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Posted by: Helen Philpot | November 23, 2008

Thanksgiving Letter to the Family 2008

We have a great deal to be thankful for this year.  A president-elect smart enough not to stand in front of a turkey slaughter for a news conference ranks right up there on my list.  And speaking of which, the first time I watched that interview with Sarah Palin, I paid more attention to the turkey being slaughtered than I did to the idiot talking turkey.  So I got to see it on the news shows this weekend and my God but that woman is stupid.  My favorite part was when she started talking about the effects of dropping oil prices on the Alaskan economy.  Seems she likes a diversified state economy about as much as she likes a diversified political party.  With all do respect to my dear friends in Alaska, you axed the wrong turkey this year.

I am also thankful for my family.  I love each and every member. And now I have about a million more of you to be thankful for.  You’ve given me and Margaret a new lease on life.  Thank you.  Margaret is off to Vermont to spend the holidays with family.  She sends her love.

So on to my family letter for Thanksgiving.  It may seem harsh to some of you – heck my not wanting to see a 4 year old breast feed seemed harsh to some of you – but the family keeps coming back each year so I must not be all that bad.  I learned years ago that you should say what you mean.  To do any less is an insult to your loved ones. 

Dear Family,

Now every year we go through this song and dance about who is going to be where for the holidays.  Clearly this year many of you are afraid that Harold’s precious Longhorns are going to beat the crap out of your precious little Aggies.  And because of that a few of you have made alternative plans for Thanksgiving.  Well, I have this to say about that.  I am almost 83.  How much you love me is indeed determined by how often you visit during the year.  And how much I love you determines the amount of presents you’ll have under my Christmas tree next month.

Evidently horseshoes and washers aren’t exciting enough so Tyler and Jennifer have decided to take the kids to Disney World with their neighbors.   I hope Disney is the gift that keeps on giving because there will definitely be a small pile under the tree for you two.   Not to worry about Brian and Sylvia.  They’ll be taken care of because they really didn’t have a choice in the matter.  But if I hear one word about how good the turkey dinner is at the Magic Kingdom, all that could change.  Tags on gifts are like channels on the television.  They change when I don’t like what I see.

Harvey and Trudy are headed to Dallas.  One of the kids gets married and suddenly you’re a family unit that just can’t be separated for the holidays.  Oh brother!  Well I hope all the wedding bills have been paid because that special envelope in the stockings just got post-dated until next year.

To everyone coming I say welcome.  I think last year went pretty well considering Mary was pregnant and ate us out of house and home.  Someone bring an extra ham in case she is still eating for three or four or eight.  Harvey is not coming this year so no need to bring extra beer.

Remember there are a few house rules:

#1 If you put it on your plate, it better end up in your mouth.  Last year I threw away enough food to feed the population of Wasilla.  That is just wasteful.

#2 If you pop a top on a can of soda, please drink the entire can before popping another top.  Last year after you left I found 32 half empty cans of soda around the house and my drink refrigerator out back was almost empty.  What idiot really thinks that is appropriate?  Besides being such a waste, I can’t just throw those cans into the recycle bin.  I have to empty each one of them down the drain before I can throw them out.  And while I am on the subject, I put coasters out for a reason.

#3  Our trash pick up is the day before Thanksgiving.  If you bring a kid in diapers, leave with the kid and the diapers. I don’t need used diapers stinking up my garage until the trash men come the following week.

#4  If I told any of you not to feel like you needed to bring anything, what I really meant to say is don’t bring anything.  Last year Aunt Cloe’s jello mess just ruined my entire presentation.  And more than a few of you felt you needed to try it to make her feel better.  What you didn’t realize is that more than a few of you used my dogs to correct your mistake.  Poor babies were sick for days.  

#5  Speaking of dogs.  Yours has a home.  Leave it there.

#6  I don’t own a trampoline.  It’s called a sofa.  Your feet have no business being on it.

#7 The good china and crystal is not for family.  It’s for special occasions.

Now all that said, you know I love you.  Come and enjoy yourselves.  We’re having the usual turkey, stuffing, gravy, ham, mashed potatoes, candied yams, cranberries, corn, green bean casserole, peas, rolls, pumpkin pie, pecan pie, apple pie and Maw Maw’s German twist cookies.

Matthew feel free to bring those stuffed jalapenos we enjoyed so much last year.   Of course, two hours after you left your Grandfather was reminded that he enjoyed them a little too much so don’t feel like you need to bring as many.

Eat until you are full and then take some home with you.  Harold says they moved the game back to Thanksgiving day instead of the day after so all of you can stay and watch it on that new big TV in his den.  As for me, quilting lessons are free of charge if anyone is interested.

See you soon and don’t park in the driveway.  The kids use it to play basketball.

[Note From Matthew:  Yes.  This is the letter she sent out this year.  My Grandmother is famous for her holiday letters to the family because she really hates those traditional ones people send out with their Christmas cards.  To read the letter she sent out last year click here. ]

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  40. OK, this is really old but I just havta say, The best thing in the world is sitting at the table, eating food with my 1 1/2 yr old granddaughter. She’s been eating solids since before her 1yr b’day. She was breastfed until then. Then we took her to the Culinary Institute of America, premier cooking school. We had a lovely 3 hr lunch at the Italian restaurant. We presented her with her own autographed copy of the head chef’s new cookbook. She loved the risotto and even the monkfish.
    One Saturday. we all went to the Dim Sum restaurant. She rejected the piece of gai lan I tried on her but enjoyed everything else.

    Now, I wonder what it would have been like if her mom had to breast feed her instead of including he in a family meal.

  41. [...] of them continue to write I’ll keep linking.  Margaret’s last post is great, but her Thanksgiving letter to her family deserves a gold star.  Here is an actual thought; this is why the Internet is great, [...]

  42. [...] I could write as well as this at age 82, I would be quite happy. [...]

  43. I love your Thanksgiving letter because it reminds me of my mom’s Christmas cards (she tends to wait until June to send them…).
    Normally I’m around when she’s writing them, but since I’m in Italy this year, it was nice to get to read an extra one!
    Thanks so much for the great cheer!

  44. Love the Thanksgiving letter. Can I come next year? I’ll do the dishes! :) Thanks for all the smiles and laughs.

  45. adopt me… please. i love you so much it hurts.

  46. THIS IS THE FUNNIEST THING I HAVE READ IN A LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG TIME. WOW!!!!

  47. Just so you know…

    I’m TOTALLY plagiarizing you next Thanksgiving.

  48. Helen, hope you and your family had a great holiday. Thanks for all you have done for your readers and the country. I mean that. You could have sat by and waited for someone else to speak out about the mess this country is in. I am truly grateful for your common sense and your humor and your way with words. May you have a year of blessings.

  49. SeeingEyeChick & MagicHealingHands:
    It’s interesting that you both read & commented here numerous times, but the one time M&H disagree w/ your opinions, you get offended enough to say you’re never visiting their site again. As I would say to my middle school students, that’s being immature & disrespectful.

    Listen, we all have our own unique worldviews based on our own unique experiences and our own unique values & opinions. That doesn’t make one person wrong and one person right. It makes us all interesting and UNIQUE.

    Civility, courtesy, maturity, & respect are about:
    agreeing to disagree gracefully….realizing that we’re not all going to agree on everything, but that makes no one “bad” and no one “good”…..
    educating us (politely) on your worldviews and about your passions…..
    respecting worldviews that differ from yours because no one is you, with your unique experiences and opinions…..
    educating yourself about the views of others to broadenyour own education and to help you better understand how to educate others about your own opinions & passions

    If, in fact, you leave, you will be missed — you’ve both contributed insightful comments to this community of readers & writers. But if, in fact, you leave, it will be your own loss, not ours & not Margaret & Helen’s. It’s too bad that when it comes to YOUR passions, your narrowmindedness, exclusivity, and intolerance have separated you from a delightful, accepting, inclusive community.

