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Posted by: Helen Philpot | November 19, 2012

Thanksgiving Letter to the Family 2012

Dear Family,

I’m not dead yet.  Thanksgiving is still important to me.  If being in my Last Will and Testament is important to you, then you might consider being with me for my favorite holiday.

Dinner is at 2:00.   Not 2:15.  Not 2:05.   Two.  Arrive late and you get what’s leftover.

Last year, that moron Marshall fried a turkey in one of those contraptions and practically burned the deck off the house.  This year, the only peanut oil used to make the meal will be from the secret scoop of peanut butter I add to the carrot soup.

Jonathan, your last new wife was an idiot.  You don’t arrive at someone’s house on Thanksgiving needing to use the oven and the stove.  Honest to God I thought you might have learned after two wives – date them longer and save us all the agony of another divorce.

Now, the house rules are slightly different this year because I have decided that 47% of you don’t know how to take care of nice things.  Paper plates and red Solo cups might be bad for the environment, but I’ll be gone soon and that will be your problem to deal with.

House Rules:

  1.  The University of Texas no longer plays Texas A&M.   The television stays off during the meal.
  2. The” no cans for kids” rule still exists.  We are using 2 liter bottles because your children still open a third can before finishing the first two.  Parents can fill a child’s cup when it is empty.  All of the cups have names on them and I’ll be paying close attention to refills.
  3. Cloe, last year we were at Trudy’s house and I looked the other way when your Jell-O salad showed up.  This year, if Jell-O salad comes in the front door it will go right back out the back door with the garbage.  Save yourself some time honey.  You’ve never been a good cook and you shouldn’t bring something that wiggles more than you.  Buy something from the HEB bakery.
  4. Grandmothers give grandchildren cookies and candy.  That is a fact of life.  Your children can eat healthy at your home.  At my home, they can eat whatever they like as long as they finish it.
  5. I cook with bacon and bacon grease.  That’s nothing new.  Your being a vegetarian doesn’t change the fact that stuffing without bacon is like egg salad without eggs.  Even the green bean casserole has a little bacon grease in it.   That’s why it tastes so good.  Not eating bacon is just not natural.  And as far as being healthy… look at me.  I’ve outlived almost everyone I know.
  6. Salad at Thanksgiving is a waste of space.
  7. I do not like cell phones.  Leave them in the car.
  8. I do not like video cameras.  There will be 32 people here.  I am sure you can capture lots of memories without the camera pointed at me.
  9. Being a mother means you have to actually pay attention to the kids.  I have nice things and I don’t put them away just because company is coming over.  Mary, watch your kids and I’ll watch my things.
  10. Rhonda, a cat that requires a shot twice a day is a cat that has lived too many lives.  I think staying home to care for the cat is your way of letting me know that I have lived too many lives too.  I can live with that.  Can you?
  11. Words mean things.  I say what I mean.   Let me repeat:  You don’t need to bring anything means you don’t need to bring anything.   And if I did tell you to bring something, bring it in the quantity I said.  Really.  This doesn’t have to be difficult.
  12. Dominos and cards are better than anything that requires a battery or an on/off switch.  That was true when you were kids and it’s true now that you have kids.
  13. Showing up for Thanksgiving guarantees presents at Christmas.  Not showing up guarantees a card that may or may not be signed.

The election is over so I’ll watch what I say and you will do the same.  If we all stick to that, we’ll have a good time.  If not, I’ll still have a good time but it will be at your expense.  In memory of your Grandfather, the back fridge will be filled with beer.  Drink until it is gone.  I prefer wine anyway.  But one from each family needs to be the designated driver.  I mean it really.

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  1. […] the FULL letter to her family HERE. View Comments blog comments powered by Disqus var disqus_url = […]

  2. And please don’t park in my nice clean driveway if your car leaks oil (you know who you are).

  3. Dear Helen and Margaret,

    I must say I am late to the party, and I apologize. I agree with this list and have to wonder: WHY oh why do we have to tell people to leave the video games at home during the holidays? Do people not teach their children that spacing out with a hand held device is RUDE???

    And I’m not even old yet.

  4. greats site!!!

  5. love it!!!

  6. Not real close but worth looking at. Thanks

    Sent from my iPad

  7. Hi, Judie – A good friend of my mother’s went to a “graduated senior living” community at Oberlin College. Don’t know how far that is from Cincinnati, but I know it’s in Ohio! She was an academic herself, and just loved the place – as much privacy as she wanted, help when she needed it, plenty of cultural activities… And, of course, sharing life with a mix of fellow seniors and young college students.

    This was many years ago, so I don’t know what the situation is there, now… But looking into places in college towns might be a good start. Good luck!


  8. I am about your age so must consider the possibility of the “senior living” option becoming necessary at some point. The worst aspect of that in Cincinnati area is the likelihood of being confined with a horde of Republicans forever. It would be nice to know where some of your local fans are living or considering living. Relocation seems to be too extreme an option, family being even more important than politics. Love your blog!

  9. Mr. Baker,Am I missing stmioheng here?If SCOTUS is simply deferring and not “deciding” on whether to hear the case now, why wouldn’t they just put it off again, and again and again?We all know they don’t want any of this business. They’re not stupid, so they’re going to play games and deflect, right?It’s all the same to me. Bunch of sissified gummint pukes who couldn’t make a decision or do the right thing if their lives depended on it.Fenty will get to have his goons do whatever the Hell it is he wants, since it’ll fall to him to “do stmioheng.”Gray crap. A massive, ambiguous, undefinable legal gray area that is going to land bunches of regular folks in jail, I fear.Please, feel free to elaborate here, I’m really quite interested in the long version of what this is all about.

  10. totally agree with everything especially the cell phone, if you pull out your cell phone you should be invited to leave, period!!

  11. [...] friend did ask if I was at Margaret and Helen’s Thanksgiving party last year. I told her I wouldn’t waste a turkey to start a [...]

  12. Sure, people carry them… And are asked to turn them off in doctor’s offices, at concerts and movies, in many meetings, and all kinds of other places. You can’t eat a meal without your cell phone…? It’s not polite to talk with your mouth full, especially when it’s full of what yours seems to be chewing on. Sorry your dining companions are apparently so boring… Don’t you know anyone who’s interesting enough to talk to, face to face, for more than five minutes? Maybe not. A shame…


  13. what kind of old prune-faced broad has a good time @ a family member’s expense? people carry cell phones, so get the freak over it.

  14. You are so right, Terry! None of us voted for him, and yet all the Republicans in Congress are dancing to HIS tune, instead of representing their constituents, when are they going to pull their heads out of their butts!?

  15. Hi, Whirled – Love it.

    Actually, there probably IS something that can be described as a “cliff,” at least for the purposes of partisan wrangling, and terrifying the public. But I think that the Prez is in a pretty good place at the moment. He’s made a proposal; he ran on that same proposal, and won; everybody knows that. (Wasn’t a landslide, but it WAS a win!) If the GOP doesn’t do anything, we’ll probably be heading into a real depression, and there will be no one to blame except the Republicans, much as they will try to deny any fault. And that will take care of the 2016 mid-terms. I’m sure the GOP is thinking about that… There is NO WAY they are going to be able to “broaden their base” if they refuse to let tax rates increase on the 1%. I’m sure they know that, too.

    So, for a short-term gain (more seats in the House), they sold their principles to the Tea Party, leading up to 2010, and now they’re stuck with what they did. No wonder they’re out of their minds…

    Boehner’s being “flabbergasted” at Obama’s position is laughable. It’s like someone telling him, repeatedly, for months, “I’m going to give away the dog in January, unless you make some other arrangements.” Then January comes around, no other arrangements have been made, the person sells the dog, and he is… Flabbergasted. Perfect word for Boehner.


  16. Thanks Sidney. There are little things called history and facts and I think sometimes the GOP supporters forget that.
    And one other thing I didn’t mention in my response to UAW, I don’t think the Dems ever had anything that was the equivalent of Grover Norquist’s no tax pledge. That damn thing is downright unpatriotic; and who the hell is Grover Norquist? Nobody ever elected him to anything!

