First, That Story I Promised
I’m excited that a piece I wrote called “A Mom’s Thanksgiving Story of ‘Will’ and ‘Grace’” is on the Parents channel of The Huffington Post. I hope you enjoy it! The only frustrating part is that they omitted they caption I wrote for the photo which clarified why the boys aren’t, as I wrote in the piece, “bundled up.” It said “Same hike, different day with (from L to R) Will, Jason, Judd. I also included a photo of Will in his Laker’s warm up suit from years ago that they edited out. So I included it to the left.
Cooking With Mom
Remember when you were little, or even now, and you’d be in the kitchen on Thanksgiving day with your mom and perhaps a sister or two? And your mom would be directing you to your “job” for the day, whether it be arranging marshmallows in an attractive geometric pattern over a casserole of mashed yams or stirring batter for delicious, homemade biscuits made from your great-grandmother’s famous recipe? Remember those days? How nice for you. I sure as hell don’t.
I don’t have those memories. We always did Thanksgiving at the S___ family’s house. My mom was never, still isn’t, much of a cook (no judgment—she’s much of other things). And we were never the type of family who gathered to cook in a kitchen. I watch those scenes in movies— The Family Stone is the best!—with the same sort of feeling I have watching baboons in the wild—looks like a good time but the behavior is so alien.
This year, however, my mom is visiting us in New York from California. And this year, Thanksgiving is at my house. My mom and I are going to cook the whole dinner, sides and all. I ordered a fresh, pasture-raised, sustainable turkey from Stone Barns. I think it received weekly massages and got to watch Scandal in a recliner, it’s been treated so well. I actually called to confirm that it will have no feathers. And no head. And that it will actually be dead. Yes to all three, thank God. I’m looking forward to cooking with my mom. I might actually toss a bit of flour on her face, perhaps a whole bag, to make up for all those lost years of having stained aprons and needing a stiff drink at the end of a long day of cooking. I’ll let you know how it goes.
Do You Have Thanksgiving Dinner Rules?
I’m having 16 people for Thanksgiving. Seven adults and nine kids. Here’s what I bet will happen with all those kids, including my own. The seven kids of the nine who have phones will all bring them to my house. They will check sports scores on ESPN and friends’ turkey photos on Instagram; they will text their friends to complain about how bored they are, how there isn’t another girl at this party who’s their age, how the stuffing isn’t like how their own mom makes it. There will be no spontaneous plays put on by all the girls and a couple of the boys who are different ages but found each other because that’s what kids are supposed to do at Thanksgiving dinners.
I was thinking of instituting some rules:
- When I was a kid, we wore nice clothes to holiday dinners. So the first rule is that they have to dress up. My house. My dress code. No athletic clothes. No hoodies. I might allow jeans if you wear a nice top but I’ll secretly resent you for not being more respectful (I know, I know, but it’s a holiday!).
- Second rule: no phones. Nothing your friend Isabella is doing at her Thanksgiving dinner is that important that you have to know about it Right Now. And if you’re looking at your phone, you’re not looking at the girl next to you who could become a new friend.
- Third rule, every kid is required to participate in putting on an original play/dance/musical performance either solo or with other kids at the dinner. It can be about whatever they want it to be about, they have a couple hours to make it up, and it can even suck. Just make me smile with your creativity, childhood enthusiasm, and sweet face.
I’m pulling a Justin Timberlake here and trying to bring Thanksgiving back. Aren’t you glad you weren’t invited to my house!
By the way, looking for a Thanksgiving read? My novel ON GRACE is on sale through Sunday only for 99 cents! (Kindle version only) Get it on Amazon here.
Do you have rules at your Thanksgiving dinner? Did you cook with your family? Tell me your story if you want in the comments below!!