  50. I’ve just loved your posts, and this one just made me giggle. Your remind me so much of my Aunt Peg (her real name was Winifred unfortunately, not Margaret) with her loving wit.

    I think I may just start a new tradition for us!

    Can you post the recipe sometime of Maw Maw’s German twist cookies? We’re part German and I’d like to add a flair for the German in us to our next holiday meal.

  51. Good Morning Helen,

    In the prelude to your T’giving letter, you said” I learned years ago that you should say what you mean. To do any less is an insult to your loved ones.” I think that is so true and speaking out shouldn’t be confused with the rantings of the elderly lashing out without thought. But with saying what you mean comes honesty and with that comes respect and reverence that so many older people seem to lose with age. So yes, life is too short not to ‘get it all out there.’ Love your blog! ,your newest fan in the Virgin islands, Don

  52. Dear Helen and Margaret,

    Happy Thanksgiving! I am truly grateful to have been provided with your entertaining, witty, intelligent, honest, and well-informed blog posts. You have really contributed something special to 2008, election process and beyond. You both are delightful! Thank you so much for contributing to our lives in your own unique, special ways. I look forward to all the rest that you decide to contribute in the coming days/weeks/years, etc.

    Have a blessed Thanksgiving; I will save the Christmas greetings for December. See you then…

    a big hug,
    Amanda:)

  53. Happy Thanksgiving and Heavy Triptophaning, Helen (and Margaret too). I enjoyed your family letter, and it’s inspired me to do the same for my family.

    Best to you and yours,
    KJ
    http://www.nanadiaries.com

  54. Happy Thanksgiving, Helen and Margaret,
    Thank you for your wisdom and candor. I love your honesty, and you crack me up. Helen, good for you for setting down the rules, I liked and respect all of them. And I am WITH YOU on the public breastfeeding. I once visited a household of strangers and the three year old came and in jumped up on mama’s lap and she shoved her breast into the kid’s mouth. I was DUMBSTRUCK… it was the 70’s however, and these people lived pretty far out into the country, had only one woodstove to keep a big old house warm. I tried to rationalize that it was one way to feed the kid without going broke. But you could have knocked me over with a feather, too.

    PLEASE, keep it real and don’t shy away from your truth. It is SO refreshing.

    And I think Sarah Palin isn’t dumb for standing in front of the slaughter, I think she knew exactly what she was doing — isn’t it playing endlessly on television? Woman knows how to PLAY the PRESS and get that free coverage. Get used to it, I’m afraid. The press really needs to learn to look away from the traffic accident, or as I learned last night — FIDO (Forget It, Drive On).

    LOVE to you and your family, I’m GRATEFUL for your BLOGS.

  55. Regarding BF, need to lighten up and wean the 4 year old sooner than later. I never felt the need to exhibit my breastfeeding for strangers. It was
    a wonderful bonding experience between myself
    and my dh and our babies and very personal.

    This is a great blog with lots of humor and down home facts/opinions unvarnished and without sugar. I appreciate it and very much enjoy!

  56. Okay, I had to check back in while I’m waiting for the bread to rise.

    Martha–I’ll bite. How have you learned that life is more fun if you don’t take yourself seriously?

    Seeing-Eye-Chick–You make a good point that not everybody sees BFing like Helen does. But then, not everybody sees BFing like you do, either. And this isn’t your blog. It’s Helen’s.

    I’m going to go check the bread again. Why is it that the bread takes the longest to rise when your’e the most tired?

    Here’s my equation for it:

    (Degree of exhaustion) + (Hours of Sleep Lost in the Last Week) x 10 = (Increase in Normal Rising Time for Your Bread Dough)

  57. Have A Happy Thanksgiving!!! Love you both!!! :)

  58. Everyone needs a set of rules like that! Holidays would run so much more smoothly…

  59. My facial muscles are killing me from smiling and laughing. What a delightful blog; I read the whole
    thing and it’s the first blog I have seen that was so
    enjoyable and dead spot on!
    I voted against Shedog Palin and was very surprised to listen to Obama’s speech and tearing up with the hope that may come with his presidency.
    I am older than dirt and have always been to the point with my mouth which does not endear me to many; but also delights many.
    You ladies rock and rule; best to you and your’s and welcome to the beading internet world!!

  60. 1. Helen, if only ALL holiday letters were as enjoyable. And if your letter didn’t shame your recalcitrant relatives into spending Thanksgiving with you after all, I do not believe they can be shamed, and annoying them by reassigning their gift’s name tag may be your only option.

    2. Re: Stupidicity of Sarah Palin. As Betty White said, “Oh, she’s one crazy bitch!” And why someone hasn’t made a T-shirt out of that yet, I’ll never know.

    3. To Green Bean poster….I’m glad you can do so wonderfully with them. I don’t like them, and I think they sense that, because–although I’m a good cook–I simply cannot cook green beans. My husband named my last green-bean dish “Green Giant Anarchy.” He said, “I think your green geans are revolting,” and I said, “I totally agree–but then all green beans are revolting to me.” What made it worse is that I was assigned green beans for T-day dinner last year, and so 22 people witnessed the “Green Gaint Anarchy.” I still remember the looks of horror…

    4. Someone over on the Mudflats forum told us about stuffing muffins. Apparently you take your favorite stuffing mix, then put them in muffin tins (don’t use paper liners if you like them crispy and crunchy on the outside), and bake like you would muffins. I just thought I’d mention the idea in case you don’t figure you’ll gain enough weight from your regular turkey dinner and want to round the weight gain up to an even 20 pounds.

    Helen, thanks for your posts. As my mother used to say, “You’re a kick in the pants,” and that’s the highest compliment she could give someone.

    Everybody else, have a great Thanksgiving and I look forward to waddling in here to visit again on Friday.

  61. You are a straight shooter! I’d love to spend T.G. at your place anytime. You are a pleasure, thank you for blogging,
    Aloha from Waikiki-

  62. The first Thanksgiving feast was a large turkey dinner that took place in November and lasted for hours. That is what everyone is lead to believe, not exactly the way it went down. It took place at some time between late September and Mid-October 1621 according to historians.

    It wasn’t a solemn feast, but a raucous celebration that lasted for some three days. And the main dish was deer … not turkey. More than likely there wasn’t any turkey eaten at this celebration at all. The celebrants did eat some kind of bird as a side dish, but the nature of that bird to this day is unknown. No one actually knows what kind of bird it was.

    Most Americans are suffering thru what they call “Turkey Trepidation.” About 15% of Americans have refused to host Thanksgiving because they are wanting to avoid cooking the entire dinner. There biggest fears are: It will be too dry 43%, it will be overcooked 28%, that they will have to touch or clean a raw turkey 8%, it will taste bland 6% or my favorite, “if it is cooked by me” it will be burned beyond recognition and will be the centerpiece of black residue in the middle of the table.

    Remember all the boys & girls oversea’s that are not home for the holiday because of the Turkeys In Washington who sent them there.

    Happy Holidays ladies, please don’t work too hard.

    BOC

  63. Sarah Ann – go to a joke shop and get a load of whoopee cushions. Place one one each chair that won’t bear grannie’s weight.

  64. if a kid has teeth, the kid can eat solid food. breast feeding? talk about being cheap.

    and i agree on the soda, but you pipes will be cleaner at least.

  65. J……How can a hip 20, something party planner, POSSIBLY have the experience & organizational practice, of an 82 year old?

  66. We have a lot to be thankful for this year. Thanks for telling it like it is! Best wishes and happy Thanksgiving!

  67. I can’t tell you how much much I love this blog! Only problem is that the laughing out loud at work while reading it sometimes doesn’t go over too well…
    I’m have 31 over for Thanksgiving–and am actually looking forward to it! Every single one of us will be here this year. Most are bringing something–I told them all not to stress out about how much, what seasoning etc. The point is the company, not the food, and I’m looking forward to a grand day. Hope you two have a great day as well!

  68. Margaret and Helen:

    I hope you and your families enjoy Thanksgiving.

