Friday, November 14, 2014

I'm Stressing Too Much....Again.

Yes, Thanksgiving is fast approaching.

 Thanksgiving is the time of year when you don't give gifts.....you just join together and give thanks for all you have in your life.
I didn't celebrate Thanksgiving for 3 years when I first got over here in England. They don't celebrate it- and why would they? I missed celebrating it with my family and friends. So when I met Julia who was a "Mercan" too- she hadn't celebrated Thanksgiving in 10 years,since moving away from the states, so we decided to get together and celebrate Thanksgiving together.
It was wonderful being with someone who knew the traditions behind the holiday, and we spent the day together cooking and chatting and making a few new memories. It was lovely.

So we decided to do it again this year as well. But somethings changed.  This time it seems like walking thru treacle(Molasses) the entire way.

I've scouted out new holiday dishes(China no less so it's usable on different holidays). I found(and then LOST AGAIN) my special linen tablecloths from my mama's linen closet she gave me. I've bought battery operated candles to use on the table so we don't set of the fire alarms with REAL ones. I bought silk maple leaves and a couple of other decorations on the Internet so the table will be lovely. If I can find my tablecloths I'm going to make napkins out of the smaller one and fit the linen one to the size table we have.

I've bought specialty foods from a company that imports from the states.

Dinner parties don't just happen- there's a LOT of thought and work and love goes into these events.
 You have to take every ones tastes and allergies into consideration. You have to think of every ones favorite dishes and try to have that one thing that makes it special for everyone who is invited. You have to make sure you have  dishes and chairs and table space for everyone who shows up. You have to think about overnight guests sometimes. You have to think about how much food is needed- and how much wine....you don't want too little- but at the same time you don't want to have an overabundance of it either.  You have to think about cleaning- and cooking- both the day before and the day OF the dinner. You have to think about storing leftovers. You have to think about music- or entertainment- ....do you decorate the Christmas tree? Do you put on a crackling fire video? or do you watch a Movie or play board games. Or do you just talk...or any combination of the above. If you play music- you have to consider your guests taste in music.......You have to decide the degree of formality the dinner party will be. Black Tie? Sunday Best? or Comfy Casual?

Everthing has to be timed so (hopefully) everything that's hot comes to the table hot- and everything cold stays cold til it's ready to be served.
It's all about timing.

And This year I've come to a decision.......I'm not doing Thanksgiving every year anymore. Maybe every other year Julia and I can get together and celebrate it together- but Not every year. As the words of the great Danny Glover once said- "I'm getting too old for this" It's taking too much out of me. Instead of it being calm and relaxing holiday- I get stressed out to the max because the Southern Hostess in me wants everything to be just PERFECT. Not "close enough"- I want perfection.

Julia told me today she doesn't know what she's doing...as in cooking for Thanksgiving dinner.  I about had a panic attack at my desk. Thanksgiving is less than two weeks away. We've known we were doing this since last year- and been talking about it and planning (for my part) for the past three months!  This year Thanksgiving should be interesting to say the least.

Next year- I'm doing a small Christmas Drop in Mid December for the holidays instead of a big Formal Thanksgiving Dinner. A couple of hours in the evening with Finger foods galore.....and no alcohol. Except a bit of Brandy in the eggnog.

Quiet, simple & low-key. Much better for my blood pressure.





5 comments:

Michael Dodd said...

Our tradition (?) has been that Tom's extended family -- his ex, her husband, the four adult kids and any spouses or partners -- all come for a few days around Christmas. It has become a major headache, co-ordinating kosher, gluten-free, and just plain old "That's what I always had and that's what I want -- NOW!" cooking. And not just one meal: Christmas Eve dinner, Christmas breakfast, Christmas Dinner, etc. Plus decorations, gift exchange, family dynamics.

A couple of years back, for some reason, we had to do Thanksgiving instead. Compared to Christmas it was a breeze.

But I am a firm believer in letting things go when they get to be a burden rather than a joy. Sometimes it has been hard for me to say goodbye to things that were once so much a source of joy and fun. When I realize that my face now aches from fake smiles, though, it is time to make some changes. Even if there are some tears along the way.

"Quiet, simple & low-key." Sounds really good!

PS -- When I re-read this, I saw that I had typed "Christmad Dinner." Freudian slip?

Sunny said...

Christmad sounds about right,tho...especially for me!
Everyone knew what to expect for Christmas Brunch at my house......
scrambled eggs
Ham/bacon
hand made biscuits
Southern fried potatoes
And always Orange Danish Rolls.
Coffee,milk,sweet tea, eggnog or hot chocolate for bevvies.
You want somehing else? You better bring it and cook it yourself.
😉

Box Head Bindi said...

Wow, that does sound like a load. Especially since you are in Europe. It seems like it would be easier if you had someone else co-host with you? Along with your friend Julia?

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Michael Dodd said...

How did it go?