Dear Family & Friends,
I know that you were eager to accept our family's invitation to
Thanksgiving dinner when you found out that the famous Martha
Stewart would be joining us. However, due to scheduling conflicts
beyond her control, Ms. Stewart finds that she is unable to grace
our table this year. With that in mind, there will be a few minor
changes regarding the meal and decor, as outlined below. Please
be aware of them, and adjust your appetite and dress appropriately.
1) Our driveway will not be lined with homemade, paper bag luminaries. After
several trial runs and two visits from the fire department, it was decided
that, no matter how cleverly done, rows of flaming lunch sacks do not have
the desired welcoming effect.
2) Once inside, please note that the entry space will not be decorated with
swags of Indian corn and fall foliage. Instead, we included our dog in
decorating by having him track in colorful autumn leaves from the back yard.
The mud was his idea.
3) The dining table will not be covered with expensive linens, fancy china,
or crystal goblets. If possible, we will use dishes that match and everyone
will get a fork. Since this is Thanksgiving, we will refrain from using the
paper SpongeBob dinner plates, the leftover Halloween napkins, and our
plastic cup collection.
4) Our centerpiece will not be a tower of fresh fruit and flowers. Instead
we will be proudly displaying a hedgehog-like decoration hand-crafted from
the finest construction paper and pine cones. The artist assures me it is a
turkey, albeit one without wings, legs, or a beak.
5) We will be dining somewhat later than planned. However, our daughter will
entertain you while you wait. I'm sure she will be happy to share every
choice comment her mother made regarding Thanksgiving, pilgrims, stuffing
choices, the turkey hotline, and, especially, her husband. Please remember
that most of these comments were made at 7:00AM upon discovering that said
husband had only remembered to pull the turkey from the freezer at 6:00 AM,
and that the thing was still hard enough to cut diamonds.
6) As an accompaniment to our daughter's recital of these events, I will
play a recording of Native American tribal drumming. Curiously, the tribal
drumming sounds a great deal like a frozen turkey in a clothes dryer, but
that only enhances the holiday appropriateness. If our daughter should
mention that we don't own a recording of Native American tribal drumming,
ignore her. She's only eight. What does she know?
7) A dainty silver bell will not be rung to announce the start of our
feast.. We have chosen to keep our traditional method of assembling when
the smoke alarm goes off.
8) There will be no formal seating arrangement. When the smoke alarm sounds,
please gather around the table and sit where you like. In the spirit of
harmony, we will ask all the children to sit at a separate table. In a
separate room. Next door. And I would like to take this opportunity to
remind our younger diners that "passing the rolls" is neither a football
play nor an excuse to bean your cousin in the head with bread.
9) The turkey will not be carved at the table. I know you have seen the
Norman Rockwell image of one person carving a turkey in front of a crowd of
appreciative onlookers. Such a scene may occur somewhere in America, but it
won't be happening at our dinner table. For safety reasons, the turkey will
be carved in the kitchen at a private ceremony. I stress "private", meaning
do not, under any circumstances, enter the kitchen to laugh at me. Do not
send small, unsuspecting children, or older, helpful grandparents into the
kitchen to check on my progress. I have a very large, very sharp knife. The
turkey is unarmed. It stands to reason that I will eventually win the
battle. When I do, we will eat.
10) For the duration of the meal, we will refer to the gravy by its
lesser-known name: Kraft Cheese Sauce. If a young diner questions you
regarding the origins or makeup of the Kraft Cheese Sauce, smile kindly and
say that you know the answer, but it's a secret that can't be revealed to
them until they are 18.
11) Instead of offering a choice among 12 different scrumptious desserts, we
will be serving the traditional pumpkin pie, garnished with whipped cream
and dog tongue marks. You still have a choice: take it or leave it.
That concludes our list of alterations. Again, I apologize that Martha will
not be joining us this year. Come to think of it, she probably won't come
next year either.