OK, here we go - time to officially launch into the holiday season. First up, Thanksgiving. There's a lot to think about, so let me break it down:
T - is for Turkey. This is a big one. Steam it, fry it, roast it, smoke it. Barbecue it, if you have to. It's the centerpiece for this occasion, and I know this because there is a giant turkey made out of construction paper in the middle of my kitchen table. Compliments of my first-grader. Got another one made of popsicle sticks on the fridge.
H - is for Ham. Ham is what happens when you decide you're gonna buck the system and not get a turkey. You say it's too much trouble, too much food, and a nice spiral-cut ham will be fine. Don't do it. Get the turkey.
A - is for Alcohol. Get that, too.
N - is for Nothing Being Off Limits. I don't know what it is about Thanksgiving with family, but be prepared for any and all stories about your past, the gum you stole from the convenience store, the guy you didn't marry, it is all fair game.
K - is for Kake, Kookies and Kranberry Sauce. I know, but this is harder than it looks.
S - is for Stuffing. Lots of it. For all you who steer clear of carbs all year, this is your day. Make it thick, make it hearty, lots of onion and gravy.
G - is for Get Out. The relatives get in Wednesday, and Thursday is spent eating and hearing about how you almost didn't graduate. So Friday, make your move. Go for a walk or to a movie. Better yet, walk to the movie, take in a double-feature, then walk home. By then the leftovers will be warmed up.
I - is for Inviting Diversions. Don't let your house party get stale. Bring in that crazy neighbor or that couple that finishes each others' sentences. Do not bring in additional children. Unless you need leaves raked.
V - is for Videos. Have on hand new movies, Christmas movies, home videos. (Don't forget the graduation video.)
I - is for Ichthyophagous. You know, fish eating. Don't invite ichthyophagous people to Thanksgiving. They will be hungry.
N - is for Never Having To Say You're Sorry. You had them all over, you fed them, it is what it is. So stop apologizing for everything. So what if you put marshmallows on the corn instead of the sweet potatoes. It's an honest mistake. A casserole's a casserole, there aren't any rules.
G - is for Giving. In this tough economic year, give all you can to those in need. And give yourself a break. It's not going to be perfect. So just give in. And enjoy.