The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down. Proverbs 14:1 NIV
Here’s what I learned the holiday I stood between my parents and their bickering:
* I do not want to be the relative that yells or cries when things do not go “my way”. For the traditions that really mean a lot to me? I make them happen for me. If others participate, cool. If not, I make Pete do them with me! (Marriage at its finest.)
* Do not assume that what you think is more fun, less stressful, etc. is the same perspective shared by others. As torturous as it was as a bystander to watch my parents repeat the same turkey fight every single solitary year, evidently it was not torturous for them. Otherwise, they would have changed their ways. I have stopped being the person who tries to make other people’s holiday experience stress-free, because I know that this is their work, not mine.
* I will not be hijacked by other people’s holiday expectations. The turkey debacle was not my fault, and I won’t own it. This was my home and my electric knife. I could put it in the hands of anyone I wanted to - so there!
* Finally. When possible, if you have a situation that your gut teaches you might be sticky, even though you may be the host and the owner of the knife, it might be kind to prepare people for changes in advance. That way, they can choose to show up or not, depending on their own priorities. In a million years it would not have occurred to me to talk in advance about the turkey carving, but there might be other issues that would warrant a heads up. Say, if you go vegan and plan to only serve tofu and root vegetables for dinner.
Any holiday is a good holiday to observe yourself non-judgmentally, learn a lesson or two and plan accordingly for the future!