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Thanksgiving chaos is nothing but blessing

Photo by Michael Oehler

The chaos of Thanksgiving is inevitable, and while the mass confusion of it may seem horrible and pointless, it could not be further from it. Thanksgiving brings together a family for a week to celebrate being together (and also the mass genocide of turkeys).

Thanksgiving is being able to hang out with your cousins and do nothing for a whole day but feast. It does not matter where you are, it just matters that you’re together.

Because I live in Nebraska, at the heart of the country, my extended family decided that, in order to minimize travel costs, we will celebrate Thanksgiving at my house. Whether said family had actually confirmed this was okay with my parents or not is a different topic.

Let me walk you through a typical Thanksgiving. Disregarding where we celebrate, the atmosphere is always the same: an energetic day full of laughter and talking among adults with the occasional whining from younger cousins. 

I can be seen wandering around, in and out of conversations, both children’s and very, very adult ones. I hear the typical questions like “Whose kid is going to what college?”, “Where did the pie go?, and, my favorite, “Why is the dog covered in whipped cream?” 

However, there is a certain wariness I need to apply when I do this. I need to carefully tiptoe around the aunts and uncles, or they pounce and rope me into a conversation I did not want to be in the first place.

When this happens, I will be asked countless times where I am planning to go to school, what I plan to major in, and how did I get so darn tall? As always, I  patiently answer the questions while screaming internally at the vast confusion of thoughts that result from a week of this busy insanity. This kind of occurrence happening daily for up to a week, sometimes even more, should be enough to make my psychiatrist write me a doctors note, so at least there is a bright side, getting out of exercise.

Throughout this mess of school and family, trudging my way through gets difficult. My family may contribute to the vast majority of this craziness, but it is also a bit of a blessing. With such a large number of aunts, uncles and cousins, there are almost just as many ears for me to voice my concern to and shoulders to lean on when I need support. 

One of my aunts is the most capable of calming me down and letting me vent.  Once I am done letting it all out, she will calmly talk to me in a non-patronizing tone, and tell me how to get through it.

Then comes the big day, full of friendly chatter and the smells of turkey, ham, and countless side dishes and desserts. The whole while, my inner wrestler is smacking me upside the head for indulging in such pleasures because I will have to run it all off later. While enjoying our food, conversations will break out about how the kids are doing and whether or not anything interesting happened recently. 

I cannot help but smile at the craziness of Thanksgiving. Yes, it may be insane, and a pain to clean up before and AFTER the party, but I love my family, and I would not have it any other way.

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