Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

Ah, the holiday season begins.  It’s amazing how fast it comes around again.

I personally love Thanksgiving!  I love the foods, I love getting together with friends and family and I like that there are no gifts.  It’s just a time to get together to drink, eat and enjoy each other’s company…or not.  I know for so many people the pressure is on to make a beautiful (moist) bird and for all the sides to come out perfectly, for the family to all get along and your kids to be polite and respectful.  It can be a trying time to keep your cool.

This year, like most years, we are going to NY to my mother-n-laws in the city. It’s amazing how she can seat 25 people in her two bedroom apartment. We usually fly on the Wednesday before with the majority of the country…it is insane. We hunker down for the aggravation and madness.

We check into our hotel and walk the 5 blocks to her apartment – I love NY for that.  Living in southern California you practically walk to your mailbox…in NY the entire family gets out and walks.  I remember when my oldest son was around13 he would beg us to get a cab every block.  Thank goodness he out grew that.

My mother-in-law does an amazing job, but as the years have gone on she has become progressively cranky.  She won’t let anyone help do anything.  She wouldn’t go out with the group because she had too much to do.  This year she has finally let go and gotten a caterer to help.  We all just want to spend time together; we don’t care who makes the food.

I know when I have hosted family holiday events I want everything to be perfect too.  One year in particular, I told everyone to bring a homemade dessert.  I had planned for a big Martha Stewart type dessert table.  My brother walks in with a grocery store bought Yule Log with mini Krackle bars in the wrappers on top.  I said thank you and proceeded to hide it.  When dessert time came and all the beautiful desserts were laid out, my brother asked where the dessert he brought was….I sheepishly retrieved it from the kitchen…seriously had I lost my mind?  Who cares about perfection…and more importantly looking back on it – control.

This really is a time to let all this crap go, not amp it up!  If someone offers to bring something say “sure.”  The more help the better actually.  We don’t need to be territorial.  If your mother-in-law wants to take over the kitchen, let her – go enjoy the conversation.  Try not to let people get to you and enjoy the tradition of family.  Take what works and fills you up and for one day ignore the rest.

Have a great Thanksgiving!