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Playing With / Crappy Holidays

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  • Basic Trope: Holidays of various kinds (Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Easter being the most common ones) are difficult and stressful.
  • Straight: Alice dreads Thanksgiving every year. There's the task of making sure the turkey is properly thawed in time and cooked through but not overcooked. There's all the relatives coming over, including some she'd rather didn't, such as that racist, sexist, homophobic, Bible-thumping, redneck-and-proud-of-it uncle who has no filter and always manages to ruin Thanksgiving dinner by getting up on his soapbox about Mexicans, gays, guns, Mexican gays with guns, the Obnoxious In-Laws, etc. There's the annoying Christmas music that started the day after Halloween playing 24/7 on WTRP radio. And, of course, Aunt Verna's "Holiday Suprise" casserole.
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  • Exaggerated: Alice gets worked up over a smaller holiday, such as Arbor Day. She doesn't have time to plant a tree, dammit! And what kind of tree, anyway?
  • Downplayed: ???
  • Justified: Thanksgiving is a lot of work. And it brings people together that perhaps don't see each other any other time of the year for Dinner and a Show, which they don't always actually want to go to, but feel the "have to" because it's tradition.
    • Alice ends up having to do all the work herself, because her husband retreats to the TV instead of helping.
  • Inverted: Thanksgiving is Alice's most favorite holiday of the year. Every year, she spends days getting the house cleaned, putting together a handmade centerpiece, and cooking all the sides. And on the big day itself, she's up at 4 AM getting the turkey ready, watches the parade in the morning, and looks forward to intense debates with Uncle Bob.
  • Subverted: Alice doesn't hate Thanksgiving.
    • Alice loves Thanksgiving.
    • Instead of coming for Thanksgiving, Uncle Bob is going on vacation with his wife instead.
    • It isn't Thanksgiving that bothers Alice, but the fact that she woke up with a yeast infection.
  • Double Subverted: But she does wish that her uncle would decide to go on vacation instead of coming over for dinner, because it always gets awkward.
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    • Until her dad has a heart attack and dies right at the table. Every Thanksgiving is much more somber after that, and even Uncle Bob quiets down.
    • But he's coming over for Christmas dinner.
    • But it's Thanksgiving, there's still all this stuff to do, there's no time to go to the drugstore or to urgent care and get medication, and she can't tell anyone that she's having a problem.
  • Parodied: ???
  • Zig Zagged: ???
  • Averted: Alice's society does not celebrate Thanksgiving.
  • Enforced: Dinner and a Show
  • Lampshaded: "Do I have to invite Uncle Bob? He ruins every Thanksgiving with his rants!"
  • Invoked: On Thanksgiving day, Alice wakes up to find the turkey still frozen solid, Uncle Bob shows up early (already drunk on cheap beer), her TV isn't working so she can't enjoy the parade (or the football game), Aunt Verna brought her worst iteration of her casserole, Aunt Carrie announces that she's engaged for the seventh time to a "charming" guy she met at some bar two months ago, the house is a mess, and the dog gets into the dressing.
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  • Exploited: ???
  • Defied: Before the holiday, Alice does a little bit of the related work each day: cleaning, cooking side dishes and freezing them (so all she has to do on T-day is thaw them out and heat them up).
    • Alice decides she's not hosting Thanksgiving at her home. She'll go over to a relative's house, but she's either not doing any cooking, or is bringing only one side dish. (Which is much easier and more manageable than cooking an entire feast.)
    • Alice learns to enlist help from her family.
    • Uncle Bob is not coming to dinner, which means things will be peaceful.
    • Alice instates a Ban on Politics at the dinner table, and if anyone violates it, she's not afraid to send them packing.
    • Alice decides that she's going to skip Thanksgiving this year, and just go on a trip to the Bahamas instead.
    • Alice finds a way to steer conversations in positive and appropriate directions.
    • When Uncle Bob gets up on his soapbox, Alice excuses herself.
    • Alice decides she's going to volunteer at a local soup kitchen, or that she's going to pick up some extra hours at work.
    • Alice is in charge of the guest list. Uncle Bob is not invited. If he asks, she lies and says they're not doing Thanksgiving. Thus, the major instigator is gone.
    • Alice spends Thanksgiving with her Family of Choice, rather than her family of origin.
    • Alice has her dinner catered, so she doesn't have to cook.
    • "Uncle Bob, I know this stuff is important to you, but today, let's please talk about something else."
    • Alice goes, but gives herself an out (whether it's truthful or not): needing to be at work, needing to relieve the babysitter, needing to get home and let the dog out, another Thanksgiving dinner to be at, not feeling well, being tired, etc.
  • Discussed: ???
  • Conversed: ???
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