Mark Smaller, who heads the public information committee of the American Psychoanalytic Association, said he believes that holidays can provoke “temporary regressions,” in which parents, adult children and siblings, once reunited, revert to decades-old patterns of behavior. “The worst I’ve heard is when a parent says to an adult child, ‘See, when you come you spoil the whole holiday,’ ” Dr. Smaller said. “These kinds of remarks actually keep me and people like me in business.”
Aside from providing entirely too much unsolicited advice to the chef, our family is pretty good about such stuff. I am just thankful this year for Obama's election so that we will not have to spend Thanksgiving re-hashing the 2000 election. That has been the favorite topic each year, despite the fact that there is complete consensus (Gore was robbed). Indeed, I ended up teaching the herd of niece poker precisely because I had ducked down to another room and was watching a broadcast of the World Series of Poker, and one thing led to another.