I’m Not Coming This Year

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Ah, the holidays are upon us and this means those wonderful or not so delightful family gatherings.

When I was a child, I was in great anticipation of seeing relatives and friends come for a visit because I knew oftentimes they would be bringing gifts or handing out money!

One thing that still sticks out in my mind is how my grandmother didn’t relish a few members of the family with some of her outlandish remarks she would say about them underneath her breath. What I didn’t understand at the time is that my grandmother had years of interacting with some relatives she would refer to be “about nothing. ” In other words, an individual who could talk up themselves as being successful but they were actually having no desire to do so.

Now that I am a mother and grandmother, I understand my grandmother sentiments. Over the years I have enjoyed some family gatherings and at other times wanted to find a way to just walk out the door.

So, for those of you who are debating whether or not to attend a family gathering over the holidays, I thought this “I’m Not Coming This Year” letter would put a smile on your face.

Dear Family,

I want to first thank you for extending an invitation to me for this year’s family dinner. However, I must decline. I’m not coming this year. I know, you probably have looked forward to seeing me but to be honest with you…I can no longer be a hypocrite and fake a smile when I am miserable inside.

First, when a guest arrives at the host home, there should be no reason why the guest should be helping cleanup the house and picking up someone’s dirty laundry. Needless to say, I don’t like cleaning my own house but I must do it.

Second, when a guest is asked to bring a covered dish, there should be no reason for them to get to the host home and then be informed that certain “items” still need to be purchased. Of course, what happens usually is the guest is asked to go to the supermarket and pick up these “items” and not be given one single cent to buy them.

Third, when the dinner is supposed to start at 3:00 p.m. and the host is just putting the turkey and ham into the oven and serving, cheese popcorn and pretzels as a fill-in,  just does not suffice. And you must know that waiting until 10:00 p.m. to eat has caused some of our family members with diabetes to have diabetic attacks.

Fourth, who ever stated that it was okay for parents to drop off their children for others to be babysitters for hours while they go shopping?

Fifth, the host plumbing system would be in working condition if toilet paper is use for the bathroom and not paper towel.

Sixth, introducing fictional uncles and aunts to children in the family is creepy. If the person is dating someone or a mere friend, please make it clear and don’t support such a lie.

Seventh, every year the family member asked to pray is the last person on earth who should be praying, since you know good and well that he is a bigamist, alcoholic, atheist, and addicted to prescription drugs. Trying to persuade family members that if we have him to pray, this might change his heart and lifestyle are too much to ask…he’s been like this for the past thirty years.

Eight, when we do finally sit down to dinner, it is certainly one of the most horrible experiences for me. Aunt Zee is always belching like she is about to throw-up. Uncle George doesn’t use a knife to cut the turkey leg (pulling it out of its jock-it as he calls it). Grandfather is always cussing and grandmother is always saying, “Bless him Lord. ” The cousins are always arguing over who pay more for their weaves and nails. And let’s not forget about Uncle Theo who is always picking his teeth at the table and flying objects from his teeth has hit family members on the arms and in our faces. Oh and by the way, allowing Aunt Jennie to get drunk and then be forced to dance with her, knowing that she is in a wheelchair and runs over everyone feet is just plain crazy!

Ninth, I just don’t get why some family members who don’t bring a single thing to eat, leave with all the leftovers.

Tenth, at the end of every family gathering, someone asks if they can have the next family dinner at their home and two days before the affair, they back out by claiming to be unavailable or they need “financial help” if we want to have it at their place.

Finally, I know that you probably think I am being petty but I’m not. I love you very much, but this year Jesus is keeping me from sinning. You see, all the years I have come over to our family gatherings my heart was not always right. This year, it shall be.

Love,

In Him Alone

The Counterfeit Christian