Thanksgiving is over. The turkey has been eaten and the relatives who were present physically and virtually have left. An article in USA Today talked about how in our mobile society more people stay connected with virtual experiences such as SKYPE and FaceTime. Research suggests video chats might even enhance relationships as it lets loved ones stay connected, bringing them emotionally closer.

I think this is a great way to have a family holiday. Now, you’re guaranteed to have dinner with relatives you like and dislike. No longer will you be saved from dealing with an annoying relative because they couldn’t afford the plane ticket home. They’ll be right next to you, coming in loud and clear, via skype. Oh, they won’t be able to pass you the potatoes, but they’ll still be able to pass the hard feelings and blame. They’ll still be able to make you feel like stuffing a turkey leg in their mouth when they pry into your personal life, asking why you’re not married. They’ll still be able to play their hard earned roll of instigator, bringing up some past grievance and initiating a fight between Aunt Hazel and Grandma. (Poor Grandma was just sitting there, quietly guzzling her wine.) If there’s more than one annoying relative joining the family via lap top, I suggest you add a table to the adult table and the kiddy table – the virtual guest table. They’ll get the hint.

Then again it can be a blessing in disguise to have certain relatives join the festivities virtually rather than physically. There are perks to having Uncle Ben visit virtually. If this is the uncle who gets drunk and loud at every family gathering, it’s a blessing. If this is the uncle who thinks high brow humor is telling all his nieces and nephews to pull his finger, it’s a blessing. If this is the uncle who belches, unbuckles his belt and rubs his belly after dinner, it’s a blessing. If this is the uncle who goes to the bathroom, clogs the toilet and stinks up the place, then comes out and announces, “I wouldn’t go in there,” then consider yourself blessed and give thanks.

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