  17. Terri……I loved your post! UAW is an asshat. He benefited from Obamas administration. And he HATES him. Wonder why? The GOP isn’t just riding in the crazy train, their driving the damn thing and UAW is crammed in the caboose. And he is cheering them on. All the way to crazy town.

  18. UAW: As usual, you totally missed the point I was making about Condi Rice and Colin Powell, and I won’t bother clarifying; with you it’s pointless. However, I remember many, many instances of Dems cooperating with Bush. The entire country rallied around him after 9/11. And have you forgotten no child left behind, the patriot act, TARP, his Supreme court picks, etc. etc.? I personally didn’t approve of all these, but you cannot say they did not cooperate. No comparison with the GOP now. And as for the GOP taking over the Senate in ’14–not gonna happen–and hopefully they will lose control of the house too. More people voted Dem this year than Repub but because of gerrymandering the GOP was able to maintain control. Meanwhile today’s GOP looks like they are riding the train to Crazytown, and they don’t mind taking the rest of us with them.

  19. Jeez Gato…..
    Seems you don’t remember the Dems “working” with Bush and the Republicans….remember the threat of “Nuclear Option”…….
    Why is it so terrible that the Repubs won’t now compromise when the Dems never had….
    Paybacks are a Moth&*f%^ker………
    and I actually hope Harry Reid gets some changes into the Senate so that 2 years from now when the Repub take control they can pound it into Harry’s a$$……..
    actually we’re back to Repubs being slamed for acting like Dems…….

    Jeez Terri….
    Your not showing your racial prejudices against people like Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice are you???????Your not biased against women in politics are you???????


  20. A blessed, healthy and happy holiday season to everyone here at M&H. Good to see our ladies getting some ‘ink’. I expect to see them on TV one of these days.

    As far as ‘The CLIFF’ is concerned…

    there is no cliff.

    And if you watch the Sunday talk shows (and even if you don’t), you will enjoy this site:

    The Bobblespeak Translations

    What They’re Really Saying When They’re Saying What They’re Saying
    . ;)

    PEACE ~ Δ

  21. Gato – “Personally, I’ve been doing a lot of closet cleaning; I think it must mean something…”

    Funny you should mention this. I too am in the process of cleaning closets and PAPERWORK!!! Do I really need to keep all this paper? How much or what is the important stuff and what can I heave out. I don’t know!!!

    Are we just suffering from post election let down? The calm after the storm?


  22. Selfishly, I hope we don’t go over the alleged cliff because of the panic it will cause. Thank you, media. However, thinking of the bigger picture I feel certain the cliff is the best possible outcome. A shot of courage for us all! Patience and resilience are far superior to panic!

  23. Hi Gato, I agree with all you say, especially in regard to John McCain. It’s sad to see him sully his reputation and become a bitter, jealous old man. And his relationship with Lindsey Graham is a puzzlement to me. It strikes me as very, very strange. Let’s remember McCain’s support of Condoleeza Rice, who mislead the public in such a serious situation. And where was he when Colin Powell gave his “presentation” on WMD to the U.N.? Such hypocrisy is sickening. Susan Rice has done nothing wrong.

  24. Hi, Terri – You’re right; it’s been pretty quiet on the ol’ porch these days! Maybe we’re all just in a stupor of exhaustion after the Election Madness…
    Personally, I’ve been doing a lot of closet cleaning; I think it must mean something…

    I wouldn’t put anything past the GOP. This election has taught them nothing. “Irresponsible” is not in their party dictionary, and they really care about NO ONE except themselves – none of whom will even notice any “fiscal cliff” that might happen. It will just be another thing to blame on Obama. Representative Tom Cole (R-Oklahoma) evidently said today that the elephants don’t “need” to put an alternate fiscal plan on the table… Of course they don’t. They can just sit there and bitch and hold their trunks until they turn blue…

    I, too, am loving the new, tougher, “go ahead and do whatever you want; I’m sticking with this” Obama. He is THE PRESIDENT! Suck it up. Nice to see all the writhing and squirming on the red side of the aisle. They deserve every bit of it.

    Charlie Pierce (wonderful political blogger that he is) always refers to the so-called “cliff” as the “Fiscal Gradual Downward Slope.” There is no “cliff,” just as there’s no “Benghazigate.” It’s all absolute invented garbage. As for that second thing, I am with those who think it’s all an effort to get Kerry nominated, instead of Susan Rice, so the GOP can bust its tail trying to get Scott Brown back in the Senate from Massachusetts. As Rachel Maddow pointed out, the only Republicans whom Brown was willing to allow to campaign with him (in his quest to delude voters that he was, in fact, a “moderate”) were… Wait for it… John McCain, Kelly Ayotte, and Lindsey Graham. Coincidence…? Yeah; right… And there’s a nice bridge for sale in Brooklyn…

    I don’t know how these people sleep at night. Maybe they don’t. The idea of John McCain positioning himself as an authority on whether or not any woman is “qualified” for ANYTHING is just hysterical, given his history of candidate-picking. But what’s even worse is Fox, and others, trumpeting his every bloviation, ceaselessly.

    Okay… Got THAT off my chest! Now, back to the closets…


  25. It’s been awfully quiet here. Who thinks we will go over the “fiscal cliff.” I don’t want to think Republicans will be so irresponsible to hold up tax breaks for 98% of us unless they can’t keep a tax cut for the upper 2%. They lost the election; Obama campaigned on raising rates on the rich, so let’s do it! I’m loving the new, tougher Obama.

  26. This will be my last post on this blog but I wanted to close with the following thought as I read the disturbing trends to stifle people who have different opinions than the group mind at this blog.

    When we move to keep our opinions quiet lethargy steps in and those who wont keep quiet will dictate the direction we go in whether its right or wrong . Thus our fore fathers knew we must speak our opinions and views even to the point of a debate or argument to keep balance in the land. If we force everyone to be private in the matter then silence that which would oppose our view and that would not be good in the least.

  27. Doesn’t matter, UAW, either way you are still crap at its finest. Pure crap

  28. CRAP…did it again….

  29. HI Gatodicima….
    the crap with my antivirus/anti spam is that it wipes out the cookies and I end up here as anonymous…..
    I want everyone to know that I’m posting so that I can catch hell for my posts and not someone else…..(and so that some nameless person doesn’t get what you want to give me)

  30. Awesome link Delurker! Sums it all up doesn’t it? If only they would choose to have a clue!

  31. This is awesome! 50 Shades of Nay:


  32. (((Mageen!)))
    Good on you and your family!
    I have a sibling who used to change all my kitchen stuff too for holiday get togethers. I ignored it ,because she cooks better than anyone in the family, til the year she chucked out all my spices and a number of other things. Hmmph. End of that crap.
    Take best of care there .

    UAW- good Thanksgiving here. Lots of good food and company to offset the 60+mph winds off the icefields rattling walls and windows.
    Southern lady , new to Alaska, made best dressing I have ever had with sausage, water chestnuts, and cornmeal base. No bread bits. New to me.
    Only bad part was the no bacon. Dang.

  33. Hey Mageen, I am glad you had your family around for the holidays. I am sure it was a lovely memorial service. I hope some of your children and grandchildren live close by and and get to spend plenty of time with you. Take good care of yourself.

  34. HTG, UAW… I’ve missed you. What’s with the antivirus stuff, huh? We had a nice quiet Thanksgiving. As I was prepping the turkey, all I could think about was Big Bird. (Please note that, for most of my professional life, I illustrated books for Sesame Street…) No politics here! It was “just” a turkey. Easy for me to say, since I’m not one.

    Nice to hear from you again… Except for your gravatar. Could you just get over Monica…? You’re better than that. I mean it. Really.


  35. crap….antivirus stuff….
    still back from Kansas City and wishing everyone a Belated Happy Thanksgiving…..

