Although the house wasn’t perfectly clean and with twelve cousins running around, I can’t say that it was completely relaxing, at the end of the day, Bill and I agreed that we met our goal:
Here’s what we did right:
1. Simple recipes. As tempting as the Southern Living spread was, I went with what we’ve tried before and hasn’t failed. We passed out the recipes and just enjoyed cooking together. Since they were recipes I knew, I was confident having the kids cook with me.
2. Cut corners where it doesn’t matter. I just don’t care about making my own pie crust. Neither does Bill. Neither do the kids. Pillsbury is good enough for us.
3. Don’t cut corners where it does matter. For us, this included Grandmother’s Cranberry Bread from Cranberry Thanksgiving
homemade cranberry sauce, dry-roasted pecans, two types of sweet potato casseroles (one with marshmallows and one with pecans), mashed potatoes, turkey and gravy, and several types of pies.
4. Simple decorations. The kids collected leaves and a lot of this kind of stuff:
Put in vases with candles around … It was quite lovely.
5. We said, “Good enough is good enough,” and loaded up the unmatched socks and laundry that didn’t quite get put away into laundry baskets, stuck them in the closet, and enjoyed the day.
Here’s the one thing that didn’t work. The Kid Tables. We’ve always just loaded everyone around our huge farm table, brought a child’s table into the dining room, and made it work. But this year, we had the adult table out on the sun porch, and two kid tables elsewhere. Next year, we’ll have everyone sit together, somehow, some way. I missed having them with us, and Bill and several of the kids said that they missed it too.
What about you? What worked? What didn’t? Before Thanksgiving fades into a blur of red and green, have a sit-down with your husband and possibly your kids and evaluate, and then write it down so that next year you remember what worked and what didn’t.