How to avoid hosting Thanksgiving

Published 10:33 am Monday, November 7, 2022

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Hi Aunty Pam,


I have invited my family for Thanksgiving several times over the years, except for 2020 due to COVID. Last year only my one sister and her husband came…everyone else had other plans.  I do not enjoy entertaining at all!! I did retire last year but still don’t enjoy having family over to my home.

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I start stressing in October about feeling that I need to host. Is there a suggestion you have on how to avoid hosting? Guess I care too much about what they think!


Thank you for any advice you can share!




Dear DP,


Come into Aunty Pam’s counseling room, i.e., the barn, and let’s discuss this dilemma.


Now, if I were a real therapist with any training whatsoever, I would peer down my glasses at you (I’d have to buy a pair) and ask, “Where does this feeling that you ‘need’ to host Thanksgiving come from, do you think? You even add that you ‘…don’t enjoy having family over to my home,’ then wrap it all up by admitting ‘I guess I care too much about what they think.’”


Lots of relational issues pinging about here and, yes, it’s far above my pay grade. But do take solace in the fact that you’re in the same boat with pretty much…everybody. I mean, with the exception of those three women out there who live for entertaining, who are never happier than when they are up to their elbows in flour and eggs and stuffing the rude end of a turkey, the dread of hosting you mention is shared by anyone who did not grow up in a blissfully functional family. Which means the vast majority of people.


Honestly, I don’t think you have to do anything to avoid hosting this year. As only two attended last year and, as you say, you’ve hosted for years, maybe as an experiment this year offer no invitation. Sit back. Wait and see if, perchance, it occurs to any of them to reciprocate and extend an invitation to YOU for once. If so, wonderful! Take a pie and a pitcher of prosecco to get through the event, heap lavish praise on the meal and help clear the table.


And if no one extends an invitation, even better! No cooking!! This means you can suck down a Mrs. Smith Pumpkin Pie before waiting for it to thaw with zero guilt. Then watch the first Hallmark Christmas movie of the year while wearing your silly bunny slippers.


And give thanks.


Cheers, dear!

Aunty Pam