The holiday season is all about spending time with the people you love, but everyone knows that its a sentiment that sometimes sound a lot nicer than it actually is in reality. Between the grudges siblings hold against each other from childhood and the unrealistic expectations of parents and that one uncle who still doesn't understand what political correctness is, it's easy to understand why there are so many literary families you wish you could spend Thanksgiving with, because sometimes, your own is just too much.
Spending Thanksgiving with your family is a wonderful experience that gives you a chance to bond away from phones, emails, work, and school, but it's also a stressful experience that puts many people, especially those dealing with a toxic family, on edge. This year especially, as we find ourselves faced with a country split in two, you might find yourself sitting at a table cut right down the middle as well. Just breath and remember: there are plenty of ways to cope with a divided family, including avoiding politics all together or going in the opposite direction by leaning into the awkward conversation about our country's unsure future. You've made it through countless awkward dinners before, so what's one more night of painful silences, right?
If you can't stomach the idea of talking politics with your family, don't want to put yourself through the stress and chaos of a holiday at home, or just plan on skipping the day entirely, I don't blame you. When it comes to Thanksgiving, it's sometimes better to imagine being with the literary families you with you could spend the holiday with, like these ones.
1. The Quimbys
All siblings fight, but few make up as quickly as Ramona and Beezus Quimby, the titular stars of Beverly Cleary's beloved children's book series. A family who talks openly about their feelings, supports each other honestly, and loves each other unconditionally, the Quimbys are the perfect fictional Thanksgiving guests for book-lovers who want a wholesome holiday.
2. The Plums
Your family may have a typical over-doting mother and a football-obsessed father, but does it have a gun-wielding grandmother who thinks funerals are the best kind of social gathering? The family in Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series does, and in your fictional dream world, they'd be one of the funnest families to spend the holidays with. Mrs. Plum is a great cook, Mr. Plum is known for his rare but perfect one-liners, and you never know when grandma is going to shoot the turkey.
3. The Clocks
There are an infinite amount of families in children's books that would be fun spending Thanksgiving with, but the Clock family from Mary Norton's The Borrowers are certainly the most adorable. Tiny people who live in the walls of a charming English house, the Borrowers are a group who know how to have fun. The best part? When you want some post-meal alone time, you can simply shut them away. If only you could do that to your real family, am I right?
4. The March Family
The middle daughter of a family of three girls, I know how important the bonds of sisterhood are, especially around the holidays. If only my sisters were as polite, sweet, and kind as the March sisters of Louisa May Alcott's Little Women, a group of inseparable girls who would do anything for one another. I don't know about you, but I'd much rather curl up around the piano with this group than argue over the remote with my own family.
5. The Fraser Clan
They may be a little rough around the edges, but the Fraser Clan from Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series knows a thing or two about good food and good drink. For a Thanksgiving surrounded by an attractive family you aren't related to, you can't go wrong with this kilt-wearing crew.
6. Sherlock & Watson
Whether you like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's original book characters or one of their many re-imaginations in movies, literature, or TV, you can't deny that the characters from the Sherlock Holmes stories would make great dinner guests. The Watsons, a interesting and fiercely loving couple, would make great conversationalists, while Sherlock Holmes could entertain the whole room with stories of his adventures and exploits, and Mrs. Hudson could fix the turkey. If you're lucky, there may even be a mystery afoot by the end of dessert.
7. The Bennets
While the English families in Jane Austen's novels don't celebrate Thanksgiving themselves, they would make great company for the holiday's festivities. Polite, kind, and wonderful conversationalists, Elizabeth and her sisters would be the kind of siblings you wouldn't mind being confined to the kid's table with.
8. The Watsons
A strict but loving mother, a funny father with a killer sense of humor, and the kind of familial bond that can withstand even the greatest threats? That's the kind of family I'd want to spend my Thanksgiving with, and that's the kind of family Christopher Paul Curtis created in The Watsons Go to Birmingham — 1963, the kind you would love to swap stories, ask for advice, and casually converse with around the dinner table.
9. The Baggins Family
Hobbits may not know what Thanksgiving is, but they sure know how to feast. A holiday with Frodo and the rest of the Baggins clan, including, of course, all of the little residents of the Shire, means a holiday full of cakes, meat pies, plenty of drink, and more merriment than you'd know what to do with. Sounds a lot better than fighting with your real cousins over the last turkey leg, if you ask me.
10. The Weasleys
Another British family that doesn't celebrate Thanksgiving, the Weasleys of Harry Potter fame know how to throw a good party. Sure, there may be the occasional Death Eater attack, but when they aren't busy saving the wizarding world, there's plenty of time for delicious home cooked meals by Molly, classic dad jokes by Arthur, and magical and hilarious shenanigans by all the Weasley children.
11. The Peculiars
If you think holidays can't get much weirder than those at with your family, try spending it with the peculiar children of Miss Peregrine's orphanage. Gifted (or cursed, depending on how you look at it) with special abilities, this made-up misfit family would certainly make breaking bread more interesting than your half-deaf great aunt and the photo album she brought of her cat.
12. The Starks
Okay, so maybe not all of their festive gatherings end in merriment — I mean, there was that whole Red Wedding incident — but out of all the fictional families in the Game of Thrones universe, the Starks would make the best Thanksgiving hosts. If you're lucky, they'd even bring their dire wolves over for a play date, and leave their habit of getting murdered at Winterfell.
13. The Curtis Family
If you've ever felt like and outsider, than you've probably imagined yourself fitting right in with Darry, Soda Pop, and Ponyboy of The Outsiders, not to mention their crew of young, independent friends. Forget a traditional sit down meal and instead imagine yourself enjoying whatever the kids could whip up while watching a movie at the drive ins. Who needs adults at Thanksgiving, anyways?
Images: Columbia Pictures;