I look forward to seeing you all for Thanksgiving. This will be my last Thanksgiving as the head cook and bottle washer. Next year, God willing, I will sit back and relax while the next generation takes the lead. Until then, you’re going to have to humor me one last time.
As always you can leave your electronic devices in the basket by the door and I suggest you do the same with your political opinions. My turkey has both white and dark meat. That means at my table you can be someone who voted for Donald Trump but you do not need to be someone who acts like Donald Trump. If you don’t heed my warning, you’ll get the store-bought pies Gertrude brings rather than my homemade ones.
This year I learned that it takes all kinds. For that reason, I am broadening my horizons and opening my mind to the fact that some of you have certain dietary concerns. So listen close. If you are avoiding fat, sugar, sodium or gluten you should be concerned. If you are vegetarian, I think you might be able to forage enough on the table to make a meal.
We have two new babies in the family. What a joy. The back bedroom is the perfect get-away for naps, but an inside trashcan is the wrong place for dirty diapers. Put your disposable diapers in a trash bag and take them all the way to the can outside. Thanksgiving is on a Thursday and the trash truck doesn’t come until the following Tuesday. That’s six days of smell I do not need. Double bag them and bury them deep so I don’t see them.
Football is on all day long. The television is not. When the meal is ready the set is off, and it doesn’t go back on until the last person is done with their meal. God forbid we actually talk to one another.
Kids come in all shapes and sizes. Guess what? So do cups. If your child isn’t going to finish their first drink, then they don’t really need a second one do they? I am not a woman who likes to waste food – liquid or otherwise. And speaking of otherwise, plates should be full at the beginning and empty at the end. Take a little of everything you like as long as you plan to finish it. Once everyone has had the chance to eat, you are welcome to go back for seconds.
You were all so kind to offer to bring something. I was so kind as to say bring nothing at all. But if you insist on arriving with a dish, make sure it is table ready. I have two ovens and four burners. All of them will be in use. Turkey and stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes with cream and butter, sweet corn, green bean casserole, candied yams, peas in sour cream, cranberries, homemade bread, apple and pumpkin pies. Honestly. What else is there to bring?
Cloe, I am tired of fighting with you, dear. Feel free to bring that disgusting dish you call Jell-O-salad. I question if it is really either. Honey, no one is going to eat it so make sure you have the appropriate container to take it back with you. I don’t need that left-over mess staring at me every time I open my fridge. However, if you want to make it with orange Jell-O this year, we can call it Trump Dump and at least laugh with you rather than at you.
Mary, honey, you’ve given me a goodly number of great grandchildren. Precious gifts from heaven, each and every one, especially that middle one who looks the spitting image of your late Grandfather. But honey, you and your husband made the decision to have all those children and, therefore, you must suffer the consequences. Parenting is a full-time job. You don’t get to take time off when you get to my house just because it’s a holiday. Little feet stay on the floor and off the furniture. Red drinks and other liquids that stain should either be avoided or consumed outside. My nice things stay out where I can see and enjoy them. Your children’s hands stay off. “Yes” is not the only word in the dictionary. There is also “No” and “Because-I-said-so” (all one word). But for the love of God, you have to mean it when you say it.
I don’t know what a selfie is. I don’t pose for the camera anymore because the camera doesn’t love me anymore. If you want a picture of me, take one off the wall. If you do get one of me this holiday, spare me. I don’t need to see it unless you have one of those appy things that makes me look 50 years younger and 50 pounds skinnier.
I love each and every one of you and I am so glad to have yet another holiday together. Come hungry and leave full. Hug one another because you can. Argue if you must, but then agree to disagree. Try something new or let go of something old. Give more. Take less. Oh hell. Listen to me rattle on like I am some sort of philosopher. Screw it. Come for the food and stay for the company. Everything else can be made better with gravy. I mean it. Really.
(Note: The death of Margaret has been greatly exaggerated.)