    Many blessings to you and yours!

    Mandi

  69. Happy Thanksgiving to All!

  70. Dearest Margaret & Helen, husbands and family’s

    You brighten my day, make me laugh and give me much happiness. Your blog has become a lovely habit over coffee. With best wishes for a truly happy Thanksgiving with your families. Your Turkey day letter will be sent out to my family and friends, you are all loved and thank you ever so much for all your wisdom.
    Lynnda, Mississippi

  71. Dear Helen,

    As always, you make a fellow Texan’s day. You are so down home, and I mean it!

    Mrs. Jack and I say Happy Thanksgiving to you and Margaret. I hope your necessary rules help you survive to come back and make us laugh out loud some more.

    Thanks a million!

  72. Maybe they are tired of stuffing! :-)

  73. Ladies:
    Another thankful reader checking in! Hope your holidays are wonderful…and the gang well-behaved.
    For the green bean casserole hunters: the other day on Food Network, Emeril (that Ewok, as Tony Bourdain calls him) was fixing Tday dinner for the firemen and topped blanched haricots verts with sliced fennel and onions he had roasted in the oven for an hour or so. Topped that with salt, pepper and olive oil. It looked pretty intriguing and absolutely dead simple.
    Here’s another food conundrum. We’re still trying to figure out why Marylanders have to have sauerkraut with their turkey (and no, it’s not a German immigrant thing – the Germans just north of us in Pennsylvania have never heard of it.)
    Any theories?
    Happy Thanksgiving, all, and thanks for the entertainment!!
    Sue

  74. Disney is soooo OVERRATED! I know this for a fact. There is no way that if I were your grandchild I’d miss one of your wonderful Thanksgivings to go to the park. Your family is blessed indeed and will have many happy memories of your Thanksgivings when they have their own grandchildren.

  75. Dear Sarah Ann,
    I had a ginormous grandma too. I think we switched the dining room chair for the piano bench. No disasters ensued. :-)

  76. Well ladies, all I can say is “SEATTLE LOVES YOU!!” Please come visit and we’ll take you sailing on Puget Sound, skiing in Snoqualmie, doughnut eating at Top Pot, and coffee sipping at Starbucks or any one of our zillion coffee bars. Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving!

  77. Dear Helen and Margaret:

    I, like so many others, are thankful for *YOU*. Thank you for sharing your [sassy] wit and wisdom.

    Wishing you all the best!

  78. Maven, I like your New Tradition!

    Something like that might be a good thing when kids are grown, married and having tokeep their in-laws happy.

  79. I *gave up* Thanksgiving after my divorce several years back. The kids (adult now) go to their dad’s house, since he wants the traditional holidays more than me. I go to my mom’s. We have a roast chicken (since it’s just the 2 of us) but always enjoy the day and each other’s company.

    My New Tradition: I host a Thanksgiving after-party on either Friday or Saturday for my friends and my kids. I make a big vat of chili (and any other non-Thanksgiving foods I can think of). We play board games and team games (like charades) all afternoon/evening and folks share their “Thanksgiving Moments” from the previous day (sometimes cringe-worthy, usually quite funny).
    My rules:
    1. There is no pressure to arrive at any set time; neither is there one to leave. (But if you drink, I’m taking your keys and YOU’ll be the one making breakfast the next morning).
    2. Bring whomever you’d like as long as they’ll play the games and not just lurk.
    3. Drink whatever you bring before you hit my stock.
    Happy Thanksgiving to Margaret, Helen, their families, and all who visit this blog!

  80. Love the Thanksgiving letter….it’s basic common sense!

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  81. [...] Thanksgiving Letter to the Family 2008 We have a great deal to be thankful for this year.  A president-elect smart enough not to stand in front of a turkey [...] [...]

  82. Dear Helen,
    I know just how you feel when the kids don’t all come for a holiday dinner. The last time all my kids were with me was about 18 years ago. We don’t have much money, so at the holidays I rally would love all my kids and grandkids to come visit. I always make a huge meal, with desserts, and we put up our (fake) Christmas Tree to decorate on Thanksgiving night.
    My oldest got married and moved 1500 miles away. Thats her excuse. But the real reason is, she married into money. I suppose it must be a sad commentary on me that she perfers money and her new family over her own mother, father and siblings.
    But thats just one. My second oldest and her boyfriend really cannot aford to come this year. They only live about 300 miles away, but cannot afford to get their car fixed to make the trip. So, they are saving their money to rent a car for Christmas.
    The next one only lives 2 miles away and hopefully will wake up before dinner starts.
    The other 2 live at home. So at least SOMEONE still appreciates us still.
    I am always missing my kids at holiday time. It’s depressing enough to be poor, but without my family, it’s that much worse.
    Whoa, that felt good to get out.
    So, thinking of how much fun it must be at your home on the holidays,

    HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!!!

  83. Helen, like Robert above I am craving the recipe for Maw Maw’s German twist cookies.

    Matthew – any thoughts on adding a recipe section to the site. It can go with the quilting tips section.

    The holiday I miss most living outside of the USofA is Thanksgiving. It is such an honest holiday – it is unashamedly all about FOOD!

    Margaret and Helen, have a peaceful, blessed Turkey Day and know we all love you. – Katiebob

  84. I am in love. You ladies are heavenly.

    I thank the Lord I am the son of immigrants who didn’t celebrate Thanksgiving. Instead, upon moving back to their homeland for five years, we ate routinely with TONS of extended family. Every weekend meal was a painful celebration of one’s powerlessness over genetics. Doh!

    God bless family (yours and mine) for they are the purest of fodder for all comedic spite.

    Happy Thanksgiving and best of luck.

  85. I don’t think Mr Frank is real.

  86. My wife and I were disinvited to the KY family Thanksgivings after we were married (united?) in Vermont.

    We’ve spent Thanksgiving at the casino ever since. Too bad we can’t come see you; it sounds marvelous. Plus, we are unlikely to ever be pregnant and we’ll let you keep your beer.
    :-D

  87. Awesome!

    Can I come too?

  88. Happy Thanksgiving Helen and Margaret
    I have become addicted to your posts. I keep telling my oldest son many thanks for sending the link to your page.
    To Mr. Frank. It’s obvious you dont know any “older” women. We’re just as opinionated and ( funny hopefully)as they are. Of course they are real.
    This page and the responses are now the highlight of my day! And there are a lot of us! Keep visiting all of us an d have some smiles for your day.

  89. Happy Thanksgiving Ladies!

    Love the letter. Happily I haven’t been subjected to too many uncomfortable Thanksgivings with my family but I will keep these rules in mind.

    There was one terrible Christmas, but that’s a story for another day:)

    Hope everyone has a great holiday, and for those that get it, enjoy the extended weekend. Hope it’s full of family (the more well behaved, the better i guess) and fun!

  90. I am truly thankful for the joy and community you’ve brought to my life.

    Happy Thanksgiving may it be abundant with good food, good laughs and lots of love.

  91. Happy Thanksgiving, Helen and Margaret! Am looking forward to many more posts from you two. The world needs more laughter and common sense.

  92. Awe man I want to come to Thanksgiving at your house…..

  93. I love it! Your spunkness reminds me a lot of my grandmas, all 3 of them! Now try figuring out how to split those holidays.

  94. Margaret and Helen, I have a problem. My mother-in-law is huge. HUGE. She is as nice as can be. I love her dearly. The problem is she has broken several chairs in our house. I am embarassed for her. I am dreading Thanksgiving this year. Any suggestions on the seating arrangement…other than having her sit on a stack of bricks??? Seriously, any suggestions…anyone??

  95. I am so thankful for Margaret and Helen, and for Matthew for giving them a blog. Happy Thanksgiving!

  96. I think they’re real… but even if I’m wrong about that, I don’t give a rat’s hind foot! This is the most clean fun you can have on the intertoobs.

