Entertainment And News

Woman Asks For Advice On How To Cancel Thanksgiving After Her In-Laws Invite Themselves — 'I Want To Cry Thinking Of All The Work'

Photo: Ryan McVay from Photo Images / Canva Pro
family in kitchen prepping thanksgiving

Ah, Thanksgiving. Parades. Stuffing. Family drama that puts everyone on edge before the turkey timer has even popped. There's nothing quite like it. 

For a woman on Reddit, the whole thing is so fraught that she's found herself in quite a dilemma that is forcing her to weigh her husband's family's needs against her own.

The woman is wondering how to cancel Thanksgiving because she's feeling overwhelmed.

Given the political turmoil in our country in recent years, struggles with family at the holidays are such a common problem that tips for how to avoid family drama at Thanksgiving have now become a yearly tradition unto themselves. But when your family is already dealing with hard times, it takes the usual holiday struggles to a whole other level.

It's left one woman turning to Reddit before the big day has even arrived.

RELATED: Wife Issues PSA To Women Before The Holidays — 'Your In-Laws Are Not Your Family, You Don't Have To Do Any Of It'

She agreed to help her husband put on one final Thanksgiving for his dying grandmother.

The situation for this woman was already tense. She has struggled to get along with her husband's family, especially his mother. With the terminal illness of her husband's grandmother, things have gotten even more dramatic. 

But she's trying to go with the flow because of how close her husband is to his grandma. As she put it in her post, "She raised him so [she] is more so his mother than my [mother-in-law] will ever be."



His grandmother was just sent home on hospice to her in-laws' house, and there is uncertainty as to whether she'll even make it to Thanksgiving. Her husband asked if his wife would be willing to cook a Thanksgiving dinner for him, his parents, and his grandmother.

"I was reluctant but agreed," she wrote, because "they get loud and will even argue with each other." She's already feeling overwhelmed because of her work schedule, financial issues, and the burden of helping to care for his grandmother while she was hospitalized. 

RELATED: Why One Company's 'Strange' Return To Office Mandate Is Actually The Only One That Makes Sense

Her husband's siblings invited themselves, ballooning the gathering from four people to 15.

"Somehow his sisters found out and invited themselves to it as well," she wrote. "When together it will total 15 people." As anyone who's cooked even a small Thanksgiving knows, the groceries add up so fast even at the best of times, let alone in our days of wildly inflated grocery prices.

Compounding an already stressful situation, she and her husband are the most broke of all the family members, especially since they both missed so much work to care for the grandmother. She also suffers from IBS, PTSD, and other mental health issues that have been exacerbated by the workload.

"I want to cry thinking of all the work," she wrote, especially because her husband is refusing to enlist his family members for help because he expressed how important it is that they do this for his family during such a difficult time.

"I am stressed to my limit," she confessed, adding that started getting migraines from the strain. "I don't want to tell him no but I seriously just want a break from people altogether." Sadly, she admitted to "feeling so guilty."

RELATED: Man Explains Why He Married A 90-Year-Old Lady When He Was 18 & Homeless — And What He Did With Her Money When She Passed

Setting boundaries with family is hard, especially at the holidays. 

Most of us want to give as much as we can to the people we love, even when they aren't exactly our favorite people on Earth. But there comes a time when we simply must put our foot down and set boundaries, no matter how much turmoil it may cause. 

This woman's situation has all the warning signs that it's time to set some firm boundaries, from having frequent emotional breakdowns to simmering resentments and an inability to say "no" to her in-laws' demands. It's hard. But it's necessary.

In fact, marriage and family therapist Julie Mayer Norvilas told us in 2021 that "prioritizing your health and self-care" by setting boundaries on everything from your time to your spending is the only way to safely navigate the stressful holiday season. And if that includes pulling out of holiday gatherings altogether? Well, so be it.



Social worker Laura Reagan agreed and recommended a three-part strategy for dealing with holiday family drama: Setting boundaries, communicating realistic expectations, and making time and space for the things that are most important to you, not just family.

In the end, that's exactly what this woman did. She finally openly communicated to her husband that this was all simply more than she could handle. Once he saw how it was affecting her, he immediately agreed to help walk back the demands his family was making.

And in the end, she didn't even need to cancel Thanksgiving altogether; just setting some boundaries was enough. Now they'll be able to give his grandmother the final Thanksgiving she so deserves as she nears the end of her life, while also taking care of themselves, too. 

RELATED: Man Explains Why He Hates His Wife But Can’t Divorce Her Because She’s In A Vegetative State

John Sundholm is a news and entertainment writer who covers pop culture, social justice, and human interest topics.