Giving Thanks & Surviving Family Dinner

Today is one of America’s big holiday when we drug ourselves into comas with overdoses of tryptophan and melatonin and sheer gluttony. This ensures a good night’s sleep for the biggest shopping day of the year on Friday – and the kick off of the official Christmas shopping season, my least favorite time of year thanks to steamrolling crowds of crazed shoppers and blaring music at all the stores playing the same songs ad infinitum. But today, today is a day to be thankful that the stores are closed and we can spend some time with friends, family and good food.

While my mother was alive, we never had less than 40 people for Thanksgiving because if just my 5 siblings and their children came, we hit 40. But then, she invited every widow, widower and other solitary person and anyone else she could think of so the numbers often swelled to 70 or more.  Yay for big houses and miles of forest to play in. So, in order to survive in a fashionable sense, I followed some rules.

When you have 40 to 70 people at your house for dinner, it’s important to dress warmly because the door keeps opening and letting in the cold air which in a Minnesota November can be well below zero. With that many people, there’s always 5 or so on the balcony over the lake smoking away. Then the kids are running in and out.  Sure, body heat from that many people makes it cozy, too, but we would address that by turning down the furnace. This sweater from Zona Cero is perfect for that kind of steamy body heat/icy blast of cold sort of setting. Technically, it’s a dress, but I skipped the skirt.

Color choice is vital. Being a nice grey color, it also won’t show the turkey trail when the person you are sitting too close to at the table jostles your arm. The pants from Persona will also mask most of the spilled food…just watch out for the cranberries. It also won’t show the baby drool and other joys of being an aunt/great aunt. Being an afterthought, my siblings have children older than me. 8)

Boots are critical as you will be in and out of the snow all day long. These Novocaine ankle boots might be a tad short in the snow, but they don’t have too much ornamentation to hold snow and ice and let the damp seep in.

You will end up holding 3 to 6 babies in the course of the day… so don’t wear big earrings. It’s very dangerous.  Instead wear a big, bold and well-made necklace like this one from Dark Mouse that has a chain tough enough to stand up to baby-yanking. Just tuck it in your shirt when you go sledding after lunch.

And definitely wear messy hair because after baby-holding, skating with the nieces and nephews and then some after dinner target practice on the rifle range and some sledding down the big hill, your hair will be a mess anyway. Just start as you mean to go on or you will fiddle with your hair all day long. So, in short, dress for crawling on the floor and rolling in the snow. Don’t wear anything fragile and wear clothes dark enough that you can be spit on my a baby or two without worrying about your dry-cleaning bill.

I probably sound thankful that those madhouse family gatherings are a thing of the past, but in truth, I  miss them. I am thankful however that I had a mother whose hospitality was boundless and who could always make room for one or twenty more at her table and for a huge, loud, crazy and rowdy family that could never sit still after Thanksgiving Dinner but instead cleared the ice on the lake for a skating/ice dance bonfire on the ice and sleigh rides with my brother’s horses, sliding at reckless speed down the hill to the lake and even shooting at  stupid circles in the woods.  Football? What’s that?

****STYLE NOTES******

  • Poses:  Luth Reel Expressions
  • Skin: blowpop Mellie3 honey diamond girl
  • Eyes: IC-Eyes Soulful Hazel
  • Lashes: CyberNetic
  • Nails: Skin Deep
  • Hair: 0 Style Prissy
  • Sweater: Top from Zona Cero Lola Knit Dress
  • Pants: Persona Itaparica Grey Striped Pants
  • Shoes: Novocaine Movida Ankle boots
  • Jewelry: Dark Mouse Silver Star Set

2 thoughts on “Giving Thanks & Surviving Family Dinner

  1. Harper

    Lord, you make me nostalgic for my sister’s Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners back some 20 years ago. She played the host to us every year for many years, since she had the growing family, so Mom and Dad and I would go to her house, and there’d be a horde of us around the table. Not nearly as many as your family, but it would be busy there. These days, it’s just the four of my own family, with the extended family in other states.

    My son asked about that today, why we couldn’t have someone in for Thanksgiving. I told him that, if we were living about 30 miles farther down the road in another town, where there’s a military school, I’d be quite willing. Some of those poor kids don’t go home for holidays, and there would be a chance to offer a little home cooking to someone who’d have to put up with mess hall chow instead of a decent meal. Or if we were near an actual military base. (No matter who you have doing the cooking at anything even vaguely military in nature, the food ends up being chow. Can you imagine a Thanksgiving or Christmas MRE? [Shudder])

    I hope your Thanksgiving was fun and blessed!

  2. annabelladonner

    A very lovely trip down memory lane, Caj. Sounds like big fun to me. My grandmother usually hosted our big Thanksgiving meals when I was a kid. Tons of cousins, too much food, and massive football or volleyball games in the yard afterwards.

    Hope you had a wonderful day yesterday.

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