it’s all about the turkey


Frozen turkeys have been haunting my dreams for the last few nights. We are rounding the corner to Thanksgiving, and this is our year. We are hosting. All I keep telling myself is “Don’t screw up the turkey.”

Recipes have been bookmarked, pinned, printed and scattered. I have grocery lists littered around the house. In the last two days, I have already made three grocery runs, elbowing through the aisles for that last can of green beans. Nothing says I’m Thankful like a mob of disgruntled holiday cooks.

This isn’t our first Thanksgiving dinner prep. But, it feels different this time.

My first year out of college, I wrote for a newspaper. And, because newspapers never sleep, I worked on Thanksgiving Day. Welcome to the real world. I had three options: Roll over to IHOP for a quick turkey feast, pretend Thanksgiving didn’t exist, or we could do it ourselves. The hubs and I hosted our first “Friendsgiving” in my little apartment.

We cooked everything and invited a few of my work friends to join us for an early Thanksgiving lunch, complete with Mr. Gobbler himself. We nailed it. At least, I think we did. Expectations are far lower for 20-somethings with no prior plans. That was kid stuff.

This year, we are all grown up and hosting dinner for parents, grandparents, friends and several siblings. This might qualify as the big league in our stage of life. While everyone tells us not to stress, we know there will be expectations. I have visions of us taking an ice pick to the turkey Thursday morning, or Austin attacking the pies in the darkness of Thanksgiving Eve, or forgetting the green beans in the green bean casserole. I envision catastrophe.

Most likely, some of these things will happen. Let’s face it. Austin is far too sneaky and quick to not devour at least one pie under the radar. And, honestly, I really am okay with all these unforeseen hiccups. Who wants a perfect Thanksgiving anyway?

The beautiful thing about our family and friends is they don’t care about perfection. Sure, we may will be teased mercilessly if we ruin the turkey, but that’s just part of the circle of holiday hosting. One thing I’m sure of is there will be laughter, and we will have fun, despite the glaring glitches.

This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for family, and I am thankful for friends. I am thankful for all of life’s wonderful imperfections.

…. And, I am thankful for IHOP who is open on Thanksgiving Day… Just in case.