“How To Prepare A Flawless Thanksgiving Dinner In Twenty Minutes Or Less!”
“Silence Your Mother-In-Law’s Criticisms Forever With Your Holiday Splendor!”
“Recipe For World-Peace-Bringing Pumpkin Pie!”
Bullshit, bullshit, and more bullshit!
Fellow mothers, it doesn’t have to be this way. This year, I’ve made it my mission to free you from turkey tyranny by giving you the cold, hard facts about this warmest of family celebrations. Trust me, you’ll thank me.
Let’s start with the morning. You have a plan of distraction for the kids, don’t you? Well, forget it. No one but you will be even slightly interested in watching the Thanksgiving Day Parade. No matter how many times you yell, “Look, Garfield, look an M&M,” your children will go right on screeching, pinching each other, and destroying your house while you’re trying to cook.
And, remember that “final” pushing, shoving trip to the grocery store? Turns out, “final” is a relative term. As in, you will realize that you forgot something and have to ask a relative to make a last minute run to the convenience store. It’s inevitable. Hint: it’s probably ice.
That big, hearty breakfast that no one would touch will cross your mind more than once when your children become crazed with hunger about an hour before the grand meal. The handful of crackers that you give them to tide them over will be just enough sustenance to insure that they won’t touch the “real” food and act like apes at the table.
The turkey will be undercooked. Or, dry. Or, unsightly. Or, whatever. Face it; the bird has its own hotline. So, obviously, disasters happen.
Finally, the sumptuous holiday spread that you slaved over will be over before you even manage to sit down and get a forkful to your mouth. But, don’t worry; you’ll have plenty of time to linger . . . while you’re cleaning up!
So, now that you know the real deal, how do you deal?
A few tips:
• When your husband (or anyone else, for that matter) wanders into the kitchen and halfheartedly asks if you need any help, surprise him by saying, “Why, yes, I do!” Ask him to peel potatoes or set the table. Better yet, put him in charge of the children – preferably, outside.
• Many of us grew up exiled to the kiddie table during holiday dinners. Now, it’s your turn to banish the under eight set! Trust me; both kids and adults are happier with at least six feet of separation during the meal.
• Give yourself a break. We’d all love to wow our respective clans with a Martha Stewart like performance, but how important is that, really? Thanksgiving is supposed to be about gratitude, not grandstanding! So, instead of stressing about your less than perfect culinary creations, slow down, relax, and take a moment to be grateful. After all, you’re with the people who love you, lumpy gravy and all!
Kelli Simpson spends her spare time blogging about Mom-life at The Zen of Motherhood. This year, she is grateful that her Mama still makes the stuffing, and her Grannie still makes the pies!