Celiac.com Sponsor (A1):


Join eNewsletter


Celiac.com Sponsor (A1-m):



Join eNewsletter

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Amooliakin

Thanksgiving Woes

Recommended Posts

I'm feeling really sad right now about Thanksgiving which is usually one of my favorite holidays.

I had called my mother, who hosts the gathering (there are 18 of us all together in 3 generations) weeks ago to offer to make the stuffing so that Rebecca would be able to have the turkey and not feel left out. She agreed, but then suggested we make two turkeys since a 22 pounder was getting hard for her to turn. I said that would be fine and that I would stuff one and she could use her regular stuffing for the other. I then got very excited about making a super stuffing and a few pies that everyone in the family could enjoy.

Well tonight she called and said that since she really needed to have a LOT of her stuffing, that she would make a large turkey and I should just bring a small turkey for Rebecca. I agreed, but I said I felt hurt because:

A) that would make Rebecca feel like a second class citizen

B) I wouldn't get to share my cooking with everyone

C) the implication was that my stuffing would be lousy

I explained that my stuffing was not going to be made of saw dust! But she insisted that all my siblings would be disappointed if there was not enough of her stuffing (which by the way is just the bag of pre mixed bread and spices).

So now I feel like skipping the whole thing - though I won't cut off my nose to spite my face.

It is sad that my Mom can't embrace the diversity of the family and support her grandchild who has just been diagnosed and may be feeling a little tentative herself about what place she has at the Thanksgiving table.

I talked with both my sisters about it and they were really supportive. But one of them also added that maybe it would be OK for Rebecca to have the turkey with the bread stuffing since (and this logic defies me) she was only recently diagnosed so therefore she was eating stuff bad for her before so therefore a little more would not be a problem.

And this is from a very supportive sister.

I feel like crying - honestly.

Thanks for listening....


Mother of 2 kids (one with Celiac) and 23 pet mice :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Celiac.com Sponsor (A8):

Celiac.com Sponsor (A8):


I'm sorry you're having a frustrating time. It can be hard at holidays, especially when you expect family to be supportive. It doesn't seem like it would be hard to be accomodating, but then I'm seeing it from "our" side.

If it were me (and believe me, I've been there before) I would go ahead and make the small turkey with delicious stuffing for your daughter and not make an issue. And make some other yummy things and bring them without making an issue of it. Hopefully, others will try your food and realize how delicious it is. Just make sure your daughter has lots of choices and gets a delicious meal.

It might take some time for your family to understand. I've been going through this for 10 years and my in-laws (we see them more than my family) are finally supportive and understanding. You might have to patiently explain AGAIN, that she can't have any gluten without doing damage. If your sister is supportive, she'll come around.


Liz

Started Specific Carbohydrate Diet on 8-16-09 because son was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis and want to give him moral support.

Diagnosed with Minimal Change Nephrotic Syndrome in 2003. Discovered that going completely gluten-free put me in remission.

I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Psalms 27:13

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What I've learned at large family functions is- take what you want to eat with you. Thanksgiving last year I took a lot of my favorite foods, and some dessert and it was fine. Christmas I was not prepared and miserable. It was my first experience with the holidays. :blink: Everyone means well, but until they have to live with the disease they will never understand. They are all used to the traditional food in the traditional way-now I just have to change them gradually. Who knows maybe someday the whole day will be gluten free. :)


Brenda Diagnosed Celiac 2005 Woodville, Massachusetts

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sorry that you're having trouble with this one. If you think it would do any good to try to work out the root causes with your mom, then try doing so. If you don't think so, then bring whatever turkey you already planned, and just make the best stuffing you have. Let your food do the talking for you.

She may be very worried about not having a perfect dinner, and if she hasn't had your stuffing before, she may worry it's not part of a perfect dinner. There can be a lot of pressure on hosts, so if you can allay her fears - perhaps make her a bit of stuffing (not in a turkey - stuffing really doesn't need to be made in a turkey) - a few days early, so she can taste it and know it will not be a problem. Sometimes, regardless of the gluten issue, hosts can have trouble reliquishing control (I know I do! ;) ).


Tiffany aka "Have I Mentioned Chocolate Lately?"

Inconclusive Blood Tests, Positive Dietary Results, No Endoscopy

G.F. - September 2003; C.F. - July 2004

Hiker, Yoga Teacher, Engineer, Painter, Be-er of Me

Bellevue, WA

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would make a complete Thanksgiving dinner for your family the day before Thanksgiving, then I would take the leftovers to the family get together which is all about family fun, & seeing the great uncle one last time etc... It sounds like your family lives near so this would set your own tradition and allow your child to have a special meal with her parents - maybe she could invite a friend? or an elderly person that does not care whether it is gluten-free or not...

