Thanksgiving

“Why did I agree to this? What was I thinking? I’ve never cooked a meal this big in my life! Now, my family is counting on ME to make our Thanksgiving meal. “

These were the thoughts running through my mind as I sat at my kitchen table searching recipes and creating a game plan for the biggest meal I’ve ever made. I was distraught with the pressure of making an amazing Thanksgiving meal. Although I love to host and entertain I have never taken on such a large culinary endeavor. For the past several years my sister has hosted Thanksgiving and all I brought a side dish.  However, this summer I moved to a new home and my sister spoke with me about her desire to have a break from being in charge of Thanksgiving and asked me to take on the role this year. I excitedly agreed to the request since I love having people over and knew it was my turn to share the responsibility. I realized it would be a lot of work, but I hadn’t known exactly how much work it was until I began the preparations. 

As I searched for recipes and read about various versions of the same dish, I wondered how it would all turn out. I’m sure something will go awry and that there will be chaotic moments. I began to be curious about experiences that other people have had during the holidays and what hectic events they endured.  So I sat down in front of my computer and began to search for funny holiday stories. I found countless disaster tales of holiday mishaps. The most common theme I found was of people not accounting for the lengthy de-thawing process of the turkey, thus leaving them with frozen poultry on the big day. Many attempts had been made to expedite the process, but most of them involved submerging the turkey in a large body of water (bath tub, pool, hot tub).

Although the uncooked bird was the most common mistake confessed online, the story that had me in stitches was not based on a mistake made by the host. My favorite disastrous tale was based on an unforeseen and uncontrollable event. A new bride wanted to host Thanksgiving for her and her husband’s family. She and her husband lived in a two bedroom, one bath home. Although she knew it would be close-quarters she was eager to make it work. For weeks she had prepped and planned for the big event, however she could not have prepared for what was about to happen on the day of her first Thanksgiving. While the new wife was busily preparing the biggest meal of her life and anticipating the arrival of their entire family the plumbing in the bathroom burst! She and her husband scrambled to turn the water off. They were successful in being able to isolate the problem to the bathroom, but that meant nobody could use the bathroom until the problem was fixed. Since it was Thanksgiving the couple could not get anyone to come out to fix their broken plumbing.  The new bride revealed that whenever someone had to use the bathroom she would escort the person to the backyard and hand them a roll of toilet paper.    

I laughed so hard thinking about what an event that must have been for the new bride, her husband, and the family. Some things we know we can learn from, like the correct amount of time needed to thaw a turkey, but a broken pipe is something we have no control over. While reading all of these hilarious stories I was reminded of a quote by Charles R. Swindoll “Life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you react to it.” This statement is a reminder that our perspective and attitude have a great impact on how we handle life’s mishaps. It is inevitable that something will go wrong during my first Thanksgiving meal and I am grateful that I am prepared for this to occur. Through this research I know that no matter what transpires I am not alone in the hectic holiday mishaps. I’m sure that after Thursday, I too will have a funny story to share and although I will most likely feel distraught in the moment, I will look forward to the laughs it’ll bring for years to come.   

I hope you all have a Happy Thanksgiving full of family, friends, food, and stories. 

~Robin