This year I’m off the hook!
For the last three years, our home has been nominated as Thanksgiving gathering spot for a group that nears 40 attendees.
I could go on-and-on about how it’s a great honor to serve my extended family (and strangers) on this special day. But just between you and me—it’s a monumental task and expense.
It’s a challenge to remain a cheer-filled host while others look (without asking) in your cupboards for sugar, corn-starch, vodka, band-aides and aspirin. It takes a special type of giving and loving person to plunge toilets for someone else’s… well you know.
Not all hosts are naturally “giving and loving” – and even if you are blessed with a giving heart, it tends to be thread-bare by the 11th hour. Either way, we continue to put on this happy host face once a year till the guest are gone.
We grin and bear it.
This year, I’m lucky – no grinning and bearing required. Instead I’m gonna enjoy my jolly self at someone else’s home, and have a true “Comedy Central” styled ROAST!
So without further ado, and much love, I wish to nominate my prior Thanksgiving guest for a roast. And in the same note, I’ll be roasting myself.
~ ~ ~ A Special Thanksgiving Roast ~ ~ ~
The Hostess with the Mostest
The hostess who does everything perfectly like Martha Stewart is a woman who needs a hug. Her pre-Thanksigiving to-do lists and loads of prep go unnoticed – while her heaping amounts of grace that dissolve like snow cones on a sweltering summer day unfortunately is the thing guests notice. On the great day of thanks, it never fails—her feathers get a little ruffled as the crowd piles into the home. Like Martha, she tries to hide the overwhelmingness with a magnum of champagne. She’s so much more enjoyable after that 2nd glass.
The Invited Inept
I fess up, I’ve never been a phone-chatty person. I refuse to spend a day inviting family via the telephone when I can do it quickly and swiftly with Evite.com. I love Evite.com.
As one of the youngest “adults” of the Thanksgiving crowd, my modern method of inviting guest this way causes havoc and mayhem. I should be satisfied that everyone appears to have an email address. Yet some never check their email (or they change their email address year after year – really? why?).
Eventually through the grapevine, I’ll hear that someone has become concerned because they didn’t get invited. NOT TRUE. To which I sweetly respond “have you check your email?” After three years, sadly I’m sounding like a broken record. Getting a timely and proper RSVP with some of the family is like pulling teeth.
The only person who deserves buckets of grace is Grandma. Because we all love our Grandmas, and we don’t expect them to be email hip. Plus, mine makes amazing fudge.
Always give grace to those who make OMGOSHSOGOOD fudge.
Non-committals are those who either won’t RSVP or won’t commit to bringing something on the Thanksgiving Potluck “needs” list. If they actually RSVP, they reply “I’m not sure what to bring, I’ll let you know” or “let me know what to bring.”
(ummm, there is a list – have you considered looking at the list)
It’s not just my family that does this – I meet these people everywhere. In fact I’m certain there are several in your families and clans.
The Kitchen Meddlers and Cooking Challenged
If you are a skilled cook, then you already understand this pitiful group. They desperately want to be involved. They want to wear an apron and don oven mitts.
But these kitchen flunkies have a reverse Midas Touch on everything they handle. They over salt and are heavy-handed with pepper. They are known to continually open the oven—letting the heat escape—because they like to inspect the bird and use that “big eye dropper thingy.” HELLO, it’s called a baster, and you shouldn’t be using it, and stop opening up the oven!
One year my father-in-law, who is a skilled cook in his own mind, was determined to carve the bird. And by determined, I mean no one was going to touch that bird that he did not cook. I was blankly told, “Carving is a man’s job.”
Graciously I handed over the knives; admittedly he carved with skill. There was no need for my supervision, so busied myself with the zillion other last-minute tasks.
Then, out of the corner of my eye I saw the most hideous of things. I even shudder as I recall the event.
Piles of lovely brown roasted skin were being discarded into the trash.
I was not gracious. I came undone. I became a …well it rhymes with “itch”.
By-the-way, this is one of those stories that tend to get retold each year. I am the object of “roasting”. But SERIOUSLY, throwing away tasty delicious skin? That is a cardinal sin, dare I say the unforgivable sin of tossing skin!
Clean-Up Queens and Hoarders
I am ever so thankful that there are Clean-Up Queens in my family.
One year, I walked away from the kitchen with ease—knowing the Queens had the task covered. That would prove to be the last time I would do this.
After all the guests had left I discovered that my Tupperware (the good expensive kind) and Ziploc bags were used up and gone. And the worst part?—none of my Tupperware came back home.
As to the leftovers from the two turkeys we provided, none was left for us. Someone had hoarded the loot for themselves.
Like Alice in Wonderland, I’ve wised up to the Queens. Now I sit on the counter, smile and guard my Tupperware. I reserve just enough turkey for my husband and I to enjoy one sandwich the next day.
And as we enjoy our left-over turkey sandwich, we laugh over the antics of the previous day’s event. In the end we decide it was all worth it and consider hosting again.
Luckily, like I said – this year I’m hosting free. But for those of you that are hosting, let me just offer this sweet blessing to you:
Lord, so often times, as any other day,when we sit down to our meal and pray
We hurry along and make fast the blessing. Thanks, amen. Now please pass the dressing
We’re slaves to the olfactory overload, we must rush our prayer before the food gets cold.
But Lord, I’d like to take a few minute more, to really give thanks to what I’m thankful for.
For my family, my health, a nice soft bed, my friends, my freedom, a roof over my head.
I’m thankful right now to be surrounded by those whose lives touch me more than they’ll ever possibly know.
Thankful Lord, that You’ve blessed me beyond measure, thankful that in my heart lives life’s greatest treasure.
That You, dear Jesus, reside in that place, and I’m ever so grateful for Your unending grace.
So please, heavenly Father, bless this food You’ve provided, and bless each and every person invited. Amen!
A Thanksgiving Prayer By Scott Wesemann
To all my readers, I am thankful for you. I hope your Thanksgiving is blessed and filled with cheer, even if they do look through your cupboards, clog your toilets, and take your Tupperware.