Author Topic: Thanksgiving Stories  (Read 2124 times)

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Annoyed in America

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Thanksgiving Stories
« on: November 29, 2013, 11:30:43 PM »
My father remarried after mom passed, than dad passed.  SM (stepmom) continued the Thanksgiving tradition for several years than decided that she wasn't interested in that part of the family, wishing to only invite the relatives who shared her religion and/or dna, so us step kids who didn't subscribe to her religion have been excluded until recently, when her age and health had made her reconsider.  Problem is, after being treated so shabbily for a decade or more this family has no interest.  She has no clue why we are no longer interested.  Just wondering if other ehellions have dealt with sort of thing and how they did.  Christmas is coming and will be in this situation again.

BarensMom

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Re: Thanksgiving Stories
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2013, 10:54:23 AM »
I wonder, is it rude to tell her that you step kids have formed their own traditions with their nuclear families, so are unable to attend her festivities?

Is there ever a polite way to say, "Hey, you rejected us, so we moved on and are doing celebrations with our own families, so now you're reaping what you've sown?"  That is something I've often wondered about. 

Amara

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Re: Thanksgiving Stories
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2013, 11:16:20 AM »
Why not be tactfully honest with her? You might say something like "SM, I am sorry but during the last several years when we didn't see you we formed our own traditions within our families. These have become important to us, and we are unwilling to change them. However, we'd like to extend an invitation to you to join us for a pre-Thanksgiving/Christmas quiet dinner two days beforehand at our home."

Tea Drinker

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Re: Thanksgiving Stories
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2013, 12:38:27 PM »
I wonder, is it rude to tell her that you step kids have formed their own traditions with their nuclear families, so are unable to attend her festivities?

Is there ever a polite way to say, "Hey, you rejected us, so we moved on and are doing celebrations with our own families, so now you're reaping what you've sown?"  That is something I've often wondered about.

I think it would be acceptable within etiquette to say "You didn't want us there/didn't approve of our religion, so we moved on and are celebrating with our own families, and we're not going to break that up now." The stepmother might not like being reminded of it, but I don't think etiquette means never mentioning that there's an elephant in the living room. The explicit "you're reaping what you've sown" might be over the line; a calm "you rejected us because we didn't share your religion. Maybe someone at your church has room for Thanksgiving guests" wouldn't be.

Stepmother may now have come to realize/agree that family and hospitality shouldn't only be on the basis of DNA, and if she explicitly said "I was wrong, family can and should be larger than genetic relationships" the OP or one of their siblings might want to make room for their stepmother. But Stepmother doesn't get to just invoke whichever set of rules works for her: what "family is by blood" people don't always realize about those who believe in some version of family by choice (whether it's "you're still my sister-in-law even though my brother passed away" or "my cousin's father is still my uncle, even though he's not married to my aunt" or "this child is my nephew because he, I, and his parents all want him to be") is that between adults, that choice is mutual. If an adult tells someone "you're not my family" it's likely to be believed, and that doesn't come with the option of saying "I didn't say 'cross my heart and hope to die'" years later.
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TheaterDiva1

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Re: Thanksgiving Stories
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2013, 04:51:44 PM »
If SM is reconsidering her actions, then she knows how she mistreated you - no need to remind her.  Instead, I'd just say "Over the last X number of years we've started our own traditions... You're welcome to join us though!"

Kimblee

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Re: Thanksgiving Stories
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2013, 11:26:41 AM »
How old were you when she became your stepmom? Do you think she's just suddenly missing you or do you think due to "age and heath" she's just looking for someone to look after her?

Either way, seems like a tough road to be walking, at no fault of your own OP. Hope things work out for you, whether they work out for stepmom or not.
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gramma dishes

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Re: Thanksgiving Stories
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2013, 01:17:03 PM »
I'm not quite clear on this.  Does she want to now begin inviting you to holiday festivities at her house as she did in a previous time frame? 

Or does she want to join your family now in your home(s) for the holidays?  And does she expect you to also include the 'preferred' part of her family as well as herself?

Could it possibly be that the "preferred because of 'blood and shared dna'" parts of her family are no longer including her?

A lot would depend on how she treated you when your Dad was still alive.  Was she warm and cozy and welcoming then, or was your Dad's family always second rate with her?

Maybe she's just genuinely missing you!  Sometimes we do see certain things a little differently as we grow older.   :)