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The Little Red Book

Gifts that Keep on Giving

 “Where do you think you’re going? Nobody’s leaving. Nobody’s walking out on this fun, old-fashioned family Christmas. No, no. We’re all in this together,” Clark Griswold spoke on behalf of families across the nation when he stated that famous quote in “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.” After all, no matter how many gifts you buy or where you find the best deal in town, this time of year is meant for bringing families together for quality moments and inevitable, unexpected debacles. Readers share their Thanksgiving Day dramas below and point out that every family has “Griswold” moments.   

“…This Thanksgiving was unusually different for everyone at our home. My family invited one of our good friend’s mom for dinner. Much to our surprise, she showed up completely intoxicated and made a bit of a scene to say the least. During the prayer before dinner, she stood up and added her own prayer. Her prayer went on and on not making much sense until my brother yelled out, “AMEN!” and my mother assisted her to be seated again. She also continued to curse and scream out things that no one understood. I think the climax was when she hugged everyone goodnight and then bit the men—young and old—on the ear!” – Anonymous

“My Thanksgiving was special because two of my extended families moved here from Korea this year, and we finally had a traditional Thanksgiving with relatives instead of close family friends. It felt nice to finally have a “real” Thanksgiving, but we were still forced to use chopsticks.” – Anon

“This year was the first year that my brother brought a long-term girlfriend to Thanksgiving, and my mother naturally was intent on making the evening a success. The next part probably should have been expected. Our oven wouldn’t heat, we took it out and the butter and bouillon cubes hadn’t even melted yet. I tried everything to get it to work. I checked the sensor, I made sure the chip wasn’t fried, I even checked to make sure it was plugged in. Eventually I gave up, we had to use the smaller upper oven or we wouldn’t have a turkey. The problem was that there was no way it was going to fit, the roof was too low. So while everyone was eating shrimp and cheese crackers I was ripping apart the turkey with my bare hands in the hope it would work. Thankfully I was able to get it down to a manageable size and we were able to have our turkey for Thanksgiving.” – Anonymous

“My family has many relatives over for the big turkey dinner, so as the relatives kept coming in and getting settled they always have the same question for me, “How’s the ex girlfriend? Is it weird that you go to the same school?” I didn’t even get the chance to tell them that we had broken up, and it was a rather bad one at that. Then my sister got back from university and right when she saw me she said, “How are things with (Ex)?” I snapped in front of my whole family, “I DON’T KNOW HOW SHE IS BECAUSE WE BROKE UP TWO MONTHS AGO!” Needless to say no one else asked me about her for the rest of the night.” – Johnny

“This Thanksgiving my dad took us (family of six) to Kentucky. Why Kentucky? Well my dad loves traveling and we’ve been all over the east coast, and this state just happened to be next on the list. Either way, we went to Mammoth Cave containing 390 miles worth of underground passages, the longest cave system in the world. It was pretty amazing, but as we went for our first tour, my dad was a little spooked by all the health warnings the tour guide was going on about, specifically claustrophobia. He’s really not, but the idea of it was really unpleasant. He was very close of backing out, but in the end made it through.” – Harmain

“I spent my morning at the park playing football with some of my high school friends. I was trying to throw the football to my boyfriend but instead it ended up hitting my boyfriend’s face. Needless to say, I spent the rest of my time at the park holding an ice pack to my boyfriend’s face.” – Becca

“Every Thanksgiving I spend some time at my girlfriend’s house. In the morning, my girlfriend got into a very heated argument with her parents…about how they don’t really approve of our relationship. My girlfriend became so aggravated that she tried to leave the house. I went to stop her, brought her back, spoke to her to calm her down and explained how her parents’ reaction was normal and how the situation would have worsened if she did not come back. Hopefully they will realize that I am a potentially great son-in-law.” KiiD DaDi

 “This Thanksgiving was the first time my family and I got together since I left home for college and my older sister moved to Atlanta. After we began eating, it felt like the old days in high school where my sister would tell my parents stories about what she’s been up to and I would throw in witty remarks. Unfortunately, it started to feel exactly like high school. My parents still treat my sister as if she is a teenager. They treat me as if I’m a preteen and my sister still seems to believe she has the power over me that she had when we were little when she babysat me. I see now that no matter what I become or achieve, I will always be seen as the kid/little brother.” John the Baptist

“This Thanksgiving my boyfriend decided to join us for dinner. As happy as I was, I completely forgot my ex boyfriend’s family was also going to join us. I know it may sound wrong but my ex’s family and my family get along so well that they join us for holidays. So as we were giving thanks my younger brother calls them both the wrong names! Even though they have no problem with each other’s presence it caused an awkward silence at the table.” Dennise

Happy Holidays, and thanks for sharing readers! E-mail your stories, questions, and relationship dilemmas to me at littleredbook@northernvirginiamag.com.

-Katie

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6 Responses

Isaiah Landerer Says:


my thanksgiving was special because the Redskins were playing and beat the cowboys. the redskins have never beaten the cowboys on thanksgiving so i was pretty special when they won. Having family over was nice, got to chill with my cousins, nieces and nephews which was fun.

Tsuki Says:


My Thanksgiving was pretty quiet but nonetheless enjoyable. The food was the best part, of course, and delicious as always. I got to see one of my favorite cousins and play videogames too, which I haven’t done in a LONG time. As much as I enjoy the hustle and bustle of a house full of relatives I liked the simplicity of a quiet Thanksgiving. I’m sure this Christmas will be the complete opposite, but I’m still looking forward to it. The holidays are my favorite time of year and I can’t wait to continue enjoying them!

Alexis Says:


This Thanksgiving was filled with laughs and memories. We were missing one part of the family, but we were still able to enjoy our time. My family traveled to my mom’s parent’s house and I was happy to see this side of the family, because I only see them two or three times a year. I did not eat as much as I expected to, but it was great to have so much home cooked food after being in college for a few months. I am now looking forward to spending Christmas with my father’s side of the family and all of the laughs and good food we will share.

MH Says:


My best friend got married one week before Thanksgiving. On Thanksgiving day, he and his wife invited me and other friends to their newlywed house and hosted a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner. After dinner, my friend shared his love story with his wife and we had so much fun together!

Mee Says:


We, being my mother, father, and I, take about an hour and fifteen minute drive to Tappahannock, Virginia. This is where my grandmother lives. All the aunts, including my mother, bring a specific dish they are really good at making; meat balls, sweet potato pie, macaroni and cheese, and occasionally the whole turkey. My grandmother grows her vegetables all year to cook them now. Along with those she cooks her grand fried chicken, potato salad, and rolls.

The anticipation for the food becomes so unbearable. My mother cooks very healthy, so this day is a break from all the conservative cooking and a day to indulge in the sodium, sugar, and grease that I admit, with some guilt, to loving. The food is ready now. A big prayer is said to bless the food. One by one, each person goes to get food and off to a designated room. The family breaks up into its cliques as they scatter amongst the rooms. The aunts and grandmother stayed in the kitchen to eat. My dad (the only uncle) and the cousins sit in the living room, usually to watch a football or a basketball game. Occasionally, some of the cousins will move to my grandmother’s bedroom if they want to watch a different game.

memememe Says:


I had a special Thanksgiving day. This was the first time which I got on that day. I prepared food for my parents and my boyfriend. My family and my boyfriend spent time together on Thanksgiving day for the first time. That was the very thankful and special to me.

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