Guest blogger Annie: My sister, my uncle and I spend Thanksgiving together every year. My mother lives out of state, but we never really celebrated with her, anyway. When my grandmother was alive, she joined us. When my uncle was in a 12-year relationship, his in-laws were there. When my sister was married, her in-laws attended. But things have changed. My sister and I both have children; my grandmother has died. My uncle and my sister are now single.
Last year, my sister had her then in-laws over and she rented tables and invited coworkers. The year before, my uncle had dinner catered and all the strays and orphans attended the buffet meal. But this year, we wanted it to be just us. When we were trying to determine who would make what, we decided: Let's go out.
You see, none of us are good cooks. We can follow a recipe, but we don't love doing the deed. We cook when we have to, but we are comfortable with the fact that we are not Suzy Homemakers. We also don't own fine china, don't have dining room tables in our homes and don't like to clean. So we are figuring there's no harm in going to a restaurant this year.
We searched and vetted all of the possible places to dine, and finally settled on a local restaurant. It's not too extravagant and not too down-home. They offer a prix fixe holiday dinner menu. We are in California, so the seating is outside; they have heat lamps so we won't freeze. There is also a fountain, so if the kids get restless, we can take them for a walk and not feel silly if they scream and yell.
I'm sure the food will be better than any disgusting yams with marshmallows that we would have attempted to concoct. We won't have to spend hours preparing. And, most importantly, our cleanup will take as long as it takes to say, "Thank you, and have a nice holiday."
So far, I'm not feeling disappointed. I'm looking forward to it like I would any Thanksgiving dinner in any previous year. In fact, I'm excited that there will be no arguments, no tension and no sweat. I'll let you know after the fact if I feel the same way.