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.