"In times of great stress, such as a four-day vacation, the thin veneer of family wears off almost at once, and we are revealed in our true personalities."
--Shirley Jackson,American author
How many of us can identify with this quote? The anticipation of the holiday coupled with the angst of actually experiencing it with the ones who know you better than anyone else. Angst is a feeling of anxiety or apprehension that surrounds an event. It can sometimes produce feelings of insecurity.
Any holiday spent in the company of those you love should produce the opposite emotion of angst; that of comfort and security. But no matter how hard we try, much of the emotion is bottled up from past experiences with family, a lifetime of emotions and experiences that are all brought to bare when family gathers at these special times.
There is always that one person that produces the anxiety over all the others, a sibling that is overbearing, the parent that is never pleased. The older I get, the more tolerant I become when it comes to family. They aren't getting any younger and they are spread out all over the country.
So take a few deep breaths and set your mind that if the old man doesn't know how to use the dishwasher, it's not the end of the world. Let the angst dissipate because the next holiday may not have the same set of family members attending.