When one gives birth to four children (not at the same time, silly!), one figures that once those small babies grow up, holidays could be tricky, attendance-wise. Fortunate for me, mothering four of my little progeny did enable me to become something I never was before - flexible!
I determined that I would roll with the plan that would work out best for children even when it works out that Hubby and I are by ourselves- like last Christmas. (Top Secret: It was a wonderful time. But we acted like we missed everyone. Well, we did, but we were quite comfy in front of the fireplace with our books and music....:D)
This Thanksgiving Eldest/Admin had their turn at the other parents. Eldest Son and Lovely Wife have family in our town so they were taken care of. Youngest Son jumped in the car with us and we high tailed it northerly in some sleety kind of rain to join Baby Girl and Her Hubby for a Thanksgiving that ranks up there with Very Memorable.
BG and Her Hubby live in the married housing on Purdue University's Lovely Campus. Economically, fabulous for them, but square footage-wise, a bit on the short side.
When we first decided to join the Very Soon To Be Parents for The Day, there were the pesky worries about space for turkeys in an apartment size stove. Concerns about sitting space and counter space. So being so very flexible, I searched for just the right petite turkey recipe with the modicum of oven usage. BG came up with stove top recipes whilst I commandeered the oven. It worked out swell.
When the menfolk started moving furniture around for space to eat, BG's Hubby and Youngest Son discovered a very large leaf to their fairly new table, hidden conveniently and efficiently underneath. When I say 'new table' I mean that it is new to them. The story of how E/A and BG absconded with the find on the street of inner city Cincinnati and jammed into a smallish Honda, is quite good; the kind that makes a Thrifting Mama proud. When we inserted the leaf, our counter space opened up and we were in business. BG's Nine Month Pregnant Body settled in for a good rest and we listened to her as she delegated assignments from her perch on the couch. We were all in the same room/rooms (Kitchen, dining room, living room are all the same) so we did all things as one unit which made things cozy, fun and lovely. The Former Non Flexible Deb would have found this whole set up completely unsatisfactory, but the new, improved very flexible Deb, found it crazy fun and couldn't have asked for a better set up. We set the tables with a vintage tablecloth, odds and ends of BG's Thrifty Finds and the ever flexible mama, even allowed Thanksgiving to continue without candlesticks or even candles! It was my job to bring them, according to BG's very thorough list, but alas, candles did not make my list. And we had a most amazingly delicious meal despite a lack of candlelight. The constant drizzle (and pounding down) of rain set an even cozier feel to the teeny apartment. BG's Hubby, not one to sit too still for too long, decided early in the day, that he was going to build a bookshelf. Having known this young man for nearly ten years, I didn't even blink. He just knew, having known me for ten years, that he could not interrupt the cooking or the eating while carrying out his plan. So while I chopped, sauteed, trussed and blanched, BG's Hubby was out in the rain, by the apartment's storage shelter, hand sawing large planks of wood that he had scavenged out of house that was being torn down. He brought the shelves in after the meal was finished, the dishes done and the pie not yet sliced into. The excitement of the feat brought on a complete rearrangement of the little space from the Main Room, sprinkling over into a hallway organizational coup that BG and I accomplished.
We sliced into the Squash Pie nearly at the end of our Thanksgiving Home Makeover and proclaimed the day one of the most interesting and productive Thanksgivings ever.
Recently, I watched a television program where this woman completely remodeled her home, a mansion of sorts, and throughout the whole show, she kept referring to the fact that it was necessary (this major overhaul on a home that looked just dandy to me!) because she was having family in for Thanksgiving. I do so want to write her a note and tell her how much fun and just a bit cheaper than her foray into justifying major indulgence, that we had and how I wish she could have been as flexible as I am. I could have saved her a bunch of dough and the looks on her sons peevish faces could very well have been a bit happier.
Do not limit your hospitality by being 'prepared'; sometimes the finest times are those times where you are blissfully at the mercy of situations......
Enjoy your company this holiday season......