Pinky Pie

A successful Thanksgiving & Me

Posted on: November 26, 2010


The Turkey Cookie, from an old Eli family recipe.

How do you know you had a successful Thanksgiving?

  1. Your young adult son was so full he couldn’t finish what was left on your plate or his sister’s plate.
  2. No one went to the hospital.
  3. No one resorted to knives other than for cutting their turkey.
  4. A couple of new babies in the extended family plus two other little kids are part of the festivities.
  5. The table was decorated with wonderful hand-made turkey place cards.

Yes, it was quite successful. There was so much delicious food that even our human garbage disposal couldn’t fulfill his usual and customary role.

And the issue of the hospital is not just for amusement. We once had a guest who sadly suffered a heart attack the night of Thanksgiving. He is doing fine now and I don’t hold myself responsible – at least not too much.

As far as the knives and getting along, we have never had fisticuffs at any meal, let alone knives employed for vengeful purposes.

The new generation brought excitement and spunk, if not a big appetite. One proclaimed the dinner “a feast” after only eating Kraft macaroni and cheese and a turkey cookie. For his preschool Thanksgiving homework, he had to ask people he knew what his or her favorite Thanksgiving food is. His personal favorite is that aforementioned turkey cookie.

And Maggie spent hours making the place cards for the first T-Day in her home. She even allowed me to have my T in my place card without my even asking.

The Thanksgiving bonus was the annual day-after-Thanksgiving hunt for bargains. This morning, Maggie and I were out of the house by 4 a.m.

The first year that I participated in this annual rite of commercial madness, my friend Dorothy and I went out at something like 6 a.m. It seemed very exotic shopping that early. Now, stores open at 3 a.m. and even some at midnight. The crowds back when dinosaurs walked the malls, were not as large on the day after Thanksgiving and the trinkets were no big deal.

The second year we did the early morning prowl we added a friend and more free stuff was given away. Each year for the next few years the hour of store openings became earlier and earlier and we kept adding more friends to our group. Our goal was not to necessarily buy anything, unless it was an absolutely crazy deal. We also loved collecting the free stuff – junk – laughing hysterically from store to store.

While Maggie was in high school and during the first holiday that she was away at college, she worked retail so had no interested in this shopping trip. I believe some eyes were even rolled by the whole thing. The next year she and Dorothy’s daughter joined us. The madness hooked them.

Each year we mapped out our strategy for going from store to store, studying the Thanksgiving Day newspaper ads. We planned it store by store, making sure we hit the ones that gave out the best stuff. You had to be able to keep up with us and run to the van to get to on the next store. (And I had to remember where I parked the van.)

Then there was the year when Shopko – a discount chain in Wisconsin – gave out these giggle stuffed animal things that were incredibly annoying. But that didn’t mean we wanted them any less. Penney’s for years had these tiny Disney ornaments and one year we got reindeer antlers that made us look terribly noel-ish.

One friend was particularly adept at getting multiples of whatever the store offered. She was tenacious and small enough to weave through the crowd ahead of me. After leaving a shop, I might proudly proclaim with pride that I had two. She would have three. But most of all, she loved to show me how she had out-gotten me.

Of course, our junk went to her, whose resourcefulness was needed because she has many, many grandchildren, all “perfect.”

That we would walk into stores for the stuff and walk back out explains why stores no longer give stuff away free.

This year Maggie and I hit the stores, intersecting at times with her husband’s Aunt Anna, and her friend, Jill, Jill’s mother and cousin. In the end, I spent maybe $25 bucks, and that included a long goose feather dust mop.

Who knew I would mop up this Thanksgiving?  The actual dusting has yet to be seen; it’s not like I haven’t purchased cleaning equipment before. I’m sure the duster would be more effective if self-operated.







1 Response to "A successful Thanksgiving & Me"

Great work on the successful thanksgiving AND the high standards that you have set for having a good family.

I think most people were just glad that nobody said anything about whatever their particular elephant in the room was.

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