  97. I agree!!

  98. Mr. Frank:
    Movies aren’t real either, but we enjoy them and sometimes we learn from them.
    This place of Margaret and Helen’s, well, it teaches us to laugh a little at ourselves sometimes. And it gives sound wisdom sometimes too.
    So, whether or not you believe, Margaret and Helen have become mascots of a sort. And real or not we love them anyway.

  99. Your letter makes me miss my Grandparents terribly. Your relatives should spend every minute of their holidays with you that they possibly can. You’re both awesome.

    As for the breastfeeding stuff…My grandma breastfed all three of her babies at a time when no one was. And if she were alive she would probably have still laughed at your post. I have a four month old now and I will be discreetly feeding her away from the table, and I promise I won’t drop my trousers and poop in the middle of the rug.

  100. I don’t think these two woman are real.

  101. Tag on to Auburn’s ideas:
    getting a pet ~ wait until after the holidays when things settle down. More time to concentrate on the pet.
    Charities that give the gift that keeps on giving: Habitat for Humanity, Heifer International, defenders of Wildlife, and Best Friends in Kanab Utah
    we give our parents a gift from heifer international every year. As former missionaries, they love this charity that provides livestock/agri-stock to a village, teaches animal husbandry/noninvasive farming techniques, and provides a sustainable source of income for the village.

  102. This to Matthew: how about posting the recipe for the stuffed jalapenos?

  103. Whoever reading this that is rolling their eyes and gritting their teeth at getting a ‘beloved’ relative a gift: please most seriously consider a charity donation in their name. If they are considering getting a pet, get one at a shelter. If you have even an hour or two, volunteer to put on a community Thanksgiving at a local place like the Salvation Army or Rescue Mission; it only involves a smile and hands that work. These are the gifts that really count and that people need.

  104. Im with grammie

    thanks for the laughs as always and happy holidays to everyone

  105. Dyricci:

    I went, I saw, I posted!
    (waves to AlaskanPi).

    Oh, Dyricci. you know what they say. “crack don’t smoke itself”.

    cheers!

  106. Whoops! I typo’d…it’s http://dysmindseye.wordpress.com

    If you put your requests on the “Who’s Dy?” page, it may be easiest…or not…I dunno. I guess it doesn’t matter where on my blog you put your requests cuz if you haven’t commented there before, then I’ll get an email to tell me and I can find your request that way…

    okay…it’s time for bed…time to putaway the cyber-crack-pipe…

    ‘Night, All!

  107. Re: troutay on November 24, 2008: “dyricci: I want the recipe!!”

    Troutay…I couldn’t link to you via your comment post, so I’m not sure how to get it to you without posting it for all to see (which I am loath to do. Until this year, I’ve guarded the recipe closely…but we’re re-thinking that…gradually).

    Maybe you or anyone that wants the pumpkin cranberry bread recipe can let me know by posting a comment on my blog http://dysmindeye.wordpress.com ? No, this is not an annoying attempt at self-promotion. I’m just trying to think of a way you can get me your email without posting it for all the world to see. It’ll be included in your comment info on my admin pages so I can then send any of you that want it a copy directly by email.

    This way both your email and my recipe stay safe from unwanted eyes…and all you crazy bakers (like me! takes one to know one!) who really want the recipe can have it!

    Any better ideas, let me know…okay?

    Blessings from Seattle…

  108. Happy Turkey Day Helen and Margaret! Your letter was just what I needed, in remembering Thanksgivings Past. Lost my Dad last week, one month after his 84th birthday & missing my Mom as well. So, like I said, your letters (both) gave me a laugh and a boost of spirits..

    Amy:
    Re: green bean casserole. Not positive this is the receipe that Helen uses, but it sure looks like the one always used in my family. It’s the French’s canned fried onions that give it the holiday flair & taste:

    From Campbells:

    http://tinyurl.com/2grllz

    They give addl variations that look interesting as well.

  109. Happy Thanksgiving! Thanks for the straight talk, and here’s hoping your family straightens up and flies right.

  110. Hey seeingeyechick and magic…get a life. It’s a blog. It’s about the jokes and satire.

    The ladies are a total laugh riot. Keep writing H & M! You totally rock.

  111. Oh look at me. A bit full of myself as well. Happy Thanksgiving everyone. I for one am coming back for more laughs and more of the most intelligent writing I have seen since Molly Ivins…God rest her soul!

  112. I agree. Those two really do need to leave if this upsets them so. Helen is funny. Margaret is nice enough even if she talks about poop too much! Seeing Eye Chick and Healing Hands are pretty full of themselves. Come back when you get a sense of humor.

  113. I’m sorry that seeingeyechick went off in a huff, too. I bet that she’s seen plenty of disapproval over nursing in public, but it’s a big world and nobody agrees with everybody.

    Seems to me we need to develop a thicker skin, and stop trying to be offended all the time. And a child old enough to unbutton her mother’s shirt is asking, a rooting infant is running on instinct. Not the same at all.

    I have to agree with Debbie, too. If we’re going to dish it out, we have to be able to take it.

    Enjoy your Thanksgiving, everyone. I’ll be cooking and cleaning pretty much full time from now until Thursday evening. I’ll let you know if they all leave before dark!

    Martha

    PS What do you all think of Hillary Clinton as Sec. of State?

  114. Yeah, now THAT is a holiday letter! None of this tossing about of who went to Europe, who got their PhD and braggy crap like that. Real stuff.
    Real funny stuff at that.

    What certain people who shall not be named seem to forget is that this is a HUMOR BLOG!!!! At some point H & M may actually decide my pet cause is fair game too and I not to be an asshat, stamp my feet and make a big dramatic door slamming exit!

    Happy Tofurkey Day, y’all.

  115. I just found your website about a month ago and you are fast becoming a daily visit from me! Love your directness and you make me laugh!!! Thank you!!

  116. I’m often here. I’m sure smiling. I don’t often leave notes because you have 110 others and my opinions get lost…….which is ok. I’m delighted by the letter. Laughing all the way to Christmas here. Thanks.

  117. Dear Helen and Margaret,

    I’m sure you and your families will have a great Thanksgiving! I trust after they receive your letter they will observe the rules.

    Our three, grownup sons and their families are scattered all over the mainland, so there are rarely any problems of who gets whom for holidays. We get together with them during the year, schedules permitting. They are pretty busy living their own lives and raising their own kids nicely. My husband and I must have done SOMETHING right somewhere along the way. One bunch is coming out for Christmas this year.

    Every year we go to some friends for Thanksgiving. They have been doing this for about twenty years. They have an outdoor barbeque with a roof. They do a whole pig, snout and all, and several turkeys on spits. Forty or fifty of their ‘Calabash Ohana’ are invited.

    ‘Ohana’ in Hawaiian means ‘family’. Anyone who dips into the same calabash gourd bowl with fingers to eat together automatically becomes adopted as family with the same rights as blood relatives. (That’s a figure of speech, not literally, for anyone squeamish about double dipping.)

    Of course, everybody brings something to round out the rest of the Thanksgiving trimmings. I bring my famous cheesecakes. Dinner is served mid-afternoon. Immediately afterwards, ALL the leftovers are placed in special containers for this purpose. Some of the men load them into cars and take them to a homeless shelter. Never, never any wasted food!

    It has always been well organized and everyone has a wonderful time! The Aloha Spirit is alive and well here – year round.

    Aloha!

    Jean

  118. Considering this whole thing started with Helen calling Sarah a bitch, I find it funny that Seeing Eye Chick is now talking about respecting all women. Is she just upset about anyone disagreeing with her opinion on breastfeeding? If so, that kind of does make her “militant” about it. Which, honestly is really the only complaint anyone had on the subjecct. That said, I wish she would come back. Throwing the baby out with the bath water is never a good idea

  119. Happy Thanksgiving, Helen!

    I love you all the more because of this letter and because you, too, quilt!!

    You go, girl!! Wish I could show you my quilts!!

  120. Please add to the letter to the family:

    #8 – Tickling a 5 year old until they cry is not funny.

