Archive | December, 2010

Thanksgiving Dinner For A Large Group- What I Learned

As I pack away the turkey salt-n-pepper shakers and look at the Christmas decoration boxes, I always ask myself if all this work was worth it.  Here’s what I learned this year from cooking Thanksgiving dinner (again) for a large group:

1.)  Yes, quite a bit of planning and work went in to making this, and every, Thanksgiving dinner special.

2.) Organization and the preparation made the actual day of Thanksgiving feel effortless.  

3.) By preparing ahead, all I had left to do was steam the green beans and watch my grandmother make her pan-turkey gravy (because nobody does it like Grams) while the turkey and casseroles baked in the oven.

4.) I had time to spend with my family and guests; and that’s what it’s all about, right?  What’s the point of having the people who are special to you in your home for dinner if you’re going to spend all of your time stressed in the kitchen wondering what to do next?

5.) So what was I going to do with all my extra time on Thanksgiving Day?  Have a re-enactment of the first Thanksgiving with the kids, of course!

6.) Still, more time on my hands to enjoy myself. 

7.) To sum it up, I learned that Grams’ gravy is the best, there will always be a little family drama, my kids will never forget playing pilgrims and indians, Connor gives the best kisses, planning and organization made it possible and yes, absolutely, the effort was well worth it! 

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My Christmas Eye Twitch

December 1st marks the day when “doing it all” takes on a whole new meaning for most of us.  It also marks the day that my Christmas eye twitch returns while I plot out the most efficient course to navigate my way through holiday shopping, school parties and entertaining.  It’s because today is the day I begin to really wonder if I am actually as prepared and organized enough to handle the next 24 days ahead as I thought.  On November 30th, I am confident that I am well prepared; but inevitably December 1st comes, as if the separation of 24 hours were more like months, and I flip the calendar page and think, all of this in only 25 days?

As I’m sitting here at my desk calendaring each event: Christmas photos, school parties, social parties, 2 charity events, Christmas cards, teacher gifts and entertaining; my four-year old daughter whom I love to call, “Princess Anne” enters.  I am engrossed in  planning and organizing in order to ensure my holly jolly Christmas while Princess Anne decides that I need a snack.  The first snack is two pieces of bread covered in sugar sprinkles with a heart-shaped lollipop that says, “HUG ME’ on it.  Here’s my holly jolly right here in front of me….and 24 days early.  My eye twitch disappears as she brings me next, tootsie-roll lollipops soaking in a bowl full of water, then a small plate of Kit-Kats topped with blue sugar sprinkles, followed by mixed nuts with cut-up American cheese and a cup of apple juice.

I thank her and give her a big hug.  As she turns to leave (after waiting to make sure that I take bites of each snack, of course), she says, “and don’t worry about the mess in the kitchen, Mommy.”  I wait for a moment to see if my eye twitch returns.  Nope.

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