  36. Hey, Mageen – Your recent posts touch my soul. My husband and I are part of a twelve-step program, and many look at this time of year as the Bermuda Triangle of survival and recovery: Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s. I imagine it might be much the same when one is grieving. Glad you had your family around you, and glad you were wiling to have them there. (The grandkids ARE the future, and they’re so lucky to have you.) I’m sure your daughter’s rearranging of your kitchen was an act of love, and maybe some grieving on her part, too: Just wanting to be in charge of what we can, when it is so apparent that there is so much we can’t control at all.

    We’ve had kind of a nasty pre-winter day around here in CT… Cold and damp, foggy, dark at 4:00 pm (yuch), just a bit of snow, and not enough to be lovely and cozy. Just enough to make me want to crank up the wood stove yet again, which I did.

    Thanks for sharing all you do. God bless…


  37. i agree with all but the bacon grease bit in the green beans :) as a vegetarian not for health reasons but out of compassion for animals, i consider the mashed potatoes and the green beans as my few friends during thanksgiving dinner. while bacon grease isnt meat, it is still fat from the meat of a pig. a level of abstraction doesnt change that fact and it would be difficult for me and most vegetarians to eat the green beans with bacon grease in it. if i knew someone in my family was vegetarian I would leave the few veg items without any animal products just so they can enjoy the meal too :)

  38. Family departed day after memorial service which was held the day after Thanksgiving. Grandkids are wonderful even when they are having a hissy fit! Daughter and son in law took care of the cooking. I set the table and stayed in a central spot so they could hear my directions as to where I hide everything in my kitchen. Daughter re-organized my kitchen cupboards to her liking! Thats one thing I did not see in Helen’s letter! And I certainly wasn’t expecting it. We were one short at the table but everyone stayed calm and carried on. Just what I wanted and needed! Hope everyone else had a decent Thanksgiving!

  39. Can I be a part of this family??? Love this…..thank you!

  40. just back from Kansas City……Happy Belated Thanksgiving to everyone……

  41. Love this blog!

  42. [...] Thanksgiving Letter to the Family 2012——- Margaret and Helen [...]

  43. Reuters is reporting true identity of Helen Philpot

  44. Any of you who have commented about how mean Helen is to her family didn’t see Rhonda’s reply. I think Gato is right. They see this as funny with a undercurrent of truth (as all humor is) as we all should. Rhonda’s reply was something along the lines of: “LOL. Yes. Love Rhonda”
    This is paraphrased. I saw it a few days ago but now that there are over 200 comments I couldn’t find again.

  45. Hey, JC – Is 4:01 pm too early…?


  46. Hey, Robbie – Your point at the end of your comment is quite correct, and well-said… BUT… If you’ve read more than one of the posts here, you would know that THIS DOESN’T APPLY TO HELEN. THIS IS A PIECE OF HUMOR!

    I imagine that Helen’s family can give as good as they get, and that they love her sass and wit. Most of us certainly do.

    Sorry you have a wicked stepmother. Don’t eat any apples!


  47. I love anything that preaches courtesy and family, but sheesh, if you could NOT threaten your family with a lack of presents or a spot in the will, that would be great. That’s what my sick step mom does and she’s a terrible person who doesn’t know how to talk to her kids.

    I’d never connect with a wretched family member over a monetary threat. Say what you mean and ask them to be there. This money crap, you sound like a bitter 40 year old step aunt who thinks shes a mom. If the family is worth connecting your money won’t be a deciding factor. If it is, you’re too late.

  48. Oh my goodness, who are these people and what’s their problem?

    Can I join you on the porch, have Mason jar for wine…my house rule, no good glassware on the patio/porch

    I love you Margaret and Helen, you saved my mind during these election seasons, it was more than one wasn’t it?

  49. Come join me on the steps for a glass of wine Gato :D

  50. Good thinking! Hope you did that. And no need to write any further…


  51. Then keep your sorry self at home. Helen’s house, Helen’s rules; your house, your rules. Helen is a little testy, not cranky! And as someone whose mother thinks HER rules come with her, I am perfectly ok w Helen’s system: she was at Trudie’s last year! Glad she’s back at home: bring on the bacon!

  52. Cranky old broads with too many rules make for miserable holidays. Think I will stay home this year.

  53. Loved your letter and congratulations on the Forbes interview!

  54. Helen and Margaret: Good Grief! I had not gone back to your post since the day you posted and I commented that I was (and am) thankful I found a seat on your porch this year. So, I clicked on it today expecting all the funny comments in the responses as normal except for the few trolls always here. But, dang, where did all these unhappy and apparently lonely meanies come from?? They need to all go back to wherever their sourpuss faces fit and leave us happy people alone. Oh, congratulations on the Forbes article… I hope you don’t get so famous that you forget about us. Keep on blogging, Helen, you give me hope for a more sane future. I wish we could have one like you in our family!

  55. Glad to know you two have been friends for so long! That is wonderful. My best friend and I have been friends for 59 years. You two are very special. Happy for both of you!

  56. #10. You are seriously evil, aren’t you?

  57. Happy Thanksgiving to Helen and Margaret: my heroes!

  58. [...] 80ish, she’s hardcore and she’s a blogger with some rules for Thanksgiving that went viral this week and you might want to heed today. Here are three laws [...]

  59. Reblogged this on kwanelemketeni1's Blog and commented:
    Hahaha she sounds like my mother.

  60. hilarious!

  61. Congratulations on the Forbes interview. All I can say is it’s about time! You go girls!

  62. I found it! Great!

  63. Thanks, Pi – I found it. Cool!

    Happy Turkey Day… I, myself, am now stuffed…


  64. How do I find the Helen interview?

  65. Congratulations Helen!
    And congratulations to Michael Humphrey of Forbes for scoring the first interview with Helen! Now bring on Margaret!

  66. Don’t forget us little people when you and Margaret become celebrities! Next stop Hollywood! :-)

  67. Helen interviewed???

  68. gato -click the link in “name:in the comment below Sam Mann’s .
    Congratulations Helen!

  69. Hey, Tina – What’s this? Helen interviewed in Forbes Magazine…? Can you tell me where to find it? How cool!


  70. Helen!!! Congratulations on the Forbes Article!! Wow!! An actual interview!!!
    May it be the first of many many more!!!
    You and Margaret are national treasures and should be honored!!!!

  71. Hey, Sam the Mann – How sweet is THAT!

    Have a lovely day…


  72. JUST AWSOME!!!!!1!!!!!!!!!!

  73. God Bless you both! I can hear my Mom clapping all the way from heaven.

  74. [...] 80ish, she’s hardcore and she’s a blogger with some rules for Thanksgiving that went viral this week and you might want to heed today. Here are three laws [...]

  75. [...] 80ish, she’s hardcore and she’s a blogger with some rules for Thanksgiving that went viral this week and you might want to heed today. Here [...]

  76. Dear Helen, It’s a shame common courtesy has become so uncommon. Most of your points are unnecessary to folks who have respect for other’s homes and ways. Unfortunately, in our increasing societal lack of taking responsibility for one’s actions (and those of one’s children), I under stand the need for the rules.

    Glad to see my family isn’t the only one still whipping out card games and dominos at family get togethers!

    Blessings on your home. May all be in rule-abiding harmony.

  77. Brilliant, as always!!!!!!!!!!! Happy Thanksgiving!

  78. <<>>

    Dear Family,

    I’m not dead yet.

    Thanksgiving is still important to me. If being in my Last Will and Testament is important to you, then you might consider being with me for my favorite holiday.


    Dinner is at 2:00. Not 2:15. Not 2:05. Two. Arrive late and you get what’s leftover.


    Last year, that moron Marshall fried a turkey in one of those contraptions and practically burned the deck off the house. This year, the only peanut oil used to make the meal will be from the secret scoop of peanut butter I add to the carrot soup.


    Jonathan, your last new wife was an idiot. You don’t arrive at someone’s house on Thanksgiving needing to use the oven and the stove. Honest to God I thought you might have learned after two wives – date them longer and save us all the agony of another divorce.


