will be good to set 5 at our table.

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We used to run ourselves ragged, spend too much money, and get stressed and, for the most part, unhappy for both Thanksgiving and Christmas.

 

When my daughter was born I vowed not to saddle her with that kind of holliday. We started by announcing that we were going camping for Thanksgiving. We got blank stares: I don't think anyone believed us. That was our last Thanksgiving with them. I love our Thanksgivings now. Although, as a pp mentioned, we do get sad looks from ppl now and again. I wish they could give it a try. I'm sure they'd like it.

 

For Christmas it was very similar. EVERYONE expected us to be there for Christmas. Again, b/c I just didnt' want that for my girl and b/c we like to wake up to presents and go to mass on that holy day, we didn't want what we had been doing. We told everyone that we'd be staying home to receive Our Lord and gifts. They didn't like that either but I will say this, without exception, my husband's siblings all said they wished they had the courage to do it, too.

 

We love our holidays now. We didnt' before.

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Our closest family (my brother & SIL) is 12 hours by car on a "good" day. I'm sure it would be longer in holiday traffic.

 

Or next closest family (my parents) is 22 hours by car, heading due north in sparse summer traffic. Not my kind of "fun" for driving in the winter (it's 20 hours by plane, as there are 3 changeovers & layovers, so even if we *wanted* to fly, it doesn't make sense, but after landing, we'd still have to rent a car, then drive the last 3 hours, so we just drive when we go).

 

Dh's family is overseas.

 

We stay home for holidays. :D

 

We are quite content and play board games, sleep in, etc. While we love our families, we find it odd that we get the sad looks from people when they find out it's "just the four of us". We get along just fine and see family at other, less stressful times!

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We are!!! We've been doing this since 2007. We got tired of the comments about how many kids would be there, and the stress. We have VERY well behaved children, but it would seem that if they even came close enough to breath on anything someone was in a tissy. I just couldn't live like that. Plus, my grandmother especially, would always become a bear to be around because she would always take too much on, never accept help and then get pissed off at everyone. The holidays, to me, mean peace and love. I want to enjoy the day, the company, the food, without the added "stuff".

 

Also this way, there is no rush we make stuff when we want, when we are ready... and THAT has been really nice :) I do miss seeing family, and I feel bad for my kids, because I grew up with a large family always gathered around. But as they got older, things changed and it went from being lively, to a stress. I don't want my kids to have to live under a bubble, or cry cause their grandmother got cross at the for *looking* at something pretty. It's no way to live being a child, and no way to remember her either. I want them to love and enjoy her. But they are kids, and they have energy and finger prints, and a million questions.... I love them too, so for us it was about finding away to please everyone.

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We are! :)

 

All our extended family (except for my mom) lives several states away, and we just visited most of them last month on our road trip. My mom usually spends Thanksgiving with us, but she decided to accept an invitation to a friend's Thanksgiving dinner this year. So it's just the four of us - should be a fun, relaxing day!

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We thought we were. . . . and then my grandmother held on longer than expected, and we're here (400 miles away from home) for services on Monday & Tuesday.

 

Everyone is so exhausted. I'm thinking it will just be my family plus my mom & dad. Hoping no extended family (aunts, uncles, cousins) will want to do anything, since we JUST will have had the funeral.

 

A memorable Thanksgiving for sure.

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Cooking for 17 here, all by myself. Yes, I do want to stab my eyes out with ice picks. Three of those 17 are teenage boys, so that's more like 20, right?

 

Just kill me now.

 

astrid (hates to dread holidays, but this one I"m dreading!)

 

:grouphug: or :smash:

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Cooking for 17 here, all by myself. Yes, I do want to stab my eyes out with ice picks. Three of those 17 are teenage boys, so that's more like 20, right?

 

Just kill me now.

 

astrid (hates to dread holidays, but this one I"m dreading!)

 

:grouphug::grouphug:If we lived closer, I'd come help you cook--I'd like to meet you. :)

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It's usually just us, simple dinner at home. We did a bigger meal at my grandmother's house a couple of years ago, but the family never seemed to be able to plan it for the next year. My mother has lived quite a distance from us most years, my father lives several states away, FIL is deceased, and my MIL is remarried and has a MIL of her own, so that's where she goes on Thanksgiving. I actually enjoy it this way.

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We've done this every year since we had kids. Both DH and I were always hauled to and fro for holidays and refused to do the same to our kids! My parents come for lunch on Thxgiving and Christmas. We tell Dh's family they are welcome to drop in and they usually do on Christmas day. We celebrate with both extended families prior to the actual holiday. I have no regrets :D

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We haven't invited anyone else this year; last year my sister, son's fiance and fiance's brother came. There will be 8 of us absolutely, maybe 10.

We never did T-day with dh's family, always my family. His mom is the only one of our parents left, she is 1500+ miles away and doesn't want to fly here for anything.:001_smile:

I guess we could have invited people, but everyone has their own tradition. We were invited to a family's home, but we decided to stay home. I miss the hub bub of it all and I really prefer being at home for it. We have never eaten out on Thanksgiving either.

