I will admit I have been a bitter turkey baker these last few years. If you know me, you know that. If you have read my stories, you know that.
Each year after the meal, I say bitterly, “Why did I bother?” The meal lasts 5 minutes, then my mother goes and lays down, then complains later, while my husband just watches football and continues to make mess after mess in the kitchen throughout the rest of the day and night. My married son has dinner with his in-laws and their huge family. My daughter is in and out.
I am usually left with a huge mess, an exhausted check book, and extremely sore feet. Exhaustion of my body sets in from the pre-holiday stress of shopping, worrying, cleaning, etc. I usually feel a little “ruined” for a couple of days afterward.
Each year, I put myself through all of this mind crap about how on Thanksgiving, all families except mine, look and feel like the smiling Norman Rockwell paintings.
All families, other than mine, are surrounded by loving, laughing, fun family and friends, who share in the preparation and cooking of this huge meal.
All families, other than my own, play board games, or go play in the snow together after the big meal, then decorate the outside of the house for Christmas, then sit in front of a nice warm fireplace and drink hot cocoa, or spiked eggnog together, talking and laughing.
This year, I told my husband we are going out for dinner. He did not want to. I was determined, but then a turkey appeared, and I eventually decided, I would cook.
I had most of the dinner items by the weekend before, so my shopping was minimal. When I got home on Thanksgiving Eve after a second round of shopping, I was looking forward to cooking a meal for my family.
My husband had helped out tremendously by vacuuming and mopping the floors, thus eliminating big piles of dog hair. I really dislike cooking with dog hair on the floor, (we have a long-haired retriever).
I prepared as much of the food as possible the night before and got to bed at a decent hour, rising to finish the rest of the meal in the morning. It was the easiest time I had ever had fixing a Thanksgiving feast.
It was only the 3 of us at dinner, and though a little sadness always creeps in as you remember your parents and/or other family members who aren’t there and long for times past, you realize that you actually enjoyed making this dinner for the people you love.
My husband tried to dive in without the blessing having been said, and I stopped him. “Hey you, wait a minute!” I tell him. Though we don’t daily say a blessing before we eat, there are a few holidays that I insist on it.
I look at my husband and mother and say, “Well guys, they are dropping like flies around here, it’s just us.” and we ask God to bless our food, family and friends and thank Him for all He has provided.
I realize that I would indeed miss this feast of thanks if I canceled Thanksgiving.