    Now, the house rules are slightly different this year because I have decided that 47% of you don’t know how to take care of nice things. Paper plates and red Solo cups might be bad for the environment, but I’ll be gone soon and that will be your problem to deal with.


    House Rules:

    The University of Texas no longer plays Texas A&M. The television stays off during the meal.
    The” no cans for kids” rule still exists. We are using 2 liter bottles because your children still open a third can before finishing the first two. Parents can fill a child’s cup when it is empty. All of the cups have names on them and I’ll be paying close attention to refills.


    Cloe, last year we were at Trudy’s house and I looked the other way when your Jell-O salad showed up. This year, if Jell-O salad comes in the front door it will go right back out the back door with the garbage. Save yourself some time honey. You’ve never been a good cook and you shouldn’t bring something that wiggles more than you. Buy something from the HEB bakery.


    Grandmothers give grandchildren cookies and candy. That is a fact of life. Your children can eat healthy at your home. At my home, they can eat whatever they like as long as they finish it.


    I cook with bacon and bacon grease. That’s nothing new. Your being a vegetarian doesn’t change the fact that stuffing without bacon is like egg salad without eggs. Even the green bean casserole has a little bacon grease in it. That’s why it tastes so good. Not eating bacon is just not natural. And as far as being healthy… look at me. I’ve outlived almost everyone I know.


    Salad at Thanksgiving is a waste of space.
    I do not like cell phones. Leave them in the car.
    I do not like video cameras. There will be 32 people here. I am sure you can capture lots of memories without the camera pointed at me.


    Being a mother means you have to actually pay attention to the kids. I have nice things and I don’t put them away just because company is coming over. Mary, watch your kids and I’ll watch my things.
    Rhonda, a cat that requires a shot twice a day is a cat that has lived too many lives. I think staying home to care for the cat is your way of letting me know that I have lived too many lives too. I can live with that. Can you?


    Words mean things. I say what I mean. Let me repeat: You don’t need to bring anything means you don’t need to bring anything. And if I did tell you to bring something, bring it in the quantity I said. Really. This doesn’t have to be difficult.


    Dominos and cards are better than anything that requires a battery or an on/off switch. That was true when you were kids and it’s true now that you have kids.


    Showing up for Thanksgiving guarantees presents at Christmas. Not showing up guarantees a card that may or may not be signed.


    The election is over so I’ll watch what I say and you will do the same. If we all stick to that, we’ll have a good time. If not, I’ll still have a good time but it will be at your expense. In memory of your Grandfather, the back fridge will be filled with beer. Drink until it is gone. I prefer wine anyway. But one from each family needs to be the designated driver. I mean it really.


  79. [...] Thanksgiving Letter to the Family 2012. [...]

  80. one of my rules, if there is a dish on the table, not to one’s liking, exercise your manners, keep your mouth shut & don’t put any on your plate. there is plenty to eat without your critique.

  81. You’re awesome. Makes me miss my grandma and her Thanksgiving meals.

  82. After reading this post I immediately sent this link to 15 of my closest friends. Ok, so some of them wern’t my friends, but family members can’t ignore a email from someone who never sends one. I then spent the next hour reading the rest of your post and I laughed my ass off!

  83. My plumbing system worked just fine before company arrived. Please do not attempt to flush diaper wipes, tampons, or other foreign objects, and teach your kids to use less than half a roll of toilet paper when they wipe their fannies.

  84. Love your “Thanksgiving Rules”. Could you please post a set for Christmas and might I suggest one or two of my own.
    1. Don’t even think about wearing a hat at my table and that goes for your kids and their things with ear flaps, eyes and ears.
    2. For daughter-in-laws who were jerked up and not raised…get off your lazy ass and help the other folks wash up…I can hold, feed or change the baby.

    So happy I found you.

    PS: One more thing…”You came to visit not to control my TV and if you’re hot, make sure you wear your shorts and Hawaiian shirt the next time you visit.”

    Mother of three sons and one husband in Texas with a well cultivated sense of humor.

  85. Oh go get lost already and take your labels and stupid-speak with you!

  86. She rocks! This sounds suspiciously like my own grandmother…..

  87. I think I love her

  88. [...] Thanksgiving Letter to the Family 2012. [...]

  89. I believe that this post was one of the funniest things that I have read in a long time. What a quick whit! http://hogpredators.com

  90. LOL.

    Dear H:
    (signed) Rhonda

  91. Very best wishes to you and your houseful, Mageen!
    And to everyone else, even the silly Noah sounding anony.

    lori- last of ballot accounts gave us a new D State House member by 32 votes and kept a great D State Senator by 54.
    How’s that for every-vote-counts ? :-)

    Storm moving in here, snow and high winds forecast for the holiday.
    Will be fun even if we have to drag out the oil lamps

  92. While this incarnation may sound like every. single. other. incarnation of Noah, I assure you it isn’t Noah. Right after the election, Noah vowed to obey Glenn Beck and distance himself from every librul in his life. He’s hunkering down and preparing for the end of the world, you see. He un-friended 50+ percent of his Facebook friends! The heartbreak was heard round the world! He’s sorting out how to distance himself from any librul-ish family members, neighbors, fellow business owners, and customers. Anyone who who appears to be him using his name or any other is an impostor intent on making him seem like a hypocrite, don’t ya know! For sure he’d never be seen here or any other yella librul blog (cough… ruthererlibrul…..)

  93. I’m an American living in Hong Kong and your post added a much welcomed bit of US sass to my day. Have a wonderful holiday tomorrow (it is already the 22nd here)! You gals rock :)

  94. Why is it mothers who have to watch the children? What are their fathers good for?

  95. too funny !!!!!!!!!! i almost wet my pants

  96. This is the funniest thing I have read in years!!!
    You are the best! What an incredible blog!
    I’ll spend the weekend avoiding my in-laws by reading all of your posts!!!
    Good times!

  97. Whoever you are, you are a person of a thousand disguises (or at least four…) And many of us know them all. I think you might have meant “hypocrisy,” unless you are referring (with “hippocracy””) to the semi-aquatic mammal with the snaggly teeth. Use spellcheck.

    Nobody “demands” anything around here, except you, and your cohorts. (I hope you get paid for this.) The thousand questions; the offended ego… The whiney posturing. Boring. You are the one who asks, again and again, for responses to your “questions”. Not gonna happen. Go make some gravy or something. Try to be useful.


  98. Her house her rules. Nuff said ;)

  99. Can I adopt you? Or can you adopt me? I love your blog – you two sound like a couple of great gals!

  100. Spoken like a true liberal… demanding tolerance and respect from everyone else and extending none themselves. The humor of the letter is not lost on me, but it does underscores the hippocracy of liberal thinking. ‘Do as I say and not as I do. If you don’t agree with me, you’re a moron.’ So much for the coveted “diversity” – anything truly diverst is to be destroyed or impuned.

    If this is really what she thinks of her family, why demand that they be with you? Oh yeah, that’s because it’s only fun to be this way if you have someone to lord it over… yet another liberal trait.

  101. Wow! So many posters who have seemed to lost their sense of humor if not perspective!

    For all of you, you know who you are, perhaps you can get together and share your favorite recipes for Vitriol Salad. (Vegan and/or vegetarian versions.)

    Me, I’m thankful for M & H, who are very real to me, their humor and spunk, and for all of the support they have and deserve.

    And PS: I have to admit it, I LOVE bacon. (Is it one of the Original Sins?)

  102. Weren’t you on Ellen once a few years ago? Called in from Austin, Tx??
    You are a hoot!

  103. Helen, as an American who has lived abroad now for 23 years, all I can say is thank you. You have restored my faith. I had been afraid to move back to America, thinking that the troglodytes had taken over the asylum with Fox News et al. It’s a joy to see people finally pushing back against the bullies. I am going to share your links with friends. Keep going girl.

  104. Any relation to the line of Philpots (Daniel & Sarah Castellaw) from Barnwell County, South Carolina?

  105. excellent!!!!!

