Thanksgiving. That lovely holiday, with the family gathered around the table. Soft music plays in the background, snow gently falls outside. Dad is carving the succulent turkey while the children sit quietly in their seats, mouths watering. The conversation circles the table as each person describes the many things they have been thankful for this past year.
Thanksgiving, that hectic holiday. Mom is trying to gather the family, put the final touches on the dinner, pour the drinks, and carve the turkey, all at the same time. At one end of the table, Aunt Mattie is well into yet another stomach-turning description of her recent root canal. At the other end, Uncle Milt has clearly imbibed too much eggnog. Grandpa is complaining that the pouring rain is making his rheumatism flare up. The eight-year-old twins are poking one another with their forks and fighting over who will get the drumsticks, while the football game blares from the TV in the next room. No one has seen Dad in the several years since he ran off with that floozy account manager.
Once again Thanksgiving has come and gone. This year was lovely… relaxed (we went to our daughter’s and son-in-law’s house, so I got a break from doing all the cooking and cleaning), quiet (there were only five of us), and fun (I love playing Apples to Apples!).
Previous years haven’t been quite so idyllic. There was the turkey still frozen inside, and others fit for offering at Solomon’s temple. We’ve grimaced through crunchy sweet potatoes, and gravy with more lumps than tapioca.
I’ve learned to handle traditions with kid gloves. One year I tried offering fresh green beans with prosciutto, caramelized onions, and sautéed mushrooms… only to find that my husband’s family had to have green bean casserole. Another year, the crispy green salad I made (with lots of seasonal goodies mixed in) sat and wilted while my sister-in-law’s jello disappeared. My delicious homemade whole wheat buns have been voted out in favor of Pillsbury’s crescent rolls.
This poem is widely distributed on the web. It made me laugh, so I thought I would share it with you. I have no idea who the original author was… if you do, please let me know so I can give credit where credit is due!
When I was a young turkey, new to the coop,
My big brother Mike took me out on the stoop,
Then he sat me down, and he spoke real slow,
And he told me there was something that I had to know;
His look and his tone I will always remember,
When he told me of the horrors of… Black November;