Scaled-Back Thanksgiving

TurkeyToday is our U.S. Thanksgiving, a holiday to celebrate the season’s harvest with family and friends.

Each year since my spouse and I moved into the house that I built in 1998, we have hosted a Thanksgiving dinner. This even has morphed into a large gathering of family and senior pals who share a dish and join us for a pot-luck “Feastival.”

I have described this event for many years on this blog. This post was most descriptive a few years ago.

This year, however…

…the Spouse continues to feel unwell, and has not been able to help me prepare that much. He does not want to be around a crowd of people on the holiday because he does not want attention or questions about how he is feeling, so he will stay at a neighbor’s house all day. I will miss him very much, but the show must go on.

SwedishChefTurkey.jpgI tried to scale back the event to a more manageable size. Last year, we had 105 guests. This year, I there were 60 people on the guest list so that the event would be about a half-day (eight hours) instead of all day (14 hours) so the Spouse wouldn’t feel abandoned all day long.

However, that guest list has sorta edged up. What can I say when someone calls and says, “may I come with my friend (so-and-so)? Otherwise, I would be alone all day. I’ll bring… (name a rich, fattening dessert.)” I can’t say no. Thus, I expect now about 80? Sheesh…

Thankfully, sisters, brothers, nieces, and nephews will be helping with the hosting. All I do is cook four turkeys. The rest of the abbondanza will arrive with the guests.

We always have too much food, so at the end of a guest’s visit, we “pack a plate” of food to send back with the guest so that by the end of the event, there are few leftovers. My spouse and I both are on a restricted diet and cannot eat most of the breads, vegetables, and sweets that make up a bountiful Thanksgiving table.

Then almost as soon as that event is over, my Spouse and I will make a mad-dash to visit his mother in Pittsburgh on Friday, and deal with the dreaded holiday traffic. I am not looking forward to it, but what can we do? M-I-L is elderly and infirm, and all alone in the only house she has known for more than 65 years. She will not move and she cannot get out by herself, so she is in sad shape. We will try to bring a little cheer (though that is very hard.)

If you are in the U.S., I wish you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving. Wish us strength and stamina!

Life is short: show those you love how you love them.

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