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Well, we aren't CHOOSING but it will be just the 6 of us for Thanksgiving this year. (Our oldest daughter lives in Chicago and won't be here till Christmas but our son's fiance will be with us so it's still six.) We've never spent a Thanksgiving alone before - it's always at my SIL's house. (Our home is tiny, hers is big.) But this year, my Dh's mother caused such a ruckus with her gossip and lies that he is no longer invited to his sister's house even though he did nothing. He is broken hearted. He's the best brother one could imagine but neither of his sisters will speak to him because of MIL's lies. He confronted his mother a couple of weeks ago and she apologized to him, but I guess the damage is done because his sister hasn't invited us. We'll have a great time together just us, but it will be sad too for my DH.

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With the exception of the first two years of our marriage, and a few other times (two to be exact) when we had friends from out-of-state visit us, our family has always spent Thanksgiving with 'just us'.

 

We can't afford to fly our kids home from college both at Thanksgiving and at Christmas, so they find someone else to visit over Thanksgiving or stay by themselves and they are 'ok' with that, because they want to come home over Christmas break.

 

So, this year, I have my youngest two at college, so it will only be me, dh and my oldest dc for Thanksgiving. I am missing my babies like crazy, but we will still have a great holiday with just the three of us.

 

We love our 'just' family holidays. I wouldn't have it any other way.

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Yes, it will be just the four of us. We used to live near family and while we enjoyed the hustle and bustle, we yearned to spend holidays with just us. Now we usually do.

 

I like it. Sometimes I think my dh or kids may get a little bored. I think sometimes people feel sorry for us, but we like it! This year, I think we will go to the movies earlier in the day and ds may have a friend over later for a sleepover. Sounds perfect to me!

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It is always just the four of us at Thanksgiving and Christmas. While I sometime feel like it would be nice to spend the holidays with our families, I love the fact that we can just spend time together, without having to go from one place to the next.

 

Irrespective, our nearest relatives are over 1700 miles away. Even if it wasn't horribly expensive to fly during the holidays, we would not travel now due to the new TSA regs.

 

Krista

Edited by kristavws
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well, right now we are having a big issue...DECISION on hubby's mother's invitation to spend Thanksgiving with parents, his siblings....:glare:

 

Big incident happened right after Christmas last year. Hurt me big time after SIL emailed me (note TOXIC) about the msiery I caused her the last 20 years. She even told my mom that my hearing disability was a JOKE!! I have forgiven her before she apololized to me. However my hubby wants nothing to do with her or his brother (his wife). He doesn't want to do holidays with his family this year because of what his SIL wrote me and what his brother requested of him 2 months ago. I am TORN. So as far as I know we are not going. So that means we are spending Thanksgiving with MY family. (he likes my family better....my parents treat him as a son in law better than his own. I know...SAD!)

 

Holly

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We're going to be with friends and family! And I wouldn't want it any other way. We spend plenty of family time together....I cook for our family at least 6 out of 7 nights a week. I don't feel like it would be very special if it was just us- I LOVE being with my family and I like being with dh's. I have a sil that always complains about being expected to show up at family holidays. Honestly, if she doesn't want to come- no one is holding a gun to her head! But it would feel too much like 'just another day' if we spent holidays at home.

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We're going to the in-laws. If we stayed home, we'd have nothing resembling a thanksgiving dinner unless I signed up for the food bank, then maybe. At this point, getting there is going to be a bit problematic. Without buying any more groceries or gas for the rest of the month (never mind the Qwest bill), we're $18 short on rent.

 

Hopefully they'll send leftovers home with us.

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It will be the four of us as it has been for many years. DH has never been big on holidays. He doesn't hear well and if there's too much background noise going on, he can't hear anything.

 

I must admit I miss all the craziness! My big loud family, all talking at once, and cutting up all the time. My sister begged me to come to Calif this Thanksgiving, but DH won't go and I won't go without him.

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Our immediate family includes my MIL as she lives just a couple of miles away or so. We lost my FIL this year, so I am hoping to make things extra special. But the cooking is SO. MUCH. WORK. After Nakia's mention of Cracker Barrel I showed the idea to dh and he was all for it! :D MIL is a country girl and loves that place, she will enjoy being out, eating out, maybe buy a country trinket or two. I can relax and enjoy time with dh and mil and not be a slave to the stove or dishwasher! And it will be nice to break from routine in what might be quite a sad year for us. Thanks again for the idea Nakia!

 

The only bummer is no leftovers!:tongue_smilie:

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We're going to the in-laws. If we stayed home, we'd have nothing resembling a thanksgiving dinner unless I signed up for the food bank, then maybe. At this point, getting there is going to be a bit problematic. Without buying any more groceries or gas for the rest of the month (never mind the Qwest bill), we're $18 short on rent.

 

Hopefully they'll send leftovers home with us.

:grouphug:
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Our immediate family includes my MIL as she lives just a couple of miles away or so. We lost my FIL this year, so I am hoping to make things extra special. But the cooking is SO. MUCH. WORK. After Nakia's mention of Cracker Barrel I showed the idea to dh and he was all for it! :D MIL is a country girl and loves that place, she will enjoy being out, eating out, maybe buy a country trinket or two. I can relax and enjoy time with dh and mil and not be a slave to the stove or dishwasher! And it will be nice to break from routine in what might be quite a sad year for us. Thanks again for the idea Nakia!

 

The only bummer is no leftovers!:tongue_smilie:

 

Yeah, the no leftovers thing kinda stinks, but the pros definitely outweigh that one con. :D

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