    #9 – RE-telling the story, in front of a teenager’s guest, of the year you got her a tee shirt that read “Itty Bitty Titty Committee President” is not funny.

    #10 – When your kid rips the hair out of someone else’s kid, Do NOT explain, how it is because, of: A) sugar, B) excitement, or C) the older kids. Nor any other excuse. Simple say “I’m so sorry.”

    Gobble Gobble ladies!
    This year I am thankful for Matthew for sharing his Grandma!

  121. One more thing…

    Obama, take note…Helen for Secretary of No Bull Crap!

  122. Helen, seriously, will you adopt me. :-) You rock! I’m an only child of a single mom who is getting on in years. Will ya?

    Happy Turkey Day!

  123. troutay-
    Darn… was hoping to see seeingeyechick back. Lots of good ideas and energy there!
    No- I don’t have a website . At 7wpm ,when I try to remember punctuation and caps, I’d take a week to get up something that other folks seem to manage in a couple hours! Thank you for your kind words though- I enjoy so many of the voices I “hear” here… yours too.

  124. I sent my picture to you but I did not follow the directions- sorry. Ann from Florida(not wearing the correct T shirt)

  125. Happy Thanksgiving Margaret and Helen and everyone here busy expressing opinions- I just love it! My family Thanksgiving has been claimed by a cousin who means well…but it sucks. I usually find alternatives but it has been years now that I have made excuses so that is where I will eat this year.All the best to everyone ….and I am thankful that we have the possibility of change for the better. Ann

  126. Helen, Im kind of a cookie monster.. those maw maw’s german twist cookies sound interesting… care to share the recipe? I miss my grandma’s christmas cookies..

  127. Another lurker here. I’ve been reading you for the past couple months, and I just have to say…You Rock! You’ve yet to say anything, about politics OR breast-feeding, that I disagree with, so I’m happy to visit kindred spirits that write with such humor and grace.

    Happy Turkey Day to you (and I too would love the recipe for those cookies). Blessings to you and your families.

  128. I really really wish you’d stop it!!!
    I am in bed because I hurt my back painting my walls and throwing away the junk( his stuff, my husband says) before Thanksgiving.
    It really hurts to laugh and then I had to go and read the letter you sent last year.
    Good Lord!
    You really have to stop, it hurts to laugh!!!!

  129. Funny post again Helen. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. I agree about visiting the oldsters while they’re around. All of the older generation of my family is gone and I miss them so much, especially this time of year. Thanks for the posts!

  130. happy thanksgiving, darlings! xox

  131. I forgot to mention one thing…

    My husband and I are newlyweds and on a fixed income. He is a full-time student with grants, and I have a disability, so am dependent on social security at the moment. Having gone from a 40-hour per week job to jobless and living off SS meant a huge life change.

    That being said, my DH and I have decided to not get new gifts for each other. We will go through thrift stores, pawn shops, freecycle, craigslist, etc., to find our gifts. The family’s expectation of gifts every year is what brings so many people to the brink of insanity!

    I’m sewing and making gifts for the nieces and nephews. I know they probably won’t appreciate the hard work I put into each gift, but hopefully they will grow to understand frugal living (fat chance since they are pretty well-off).

    Anyway, ladies. Don’t let seeing eye chick or magic hands bring you down. You’re 83 years old (soon-to-be), and in my opinion, if I had grandparents, I’d visit as often as possible.

  132. It does seem a bit harsh, but you know what? I agree! We used to get those braggy-ass letters from my aunt in Houston about how great her daughters were doing, one’s getting her PhD and the other has become senior manager of some such place. It was enough to give me, personally, a complex, because my mother was always saying, “Now why can’t you be like that?????”

    Kudos, Helen! And tell Margaret I said to have a blast in Vermont!

  133. That is an awesome letter Helen!

    I dislike those family newsletters sent out at Christmas time too, and it’s nice to see honesty with a good dose of tongue-in-cheek humor when it comes to family and the holidays.

  134. Life’s a lot more fun if you don’t take yourself so seriously. Ask me how I know!

    I’d never get through the holidays without a sense of humor. I can laugh or just shake my head at the drama that some of my family members think that they have to inflict on us! And I have years of practice, too.

    We’re having some new guests this year, and I hope we don’t scare them off.

  135. Aren’t families just great? I love your letter to your family because it’s so funny but also because it’s so honest! Happy Thanksgiving to both of you and to all of your families!

  136. Margaret and Helen … you have built a bit of a following amongst my friends down under ..we love your blogs! keep them coming and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  137. Helen, you must be a professional writer! If not, you should have been….You remind me of Mark Twain, or Jim Hightower…or Molly Ivins! I truly look forward to seeing what pearls of wisdom drop from your keyboard!

    Happy Thanksgiving to your and your family…those that obey the rules :-)

  138. Happy Thanksgiving! Finding your blog gives one more thing to be thankful for this year!

  139. Jeez. Go already. Me thinks you two ever really understood the spirit fo this blog. What is sad, to me, is that you are leaving becuase of some percieved negativeness about breastfeeding. Go back and read the post already and then get over yourself.

    And Healinghands, an 82 year old hoping that you will vist her for a few more years and then start you new tradtion afte she is gone makes complete sense to me. Once day those family members will realize you don’t get a second chance and our parents and grandparents are gone all to quickly.

    Helen – I love that you love your family so much that it bothers you Disney world was more important. And regardless of what the shrieking Seeing Eye Chick has to say, your being a bit taken back by a bare breast being suckedon by a four year old is completely understanding to me. I will keep coming back for seconds!!!

  140. Love your blog. I haven’t posted yet, but just wanted to tell you my daughters names are Margaret and Helena (we call her Helen.) You ladies are a riot!

  141. Happy Thanksgiving Ladies!!
    You Rock!!

  142. Happy Thanksgiving….and thanks for the smiles!

    No, I take that back. Thanks for the side-splitting hilarity that you bring into my life!

    May all of your Thanksgiving wishes come true….and, please ignore the few people who are taking things in your blog waaaaaaaaaaaay too seriously.

    C’mon.
    Laugh, people.
    It will make you feel good.
    xoxo

  143. ROFL…love the letter. And, I’d love to have someone in the family to give me quilting lessons. I only do machine quilting right now.

  144. Helen, you are so awesome! I happened upon your blog not long ago, and now I read it every day. Please continue speaking your mind as you see fit. It took me years to learn that no one respects a self-effacing doormat. I’m much happier now. I nursed my children and covered up with a light receiving blanket in public. No big deal. I was content, my children were well-fed and no one was offended. I never felt the need to “make a statement” by nursing; it just felt right for me. Everyone makes up their own mind for the things they choose to do.

    I just adopted a wolf for my granddaughter for Christmas. I wish I could slap Sarah Palin’s face for her hypocrisy being “a friend to all creatures great and small”. Nineteen more wolves have just been slaughtered in Alaska. Predators never kill every member of their prey – that would be counter-productive to their survival Nature knows how to maintain balance. She’s been doing if for millenia. Thanks for the soap box.

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving. We’ll be sharing it with you in spirit. Thanks for everything. I mean it.

  145. “The living room is for show”…HAHAHAH LOVE IT!

  146. Happy T-Day!

    The entire letter made me laugh…but you sound like my mother and grandmother when you said….
    #7 The good china and crystal is not for family. It’s for special occasions.

    LOL…They also say no one can sit in the living room because its for “show” what the hell??? LOL

  147. Helen you are the best!!!!! You make me LAUGH each and every time!!!!! :-)

  148. Helen, I just love you. Wish I could give you a hug. My mo is 86 and I provide the care, doctor’s visits, script pick up, etc. She is also very ill now with all her valves leaking. When my dad died the family went to hell, okay, they didn’t but I was wishing they did. I heard tons of: 1 You didn’t tell me he was sick and 2. I have no memories of Granddad.
    These same people, who I have written about her health, still have not visited. It really hurts her but she could “never tell them.” One grandson goes on the exact same cruise, twice a year, with his wife’s parents. He took a trip and drove within miles of mom’s apartment and did not have time to stop and see her. She was sitting, dressed up and waiting for two days in a row, because he said he would.

