Is it okay to go out-of-town for Thanksgiving rather than getting together with family? This year my family is going to have a destination Thanksgiving. It will be less stressful and I’m wanting to make it a new tradition. I’m getting a lot of complaints from family about it. Is this a bad idea?
~Going on holiday for the holidays – Clinton, OK
This is a topic my friends and I recently discussed over a four and a half hour-long coffee session. You’re going to be shocked by the answer we came up with. Are you ready? We decided that there is no right answer to fit every situation! That’s a shocker isn’t it? Only you can decide what will be the best traditions to establish for your family. But we did all agree on this, it’s very important to remember that it is traditions you are creating. Traditions not only for you and yours, but eventually for them and theirs. Meaning, if you opt for unconventional family holiday excursions, then don’t be shocked when your kids grow up and announce that they are going to be spending the holiday weekend in Maui…and you are not invited. Wikipedia defines tradition as a ritual, belief or object passed down within a society, still maintained in the present, with origins in the past. So if you establish a ritual of taking your immediate family out of the extended family gathering it very well may trickle down and you may be the one being left out in the future. I say all of this not to encourage or discourage, but just to make you aware of some potential consequences. I think I would go back to the good old pro and con list. What is your purpose in making new traditions, and what will you be sacrificing to do so? Let’s be honest, holidays are great fun, but can also be stressful. Family can bring the greatest joys and greatest heartaches. But it’s kind of our unique lot in life as a member of a family; to keep in contact, to care for one another, and to tolerate each other’s quirks and idiosyncracies (sometimes with emphasis on the root word idio+t). We carry each other, and when one of ours is missing, there is a vacancy. I think you realize this the most after the first holiday dinner that you have an empty chair at the family table. This will be my seventh Thanksgiving since my dad passed away. If given the choice of a sunset holiday cruise in St. Barth or another turkey dinner with dear old dad, I’m sure you know where I would be. So friend, choose your family traditions wisely. Like the old song says, picking one up often means leaving the other behind, just be certain you know exactly what you are leaving behind. Having a fun, peaceful, and relaxing holiday is very important, and if you can have a fun, peaceful, and relaxing holiday with those that love you despite your own idiosyncracies (emphasis on idio+t sometimes) then that’s a tradition you won’t regret passing down.
“Real Housewife of Western Oklahoma”
_The Daily Elk Citian_24 November 2011,
_The Cordell Beacon_23 November 2011