  106. Love it. Nicely put! Nicely put. ♡♥

  107. Good news about the ceasefire in Gaza. Nice job Barack and Hillary! So thankful you were re-elected.

  108. Alaskapi, Mageen appreciates the shout out. Have a houseful right now, including a large dog. Its a damn mess but they will be gone in about 48 hours or so. Then I will miss them terribly. They are currently helpful in setting and clearing the table and doing their own laundry. Those items seem to be missing from Helen’s list. As for the naysayers, Helen and all of us like her are damn tired of being taken for granted, our hearts and hospitality brainlessly abused. Hence the rules. Frankly, such rules show a good degree of professionalism, however you want to define that.

  109. Found your blog via a yahoo article: http://news.yahoo.com/grandmas-thanksgiving-rules-awesomely-harsh-173820674.html
    This is AWESOME! Read through a couple of your blogs; you’re great! Noticed you said that you didn’t know if you’d keep posting much after the elections; with a humor and talent for writing like yours… don’t stop!

  110. My Grandma passeda away almost 19 years ago at a too young of age for a Grandma. Reading your blog brings tears to my eyes as I know she would of been exactly like this had she still been here. Miss that woman every single day of my life, even after all this time.

  111. Helen you are the one I choose for my Grandmother!! And if I’m real lucky, I’ll be just like YOU in a few years! I totally understand all rules and agree with them wholeheartedly!! To all the naysayers… you are the ones that DON’T watch your kids, tell them no cookies or candy until after dinner, of course you arrived at 9:30am to “help”. It’s my house, they get both cookies AND candy. And they will finish their drink before they get a new one. They will NOT set their half-empty cans on my all wood surface furniture. Why? Because it leaves rings and because I said so! My stuff, my rules. Deal with it. I’ve spent a lifetime collecting the things you find in my home. I’d like them to remain in good condition, so watch your kids! Helen you were far nicer about things than I may have been. You are a kindred soul…. I love ya!! Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours from me and mine. *HUGS* ♥ ♥ ♥

  112. Happy Thanksgiving Helen and Margaret! Thanks for the laughs!

  113. OMG – My BF and I were JUST discussing the very same topics this morning – so clearly – there is a universal lack of manners when it comes to opening more than one can of soda (by kids), showing up and needing to use the oven, vegetarians not understanding the importance of bacon, and people not following instructions of what to bring (what you want to drink) and not – (food item that requires the oven). You are my HERO!!!

  114. Dear Grace and Peter and Emily and the rest of the grouches: it’s the holidays, lighten up and try to be pleasant when you visit this blog. Thanks and have a nice Thanksgiving.

  115. I wish you were my grandmother!! Happy thanksgiving lovely ladies!!

  116. Happy Thanksgiving from an expat in Sweden!!!! I almost died laughing from this list of rules, hahaha, made me think of my long, lost grandma who didn’t take any shit either. She was always my hero :)

    Helen & Margaret, you are now my heroes too.
    Big hugs and no jello salads :)

  117. Thank you, ladies, for the laugh. It’s the best thing I’ve read this week. Enjoy your Thanksgiving.

  118. LMAO, Love it…You should come have a Thanksgiving dinner with my blood line…Thank you and have a wonderful Thanksgiving Helen:)

  119. My kind of people..happy thanksgiving

  120. Just because you are old you get to be mean and nasty? The only way you can get people to come see you is by bribing/threatening with will and gifts. Try being nice and maybe you can offer love and wisdom, rather than money.

  121. Love it!

  122. Here’s an old joke that has nothing to do with anything: A family at Thanksgiving asked the little four-year-old to say Grace. She said she wouldn’t know what to say. Her mother said “Just say what Mommy says.” So she bowed her head and prayed, “Dear Lord, why did I invite this many people?”

    Happy Holidays.

  123. Seems there are a bunch of new folks here who do not understand sarcasm or are they just missing a funny bone.

  124. I loved it! Thanks for saying what many of us are thinking and don’t dare say!

  125. I find it hilarious that people are speculating on the authenticity of this letter. I say to these people, does it really matter if this written by “helen” or not? Isnt the point being missed? I say read it again. To all the Helen’s out there, God love ya!

  126. Dear Helen- funny how some whose name should oughta bring special qualities to the table show up cranky and half soused, eh?
    My long departed same-named auntie used to get toasted on the cooking wine before we all got there for a holiday meal and hang in the kitchen bringing down curses on any of us who dared bring up the obvious…a patently false grace there.
    Auntie who took on feeding the hordes after the graceless one’s exit was a drill sgt with a heart as big as the world. We loved her, We loved our holiday meals! Twenty some odd of us had a balst… year after year.
    She was kinda like you :-)

  127. Reading this makes me miss my grandmother! Happy Thanksgiving!!!

  128. So stupid. Just another moron trying way too hard to seem witty. If you really are 80+ or whatever age you claim to be, hopefully this is your last holiday to complain about.

  129. enjoy your last thanksgiving by yourself

  130. Thank you for the letter! Its an inspiration and laugh all at once!

  131. Those are great rules Ms. Helen Philpot. I wish someone would do that here in my family’s bloodline.

  132. Awesome. Will you be my grandma?

  133. Ma’m, I don’t know you but thank you for being just the same.

    If you happen to need a switch to keep them in line, I would be more than happy to fetch you one.

  134. Thank you for taking the time to brighten my day, Helen! I forwarded this to friends and family hoping some will take a hint ;)
    Wishing you & yours a lovely Thanksgiving,

  135. No school at the junior high today?

  136. Happy Thanksgiving Helen and Margaret !
    And to all who visit here,
    A special shout out to Mageen and Craig this year.
    Thanks for having us all in. Really. I mean it :-)

  137. I absolutly enjoyed this blog! And I am a Republican….LOL. You are wonderful, witty and make me miss my grandmothers. Please keep this up.

  138. Ah Christina you speak as if you know my family which you don’t. Trust me we spend a lot of quality time together doing plenty of things. I like to keep my cellphone hand in case I get an important phone call “Oh Jim you broke down out on AA highway and needed some help? Sorry I had to keep my phone in my car….”. We have all sorts of wonderful memories together but telling my kids they have to sit and do something they don’t want to do just because one other person there doesn’t like electronics… well thats not very intellegent, or considerate, at all. I still think it’s funny how in the blog post she talks about watching your kids… then tells you what you are allowed to let them do. Irony.

  139. Hey, Peter and gang – All this sniping back and forth is seeming a little petty to me… And just the kind of thing that makes people long to post “rules” in the first place! To paraphrase that old saying, “Eat and let eat.” And spend a few moments, or even take some actions, to give a thought or a hand to those who would LOVE to be able to quibble over a plate of turkey (or lentils), or even a can of beans…

    It’s a day to give thanks, after all. (I’m sure Helen’s family adores her sense of humor as much as the most of the rest of us do, so try not to get your knickers in a twist over a very entertaining piece of comedic writing!)


  140. What a wonderful family u must have too if your cell phone and ds are more important than interacting w each other. Im sure this will lead to many happy memories of the time your son jumped into a pipe by pressing x and your reply to a tweet that just couldn’t wait. I’ll keep my cell and electronics in the car however, and enjoy a lifetime of remembering ibg

  141. [...] [...]

  142. To brigittacd Actually we are having Thanksgiving at my house. Where we don’t insult each others cooking and have a good time together. So yes I’ll stay here with my family and enjoy ourselves greatly. So long as you stay away I’m sure lots of people will be having a good time!

  143. I passed this onto my family, including my 88 year old dad. He’ll get a kick out of it! Thanks for the smile it put on my face this morning!

  144. I love her rules. I agree with every one of them. Besides it is her house and she has every right. If you don’t agree with them, don’t show up.

  145. Happy Thanksgiving, Helen and Margaret! You’re great!

    And to PeterAmthor: I’m sure you will not be missed with your cellphone in the pocket and your son working his DS; so please, please, stay away and everybody will enjoy a Happy Thanksgiving.