    When I am your age, I’m telling them. How will they ever know what Asses they are otherwise. Isn’t that the benefit to being 80??

  149. Helen, instead of nixing gifts for relatives that get on your naughty list, instead, please consider donating to a worthy cause in their honor. A local food bank, animal shelter, domestic violence service, etc. would certainly be appreciative. My family and my inner circle of girlfriends have decided to give minimal gifts to each other this year and take the majority of our gift money reservoir to donate to causes dear to each of us. Charitable donations are suffering terribly this year due to the downward spiraling economy. Seriously people, do you really need another holiday sweater, kitchen gadget, etc? I urge everyone reading today to consider cutting back gift giving this year and instead contribute to a worthy charity. You’ll feel great by doing so and the benefactors of your generosity will certainly be more grateful than your entitled relative.
    Happy Holidays Margaret and Helen and to all of your readers! Peace, love and blessings.

  150. Let me just say, I too, am very grateful for your delightful blog. Your wit and wisdom has brought me many smiles and chuckles…

    Thank-you! Thank-you! Thank-you!

    Happy Thanksgiving to You & Yours!

  151. Happy Thanksgiving, Ladies!

    One of the things I’m thankful for is to have been blessed by your wit and wisdom during the weeks up to the election. You always make me laugh.

    Love the letter… I, too, want the cookie recipe. And one more thing: Hook ‘Em Horns!

  152. Can I come over to your house for Thanksgiving? I’m a little tired of seeing the same people year after year.

    Duke

    http://thedailyduke.com

  153. Dear Margaret:

    I agree with you wholeheartedly except for number seven. You are 83, I say use the good china and crystal everyday.

    “#7 The good china and crystal is not for family. It’s for special occasions.’

    Thanks for posting, I mean it.

  154. M & H – very funny letter. I DO wish my family had a sense of humor! When I say what I really feel or think, even in the nicest way, WWIII starts!

    Thanksgiving is a time for giving thanks, whether we are with loved one or by ourselves (like me). I would love to be sitting around a table surrounded by my tiny family and great food, but that hasn’t happened in many years. Nonetheless, I am very thankful for what I have.

    And for goodness sakes you nay sayers – this is all in good fun. If you can’t deal with what Margaret and Helen say – don’t let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya (I heard that on My Wife and Kids last week)!!

    Happy Thanksgiving everybody!!!
    Phyllis in NC

  155. I am hosting Thanksgiving for the first time ever this year. So very tempted to send this to my family!

  156. Seeingeyechic: I have always enjoyed your posts until the BF thing. I don’t want you to leave as you are part of this “family” regardless of opinions. While we may not always agree, we do share and perhaps we can learn from you.

    AlaskanPi: do you have a web site? I think your posts are wonderful.

  157. First: Oh my goodness, seeing eye chick and healinghands! You are such serious beings that I just have to say “put on your big girl panties and get over it.” And get a sense of humor. You need to remember your audience.

    Second: Oh Helen! Will knit for T-day dinner! I miss my grandma so much and you are a welcome dose of practicality that I got from her.

    And Margaret? Have a safe trip! I hope that both of you enjoy your holidays!!!

    Thanks so much!

  158. Oooh count me in on the lasagna recipe!

    Your letter cracked me up. Admittedly, I was a little cracked to begin with though he he. Have to say that I don’t have to agree with absolutely everything someone says in order to appreciate their opinions and love their sense of humor. Variety is definitely the spice of life!

  159. Excellent rules to live by whenever you visit, not just on the holidays. I too would be interested in the German twist cookie recipe.

    dyricci, I’d also like your butternut squash bachemel lasagna with carmelized onions recipe.

    Seasons’ Greetings.

  160. Helen, may I come to your place for Thanksgiving? Thanks to Palin and the TV news which kept showing that “clip” again, and again, and again, my mother won’t allow turkey at Thanksgiving this year. Says she just can’t bear it. Pig and cow are already off her list. (Long story, but she’s not allowed to drive the “scenic route” to central California any more.) So I don’t know what I’m going to make for the central part of the meal. Maybe chicken pot pie, because it will have to be something that can’t instantly be recognised as anything that used to be alive.

    Just kidding about going to your place (although it does sound great!); I’ll be spending Thanksgiving with my mom, and any other family that cares to come over. I’m very thankful to have my mother still with me. She’s a cancer survivor who was only given a less than 25% chance of making it. But here she is. She’s a tough old bird. Which I say makes it okay for her to banish any other kind of bird from her thanksgiving table if that’s what she wants!

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  161. Seeing Eye Chick, I found your blog because of this one and I really like your blog and agree with you mostly…but, it was time for Helen and commentators to move on and so they did. Please come back and let’s see what goes on here in the future.

    I only have one problem with Helen’s letter. What’s with all the Christmas gift expectations? A woman of 82 years should have all the do-dads she could ever need and where do you want to put some more? Give and get…Get and give…And the world of junk goes round and round…

    Hey, maybe we need a good chat about no gifts, useful gifts or trinkets that collect dust.

    I’m invited over to our neighbors for Turkey Day. I just have to take a vegetable dish. I cooked a turkey on Saturday, just to make packages and packages for the freezer/quick meals. Cookin’ the carcass soup today.

    YUM!

  162. Gig ‘em Aggies! The game is back on the day God intended. (But my precious little Aggies are gonna get roasted like turkeys that day. Alas.)

    Love from a Texan who has somehow ended up in Philadelphia…

  163. Oh Helen- We may still ax the right turkey or at least get her to hold her head back long enough to drown herself in her own unethical flood of behavior…We gave ourselves an early Christmas gift!

    http://mudflats.wordpress.com/2008/11/24/alaska-needs-your-help-in-which-i-explain-that-the-creature-from-the-black-lagoon-is-a-good-guy

    Hi-ho, hi-ho- it’s off to work we go! Happy Holidays!

  164. Love, Love, Love your letter. You are so funny. I actually read your blog out loud to my husband. It just cracks him up. God I miss my grandma & aunts they remind me so much of you guys. Have a great Thanksgiving!!!!!

  165. seeing eye chick-
    Your post made me sad. You have added a strong voice here…
    What divides us all is not what unites us, but what unites us gives us room for our divisions and a chance for resolution.
    Sometimes the world we dream of for our kids and grands is not one we ourselves can live in…Asking Helen about BF and assuming she will say what we want to hear is/was probably silly. What divides generations is the steepest hill we have on the horizon ofttimes…
    I was a nursing mother 35 yrs ago and no one ever knew. T’wasn’t the thing then…We haven’t come very far since either. It is YOUR banner to carry now and my daughter-in-law’s… I’m behind you even if I’m so dang short you can’t see me!
    My mother laid one stone for the ladies by not only getting a college education and working as a teacher in the 50s but by returning to Law School in HER 50s to give back to her Alaska Native community. I laid one stone by taking on a “man’s job”- becoming a repair plumber and water treatment operator…my sisters have each laid another stone for the ladies… Now is your time- My gran daughter’s time is coming… forward , we will go!!!!!!!!

  166. you know you are right!
    i make a pleadge to be more honest with my family about how I feel
    i love them all dearly, and my family puts the Fun in Dysfunctional
    (they are a witty lot)but we are all kinds of crazy…. literally
    to spare them my oppinions on life is wrong of me
    now that i am transitioning (female to male) i feel more confident in myself.
    being honest with your family is like telling them how you expect things so you don’t have to be mad later that they don’t do what you want because they didn’t know
    now you can be mad when they don’t do it anyway
    lol

    oh well,
    i love your blog
    please keep it coming
    i tell everyone i know, they need to check it out
    over a million hits and going strong
    Next time I am in Austin I would love to meet up for lunch……

  167. The good china and crystal is not for family, it’s for special occasions. I love this. It suggests that family is a regular part of our lives, not something special we see once or twice a year. I’m not religious, but amen to that.

