Thanksgiving Freeloaders – A Rant

Welcome aboard, train wreck.

Turkey time is approaching. Did you get your turkey yet? We’ll probably take our turkey out of the freezer on Sunday. My mother in law said the lady on the TV said you need to thaw it one day for every pound. With as big as this bird is I should have taken it out at Halloween. Why is the turkey so big? Because I should have listened to my mother and married an orphan.

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Listen. Here’s the thing. I grew up in a big family. Even though I’m an only child, my mom and dad aren’t. Mom has one sister. Dad has two sisters and two brothers. Each sister has a partner and a child. One brother has five or six kids now and a wife. I lost track honestly. Add me and my folks and my grandparents and that’s a lot of people to feed. And you know what we did?

We always brought something.

That’s right, train wrecks. We never showed up to my grandmother’s house empty handed. Sometimes, Dad made the turkey. Other years it was the pies. On occasion he bought the beer. But the fact is we never just came to eat. We contributed to the meal.

I can’t be the only one who was raised like that, right?

Listen, here’s the thing. It’s common courtesy. You don’t just show (and sometimes show up late) and just make a plate and pull up a chair. Oh no no no no no. You need to pony up and contribute something.

Now, I get that we are in a weird situation. People have been having trouble finding work. Money is tight. And that I get. I do. And that gets you a meal at my table. Hell, I’ll even send you home gladly with leftovers for a few days. Because you are doing the things. But if brag about how much money you make and the raise and promotion you got, and pull up to my house in a shiny new car bringing your appetite and stretchy pants and that’s it, uh uh, you better head on down to the gas station and pick up a 2 liter or a bag of chips.

And don’t even think for one moment you’re gonna walk out of here with leftovers. Nope. I will snatch those containers out of your hands. Leftovers feed my family for weeks. Turkey broth, yo. That is amazing in my tortellini soup. Leftovers are for my niece and nephew who have just moved out and trying to survive adulthood. Leftovers are for my niece who stops by in her ambulance just to say hi and she loves us. Leftovers are not for non contributing fools.

And speaking of containers, bring them back. They are stupid expensive. And I don’t know why. I don’t do Tupperware (MLMs are bad, mmmkay) I don’t have Rubbermaid. These are cheap Walmart brand containers that I have to replace every year after Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter because people keep walking off with my turkey and ham.

I know a lot of people may get mad over this. And that’s cool. I get mad paying over $200 for food just to watch it not be appreciated (isn’t that what Thanksgiving is about?) and then to have it walk out my door.

I suppose I could set boundaries and say, “This year I am only making the turkey and the mashed potatoes and the cranberry sauce. If you want something else, you need to bring it.” And that sounds great in theory, but I live with my mother in law, who would make the chicken and noodles, sweet potatoes, and rolls. I have a kid in culinary classes and she wants to make her pumpkin risotto. So, saying I’m just making these things sounds like a great thing. But it wouldn’t work.

And then there’s the matter of the deviled eggs. Dear Gods. Why? The only thing worse than not bringing anything is bringing deviled eggs. My sister in law brings these swamp ass smelling things on every Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter. And she is the only one who eats them. We can’t tell if she hasn’t realized no one else is eating them or if that’s just her plan all along. I just know the smell overpowers every thing else in the house. The turkey, the bread, the pies, the hot cider, the coffee, everything. And I can still smell those eggs.

Spill the tea. What is the one thing you can’t stand about Thanksgiving dinner? Your secrets are safe here. Because, remember, this is a safe space for all train wrecks. And sometimes, you just need to let that train crash. Mine will crash on the couch with a book, a bowl of cranberry sauce, and some turkey while I’m making everyone else clean up.

Again, if you like what I post, please like, comment, share, and subscribe. Please consider donating to help keep this going. $1 and I’ll ask you what your favorite book is so we can talk about it. $5 and I’ll write a review of a book you suggest. $10 and I’ll write a blog suggested by you. That’s all I’ve got for today, train wrecks. All aboard.

To make setting those boundaries a little easier, I’m including a to do list for you. You can write who says they’re bringing what to dinner. Then slap that on the fridge. When they show up empty handed, point to the list and send them back into the wilds to get what they promised.

Oh hey, are you hosting Thanksgiving this year? Have you looked at your pots and pans? You know your mother in law will. Possibly your sisters in law as well. Impress them with these. I do earn a commission when you click and/or buy using this link but it doesn’t cost you anything. So, thank you.

4 thoughts on “Thanksgiving Freeloaders – A Rant

Add yours

  1. My family is pretty big has always done all family gatherings, whether for the holidays or not, potluck style, and everyone always gets sent home with far too many leftovers, so, luckily, I’ve never had to deal with this problem. But I can see how it can be really frustrating. It’s so much work to prepare a whole meal, especially when it’s for a big family!

    Liked by 1 person

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