It’s beginning to look a lot like… Thanksgiving! The daydreams of turkey, stuffing, cranberries, pie, and more stuffing (just keep piling on the stuffing!) enter your mind like a light drizzle nourishing the earth from which all those gifts have come.

But as families come together to celebrate the wondrous occasion of gratitude, unresolved issues come forth, and toxicity takes the center stage. Just like it did in this person’s family, a couple of days before the actual occasion.

A Reddit user named throwaway6301122 asked the ‘Am I the [Jerk]?’ community whether he was in the wrong for refusing to change any of the planned-out meals to accommodate his niece’s dietary restrictions. The answer seems pretty obvious just out of this much information; however, there’s always more than meets the eye!

We are very curious to hear your thoughts on the story, dear Pandarandas, as well as what you most look forward to when it comes to Thanksgiving! Without further ado, let’s dive into the story!

More info: Reddit

When we think of Thanksgiving, we imagine all the delicious food, however, some people need to have it prepared a special way to meet their dietary requirements

Image credits: cottonbro studio (not the actual photo)

Thanksgiving is one of those holidays that people look forward to the most, the reason being the food. Seeing family is nice too, of course, but it’s made all the better with mouthwatering bits of culinary goodness. We’re talking roast turkey with gravy, cranberry sauce, sage and sausage stuffing, ultra-fluffy mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie…


Now I’m hungry. And so would one 21-year-old lady, named Bria, be. The Original Poster (OP) decided to host a Thanksgiving dinner this year alongside his wife, inviting a good portion of their family over. Only his sister Maggie pulled the rug out from under him, asking whether they’d be preparing anything that her daughter Bria could eat, as she’d started following a special gluten-free diet. He was less than thrilled, to say the least.

One man decided that it was a mere personal choice for his niece to take up a restrictive gluten-free diet right before the holidays. Here’s the full story:


Image credits: throwaway6301122

Two gluten-related disorders affect 1–7% of people worldwide, causing a myriad of abdominal issues. Treatments rely on following a strict gluten-free diet

Image credits: Klimt (not the actual photo)

From how the OP spoke of Bria and the rest of his family, it seemed as though there were some very deep-rooted issues that they needed to discuss in order to clear the air. The competitive relationship between his sister and wife, the immediate judgment and marking of someone else’s needs as insignificant, just because they’d tried different diets in the past, all leading towards a break in the family dynamic. 

The holidays are meant to unite those that are closest to each other, either by blood or by bond, yet it seems they can also drift them further apart when negativity takes precedence. Especially when one person is medically unable to participate in the holiday celebrations unless they’re allowed to bring their own food or have options available. 

So let’s look a little bit deeper into gluten intolerance. According to Healthline, it holds a place among the most commonly occurring dietary restrictions, with two gluten-related disorders affecting 1–7% of people worldwide. They’re celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity. 


Although they’re different, they lead to similar symptoms of abdominal pain, diarrhea, and weight loss due to nutrient malabsorption, which can later lead to inflammation and damage to the small intestine. Current treatments for both disorders rely on following a strict and lifelong gluten-free diet, where one avoids ingredients like wheat, barley, and rye. 

As stated on Eat First, the side effects of ingesting gluten can last between hours and days afterward. Coeliacs, on the other hand, can do permanent damage to their stomachs, and in serious cases, even go into life-threatening anaphylaxis. So, after all of this, one can see that this isn’t just a fad, but rather an important aspect of one’s health. 

The ‘Am I the [Jerk]?’ community almost unanimously agreed that the OP was a jerk for being so rude to his niece and sister, with one person saying, “Hosting is about making guests feel comfortable. Why are you hell-bent on punishing your niece? It’s not hard to make things gluten-free but at the very least let her bring her own food.” 

“As someone who was diagnosed with celiac in her 40s, I ate gluten for nearly 40 years. Now, when I accidentally have it, I end up violently ill for a week. Your sister isn’t being competitive. You are being [a jerk],” stated another. 

1.3k comments followed, and 2.8k upvotes boosted the story upwards, and it seemed to have shifted something in the OP’s mind. He then updated the post, stating that the family had come towards a compromise, all thanks to the responses in the Reddit community helping the OP see the other side of the equation. 


Here’s what the internet community thought, as well as the personal stories they shared 


Some believe that this could have been a Not-The-Jerk situation, had the circumstances been different. Let us know your own opinions in the comments below!

After receiving a lot of criticism from the online community, the man decided to find solutions for them all to be able to celebrate together, as stated the update:

Image credits: throwaway6301122

It’s nice to see that the family was able to have a discussion and start working on having a celebration together rather than separately. You did it, internet! You brought a family back together! And well done to you too, OP! Not all want to see the darkness within them, but you took all the advice and critique and it led to a very sweet outcome for all. 

There’s nothing worse than missing out on the most beautiful celebrations of the year and being alienated from those you love the most just because of something you cannot control. Following a gluten-free diet is a learning process, not only for the person suffering from it but also for family and friends.

Thankfully, there are heaps of recipes fit for those intolerant to gluten that replicate the tastes and textures of beloved foods. Gluten Free on a Shoestring have shared their best gluten-free Thanksgiving recipes, which you’ll be able to find if you click on the hyperlink. It takes adjusting to, but it’s not impossible! 

So what can we all learn from this, dear Pandas? How about we don’t distance ourselves from our family members just because of something as simple as food, but rather work together to find the best solutions, to fit all parties, and bond the members of said family further. Good memories created, lovely food had, and gratitude shared. 

We are always capable of changing for the better, and sometimes it takes a whole community of people to show us the correct way, lighting the path ever brighter. Bored Panda has reached out to the OP of the story, but if he comes across this article first, then hello! Glad things worked out for you and hope you have a lovely time! 

Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving as well, dear readers! Don’t forget to upvote, share your thoughts on the story and your plans for this upcoming holiday, and have yourself a jolly day!