It’s the time of the year for one of my favorite Thanksgiving movies – “Home for the Holidays,” starring Robert Downey Jr, Holly Hunter, Dylan McDermott, Anne Bancroft, Charles Durning, and directed by Jodie Foster. I see elements of my own family in it, and it used to make me both laugh…and cry. Even though it’s nine years old, most of the elements are still (maybe even more) timely.
I’m going to let Roger Ebert’s November 3, 1995 review tell the story…
‘There is a point in Jodie Foster’s “Home for the Holidays” where a brother and his brother-in-law are fighting on the front lawn while their father tries to break it up by wetting them down with a garden hose. Looking across the street at the neighbors gawking, the father snarls, “Go back to your own goddamn holidays!”
The movie, which is about the Thanksgiving family reunion from hell, is not exactly a comedy but not a drama, either. Like many family reunions it has a little of both elements, and a strong sense that madness is being held just out of sight.
Have we not all, on our way to family gatherings, parked the car a block away, taken several deep breaths, rubbed our eyes, massaged our temples, and driven on, gritting our teeth? That is not because we do not love our families, but because we know them so well.’
Here’s what I have learned about family this past week.
- When we go into situations with expectations and assumptions, we will probably get to be right.
- When we go somewhere/do something because we choose to, as opposed to doing it out of obligation, everyone wins. So if you really believe you MUST do something…choose it. How you view it makes all of the difference.
- Stay present. Forget what happened in the past. Be Here Now.
- Strive to be part of a solution, or a process, that results in the best possible outcome for all involved.
- Focus on everything you have to be grateful for.
You’ll be surprised how much fun you can have and how well you can all get along. All you need is love. And some bourbon and eggnog. And this great movie.
I wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving next week!