We woke up at five o’clock in the morning to put a twenty pound naked bird into the oven. Stuffing and mashed potatoes would come later. Coffee in hand I stumbled around the kitchen trying to pull everything together. All I wanted to do was go back to sleep but the beep, beep, beep of my alarm clock on full blast forced my tired eyes open. Only ten short hours to finish preparations before the family descends on our house for the feast of the year!Â
My husband spent some time setting the table and he used name tags at each place so we’d know just who to put where. On a day like this I was especially glad we were tackling the preparation together. Plus, he was always the one who knew just how to arrange the family so no one ended up fighting by the end of the day. He looked over at me and smiled. His smile grew into a chuckle and he pointed at his head then at mine.
With a smirk I nodded. I knew my hair was looking like something out of a hair-band video from 1988. I stuck my tongue out at him and went back to the other side of the room to finish preparation on the food.
As I got busy choosing the spices and creating sauces that would be sprinkled or slathered on the many entrees later that day, my nose filled with the warm scent of comfort. I couldn’t wait to sink my teeth into a piece of my Aunt’s world famous strawberry-rhubarb pie, the in-law’s green bean casserole complete with crunchies on top. My mouth began to water just thinking about it as I went to pull out our vintage gravy tureen.
Hours passed and the sun had finally risen in the front yard. I turned on the football game and my husband went to take a shower to get ready for the arrival of guests. I ran around the house lighting tasty smelling candles and making sure to turn the lights off behind me in each room. The guest room was prepped and ready just in case anyone found themselves in need of crashing overnight.
I made sure to keep the thermostat set a little lower to save some energy. Once everyone was in the house and the oven was done cooking up the deliciousness I knew the house would heat up on its own. So much so that some member of the family was sure to complain it was too warm. I, on the other hand, was always cold. With my shawl wrapped around my shoulders I went to answer the door. Our first guest had arrived!
Within what felt like minutes the entire family had shown up as well as a few friends. They were transplants from other areas of the country and would have otherwise spent the holiday alone. Well I couldn’t let that happen! Everyone was welcome.
The oven was done with the magic it performed in perfecting all our food to the point where it looked almost too good to eat. Almost. I took each pan full of sustenance out to cool. Each menu item was transferred into the fancy dishes. They had been passed down through generations but only made an appearance once a year at this time. Hot bowls in hand I placed each on a trivet at the table and we all came together to sit down and eat.
Weeks of preparation, days of planning, and hours spent cooking, were all over in what felt like the blink of an eye. People started moving their dishes to the sink, sprawling out on the sofa to take a nap, or heading out to the back yard to pretend to play football. Everyone remarked how delicious dinner was and thanked us for such a great meal. I thanked each of them for being there with us to enjoy it.
After the last guest had made their way out into the chilly night to head back home (no one stayed over), my husband and I were left all alone in our now pin-drop-quiet house. All I could think was how much I loved the real spirit of the season â€“ giving thanks for the many joys that life has to offer. Well, that and getting to bed early!
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
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Jenn Flynn-Shon is an Author of fiction novels featuring strong female lead characters and is a frequent Guest Poster on various blogs. She has been an Etsy seller and a member of Team EcoEtsy for over five years. You can learn more on her website.