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We put the ‘fun’ in ‘dysfunctional’

By Darcy L. Fargo

Darcy Fargo

November 27, 2019

When it comes to holidays with my family, I generally say, “we put the ‘fun’ in ‘dysfunctional.’”

Thanksgiving is typically one of the larger holiday gatherings in my family. It’s not uncommon for us to cram more than 20 people into my parents’ home in Bombay, a tiny town in northern Franklin County.

When we all get together, it’s extremely loud. We joke with each other relentlessly. My sisters and I are notorious for trying to steal the turkey skin from the platter as my father carves, and dad usually responds by slapping our hands with the large two-pronged fork he’s using (it stings, but it’s worth it if you get away with a piece of the crispy skin). It’s not uncommon for there to be minor food fights – whipped cream is generally the weapon of choice, especially the kind in the aerosol can. Someone is bound to get an ice cube stuck down the back of their shirt. Family members get whipped with dish towels as the dishes are washed and dried.

Our family functions probably aren’t what everyone would consider the “perfect holiday gatherings,” but our gatherings seem pretty perfect to us (ok, maybe I could do without whipped cream in my hair). The silliness, the laughter and the insanity are blessings. Being together is a blessing.

As I prepared this weekend for Thanksgiving, I was reflecting on the fact that what is a blessing to us – a holiday filled with noise and silliness – would probably seem chaotic, unruly and undesirable to others. I’m guessing other families don’t want food fights and hands slapped with utensils on holidays.

It sometimes amazes me how blessings can be found in all types of situations, even those that may not seem like blessings at first or be perceived as blessings to others.

Looking back on this year, some of the most profound graces I’ve received have come in times of stress and struggle.

This Thanksgiving, I’m thankful for those graces. I’m thankful for the prayers, support, assistance and love I’ve received from family, friends, colleagues and readers. I’m thankful our loving God has provided for me, even in times of struggle. I’m just plain thankful.

We at the North Country Catholic wish you all a happy Thanksgiving. May it be full of family, friends, food and graces, and maybe a little fun. But I recommend you avoid the whipped cream.

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