If you’re like a lot of other women, you dread the rituals of Thanksgiving. Getting the kids dressed up and heading over to your mom’s house for dinner only to have the macaroni and cheese casserole that you slaved over be criticized by your Auntie Angela.

It’s a not-so-well-kept secret that family can get on your nerves. But after every one has stuffed their faces on collard greens and pumpkin pie, and all is said and done, we don’t know where we’d be without the fam. So, before you let your clan ruin the meaning of Thanksgiving for you, we thought we’d give you a reminder of why we’re thankful for our kin.

They can’t stay angry with us: Test it out! You can do almost anything shy of stealing your sister’s husband and the fam will still have your back. You might get an earful or the silent treatment for a few days if you pull something foul, but they’ll eventually get over it.

They Know Us Better Than We Know Ourselves: Our families have watched us grow up. They know when we’re fooling even ourselves and are always there to set us straight.

They Crack Us Up: Have you ever come home after a long day away from your family and realized just how funny they are. The way your daughter’s lisp sounds when she reads her report on photosynthesis or how your husband’s right eyebrow curls up more than the left when he’s reading.

They’re Full of Surprises:  Although we know them better than the back of our hands, our family is always hitting us up with shockers, “I’m pregnant,” “I’m getting married,” “I’m moving back in,” “I’m moving to Africa!” Through it all, they keep our lives exciting.

They Lend Us Clothes and Money:  Real talk, sometimes you need to borrow a cute outfit or a couple of Benjies. Family’s good for that, even if their loans come with a long list of instructions. Who lent you that 70s cocktail dress that showed off your perfect neckline for last year’s Christmas party? Your Aunty Beverly, that’s who. And who lent you $300 to fix that scratch on your car before your dad saw it. That’s right, your grandma did.

They’re Our Biggest Fans: Having your family behind you is like having your own personal cheerleading squad–hopefully minus the make-up, mini skirts and halter tops–at your beck and call. Any time you need some encouragement the fam is always there to say “you can do it!” And when you do a great job, they’re the first ones to shout, “Hooray.”

They are Scandalous: Every family has a little dirt hidden under the rug. The stories are colorful, priceless and often spicy. Go ahead, ask your mom if she really “saved herself” for marriage. She might tell you the truth now that you’re an adult.

They’re A Part of Us: Has anyone ever told you that you’re the spitting image of your grandmother or that you write just like your father. We can’t help but take little pieces of our family members with us. They are the secret ingredients that make us sweet.

They Love Us No Matter What: As dysfunctional or unconventional as some families are, they all rely on one principal: unconditional love. If you and your kin can maintain that, you’ll be thankful for each other for a long time.

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