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  • Kristan Higgins

The Guilt Raineth Down

Updated: Apr 26, 2022


This year, we’re once again breaking my mother’s heart and hosting Thanksgiving.

For many years, we always went to Mom’s. My in-laws would come up, or not;  they’re Irish, so the holiday wasn’t as big a deal for them. But then my brother-in-law got married and moved back to the States, and he started having Thanksgivings at his house. So, like normal people, we decided it would be best to share the holiday. One year with Mom, one year with the in-laws, one year at our house.

Oh, the humanity.


I’ve blogged about Mommy Dearest’s reactions in the past…My favorite is when she begged us to give her the holiday back. “Please,” she said. “Thanksgiving’s mine. You’ve got Christmas Eve. Give it back to me. Please.” She tried (unsuccessfully) to look like a little old lady, and when the kids and I could not suppress a snicker, she morphed back into her normal self, muttered darkly under her breath (some kind of Hungarian curse, no doubt), and consoled herself with her other, better children.

Now, knowing that I’ve made her infamous on this blog, Mom has taken a different tack this year. Graciousness with a bit of subliminal (she thinks) pressure. “How wonderful,” she said when I invited her to my house for Turkey Day. “I’d love to come.”

“Great!” I said.

“Good!” she replied. “Fine! Excellent! I can’t wait!” Her eye started to twitch.


Then came the “subtle” hints of what we should serve. “I like everything I make. The classics. Green bean casserole. The way I make it, with the canned onion rings on top. Don’t forget my stuffing. You love my stuffing. Want me to make stuffing? I’m bringing something, right? I can bring stuffing and green bean casserole. And my mashed potatoes. Everyone loves my mashed potatoes.”

In other words, If you’re going to steal my holiday, you wretched child, at least do me the courtesy of exact replication of everything I make, and if you need six or ten cans of cream of mushroom soup, don’t worry. I’ve stockpiled.


And this: “Wow! You’re having a lot of people! Want to have it at my house, since it’s bigger? We can have it at my house. You know. In the dining room. Which is bigger. I wouldn’t mind. I have the room. Because my house is bigger than yours.”

“We’re good, Mom,” I said, which made her gnash her teeth.

So, my dear Mommy will have to think of some other dastardly plan. Arson? Food poisoning? I’ll keep you updated.

To my sainted mother: You’re such a good sport, Mom!


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