  146. You go girl!

  147. This is what I like to see: ground rules! Thanksgiving is a family event and is meant for family. Period! So Helen, I’m glad you’re driving this fact home!

  148. We had an older relative who started laying down rules like that for family gatherings that she requested to be held at her home. It didn’t take long until people just stopped showing up and we started having those gatherings elsewhere without inviting her. So I’ll keep my cellphone in my pocket, my son can play his DS, I’ll monitor what my kids eat (remember your rule about watching our kids? oh the irony on that one), I’ll have my salad with my meal and you can keep your crummy christmas gifts AND the unsigned christmas cards.

  149. This made my day!!! My grandmother passed away last year at 91 and she was known to put bacon grease in everything!!! I could hear her voice all through the post. What a great way to begin the Thanksgiving weekend!!

  150. I love it and YOU! that was awesome and so true in so many ways! Happy Thanksgiving and I hope everyone shows up at 2!!

  151. We used to have Narcissistic old bitches in our family just like this. Not anymore, thank god.

  152. Well Said Granny!
    Blessings this Thanksgiving!

  153. I think this is awesome! It is also just simple manners. You go Grandma!

  154. I just wanted to say thanks, that was so funny! I am going to print it off and hang it up for everyone to read tomorrow. I am an invited guest so we will see how it goes. I wish you and your family the best holiday!

  155. I wonder where this blog got shared that there’s been a sudden influx of new people who happen to be vegans, vegetarians, or pots intent on calling the kettle black? It seems like mamas don’t teach “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all” any more. Oh well. It’s pretty neat that Margaret and Helen are being shared far and wide. Coming up on 6 million hits here! I hope some of the new people will read other posts and back far enough away from the bacon to appreciate the humor. If not, there are other blogs they’ll like better I’m sure. The web is a big place with room for everybody.

    I just have one more thing to pick up to round out the feast at my house. Unfortunately, in my effort to get prepared early I sort of neglected regular groceries. Oops! Gotta fix that this morning, then start slicing, dicing and simmering for tomorrow. I’m ready for favorite day of the year!

    For those of you shopping this holiday weekend, please do at least part of your shopping at small businesses – shop outside the box!

  156. Fabulous. Don’t forget the table manners part — you can eat like Fred Flintstone at home, but at my house, I expect people to know how to use a knife and fork properly. I didn’t spent lots of money making gourmet-quality food served on nice things for a special meal to have someone slurp soup, use a butter knife like a skewer, and guzzle good wine like tap water.

  157. Ordered an entire dinner with 2 pies for dessert. Will be picking it up shortly and warming it all up tomorrow. Untraditional? You bet! And it turned out to be cheaper than if I shopped for days and bought everything out of my own piggy bank! My grandkids are now old enough to all sit down at a very long table with everyone else and eat with manners. Have so far had 3 meals with them since they arrived and I would not have missed a one of them! We have only one rule this year for the kids: no shrieking! They tend to do that when excited. Love ‘em dearly but that noise tends to hurt my teeth. Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

  158. Y’all rock!

  159. Thank you Helen! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family! Happy Thanksgiving to my fellow porch dwellers!

  160. Maybe Rhonda is staying home with her twice-a-day cat because she’d really rather miss the Turkey Day Dinner, and kitty is a good excuse (as well as a way to send a message). It’s a golden opportunity to talk about her behind her back. Get catty (sorry, couldn’t resist).
    Hey. it’s M&H’s house, they can make the rules. Those who disagree are welcome to host holiday dinner at THEIR house next year. I dearly love these gals’ attitudes. Harsh? Yeah! And they’re old enough to harsh all they want.
    Vegans and special diet people are perfectly capable of bringing their own meals; why are others expected to cook to their exacting standards? If you have to live without bacon grease, you’ve lived too long. Grease makes it good!

  161. This was hilarious! I loved it every word of it and will share it! My family (notorious for holiday fighting) will also love it! Even the vegans. Whomever that Emily was who commented at 10:51 – has quite a stick up her butt! Geez Emily, get a freaking sense of humor!!

  162. Strive for a little humor already! Your’re just a shade too tightly wound! And I bet if you had grown up in Helen’s family you WOULD like bacon, because it would remind you of home! I’ll bet her family gives as good as they get too, and it’s probably a lot of fun! Have tons of fun Matthew, drink a beer to Grandpa for me and thanks for sharing your Gran with all of us ;)

  163. I’d rather go without Christmas gifts than go to that woman’s house for Thanksgiving. I think a lot of the rules are reasonable (for example, no TV during a special family dinner), but I think the way this (hopefully fictitious) grandmother phrased them is demeaning. Even if she was perfectly nice and polite, I wouldn’t attend a meal that had bacon or bacon grease in every dish, because I’m vegan. Yes, I believe in “live and let live,” but bacon has a smell that permeates EVERYTHING. Family harmony isn’t worth going home smelling like a diner.

  164. sounds good to me

  165. Thank You, Helen, for a wonderful Thanksgiving! I’m 1600 miles from her but I called my 84 year old mother to read your Letter to the Family. We Laughed and Giggled and Laughed. “Your dad (86 next month) just went out to the shed. He’ll have to call you back and read it to him.” He and I laughed and he wants a hard copy to read. I’ve assigned my niece the task to take this link to Thanksgiving for him to read. You are too much fun! Have a great Thanksgiving!

  166. Hi Gato,
    Cute story, we have a couple of phrases in our family like that–funny to us, puzzling to everyone else. Cooking dinner begins for me tomorrow. Have a lovely holiday.

  167. Hey Margaret and Helen,

    I absolutely loved the letter to Families about Thanksgiving. I’m now a Texan, but I’ve live in Maine too (Appleton, Rockland, and various islands in Penobscot Bay) and now I work for a family media company based in Austin called Famigo. We review apps for kids and only recommend those that are appropriate for families. http://www.famigo.com.

    I also manage our blog and I’d love to reprint this article on Thanksgiving for our readers. Would that be OK with you?

    If not, I’ve read several other posts and I think that our readers would get a kick out of your blog so I’d love to see if we could share your posts.

    In any event, thanks for brightening my day with your letter.



  168. [...] the full set of rules here. Does your family have any strict requirements for Thanksgiving? Do you think Helen’s rules are [...]

  169. Happy Thanksgiving, Helen (and Margaret, too). I think the people in the comments here who are so offended by our hostess will probably be much happier staying home. The rest of us get together with our admittedly imperfect families and follow the rules so we can all go home afterward and laugh about the others. It’s the best part of Thanksgiving, aside from stuffing. I give thanks today for Helen’s amusing letter — my holiday is always nicer when I’ve read her take on the family get-together each year.

  170. Belia, There is a guy named Tom Hester living in Uopia who claims to have Known Pete a long time ago. Ican find out how to contavt him. Coot


  171. Hey, TexAir – Don’t worry about it. It’s the great surprise gift of The Golden Years. Welcome to “Donagivashitistan – Where The Livin’ Is Easy, And If It Isn’t, You Won’t Remember.”

    And all this even before Thursday’s turkey tryptophans have kicked in…


  172. Okay, I said Margaret in my last comment and meant Helen. I’m getting senile.

  173. Margaret thanks for speaking a mouthful! You are fabulous. And for the crotchety, uptight folks who are grousing about this post – pfffffft.

  174. Helen, I loved your blog. It appears we all have the same issues at Thanksgiving! Cheers!!

  175. Hi, Terri, and porch dwellers – And how many of us have already made the cranberry sauce, and are prepping the veggies for that stuffing right this minute…?

    Here’s a funny “food as a statement” story for all of you. Many years ago, my former sister-in-law had a dear friend who had become a follower of Swami Satchidinanda (a holy fellow, if there ever was one), and was consequently a dedicated vegetarian. When she traveled, she always carried a photo of the Swami with her. Visiting my sister-in-law – who had eaten no animal protein other than chicken or fish for years – she’d put the photo on the kitchen table. When my sister-in-law set out dinner, a chicken and organic brown rice dish, her friend reacted in horror, grabbed the photo from the table, clutched it to her breast, and cried, “Oh, no! Not in front of the Swamidji…!)

