I love people who set the table with formal precision, using place cards and evenly spaced forks and multiple wine glasses. This makes their guests feel fancy and loved.
I also love people who buy colorful harvest-themed paper plates and serve the meal on TV trays to save that dishes-washing time for extra cuddling later. This makes their guests feel relaxed and loved.
I love people who fold linen napkins into amazing designs and also people who spin stacks of paper napkins into silly little spiral towers.
I love people who get a thrill from cooking the entire meal alone, to serve their loved ones in one grand gesture.
And I love people who divvy up the menu, throwing caution to the wind, and eat everything anybody brings.
I love people who make reservations at restaurants and spend every spare minute talking face to face with their people then tip their waitstaff generously as a holiday gift.
Folks who order full traditional meals from boutique grocers? Love those folks.
I once worked at the bank with a woman who had been so poor as a young, single Mom that for Thanksgiving one year all she could afford was a Spam and canned vegetables. She added what she could to the Spam, served it, and counted her blessings. I think of her every single year while I am planning and cooking way too much food. I love her and her story.
I love people who buy a stack of frozen pie crusts on sale in August then thaw them in November and fill them with canned fruit fillings, and I obviously love people who spend hours mixing their own fats and flours to get the perfect flaky crusts then fill them with peeled fruits they probably grew at home.
I love people who fall asleep watching the Thanksgiving Day parade, and I love people who go on nature hikes while the turkey roasts.
I love people who insist on playing football during the Thanksgiving party, or watching it on television, and I love people who write complicated toasts for their people no matter how botched they end up every yea (me)r.
Some families are good at discussing hot button political topics over stuffing and pumpkin pie. Others wisely eschew this minefield and get really familiar with each other’s day to day life instead. I love it all. (Have you seen the SNL skit yet where they use the new Adele song to dissuade an explosive family fight?)
I love people who deep fry their turkeys just as much as I love those who roast it the same way every year, using Grandma’s pan and secret method. I love people who brine the bird and people who brown bag it.
I love the canned-cranberry-jelly citizens out there in Thanksgiving Land, and I love my grandmother’s raw citrus-cranberry relish and all who love that along with me.
Some people search out every traditional family recipe they can find, and others reach for a more global, cosmopolitan vibe for the Turkey Day menu. Still others (like the Snapp family we know and love) opt for their own unique tradition of steaks and baked potatoes. I love all of these people. Maybe especially the Snapps.
The different ways that people celebrate this pretty cool holiday are just delightful. I so enjoy looking around and noticing that, for all our homogenization and structure (and retail saturation), we can be a pretty imaginative and various culture. We are good at honoring our roots while growing our wings. And that is beautiful.
This Thanksgiving, enjoy your details, whatever they may be. Celebrate your traditions and your quirks. Love your people harder than ever. That’s my advice. And give some thanks, actively. It matters.
Very Happy Thanksgiving to You and Yours
from The Lazy W, Oklahoma