I would also go very low key with the family until they are ready for the information. The middle of Thanksgiving week is not the time - & like a lot of the families, they may never "get it"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is really hard when it is your child and her feelings that you are dealing with. I know how frustrated I get when I bring gluten-free food to share and nobody touches it because somehow it is not the "traditional" Thanksgiving or holiday fare even though in reality it is "traditional" just not filled with gluten. This year I am just making my own turkey, dressing, gravy to take to the family get together. I love dressing and that was the one thing I really missed at Thanksgiving. I now make my own and it is quite good. I grow my own sage so it has those boxed and bagged stuffings beat by a mile even if it is gluten-free and since the family is snobbish about gluten-free food, I do not intend to share with anyone!!!! I am also bringing a fruit, meat and cheese plate that will be filled with great fruits (grapes, strawberries, kiwi), Old Wisconsin sausage, lots of fun and colorful cheeses, and gluten-free crackers. Since they probably won't touch it because it is gluten-free, I will just take it to work the next day to share with my co-workers who are not quite so snobby and will eat anything regardless of the gluten content! I do hate holiday family get togethers as I feel singled out and get tired of explaining why I can't eat the cranberry sauce because someone accidentally dropped some gravy in the sauce.... or why the pumpkin pie is off limits even if I only eat the filling. BUT the one good thing is that I am the only one not complaining after the meal that I am more stuffed than the turkey was!!!! Anyway, go ahead and make your own turkey and stuffing, bring it along, and eat YOURS with your daughter and the heck with the great family turkey and stuffing tradition.


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would still make the small turkey. I agree about bringing the leftovers to the dinner of things you have made, this way you know Rebecca will eat them and not get sick. You will have piece of mind and the dinner will be more comfortable.

My mom is a picky eater, so we have never had a stuffed turkey, it has always been plain. I am thankful for that now.


~~~~Gluten Free since 9/2004~~~~~~

Friends may come and go but Sillies are Forever!!!!!!!

36_22_10[1].gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know it's hard not to feel hurt, but I don't think this is one I'd make a stand over. Tryt to drop it and have a good family gathering.

richard

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm feeling really sad right now about Thanksgiving which is usually one of my favorite holidays.

I had called my mother, who hosts the gathering (there are 18 of us all together in 3 generations) weeks ago to offer to make the stuffing so that Rebecca would be able to have the turkey and not feel left out. She agreed, but then suggested we make two turkeys since a 22 pounder was getting hard for her to turn. I said that would be fine and that I would stuff one and she could use her regular stuffing for the other. I then got very excited about making a super stuffing and a few pies that everyone in the family could enjoy.

Well tonight she called and said that since she really needed to have a LOT of her stuffing, that she would make a large turkey and I should just bring a small turkey for Rebecca. I agreed, but I said I felt hurt because:

A) that would make Rebecca feel like a second class citizen

B) I wouldn't get to share my cooking with everyone

C) the implication was that my stuffing would be lousy

If it helps:

- people are funny about traditional foods on Thanksgiving. Have you ever had a debate about homemade cranberry sauce vs. "canberry" sauce? [if not, start one and you'll see what I maen. People can be very passionate about it in either direction!] So it makes sense to me that your mom is trying to make sure everyone is happy and gets the stuffing they expect.

- stuffing has always been a big favorite of mine, and in my family it goes fast. But since I now have my own supply of stuffing, I am guaranteed plenty of leftovers, whereas before I used to have to fight for it. So, you and your daughter will get all the yummy stuffing you want!

- If you make your own turkey, you don't have to worry about whether your mom got one of those self-basting, "TVP" injected turkeys.

For me, I'm fine with the separate stuffing issue. As a biologist, I'm far too wigged out by campylobacteria & salmonella to put anything inside the bird: I make the "stuffing" on the side anyway ("dressing?"). My in-laws are invading for this holiday, and they love the gravy-soaked stuff. I like my stuffing on the dry side. So for me, separate stuffing avoids any debates about the "right" way to make it.

Instead of a second class citizen, can Rebecca be a Special-Class Citizen?

For your usually supportive sister, I think the diabetic analogy applies. If Rebecca had just been diagnosed with diabetes, would it still be okay for her to eat sugary deserts because she had been "just recently diagnosed"? I'm guessing your sister's perspective is that it'd be sad for her niece to miss out... instead of thinking how much happier her niece will be if she's healthy.


no wheat, no corn since 2002 (except the occasional accidental exposure)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks everyone..... I am going to take the high road and bring a good attitude, our own turkey, stuffing (either in or outside the bird), and some gluten-free desserts for everyone to share.

As usual, the practical matters are not really a problem. I was upset because of my history with my mother and feeling that she was not taking me or my daughter's situation seriously.

I do realize that there is a learning curve about celiac. I tend to forget that only 2 months ago I knew absolutely nothing on the subject at all....


Mother of 2 kids (one with Celiac) and 23 pet mice :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Have you ever had a debate about homemade cranberry sauce vs. "canberry" sauce? [if not, start one and you'll see what I maen. People can be very passionate about it in either direction!]

There is only one right answer to that question. :lol:


Tiffany aka "Have I Mentioned Chocolate Lately?"

Inconclusive Blood Tests, Positive Dietary Results, No Endoscopy

G.F. - September 2003; C.F. - July 2004

Hiker, Yoga Teacher, Engineer, Painter, Be-er of Me

Bellevue, WA

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites