Ready. Set. Go! That’s exactly how I feel right now. I mean, I just pitched my porch pumpkins. It's too bad, because they were in great condition. After all, who doesn’t love a splash of orange here and there throughout November.
But the bottom line is the holidays are here. Notice I neglected to say, ‘the holidays are coming’ but rather I said, ‘the holidays are here.’ Hanukkah has not coincided with Thanksgiving since 1888 and it won’t happen again for some 70,000+ years. Part of me is relieved to know that my children will not have to go through the same stressful circumstances that I am right now.
They will not have to shop for gifts before the sales start or use previous year’s leftover wrapping paper scraps. They will not have to dump perfectly good candy corn and replace it with See’s Candies chocolate coins before the aforementioned decorative pumpkins have thoroughly enjoyed their stay-cation. They won’t be looking for the Menorahs while ordering both a brisket and a bird. They won’t be pondering the long-term effects of mashed potatoes and potato latkes in one week.
Having said that, however, they also won’t get the pleasure of experiencing family mayhem that results in two amazing meals back-to-back like we do this year. We will have 25 guests from my immediate family enjoying brisket and brussel sprouts (I can’t give away the entire menu) on Wednesday night and Turkey with an Afghani twist on Thursday night.
It’s likely we’ll enjoy roasted nuts and fine wine at both houses. It’s a given that any hope of a modified eating plan will be pleasantly ignored. There will be a constant hum of conversation that is cherished by all. The stories will start, stop, and change topics so many times, no one will be able to keep track. And it’s ok. We will sit at the first chair we come to after serving our food and enjoy nibbling off the plate of the father, mother, husband, wife, sister, brother or cousin sitting next to us. We will laugh so hard we may tinkle and be sure to take too many duplicated pictures – just because we can.
This is family. This is my family. This orchestrated mayhem is welcomed by all and preferred at most family functions. I am extremely grateful for my large and chaotic family. In spite of moving furniture, renting tables and chairs, keeping lengthy lists of chores and recipes, I wouldn’t have it any other way. And like everyone else, we have cooking snafus, burnt recipes, broken dishes, and spilled wine. But there is simply no other group of people that can provide acceptance, tolerance and understanding like family.
The shopping, stress and struggles that occur during the holiday mayhem of this unique year will be completely forgotten when the doorbell rings. Scratch that. They don’t ring the doorbell, they just walk in.