18 Thanksgiving Rituals You Only Understand If You Have Siblings


1. Fighting in the family group text over what items should be included in the dinner this year, with dramatic statements like “Why would you choose cranberries? They’re disgusting,” or “If we aren’t using Mom’s stuffing recipe, I’m not coming.”

2. Good-naturedly shit-talking each other if one of you is planning on bringing a significant other home this year. These conversations often involve teasing, casual threats of embarrassment, and questions like “What do they even see in you?”

3. Watching home movies together and discovering that you are all THE SAME EXACT PEOPLE now that you were as children. The quiet one is still quiet, the smart one is still smart, the weird one (hi) is still a total weirdo.  

4. Having a heated debate every year over when it’s appropriate to start playing Christmas music.

5. Making your youngest brother or sister be your designated driver to the bars if they aren’t 21 yet.

6. Accusing your parents of having a favorite child because it’s funny to watch them get riled up and fervently defend themselves.

7. Somehow always ending up watching an ABC Family Harry Potter marathon, no matter how many other plans you had originally made.

8. Bringing your various pets home if you are able to, so that your house is like one giant domestic petting zoo.

9. Always zeroing in on one sibling and treating them like the red-headed stepchild for the week.

10. Awkwardly laughing with one another when your mom commiserates that she doesn’t have any (or enough) grandchildren yet.  

11. Celebrating how delicious wine is when it’s purchased by real adults like your parents, instead of the $9 stuff you buy at Walgreens. And being thoroughly confident that you and your siblings will accidentally kill the stash in about 48 hours.

12. Secretly bitching with each other if you have to spend Thanksgiving night with any annoying guests.

13. Running for the hills whenever one of your parents says that they could use a little help with dinner.

14. And then usually feeling guilty because your one damn sibling with the good conscience went to help, and now you have no choice but to help as well.

15. Ganging up on one sibling when it’s time to clean up, and electing them as the head dishwasher.

16. Getting bored the Friday after Thanksgiving and deciding to bake something together, like pumpkin bread or apple pie, and then losing interest halfway through and begging your mom to help you, even though you’re adults.

17. Peer pressuring each other to either go out for Black Friday, or stay in on Black Friday, depending on how aggressive or passive your family is about holiday shopping.

18. Looking around when you’re all together and knowing that your family is the ultimate #squad, but refusing to ever admit it because you’re not interested in having a Full House moment. TC mark

Kim Quindlen

I'm a staff writer for Thought Catalog. I like comedy and improv. I live in Chicago. My Uber rating is just okay.

Trace the scars life has left you. It will remind you that at one point, you fought for something. You believed.

“You are the only person who gets to decide if you are happy or not—do not put your happiness into the hands of other people. Do not make it contingent on their acceptance of you or their feelings for you. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if someone dislikes you or if someone doesn’t want to be with you. All that matters is that you are happy with the person you are becoming. All that matters is that you like yourself, that you are proud of what you are putting out into the world. You are in charge of your joy, of your worth. You get to be your own validation. Please don’t ever forget that.” — Bianca Sparacino

Excerpted from The Strength In Our Scars by Bianca Sparacino.

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