Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving Etiquette -- Mormon Style

To: Abbottsville Fourth Ward
From: Millie Loomis, self-appointed ward media and culture critic
Subject: Holding my own at Thanksgiving

Back in the day, when my family gathered at my parents' house for Thanksgiving, we were all of one mind, one heart, one faith.

But thanks to today's turbulent times, that is no longer the case. 

I confess I have been in denial over this sad truth for some time. Two years ago I simply ignored the Obama sticker on my brother's van, likewise my nephew's "No on Prop. 8" tee shirt. When my youngest sister announced that she had broken off her engagement to pursue an Italian study abroad program, I held my tongue. At the time I didn't want to cause conflict at the dinner table. 

Instead I took the high road by bringing up neutral subjects like Glenn Beck's latest book, my favorite General Conference talks, and the joys of traditional marriage. 

Unfortunately, my inaction only laid the groundwork for a disastrous holiday the following year. 

Convinced that I was somehow "OK" with his extreme views, my brother turned on MSNBC before dinner with the volume high enough for my children to hear. My nephew boasted about his participation in a Pride parade. Worst of all, my youngest sister announced that over her past year in Italy, she had been drinking wine and living with somebody named Lucca, who was neither Mormon nor even her husband!!!

I again took the high road by introducing neutral subjects like the validity of our president's birth certificate, my favorite articles in The Ensign, and the rise of Internet porn.

I can only imagine what she's thinking!
My efforts were of no use. My son now believes that "gay people are happy," and my daughter wants to put off marriage to go to Italy -- not on a mission, not on a See Zion First tour -- but simply to LIVE!!

In order to avoid a similar trap this year, I emailed the following compassionate message to my siblings. Many of you may consider doing the same.

Dear (Loved Ones),

While I respect your agency and love you as individuals, I can no longer allow you to influence my children. This may be difficult for you to understand, but because I have moral values, I am trying to raise righteous children in the one and only true church. Out of respect for me and for my children's eternal salvation, I ask that this year our Thanksgiving dinner conversation be restricted to the following neutral topics: 

The Book of Mormon
President Monson
The good old U S of A
Why fornication is a sin
72 hour kits
Miserable souls who break The Word of Wisdom
The empty lives of female professionals
A cure for homosexuality
Grandma's tatting projects
How stupid intellectuals are

In spite of everything, I can't wait to see all of you. As usual, I will be bringing my super-yummy green bean and tater-tot souffle, also the maraschino cherry/Cool Whip mousse.  

We can all agree on tatting!

I sent the e-mail last week, and so far have not heard back from anyone, so I take that as a good sign. Wish me luck, brothers and sisters!

If you would like to stop receiving these e-mails, we'll send you Millie Loomis's favorite General Conference talks.


  1. Perhaps you need more neutral subjects? How about the immorality of humanism, how unhappy atheists are, which books are most worth burning, or how much you'd like to see Ann Coulter speak in public?

  2. Haha! Love it. Too true. I can't even stand family gatherings these days. I just listen to them and roll my eyes (sometimes on the inside, sometimes on the outside).

  3. Ooh! Ooh! I know a neutral subject: The wives of Joseph Smith and why gets away with stuff other people would go to prison for. Faith-promoting and educational, no?

  4. Thanks guys -- gotta love the holidays.

  5. Actually, I might appreciate a list like that so I would know how many Xanax I should take before I get there. Or so I know when it's time to disappear into the other room for a nap.:)

  6. This is hilarious! What's a 72 hour kit, by the way?

    Additional neutral topics for conversation include the vile corruption of "the world", casseroles, tatting as an outlet for all of one's seething repressed emotions, cultivating the perfect plastic smile, and green jello.

  7. Glad you asked, Ahab. In the case of the impending Armageddon we're covered for 72 hours.

  8. My temple name is DeborahNovember 29, 2010 at 10:58 AM

    Her "neutral" topics - what a brilliant way to portray their lack of exposure to outside viewpoints. Love it.

  9. Sounds like holidays at my parents' house, which is why I'm not going home. :-)