This will be our first Thanksgiving since leaving the church. I am curious about whether anyone's Thanksgiving traditions have changed with who you celebrate with and so forth. Every other year we have a huge Thankgiving dinner with all of my dads side of the family which is probably a group of 60 to 80 people. Almost all of them are TBM and none of them that I know of disbelieve TSCC. The longer we are out of TSCC, the less we want to be around them. Is that normal? We have never celebrated Thanksgiving with just us (my wife and kids). How do all of you go about Thanksgiving celebration?
Yes, I think it's normal to not want to spend time with TBM family members--at first.
When I first left the church over....jeez, it's been 12 years, I didn't have much to do with my TBM family other than my sister, who always remained accepting and loving toward me. I created a 'new' family; a community of people like this who became like a family to me. This helped transition me into someone strong, who stood on my own concerning religion. I got my 'feet' as to why I didn't believe, and I stopped being negative, argumentative and offended. Once I established my own sense of rightness about where I was at, I spent more and more time with my family.
My DH and I just returned from a trip with ALL of them to CA! It was wonderful. I am now able to reconnect with them in a totally different way,and for me, religion is not an issue at all. It may be for them, but I don't see it and they don't show it. Sure they make little quips now and then about me coming back to church and we laugh about it. I would joke by saying "No way, I hear I'm on the roster for nursery duty!"
The point is, Micah, find your footing first before you subject yourself to haranguing by TBM's if you can. Use this time to establish not what you are against, but what you are for; what do you truly believe? What tenants of your time in the church do you want to impart to your children--because face it, the church isn't 100% evil. It has it's good points and one shouldn't throw the baby out with the bathwater. Teach your children your truth, your own sense of spirituality. Use this holiday time to establish 'rituals' that fit into who you are, who you are becoming.
Finally, learn to understand 'Mormonese'. It will help you in dealing with your TBM family if they bother you. My MIL recently spoke in church about the temple. We went to hear her and afterward she came to my DH and said "I want you and JulieAnn to go to the temple." He smiled and said "I know you do, mom." He said that because my DH and I understand that what she was really saying was "I love you."
Excellent points JulieAnn! Definately find your own ground. We have been redefining our holidays and deciding how to do things. For Thanksgiving, not much has changed, but for Christmas, we are celebrating a couple days early on the Winter Solstice and then we will go to my inlaws house for Christmas, since that is what they celebrate. It's similar to Jewish-Christian families where you celebrate both Hankukah and Christmas with the side of the family that celebrates with you.
I always only had thanksgiving at home with my husband and littleones. I always declined others invitations, even family.
Yes I think your feelings are normal. At first it may be hard to be around TBM family, after a while you just might not even care. It gets easier to be around them as you come to peace with yourself and no longer care about the church. You'll talk about it less and less and then realize your over it.
You might find yourself thinking about, the prayer, the blessing. Who's going to say it? We have a big 'great room' and we have sat 32 people for turkey day. 30 years for me, I was a convict,er, convert, and the wife was BIC and active for 50 years, then four years ago we resigned. Anyway, my oldest sister and BIL were or, still are, christian. So, prayer is still important to them.(I'm thinking of Ben Stiller in 'Meet the Focker's'. his prayer....
I'm not too sure what is going on with Thanksgiving with my family. It may involve the TBM extended family at my parents house. This poses a challenge for my parents, because they doesn't believe in the church either. The prayer thing gets a little awkward. No one gets churchy with us, thankfully. I haven't sent in my resignation yet, I'm hoping to send it after the holiday season.
We've done a small thanksgiving get together. I find those to be a lot more fun. We don't pray and we just say what we are thankful for. It's a lot more intimate and no family drama. Ugh.
As for Christmas, my parents were adamant on celebrating at home. We try to avoid big get togethers with the extended family at Christmas. We do the family christmas party and all that.
Christmas isn't a religious thing for my family at all. I love Christmas because of the traditions we have. We make a great dinner, make cookies, open gifts, watch movies. We stay in our pj's all day long and just have a good time.
I love the holiday season, personally. When we are around TBM relatives, it gets a little kooky, but that's what we expect.