    Ever since then, “Not in front of the Swamidji” has become a wonderful shared phrase we use whenever we find ourselves doing or saying something we think might be a little out there.

    Best to all,


  176. Wow, apparently vegans can’t take a joke… ;-) Poor thing, she’s probably starving.

    I think it’s hilarious! Keep it up, fun stuff.

  177. Hi, Karen – Of course it’s humor. That’s one of M&H’s consistent strong points, and one of the reasons we love ‘em.

    I was a vegetarian for many years, and (aside from one short-lived and disgusting attempt at dealing with a “tofurkey”) some of the best Thanksgiving meals I ever made were during that period. (Don’t worry, Helen; nothing against bacon here!) And, in fact, when vegan friends were coming, they always volunteered to bring something. It was inevitably delicious, and disappeared, along with everything else. (I had a small cooked turkey breast hidden away, so my non-vegetarian husband could have his turkey/dressing/cranberry sauce/on pumpernickel sandwiches the next couple of days. I’m an ecumenical cook…)

    And, hey, I go lots of places where people think I’m weird because I’m a liberal! Doesn’t bother me one bit, unless people start to yell and bully…

    Have a very nice holiday, however you choose to spend it!


  178. Funny how the lemmings read each other’s posts and then feel emboldened to be nasty and negative as well. Have a nice Thanksgiving everyone.

  179. This is a joke, right? Is ANYONE really that much of a bitch over a lousy Thanksgiving meal? Aren’t there more important things to worry about in this world?

    FYI— I am a VEGAN. I have sense enough now not to go were I’m not wanted or thought of as weird. I stay home and eat what I want! No holiday drama. Who needs it?

  180. Love this! And for the haters who commented earlier…her house, her rules. She’s not being mean. She’s bringing some sanity to the treat that is ‘Thanksgiving with the family.’

  181. chrisinak: Fabulous. If we are ever anywhere together where there is Jello salad, you can have my share! :)

  182. I just recently turned 70..Yikes!

    Have sent your Thanksgiving Letter on to all my peers…We all find it absolutely hilarious…You do capture the essence of this holiday …

    Becky From Felton


  183. Mmm. Inconsiderate obstinate grouch confusing herself for cute steadfast principled old lady. I guess bad attitudes burn out with a whining scream.

  184. But I LOVE jello salad!!

  185. Your letter is filled with negativity, your obsessed with your uptight rules, I would rather starve than go to your house for Thanksgiving or any meal. Your letter emits a terrible energy, smack yourself in the face and be thankful for your family and friends.

  186. Jello salad. Who started that? How can anyone think that is a good idea for FOOD? It must have been a joke that some people took seriously. I’m glad you take it seriously enough to ban it. Your rules are quite sensible. I look forward to looking through your blog posts now that I’ve “found” you. First, I’ll get a glass of wine…

  187. just this attitude is why I stay far away from any and all families for holidays – way too many issues, ladies, and you just sound mean today.

  188. Wishing everyone especially Helen and Margaret a Happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy the day with your family and friends. Thankfully, it only comes once a year!

    I am particularly thankful this year for this blog and comments during the election cycle. It gave me hope for a successful re-election of President Obama and the knowledge there are sane rational people in America.

    PS – Congressman West gave a gracious concession finally for those of you who may have been following the crazy in Florida.


  189. Cloe, if you’re reading this, get in touch. I have a couple foolproof recipes to share. You may not be a professional chef, but you can still impress on special occasions.

  190. Happy Thanksgiving to my favourite bloggers. may you have many more happy days. I totally agree with everything in your rules. No salads on Thanksgiving!

  191. Happy Thanksgiving Helen and Margaret and all others!

  192. As always, I adore your matter-of-fact, fantastic writing. Rock on.

  193. All of the above is true. Especially the salad.

  194. [...] One half of Bloggerland’s most famous octogenarian duo lays down some rules: [...]

  195. Hey! I have a cat that gets two shots a day. Been doing that for 8 years, I now. I love him, and he hasn’t lived all of his nine lives, yet. Also? I actually leave the house. The two are not mutually exclusive. In fact, I completed graduate school with a cat that gets two shots a day. This really doesn’t take over your life. Graduate school? Does.

  196. My sister always assigns me wine to bring for Thanksgiving — I don’t know if it’s because she doesn’t trust my cooking (hey, I got my Girl Scout Cooking badge!) or just because it’s the easiest. Oh well, saves me slaving in a hot kitchen. :-)

  197. Reblogged this on trackapps and commented:
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    Its nice to see your blog.Please look at my blog too.Its quite interesting!!!!!!!!! http://trackapps.wordpress.com

  198. [...] [...]

  199. Oh, the unconditional love of families :-)

  200. I still have red disposable cups with names on them from the summer. Happy thanksgiving

  201. [...] Thanksgiving Letter to the Family 2012. [...]

  202. You two are a crack-up. Just found your blog so it’s gonna take me a while to read all your posts, but the couple I read tonight had me LOL. I love your house rules, particularly #11 & #12. Happy Thanksgiving ladies!

  203. I only found your blog during the past year and sure am glad I did. While I don’t agree with most of your political posts, I am soooooo entertained by those and everything else you write. Stay in good health, please, so you can keep it coming! Happy Thanksgiving to both of you! :)

  204. As a devout consumer of bacon, let me say I have so much respect for your refusal to substitute it with something else. BACON MAKES EVERYTHING BETTER. Seriously, I mean it.

  205. I was so looking forward to your letter Helen! You did not disappoint as always. Thank you so much for sharing your family with us. I for one am thankful we weathered the storm of who is to live in the White House and hold our collective destinies in his hands. You were the pied piper who did not give up and did not let us give up. I appreciate you Helen, and Margaret too. Happy Thanksgiving!

  206. [...] by Helen Philpot [...]

  207. Reblogged this on Collectables and commented:
    More pears of wisdom from Margaret and Helen. Say what you will, this woman knows how to run a Thanksgiving holiday.

  208. Oh, meant to say that your plans sound great.

  209. A few years back, I gave up on driving four hours to be miserable during holiday gatherings. Instead, I take a one hour drive, pick up blue plate specials at a local family-owned restaurant, and spend time with a very good friend who is a permanent resident of a nursing facility. Took me a while to figure out stress and GI problems weren’t a necessary part of the holidays.

  210. Hi, Mageen – What an absolutely wonderful post… Full of wisdom, courage, life, spirit, and good, hearty, laughs. I hope your grandkids know what a treasure they have in you – if they don’t, just tell them to ask me, and I’ll set ‘em straight. (My guess is that they know…)

    Hope you have a wonderful holiday, surrounded by love, and all the pie you can possibly eat. And leftover turkey for sandwiches on Friday – the best part of the whole deal, IMHO!


  211. Jenny and Pete! I received the Margaret and Helen Thanksgiving Letter perfectly. Thank you! It all fit my computer screen in a very normal way! :o) I love Margaret and Helen. Thanks so much for sharing! Much love, and HAPPY THANKSGIVING!! don cross

  212. A blessed Thanksgiving holiday to you, Margaret, and Helen, too!

  213. Happy Thanksgiving to all! So nice to read the annual letter and see that your humor never fades. Rock on.

  214. I am lucky. i live next door to where Thanksgiving will be this year. I can go, say hi to who I want to talk to, eat, play with the babies and leave before I get mad at anyone. Happy thanksgiving everyone! It’s gonna be a good year!

  215. Happy Thanksgiving, Grandma Helen! I’m thankful for your heart felt columns with razor sharp wit. Enjoy the time with your family and I hope no one is foolish enough to set foot across your threshold with jell-o salad!

    Happy Thanksgiving to you too, Margaret!

  216. One more thing…I thought all this time when we got to where we could afford the Chinet Plates and the red Solo cups that we were livin’ in tall cotton! You mean there’s better than that for a family gathering of 30+?? Wow!

  217. I love it! I wonder if some of the family will decide they don’t want to participate infamily gatherings anymore

  218. Big sigh of relief! The Annual Thanksgiving Letter! Now this is something that can be put up on the wall of any courthouse in Texas or elsewhere! Margaret and Helen, I hope you both have a wingding of a holiday! I am expecting family as well. Can’t wait for them to get here. Its been a bit of a rough patch since November 1st when my husband went to his eternal reward. Having the grandkids around me will be the best medicine!

    Being on my own like this has given me the opportunity to look a lot closer at all the mewling and whining the Repubs are doing. Frankly, all the mewlers and whiners are a distraction. Things are happening to what used to be the Republican Party. I think it is morphing into a kind of a coaltion of Republican offshoots. Theres the Eisenhower Republicans who could not hold their nose and vote for Mitt so they just didn’t vote for him. They will stick around as the Foundation Republican Party (FRP). Then there are the little fragments who did vote for Mitt and are not really welcome by the FRP. I can say this with a straight face cuz I well remember the reaction of Republican women as posted in The New Republic issue that came out after the selection of Palin. Boy, they did not like her! Not one tiddly bit! And they started to think McCain was senile. Not really. At least not then. He just reacted like a sailor who has been too long aboard an aircraft carrier at sea with nothing better to do then prime his fantasy life.

    Just one thing. It is going to be harder than ever to deal with all these little pieces of the Republican pie. Just look at all the other governments on the planet that have to put with all sorts of political parties and don’t just think of only the Italians. Canadians have them some fragments, too.

    Dang! I mentioned pie! Now I’m hungry! Going to get me some! Political stuff always makes me hungry!

  219. I always look forward to your Thanksgiving letter. Enjoy this holiday and thank you for doing what you do and for fighting the good fight. Cheers!

  220. I, too, am thankful for having discovered Margaret and Helen and all the wonderful posters here. (Well, almost all). Happy Thanksgiving to all, and perhaps we should also think of all the folks in the North East who have suffered greatly.

  221. I agree about the HEB bakery. They actually have some really good bread and pastries for those of us who cannot cook. ^_^

  222. I’m printing this out on paper with real ink. In case the internet goes down I don’t want’ to lose this!

  223. Happy Thanksgiving Helen!

    I look FORWARD to this letter every year. It always cracks me up.

    Oh and thanks for your contribution/s for this election cycle…. It almost makes the crazy season tolerable.

    Huggz and kisses to all porch dwellers… old and new.. Enjoy the holiday season….xoxoxo

  224. Great rules every one of them! Should be printed large and mounted on the wall.
    About those cups – I still have red disposable cups with names on them from the summer. Can we reuse them on Thanksgiving?

  225. I am thankful I found a seat on the porch this year too! Wish it had been earlier, but Helen, you made this election nastiness bearable. I wish I could bring all 49 of me and mine to your house! Happy Thanksgiving and sending big hugs to you and Margaret and both of your families.

  226. Is Momma gonna ‘low any guitar pickin’, and piano playin’, along with the cards and dominos?

  227. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family, love how you have set your boundaries. Enjoy your family, friends and food…..:-)Hugs

  228. would love to visit your house at the holidays – I’d bring my Scrabble board (and dictionary)

  229. I wish everyone here, especially M & H a wonderfully happy Thanksgiving. Love the post!

  230. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

  231. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Helen [and Margaret] and all those who have commented here.

  232. So hilarious.

  233. Happy Thanksgiving, Helen. Thanks for making me laugh when I really really need to.

  234. Having tired of my family’s sourpuss faces at me, the family Liberal, I’m ditching them in favor of Turkey Day with one of my sons. I’m so relaxed heading into the holidays. :)

  235. Reblogged this on WrAnTz and commented:
    Helen, I totally agree with the spirit and sentiment of this post and believe it applies to Christmas too.

  236. Happy Thanksgiving, Margaret and Helen! It’s my favorite holiday and I’ve traveled across the country to be with my wonderful family. I have two rules in life, and especially at Thanksgiving: tell those you love how grateful you are to have them in your lives. And never scrimp on saying, “I love you.” I mean it, really.

  237. You Women ROCK!!
    I LOVE reading your posts- have a better than great Thanksgiving!

  238. Helen, you are fantastic, I celebrate thanksgiving these days on my own out of preference, but I still might come up with my own rules for my own sanity and happiness. I remember this vegetarian here having to cook a turkey for OTHER stupid people who were not grateful at ALL, and when my oven didn’t work I would drive it IN A LAUNDRY HAMPER in the passenger seat to and from a friend’s house. (I used to pray I would get pulled over so I could explain to the cop why my passenger was a seatbelted turkey. Unfortunately it never happened.) Never again. (Although strangely enough, I never felt like more of a lesbian than when I was defrosting a turkey in the sink desperately trying to pull the legs apart to get the crap out from inside screaming, “just open your stupid legs so I can stick my hand in there you dumb bitch!”) You are truly a cool person. Please don’t drop your blog ever. So far so good on living forever, right? =^) you can do it if anyone can. I mean it, really.

  239. Thanks, Helen! A very happy Thanksgiving to you.

    (Showing up and asking to use the oven is a peeve of mine, too. Hello, there’s a huge turkey in there!)

  240. Grandma Helen, I always look forward to your annual “Thanksgiving Letter to the Family.” As usual, it is hilarious and I loved it! Thanks for sharing it with us. Have a Blessed Thanksgiving!

  241. Happy Thanksgiving to both you wonderful ladies and your families!
    Bacon grease in the green bean casserole….might have to try that this year. I’m with you on the salad, garden and Jell-O, who needs it?

  242. Thanksgiving at your house would totally rock.

  243. Very happy you guys are getting together at your house again this year! Hope your missing your Harold has subsided to a dull ache and is no longer acute anguish. Will miss the A&M – tu (:D) myself, but betcha the guys will STILL have the tv on during dinner (:( , not at my house). I will raise a glass to you and all the wonderful people who populate the porch here, you make the world more bearable! Thanks!

  244. I’m thankful for you, Margaret and Helen.

  245. Happy Thanksgiving! I think I recognized everyone in this post within my own family! Too funny.

  246. aug991

    I think she said that is fine with her if it is fine with the pet owner. Maybe she is suggesting that we all have to set our own priorities – a family meal or a family pet. Personally, I don’t put pets through the suffering of modern medications. I would prefer not to have that option myself at times but I realize some people’s pets are like children and I certainly agree with medicating children. To each thier own…

    Gobble Gobble

  247. Happy Thanksgiving!

  248. May I please attend Thanksgiving at your house? I promise to strictly adhere to all rules!!

  249. Peanut butter in the carrot soup. . . what a great idea. ALL your ideas are great!

  250. Love it! It makes me very happy that I get along beautifully with everybody I’m going to be eating with, and that I don’t have to go any farther than across the parking lot.

  251. Thanks for a wonderful post! One of the many things I’m thankful for this year is that I discovered “Margaret and Helen”!

  252. I love you, too, Margaret & Helen, but a pet owner is, or should be, the guardian of the pet; I applaud Rhonda, or whomever, for taking care of her cat, even while under family pressure to appear for a holiday.

  253. I so love your posts. I am very thankful this year for many things which also includes Obama as President, the sanity of the people who elected him, Margaret and Helen, and all the posters on this site! Happy Thanksgiving!

  254. It’s my favorite post of the year! Thank you, Helen, and happy Thanksgiving!

    And speaking of bacon…I would still be a vegetarian if it weren’t for that %*&$@! delicious stuff. Bacon. It’s the gateway meat.

  255. Happy Thanksgiving Helen and Margaret! You both made this past election season more bearable with your hilarious comments and I’m thankful for that! Health and happiness to you and yours!

  256. Sounds like it will be a wonderful day, all around. Love the rule that if other people don’t watch what they say, you’ll have a good time at their expense. Rock on!

    Big hug to you…


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