Thursday, November 28, 2013

Are You a Thanksgiving Hostess?

Nothing makes me feel more adult than hosting Thanksgiving dinner at our home.  I mean, kids in their 20's don't typically have the family over for turkey day.  You go to mom's house....or your aunt Susie's.  The family just doesn't usually congregate at the home of the youngest relative for Thanksgiving . 

And can you blame them?

When I was 21, I was eating Toaster Strudel for breakfast every morning and whipping up some Noodle-Roni for dinner each evening.  I was vegetarian.  My cookware consisted of hand-me-downs from my mom and a few discarded pieces I collected from old roommates.  I had exactly four matching dinner plates and a 14-inch TV.  Is that the kind of place you want to spend Thanksgiving?

I didn't think so. 

Naturally we all congregate at the comfortable home of our more "seasoned" relatives.  We seek out those that have comfortable seating in their living room, sufficient silverware for a large crowd, and cooking skills that have expanded beyond things that originate in a box or a can.  On Thanksgiving we want someone who has mastered the fine art of being a hostess...someone that knows that there is more to appetizers than a bag of Cheetos, and who has room in their  home to seat more than four guests around the dining table. 

Now that I have achieved the rank of Thanksgiving Hostess,  I'm feeling a little less than young.  Not old exactly, but mature.  Seasoned.  Experienced.  I've come to the other side. 

For those of you at home that might be wondering if this is your time....if you are of sufficient age and maturity to host the granddaddy of all feasts in your home, I have prepared a simple checklist.  Take a look and see if you are up for the task. 

You Might be Old Enough to Host Thanksgiving If....
  1. You understand that an oversized bird doesn't defrost overnight.
  2. You have inherited your grandma's fine china.  Or silver.  Or both.
  3. You can legally prepare and drink a decent Thanksgiving cocktail.
  4. You are no longer qualified to sit at the kids table.
  5. You can spell all the names of your relatives and assign them a seat at your table that will make everyone happy while avoiding unnecessary political debate or inappropriate family planning interrogations.
  6. You own a CrockPot and a tablecloth.
  7. You can make a pumpkin pie.  Apple is ideal, but pumpkin is a good start.
  8. You can assemble a menu plan on Pinterest.
  9. You've come to the understanding that Chinese take-out isn't considered a traditional Thanksgiving meal in most corners of America. 
  10. You are confident enough to serve your friends and family burnt potatoes and/or canned cranberries if things start to fall apart in the kitchen.
If you find that you are old enough to host your own Thanksgiving feast, don't despair.  It's not all juggling pots in the kitchen and a day-long dishwashing extravaganza.  You'll also get first dibs on leftovers, control over the seating chart and ultimate authority on delegating out the dishes that you don't want to make yourself! 

See?  Being hostess does have its advantages.  Even if you serve Cheetos as a side dish, your gracious guests will politely eat them. 

And probably make a mental note to take a turn hosting Thanksgiving next year.

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