Friday, November 15, 2013


Over the years, I have written quite a bit about traditions and rituals and how important it is to me to have things that mark time and signify special relationships with people. Just last night, for example, I had my regular weekly dinner with Munchkin, which we have done basically every week since she moved here, and have continued despite her now living across the river in The People's Republic. Our dining companions may change from week to week, but you can be sure that we'll be together for dinner on Thursday nights if we're both around.

Tomorrow night is another one of my favorite traditions: Practice Thanksgiving! I believe this is the 8th annual (although maybe my fourth?), and it consists mostly of The Boy's softball team and their spouses/boyfriends/girlfriends. Only one of two of them are really what I would call "close friends", but they are a really fun group and it is always a great time. And it is a co-ed team, which saves some of the awkward "Oh, the guys all know each other and the girls know no one..."

It's exactly what it sounds like: a practice run for the big Thanksgiving dinner. As one of the guys explained to me a couple of years ago (also, there is a LOT of booze), "Thanksgiving is simply too important to go into without warming up and working out the kinks. You need a practice run to get your plan in order...don't overdo the appetizers, avoid the garbage like green beans and cranberry sauce, and make sure you allow the appropriate plate and stomach space for stuffing. If you just showed up on Thanksgiving unprepared, you would be tempted to eat too much cocktail shrimp and crab dip, and by the time the bird shows up, you're all tapped out." It's pretty sound reasoning.

So, it is usually 25-30 people, and everyone gets dressed up (which in itself is kinda funny, since these people basically know each other in dirty, sweaty of them got married a couple of years ago and a bunch of us were at the wedding, at which one girl on the team exclaimed to another girl on the team "Jenna, you're...pretty!!!") The captain of the team and his wife are the hosts, and they do a turkey and stuffing, and everyone else is in charge of bringing something, including a second turkey.

It's just really, really fun, and I look forward to it every year. We're on mashed potato duty this year (and by "we", I mean "The Boy") and there will be oodles of other food as well. Frankly, for reasons that many of you know, this is probably going to be sort of a tough Thanksgiving, and some of the regular traditions will have to change...but this is a purely fun one that should get the whole Holiday season kicked off right!

1 comment:

Lori S-C said...

Practice Thanksgiving is a brilliant idea!
Hang in there. Holidays always have the potential to be rough... My strategy is to try to make something fun happen to distract myself and everyone else from the changes in tradition... we usually have some sort of entertaining games with prizes (everyone likes a prize) and good beverages around as well....