    Would you share the recipe for green bean casserole? I’m a vegetarian so having another non-meat dish for Turkey Day would be nice.

  168. Oooh, they’ve moved the Turkey Tussle back to Thursday where it belongs! Excellent! (I grew up in College Station, so naturally my heart is with the “precious little Aggies.”)

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  169. Seeing eye chick. No one denigrated breast feeding mothers! Geez. Get a life, this is only a blog!
    Go get active in the movement or something. I for one think breast feeding is a private moment. You can do it in public, anywhere you like, just cover up!!
    Just let it go!

  170. That’s a good one!!!!

    I just wish all hosts and hostesses everywhere, holiday or not, would do this! I respect rules and people once I know the lay of the land. Not to do this for guests is to blindside them.

    My family has two Thanksgiving Days: one American, the other Canadian, both about a month apart! Canadian winter holiday bashes often revolve around roast goose(!!!) and a whopping beef roast with all the usual side dishes and desserts.

    Can you say Weight Watchers?

  171. Happy Thanksgiving everybody :)

  172. This letter made my day!!! :-)

  173. Have a lovely Thanksgiving!

  174. Well, at least no one could accuse you of being passive aggressive.

    But, gosh Helen. If everybody is “supposed” to visit you for Thanksgiving or suffer consequences at Christmas, then they have no opportunity to develop their own family traditions. What are they supposed to do when you die and they can’t come to grannie’s house any more because granny is dead?

    I’m with Seeing Eye Chick here. I’m probably not coming back.

  175. I think seeing eye chick forgot that this blog is all about the Funny. Really. I mean it.

  176. Oops – that’s Helen’s house I’m going to, not Seeing Eye Chick’s house, she just scares me!

  177. Seeing Eye Chick, why don’t you tell us how you really feel, it’s not good to keep your feelings pent-up, dear.

    That said, next year I’m coming to your house for Thanksgiving. (Forgetting that I live in Dubai, have never been to the US, am South African and don’t particularly celebrate Thanksgiving, but never mind all that.)

    I hope you both have a splendid time with your families.

  178. Helen, totally awesome Thanksgiving Day letter! Loved it. And tell Margaret I’m SOOOO jealous that she’s in VT. Gosh, I love VT. Hopefully, I can retire there.

    For those of us with no extended family, Thanksgiving can be a downer. This year, as in year’s past, it’s Cracker Barrel for lunch. Thank goodness they’re open!

    Wishing you all a wonderful Thanksgiving. We have, thanks to our recent election, something to be thankful for this year.

    http://thespiritjourney.blogspot.com

  179. Feel better, dear?? Have a nice life!

    Margaret and Helen Rock!!!

  180. Sheeesh!!!!!!

  181. I am dissapointed that M&H would still be harping on the breastfeeding issue as if to equate one person’s practices in that respect that you didnt care for, stood for all Breast Feeding Women everywhere.

    Clearly a shunning should take place. Have fun, I wont be party to it, though I have been victimized by such practices.

    I am very dissapointed. As a feminist who believes that all women–Breast feeding Women, Lesbians, Married Women, Single women, girls mothers, etc., should be respected, free, sovereign and equal, I guess I shall have to call it quits.

    The attitude you cultivate here will affect many mothers. Maybe even some of your grandchildren and great grandchildren. so that an infant at the breast will be eqated to a 4 yr old, and a desire to participate in society with a babe in arms is considered an afront to decency, rather than simply a mother who used to be included, but isnt anymore now that she is a breeder. Now that she is shitting on the sidewalk with her Babe at the breast.

    I am saddened. I was very upset by the original post on this matter and the incredibly rude, mean, Ignorant, and hateful remarks made by women and men alike who either never had children or never dealt with regular people who stayed at home with their babies and breastfed. I felt like I had been forced to pay for sins I never personally committed and it saddened me to think of other women who might be subjected to the same.

    If you cannot support women in that position of breast feeding women, then I cannot in good conscience support this blog or promote it.

    If you seek to punish all for the sins told to you by Friends of Friends, rather than consider the reality which is, that most women do just fine but need support and acceptance.

    Its the equivalent of: Hating all female Drivers because once you heard about a nympho that got stuck on a stick shift after ingesting Spanish Fly in her car.

    Well that makes perfect sense.

    Good luck. I will miss you, but I wont miss the negative, nasty feeling I now get when I visit your blog, and when I associate it with the vocal rejection of Breast Feeding Mommies. That feeling of Welcome-ness I felt when Obama was elected, disappeared with that Got Milk blog entry and the insults that ensued. Disappeared completely.

    Thanks for reminding where I live. In my excitement I almost forgot.

  182. Helen—-how about buying 2 liter bottles of soda instead of cans—we have a huge family and we had the same problem with half empty cans so we switched and problem solved!!
    Love your blog and still waiting for more people to post pictures–

  183. Happy Thanksgiving everyone! And even if you aren’t going to Helen’s, the ground rules work in every family – FOLLOW THEM! :)

  184. I’ll be thankful when I’m old enough to get away with saying things like that to my family at the holidays! Great post, Helen.

  185. Helen, you just made my Thanksgiving for me. And given that this Thanksgiving marks my 50th birthday (a birthday that, coincidentally, also fell on Thanksgiving back in 1958), you’d think it was already pretty much made. But no–you have taken it to another level.

    Bless you and bless your family–have a wonderful Thanksgiving…and keep blogging!

  186. I’ll bet Palin would be forced to sit at the kiddie table if she visited your gram. I wonder if she’s smarter than a 5th grader. They could find out during dinner.

  187. I loved last year’s Thanksgiving Day letter, asked for another, and got it, and this one is just as good! What a treat to have you in the family!

    I can imagine the fun at your house.

    Keep on keeping on, Helen. And so very glad you and Margaret are having so much fun with this blog!

  188. dyricci: I want the recipe!!

    Margaret and Helen. Thanks again for a good chuckle. We are having a crew here for the holiday meal, but they are pretty well behaved.
    Helen, I would love to see some of your
    quilts. It’s a hobby of mine too.

    Happy T day every one!

  189. Thank you for sharing about your family, anybody that goes away for a holiday (DISNEY LAND) is an idiot. I just hope they get stuck in traffic and have to spend their thanksgiving afternoon on hot miserable highway. You sound like the best…Zman sends

  190. In my case, I would tell them to bring the dogs and leave the kids at home. I usually find the dogs are better behaved. My family is probably grateful I am at least 1500 miles away, and they are not invited.

  191. Priceless, as usual, Helen. Here’s an invite for you. Next year, how ’bout you and Harold coming to Hawaii for Thanksgiving? We’ll take you to our special dining spot right next to the ocean. No muss. No fuss! No dirty diapers. No half empty soda cans. Just sun, sand and salt water. Sorry, that’s the best we can do!

    And, while you’re at it…send the family a “having a wonderful time, wish you were here” postcard!

    I mean it. Really!

  192. [...] Possibly one of the funniest thanksgiving letters I’ve ever read, is found here. [...]

  193. Hi Gramma Helen!

    Boy, do I wish I could come and visit you for Turkey Day! I read last years letter a couple months ago when we all started finding you and I laughed then.

    This year’s letter, though, has both me and my husband rolling with laughter. Tears are come out our eyes! REALLY! He always asks me to read your posts out loud, and I was having such a hard time with this one because I kept laughing so hard I couldn’t form the words!

    Just to share what we’re having for T-day:
    * Turkey (roasted with apple sauce and honey under the skin, and a hamhock inside the cavity) a * pork roast
    * a butternut squash bachemel lasagna with carmelized onions (for my daughter, the vegetarian, and anyone else who want to eat some of it)
    * green bean casserole
    * brussel sprouts sauted with panchetta
    * cornbread stuffing with apples and onions
    * sour cream and chive mashed potatoes
    * my famous pumpkin cranberry nut bread (if anyone wants the recipe, let me know…)
    * my famous maple pumkin pie w/maple whipped cream
    * a pecan pie, if I’m up for it
    * various rolls, appies and sides that will be brought by our guests

    …and everyone is supposed to bring a cat toy for Mr. Hank (the neighbor’s cat) because the holiday is doubling as his 10 year birthday. He is going to have a very fun time…he is a social whore, completely!

