I haven’t a rant to share about this that you probably can go me one better. There’s a saying, ‘You can pick your friends, but you can’t pick your parents/family.’ While the saying is true, you can pick how and when you interact with them. The ritual act of visiting family, based out of some form of filial piety and guilt, is obviously some odd torture scheme.
Is this guilt pacifically practice, or are more energetic methods employed. If purposefully instituted, what benefit is derived by the guilt issuer? Usually ascribed to the older matron of the family, whether or not she is hosting or attending, to a delegated adult child’s responsibility.
Negative energy begets negative energy. To evade such a thing, a person requires both a reasonable justification, and a plan. As a young, single adult my justification was simple – I was in military service and someone had to man the phones. There was, of course, the obligatory phone call while all the rest were there. Multiple renditions of ‘I miss you and don’t eat too much’ crossed the airwaves. From my view, everyone was happy and getting along. Only in the months afterwards did I discover the angst (not the right word, but I don’t want to call it simply evil.)
Finishing service and becoming married, I agreed to lose my excuse for attending. Geography made it difficult to attend both family events, but a system evolved to the satisfaction of both matriarchies. Attending either seasonal function was met by me as a seriously tedious affair. My better half put on her best effort to appear happy to attend. As expected, certain family members would behave inappropriately – her family or mine.
Which leaves the simplest, and possibly best option; dinner at home with children who are too young to spread their wings. A slightly different meal, a simple prayer for giving thanks – even though we are under a few economical strains, a football game on the big screen (I’ll claim executive privilege on the remote).
My main thought to end this, not-quite, rant is to suggest isolation at best, small groups of four or less. More than that, it could be equated to a Shriner’s convention in Vegas, or Spring Break in Daytona. Too many people spoil the gravy.