Thanksgiving this year is being hosted by my lovely Sister and my awesome Brother-in-Law. I head over to their house on Wednesday when I get off work and will be there with my folks and Ellie until Saturday morning. I am excited for Sister because she has never had the opportunity to host a holiday. And, if you know my family at all, Thanksgiving is the B.I.G. one. The one with traditions. Some of them are kind of typical, like watching Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. Some of them are odd, like Dad always vacuums in the middle of the parade (so you can't hear the marching bands), unless, of course, the Radio City Rockettes are performing. Some of them we are flexible with, like do we make four pies or eight pies?
There is plenty of room for new traditions. New family. New friends. And always space for a new dish at the table (if you can find a bare spot, that is).
But then there are the things we do that are stronger than tradition. They are mandatory actions that take place when my nuclear family is all together for this happiest of holidays. These. Things. Must. Happen.
1. Pumpkin pies will be made no later than Wednesday. By Ashley.
2. Pecan pies will be made no later than Wednesday. By Mom.
3. Cranberry sauce will be made from scratch. To be fought over by Mom and Sister every (other) year.
4. There will be olives and pickles on a dish somewhere on the table. Hardly anyone will eat them. But they must be there.
5. Mom will wake up at 4 AM to put the turkey in the oven. In her pajamas.
6. There will be cheeseball for Dad. And crackers. He will eat too much of it and ruin his appetite.
7. The following movies will be watched in this order: Miracle on 34th Street. Its a Wonderful Life. You've Got Mail.
8. Everyone will fall asleep at the beginning of each movie, but wake up in time to put the next one in.
9. You will eat leftovers. On Thursday night. Friday afternoon. And maybe again on Friday night. Because there will be enough food for the one meal to feed three times the number of people actually at the table. And by the way, pie is an acceptable breakfast food on Friday.
Even though it is Monday and I still have a few days to get ready, I am fulfilling perhaps THE SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT TASK of the entire holiday. Hell or High Water, this task must be completed well before Wednesday night. So I am doing it. Right now. As we speak (write, read...). In my field clothes. With my boots and long underwear and compass still on.
10. Cornbread must be made in massive quantities for use in cornbread dressing (not stuffing). There will be too much cornbread, but making less may result in runny dressing, and is a risk NO ONE is willing to take.
So I have made three double batches plus one of cornbread. And if I'm lucky, this will be enough.
Even though we are changing things up this holiday on account of it being a Year of Changes, these ten things will happen regardless of the venue, hostess or company present. There is no point in fighting it. Because this is what we do.
And really, I can hardly wait!