Sarah Josepha Hale in 1837 created a letter writing campaign that caught the attention of Abraham Lincoln who endorsed the idea of Thanksgiving in 1863. Do you think that way back then people had family fatigue? Imagine Uncle Henry to his brother Samuel, "Do we always have to hunt for the bird on your farm?" Sister Sarah to sister Mary, "I just wish mother wasn't so picky about how to pluck this damn turkey!"
No one can handle being around someone for more than a few days without feeling cooped up. The best way to overcome that woozy feeling you get when you spent too much quality time with relatives is to get out and do something. We went to a nature preserve where I learned that a Watusi is a type of cattle, not a dance from the 60's. We met a zebra who was rescued after being found in a car crash on an Atlanta highway. Sounds like a movie, huh?! Then, a turkey got all huffy with me while taking his picture and went on the attack! Those birds hate the paparazzi right now and we watusied out of there.
It is important to dance around family issues during these "special times." Wait until everyone is apart and you can talk behind each others back again. I'm just kidding but one sure way to end a party is to blurt out, "You always seem to be busy when I come to town." Rather, do what the best of the best Southerners do - put on a nice smile and be grateful for what you get. The people in the South are more gracious than anywhere else in the country. It must have something to do with the fact that they are super grateful that hoop skirts left with the fires of the civil war.
If you still feel hassled by the holiday, here's something that you can do to make a difference. Like Sarah Josepha Hale in 1837, let's start our own letter writing campaign to those mother pluckers who are telling people not to get mammograms. I live in DC and would love to personally hand-deliver a mini-van load of letters to The Senate HELP Committee. http://help.senate.gov/ Pass this note around to your friends and family. Write a letter and send an email to email@example.com with the result to catch some attention.
P.S. I am thankful for my family! Here I come mom to help you prepare the feast. XOXOXO!