Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Perfect Thanksgiving

Here it is. Another Thanksgiving come and gone. I can't help but marvel at the fact that I am not yet 40, yet I have hosted Thanksgiving dinner in my home for almost half my life so far. When I say hosted, I don't just mean everybody come over and use my house, I mean working-myself-into-a-frenzy-cooking everything from scratch-making sure-everything is perfect-oh my goodness is this something Martha (or my mother)would do? hosting. It made for many of tense situations between my husband and children when they were not in place...(hubby always seemed to disappear somewhere in the house about dawn, rarely to reappear until the guests were gone). I think back to all those years getting so caught up in the little details that I missed some wonderful opportunities to just be. Be with my grandmothers and great aunt and uncle who are no longer with us. Be with my family just enjoying them and catching up on their lives....Instead of lurking in the kitchen....

It's actually been two years since I have hosted at our home. When the youngest graduated from high school, I decided no more. Time for a change. That year we actually went nowhere! Hubby and I stayed home and watched the boxed set of a season of the TV show Lost. I didn't cook and it was okay! I don't even know if we ate! Last year dinner was hosted by my aunt and uncle. It was so nice to just show up somewhere with a dish and just eat and socialize without the pressure (self inflicted of course) to make everything just so.

This year though, despite telling everyone it was not going to be at my house, It was at my house. Only because my aunt made plans to host it at her clubhouse in the development they live in but somehow it was double booked and she had to be the one to lose out. How could I tell my favorite aunt no you can't have it at my house?? (in good conscience that is, I guess I could have said no...)

It was okay though. I guess technically, I didn't host because she made all the arrangements, set the time and planned the menu. All I did was make a turkey (and not that good of one either). I made a pie and a cake (because I wanted to). That was it. I used a piece of fabric....(the ends weren't even finished!!) for the table cloth. I was going to use pinking shears....I know!!! I didn't even sew it!(Mummy had a fit, but in the end even she was okay with it). I had multiple tables and the linens DIDN'T EVEN MATCH! (One was actually an old curtain...) I didn't care that the tables and chairs didn't match, I didn't care that I hadn't mopped the floor or vacuumed the rug (why?? It was going to get dirty anyway and no one was looking that closely at the floor and if they did...well WHATEVER) People, It was so liberating to just go with the flow. I enjoyed my family, I caught up on their lives. I was relaxed and really had a chance to think about how blessed I am.

Funny how life is. Now the kids have their own lives and their significant others to take into consideration when planning for the holidays. I have to respect that and not put pressure on them to make choices that will cause them to dread the holidays. I am so okay with that. This year finally I realized that there is perfection in imperfection. I couldn't have asked for a better Thanksgiving.