Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, hands down.
It's one of the only holidays yet to be ruined by external forces. No pressure, no gifts to buy people you don't like... just an opportunity to have a meal with those you love. And, there's the food, which, from a food junkie perspective (that's me) is the pinnacle of celebrating and eating. Diets are out the window... bring on the gluttony.
Nothing better that that turkey-induced drunkenness.
For me, it is a day of family. Because wherever the year has taken you, you can count on gathering around the table one day a year. No one in my family eats out at a restaurant (even though my Mom threatens to every year). No siree. Come hell or high water, we always manage to be in the same room together on turkey day.
When I was little, one of my earliest memories of Thanksgiving was at my Grandmother and Grandfather's house. My Dad was one of 6 siblings (4 girls, 2 boys). Each of his siblings had at least 2 kids. So you're talking more than 30 people at a VERY large table. When I say LARGE I mean it... Grandpop would make a table the length of the entire kitchen out of plywood on sawhorses, covered with that plasticy table cloth. I'm not kidding by the way. I remember sitting at the end of that table and thinking I was in the cafeteria at school.
Unfortunately, or fortunately my Dad became estranged from his sisters, so that tradition stopped (*another story, another day on that one!) and my Mom started hosting Thanksgiving at home for just me, my brother, Dad, and my other Grandparents (Mom's side). Come to think of it, I'm not sure when that happened, but my Grandfather died in 1976, and after that, Gram was always with us on Thanksgiving.
My Dad was (and still is) the chef. He loves making turkey and his FAMOUS sausage stuffing-- guaranteed to give you heartburn for three days afterward, but man! does it taste good.
After my Gram died in 2002, I started hosting Thanksgiving here. My Mom was just "done" as she puts it. To tell you the truth, I think it was the memories of Gram that kept her from hosting again. The three grandchildren were born (all within one year), and I as the first born in my family inherited the family feast (Dad still cooks the turkey and stuffing... I do the rest).
This year we will be celebrating with my Mom and Dad, my brother, SIL, my two nephews, my in-laws, my BIL and his wife.
Thanksgiving sure has changed over the years (in locale and attendance), but it's a tradition that I look forward to with anticipation and glee.
Bring it on! and pass the alka-selter for dessert. Now that's good eatin'...