I have this crazy idea. I want to know how everyone celebrates Thanksgiving...(well, I do realize that this is confined to the states...but maybe you can tell us how you celebrate Christmas or some other holiday instead, if you live outside of the states.)
Is there something different that your family does? Who shows up that you really, really like? Really, really dislike? What time do you eat? Is your fare traditional? I really would like to know and I bet my readers would too.
As for me, well...it is usually pretty much the same. My sister, Patrice does Thanksgiving. She has the biggest house, the most money and since she is retired...the most time on her hands.
My sister, Jessie and her husband and daughters come every year. They live in small town Iowa, about five hours away. They come in on Wednesday evening and leave on Sunday. My other sister, Celia, is the only sister who isn't at the table. She has a small family dinner with her grown children and their families in Iowa.
Dinner is always early, at noon. Bing brings three pies of her choosing. It varies each year, but there is always pumpkin and always pecan. The third one has been apple, cherry, lime cheesecake, chocolate fudge pie and once...a raisin pie that I am pretty sure I was the only one who had a slice. It was divine, but well....what can I say? People like pumpkin.
I bring wine and usually a fancy bottle of Amaretto or some Grey Goose vodka to make vodka tonics.
There are a lot of us. Patrice invites her husband's family too and they are...well...okay...the hardest part for me to take. One family, in particular, drives me insane. They have a great dane and yes, they bring him everywhere. What the fuck is it about people and their dogs? I would never think it was okay to bring Socks to Thanksgiving dinner and frankly, I would worry. He does not like loud atmospheres and I suspect that he would be pretty cranky if there were marauding toddlers about. And there always are. The great dane has some incredibly cheesy name that escapes me now. Something like...wait....it's on the tip of my typing finger...YES...his name is Earl Grey. And he is excitable and drooly. He once snitched a pie off of the sideboard and gulped it down before anyone could stop him. I have often wanted to pour wine into his water bowl and watch him really have a good time, but no...Bing puts the kibosh on it.
My sister's children and their families come. Her mentally retarded (yes I wrote that and I am NOT changing it...we are FINE with the term and so is she) daughter is bringing her mentally retarded boyfriend this year and she is nervous, worried that everyone won't like him. I told her to relax. We like him already and so will everyone else.
Dinner is at two big tables in her huge dining room. There is something for everyone.
Stuffin (with RAISINS...yes...RAISINS and try it, it is perfect!)
A dish called cheesy corn that tastes exactly like you would expect cheesy corn to taste like.
Spaghetti and meatballs. This is a nod to Patrice's daughter in law who had a grandmother who served that on Thanksgiving, so by God...she brings it every year and no one eats it but her...but, what can I say? We brought raisin pie that no one ate. You just deal with it.
A relish tray with black olives (YUM!), green olives (ICK!),celery stuffed with cheese, three kinds of pickles and radish hearts.
The obligatory green bean casserole with french fried onions on top. Made with mushroom soup. I only eat it once a year and that is plenty for me.
Many jello molds. I always say that I don't like jello but I scoop some out and yes, I eat it and enjoy it.
Everyone drinks whatever they like. Mostly sodas. Her husband, Dan, drinks chocolate milk and I once called him a Pee Wee because when he wanted a refill, he kept tapping his glass on the table to get his wife's attention. I told him to get it himself and to stop acting like a freaking Pee Wee. He didn't talk to me for the rest of the visit. I was thrilled. Of course, Patrice had to ruin everything by jumping up to get him milk, as if she was his maid. Well, fuck. She is.
Dinner conversation is a combination of politics (with Bing and I the only Democrats at the table...this gets dicey...especially when Dan mouths off about how we have to guard against health care reform because it is a big government program and we don't need that. This is where I ask him if he is going to refuse his medicare because hey....he is one year away from it and it is a government program and all that....), television shows that are interesting and stories that are only interesting to you and your family. This means that Earl Grey's master will go on and on about how he spent months looking for the perfect doggy sweater for Earl Grey and he finally found it...at GUESS WHERE? Yup. A military supply store.
This is generally when I start looking around for the Amaretto bottle.
We all have to go around and say what we are thankful for. This sounds sweet and precious and it sort of is. I once suggested that we had to think of something original that we were thankful for...like good toenail clippers or heated car seats. I said that listening to all the women say that they were thankful for their wonderful children or husbands saying that they were thankful for Bo Pelini....well....it was getting old.
Everyone looked at me like I just slapped Earl Grey. So, I shut up. When it was my turn, I said that I was thankful for 1500 thread count sheets. WELL? I AM!
After dinner, we all pig out on pie. Patrice's daughter in law (the one who brings the spaghetti and meatballs that no one eats) opens her pan of rice krispie squares...another dessert that no one likes...because c'mon...rice krispie squares are everyday but lime cheesecake? Not so much. Apparently, you guessed it, her grandmother used to make those for Thanksgiving dinner as well. One of these days, when it is my turn to say what I am thankful for, I will say that I am thankful that I don't have to eat a Thanksgiving dinner of spaghetti and meatballs and rice krispie squares.
Kidding. Really. Sort of.
After dinner, the men will mosey out to the living room to watch sports and the women will be expected to clean up. This is so freaking unfair that it irks me every time. But, I don't say anything because I really, really like it when Dan, my brother in law is not in the same room, tapping his chocolate milk glass on the table.
After clean up...it's game o rama.
We play all kinds of games. We play charades. We play every game that you can think of where you have to think of words in twenty seconds or give one word clues for things. Any game with a loud buzzing timer is right up our alley. And I am ruthless. I am a sore loser and if I am on your team, you will WIN. I guarantee it. Because I am very, very good at these games. So is my sister, Jessie, so she and I can never be on the same team because we will fight to the death to be the best.
And I will win, people. Seriously. Bing once told me that she would never have moved in with me if she had seen me play Catch Phrase even once.
"You are MEAN!" she told me. "You get MAD when someone can't think of the best term in Buzz Word or Taboo!"
I beg to differ. I am not mean. But, I want my team to win and if you aren't fast on your feet, go have another piece of pie, just don't be on my team, okay? Because I am the woman. I am the queen bee.
Uh huh. That right. I be bad.
Later, we all break into groups to talk. I carefully avoid any of Dan's family since they are inclined to encourage one to give Earl Grey kisses.
No way, dudes. I don't kiss any canines except Socks. And never on the lips.
My sister, Jessie, and I usually end up sliding into one of the spare rooms and kicking off our shoes, unzipping our now tight waisted jeans and we lay on the bed to talk. Some of my best conversations have been our after Thanksgiving dinner conversations. Once, we fell asleep holding hands and a stray nephew came and took our photo and it is now on my piano because hey, we looked adorable.
This Thanksgiving, I have promised to take all my teenaged nieces to go see New Moon. I want to be able to scream just a little in deep Edward love when Robert Pattinson comes onscreen and since my nieces will be with me, I won't look like some old bag who is not acting her age.
When Thanksgiving is over, when all the relatives are gone and I am left with my dirty house (my sister's daughters stay with us...they are 18. 15 and 13...they eat like pigs, I swear and they tend to squeal an awful lot...but Liv loves the company and so do I...Bing just tries to work out in the yard a lot...), I will be satiated for the year. Done. Full up to the brim. Ready to be alone again with my books and not have to worry about the hot water running out or how late those girls can stay up. (LATE.)
So, I am curious. What is yourThanksgiving like? Think how interesting it would be if you all commented. All the different answers there would be!
Let's try it, shall we have a go?
C'mon, don't be shy. Tell us about your Thanksgiving.....