Sunday, November 29, 2009

So, Thanksgiving

I've been a lazy blogger lately--it seems holidays make me lazy. A few days before the holiday I sort of give up on important responsibilities and declare it preparation for the holiday. Then, after the holiday, I'm so reluctant to get back to things (housekeeping, eating things other than butter and sugar) that I give myself those couple of extra days on the after-end to keep eating butter and sugar. And don't you dare say my pants don't fit anymore. They just shrunk a tiny bit in the dryer.

But Thanksgiving makes me laugh a little bit. After a few years of cramming two Thanksgiving dinners from both of our local families, we swore we'd run a marathon before doing it again. So, in order to avoid that, we now just eat with one family each year. We like it much better. That way we can talk about one family behind their backs while we're visiting the other. Oh, just joking. (Who am I kidding, our families don't read this.) It seems, we're much more relaxed and enjoy our time with each family separately. But this leads me to one of the reasons Thanksgiving is funny. I am on a very strict schedule imposed by my aunt who made me swear on my marriage that we'd join my family for Thanksgiving on even years. She has arranged it so everyone's in-laws are on the same schedule. So changing the schedule isn't even something we joke about. Jed's family, less nazi-ish and more bohemian about schedules, forgets every year. So next year they'll wonder why we're not joining them for Thanksgiving. And I'll feel guilty for a minute, because that's what I do. Then they might ask me to trade schedules, and I'll remind them of the concentration camp my aunt almost put me in the last time I made that suggestion.

Assigning food it always a bit touchy to isn't it? There are certain recipes that need to be made just right--do we dare give it to aunt so-and-so to try? What if she ruins it? Or how about the sister-in-law that wants to bring her family traditional dish--will it crash the party if she brings that strange salad? Or the mother that insists that she doesn't bring it--by saying "nobody eats it anyway." And is an assignment of a whole lot of butter to someone a sign that she is a bad cook? And what if your grandma uses flour in the gravy but your uncle makes it corn-starchy? And what of your brother's kids who are totally wild and wreck your house? And that brings me to a good point--whose house should we do it at? We can't do it at Uncle John's, he has that dog, and cousin Annie is allergic. We can't do it at Bobby's, his new wife drives everyone crazy.

You think I'm making all of this up, but each one of these scenarios was told to me this very Thanksgiving. So what if I exaggerated a little bit? I just changed the names so Emily wouldn't get in trouble. Ethan doesn't read this right Em?

In the end, we manage to keep trying to work it out--allergies and bad recipes and all-- just so we can be together. It seems to me that fighting to be together must mean that we like each other a whole lot. And that is a blessing to be thankful for.

13 comments:

The Despot said...

woah! i thought this blog had gone offline.

k a t y said...

Oh, Jayne. Solution: Move to Florida.

Kim said...

Katy-that's funny! :)

I always say that my family puts the fun in dysfunction!!!

Glad you had a great holiday.

Teachinfourth said...

You could always just rent the events center at UVU and invite everyone to come next year...talk about a clash of opinions, personalities, and food you'd have THEN...rock on.

Lindsey said...

Shana is sooooo bossy-boots.

emily k. smith said...

Um Jayne... Ethan just called me and my whole family has disowned me for spilling the family secrets. Thanks a lot Jayne. At least our Christmas schedule will be wide open...

Oh, and just to set the record straight: nobody in my family would ever make their gravy with cornstarch - ever.

Zach and Codi said...

All I have to say is.... I am so glad I found your blog. It has definitely become one of my favorites. Thanks for the giggle, and tell Emily that every family has "one of those sister-in-laws" so hopefully we can all enjoy our pain together.

bethanne said...

I: think that every family can tell this same story! I am serious. We always just say "It could be fun....." I for one can almost garauntee that Emily's family always has smooth flavorful non-starchy gravy.

Also, you know how they say that we all eat too much fat, salt, and sugar? That pretty much comprises my whole diet from October through February, What's wrong with that?

Shana said...

Okay, I have several comments. First, nothing wrong with scheduling things to try to avoid conflicts because all we are really trying to do is make it work so we can spend equal time together because we love everyone, right? So, non-schedulers are... wrong. Second, I noticed your pants were a little bit tight at the bookstore. Oh wait, those were my pants that were tight. Maybe it's because I ate four pounds of butter. Third, Katie, I never said you couldn't cook because of the "butter" incident. That was Jayne using her literary license. Fourth, family and holidays always equals adventure.

Katie said...

At least Katie got the some form of food (butter)...my assignment was paper plates!

megan said...

Wow, Jed has an impressive arm span to be able to fit all of you in the photo.

And I've heard about the cornstarch gravy somewhere...

Anyway, I hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving. I, for one, am thankful for the return of your posts!

jayniemoon said...

ha ha ha. Your comments are cracking me up. To set the record straight, most of the stories were told to me by people I know about people I don't know. But my sister did bring butter--and that is because her mother-in-law is a super cook, and so she didn't have to bring anything. But we like to tease her anyway that her food is not wanted.

And if you've ever wanted to know why I pick on Emily, it's because she leaves the funniest comments ever.

jayniemoon said...

Oh, and Shana, your pants were looking super tight at the bookstore. And did you even fix your hair?