    Anyway…we love you dearly! Hope your holiday is wonderful…and we want all the news after it’s all cleaned up!

    Blessings from Seattle…

    xoxo ~Dy

  194. What I am thankful for this year besides my family is this blog. Happy Thanksgiving Helen and Margaret! May everybody in this blog family enjoy a Happy Thanksgiving also! Thankful for the laughter, for Obama’s win, for Ms. Palin delighting us with her entry on the national scene!Yes, this year has been good one.

  195. Happpy Thanksgiving, Helen and Margaret and Matthew! I’m so thankful I have you for my bright moment every morning when I’ve seen that you’ve done a post. Please keep them coming. I can tell they all love you to bits and that you keep everyone on their toes.

  196. Ummm. I think the idea is don’t take more than you can eat. You can always go back to seconds. And leftovers are a necessity at Thanksgiving.

  197. I found this letter to be hilarious and I know it’s in good fun but this one bothered me quite a bit:

    #1 If you put it on your plate, it better end up in your mouth. Last year I threw away enough food to feed the population of Wasilla. That is just wasteful.

    Why? My grandparents say this all the time and it’s lead to a lot of food anxiety and an inability to stop eating until the place is clean because I’m being “wasteful”. I understand why they think that way especially when they had to go through some hard times, but seriously is it worth giving your children and grandchildren complexes that can lead to eating disorders just because you supposedly waste a lot of food.

    How about instead you don’t cook as much food instead of requiring everyone to eat everything on their plate?

    I know I’m overthinking it all, just giving you something to chew on. LOL!

  198. I meant Howard and Harold. Sheesh. That’ll teach me to proofread.

  199. Happy Thanksgiving, Margaret and Helen and Howard and Helen and…everyone else, too. May your turkey be done on time and your gravy hot…and your best team win.

    http://whatwouldwandado.blogspot.com

  200. Ladies and Matthew, I can’t thank you enough. My smile muscles were getting saggy, needed more exercise. So, I’ll read your blog two or three times a day. Now if everything else that sags were as easy to fix.
    Thanksgiving, family and friends make for the perfect day, if I live to see the end of it. About an hour before we eat, I’m wandering through the kitchen muttering,”shoot me,please just shoot me.” No one has yet and a good time is had by all, so I’ll try it again this year.
    Keep up the good work and enjoy! JudieJ

  201. Happy Thanksgiving. I’ve been a lurker for a while, but just had to pop in and say your Thanksgiving sounds wonderful!! Your family is so lucky to have you. How could they go to Disney??? Anyways. Have a wonderful holiday and enjoy the jalapenos!

    Stacey

  202. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    I love your Thanksgiving letter, and I love the fact that you pull no punches. You are exactly who you say you are, no holds barred, and I am pleased and proud to have “met” you!

    Lillian and I are going to spend Thanksgiving by ourselves, perhaps establishing our own traditions. And when we do finally reconnect with our kids (distance, and none of us likes it, but there it is) and someday theirs, we want to be able to be as honest and firm as you are. I bet Lillian will be. I’m the one who makes nice even when it makes me cranky.

    Thank you again!

  203. Helen and Margaret-
    Thanks for having us all in day after day- has become a place of comfort. Lots of voices, lots of ideas, and hardly any bloody noses.
    Enjoy your holiday with your real family!

  204. Thanksgiving is not big in Canada, so I’ve never had a real thanksgiving dinner. But by the looks of your letter, it seems as though I’m already there. Margaret, you are like a hip, twenty-something, party planner (with real organization) trapped in a body of an 82 year old women!

    Thanks for sharing the letter with us, Matthew!

    Happy thanksgiving to you and your family!

  205. Wish I had my family here so I could complain about them!
    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving

  206. What am I thankful for this year? THIS BLOG! I never leave without a smile. Happy Thanksgiving, ladies! :)

  207. Dear Helen,
    I for one, would much rather spend this holiday with you and yours then with Mickey, Donald and Pluto! I even have a special “diaper take away baggie” for the little one! I don’t drink soda but am pregnant and have a rather large appetite…can we come if we bring our own ham? I don’t quilt, but would be content to sit and knit while you all sit and chat over squares of fabric. All the best to you this holiday season!

  208. I’m in, for the quilting!

  209. I’m laughing so hard I can barely breath! I thought I was the only person who talked to my family that way. I wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family. Love to you and Margaret. Thanks for all the laughs, the insight and the wisdom that can only come from experience. You make me stop and think. I truly hope you never tire of us dropping in because you’ve become a wonderful part of my day and I appreciate you more all the time.

  210. I love it!! God bless direct people. You always know where you stand.

  211. I just have to say I love your blog. I wish I’d gotten to know my paternal grandmother better, because I think she would have been like you two. Thanks for the offer of quilt lessons. I’d like to move beyond log cabin squares. What time did you say dinner is?

  212. #6 reminds me of my mom, with the beds. She’s coming to visit for Turkey Day. The only rule I have for her is to stay out of my damn kitchen!!! Seriously, the woman has cooked for years. For once she can sit and relax so someone else can do the cooking!!

  213. My only Thanksgiving rule is: Please leave before dark. By then I will have spent 3 days on my feet cooking and cleaning, and I guarantee I’ll be too tired to put up with anyone.

  214. Hey Helen — Show us some of your quilts!!

  215. I really want to acknowledge that you are so right about killing the wrong turkey. Turkeys, except for the wild kind, are not the smartest birds in the world but they have Sarah beat.

    Number two really hit home for me. I went to my sister’s for Christmas last year and spent all my time picking up warm soda or water bottles and emptying them before putting in the trash. I had noticed a recycling bin at the local store so put all the cans in one bag and all the plastic bottles in the other after compressing them. I left with a full trash bag (large lawn size) of each.

    And as I did not get a single thank you note from any of my family members for the gifts I got them on my fixed income I get to save bunches of money this year.

  216. Fabulous ground rules. Sad as it is that they have to be written but it’s better than leaving it unsaid and having your feathers ruffled in the end. I solved my holiday problems this year, we aren’t going any where and I didn’t invite anyone. If they don’t like it they can sod off, their presents are a waste of my time. Can you feel the love?

  217. We’ve ALL wanted to say most of this, some time. Thanks for putting it all together. Happy T-day to you and all of yours!!

  218. Good on ya for setting the groundrules, Helen. Gille and I wish you the best for the holidays.

  219. Oh my, we are rolling on the floor laughing… must breathe…

    Poor Mary….

    HA HA HA!

  220. Love the letter and LOVE the new “Pictures” page…I will send in a photo of my Sister when she receives her T-Shirt…what a hoot!!!

  221. P.S. — You forgot #8: Please don’t breastfeed at my T-day table. :)

  222. The best Thanksgiving letter ever! I’m sending it on to my family :) Have a beautiful day!

  223. Helen: You are channeling my mother!! Frightening. Have a happy T-day and count the silverware BEFORE they leave.

  224. Oops,

    Sorry Helen, I mixed you and Margaret up there, my apologies

  225. Margaret,

    I’d like your permission to forward this wonderful set of rules to my aunt so she can use it in her annual Holiday letter to the family. She not only would get a kick out of it, but I could see her saying, “yeah, yeah, yeah, sounds right…” as she read through the rules.

    I hope that you and Helen enjoy the holidays, you two are a definite hoot here on the ‘net. I wish my grandmothers were alive to read your stuff, they’d think you two were kindred spirits.

  226. Your words alone are something to be thankful for, you have been a rare voice of reason during a particularly trying time. Thank you. Will you share the recipe for Maw Maw’s German twist cookies?


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