Thanksgiving, Turkey Day, Day of Thanks, Family Gatherings, Friends Dinner, however you call it, I’m sure some of you have similar feelings about this annual day. My close friend, and previous San Francisco roomie, knows just how much I enjoy the holidays, the massive feasts and the delicious cocktails that pair the months ahead.
Fact: I may or may not be guilty of blasting the Christmas jams way too far in advance for any sane human being, but we do whatever it takes to survive right?!
I have to admit, I start planning my Turkey Day far in advance to keep our family of 20 well fed and drama-free (well, hopefully). The abundance of wine and scotch keeps things smooth for the most part; Glenmorangie is a fabulous scotch if you’re looking 🙂 Even today, I spent 15 minutes mentally plotting all of the different setups I could try in my dining room to accommodate the 10 adults and, of course, all of the children.
I do this every.single.year. Well, at least every year minus the year Frankie was diagnosed. There is something about having a house full of people that makes me smile (and sometimes tear up). I entirely anticipate the inevitable arguments over whether or not our new President will ruin our country or how the new marijuana law may impact California, but that is honestly the best part. I personally think our society has started to become so preoccupied with the saturated media displaying what we should do, how we should enjoy things and with whom, etc., that we are denying ourselves something REAL. We have forgotten the beauty in sitting around a table, sharing a glass of wine and arguing about things that we are passionate about in life. No cell phones, no television, maybe a little Dean Martin in the background, but simple, honest time with our loved ones, friends and family.
I’m not sure why so many of us get wrapped up in what we are presenting rather than making sure that we, ourselves, are present…I’m guilty of this, too.
I love to host, but this year will be different. As I enter the days leading up to my fat 25-pound turkey, I challenge myself (and any of you who feel inclined to join me) to be more present.
As the family rolls in and the stores become overcrowded with last minute Turkey shoppers, let’s try to stay focused on what matters. Let’s be grateful that we have family coming to visit us, even if by the end of the week we are looking for earlier return flights. Allow that one in-law to have the floor and be the loud voice in the room, because that’s what makes him comfortable; no need to challenge this year. Let’s remind our children to offer up their seats for a grandparent, allow them to help prepare the dinner (even if it takes a half hour longer), and then teach them the importance of cleaning up.
Lastly, remember to take a moment to enjoy that glass of wine and look around your home as family and friends fill it with love, laughter, cheer and joy. Soak it up. Allow yourself to be as present during this time as you possibly can and if you need to hide in the bathroom for a few, nobody’s judging.
I, along with my family, wish everyone a beautiful and memorable Thanksgiving. You can survive it!!!