For the past couple of years, it has been my joy and pleasure to host Thanksgiving. For a person who loves to cook, and loves to have folks over for dinner, Thanksgiving is the holiday. And for the most part, a person can get away with shamelessly making it all about the food. Yes, yes, there’s the bit about gratitude, but that doesn’t usually get in the way.
Just to give you a sense of what I’m talking about here, this is my menu from last year:
slow-roasted turkey (from the Amish Farmer’s Market)
mole (Oaxacan chile-chocolate sauce, pronounced “mo-lay”)
cream-braised Brussels sprouts
rice & nut loaf (vegetarian entree)
vegetarian brown gravy
kale & olive oil mashed potatoes
caramelized onion & cornbread stuffing
fresh cranberry sauce
Hindes garlic & artichoke dip
This doesn’t even include all of the wonderful contributions from our guests. Needless to say, there was a TON of food. A ridiculous amount. But honestly, it was hard for me to share – not to share the food, mind you, that’s the easy part. It was hard to share the work, to let others contribute.
As the hostess, I wanted everyone to come and relax and have a wonderful time. If there was work to be done, I wanted to shoulder it all. Was I wanting to be the object of everyone’s gratitude? Ugh. Probably. Oh, the things a person does for affirmation and love.
Knowing this about myself, I do typically allow others to help out and bring their own contributions. It keeps me from fully exercising whatever savior/martyr complex I have. And that, that is what I am most grateful for. Allowing others to help me, and accepting the generosity of others, keeps me from veering off in unhealthy directions.
We’re spending this Thanksgiving with our neighbors. It will be just four of us, and will be the most unique Thanksgiving I’ve ever experienced. And I have a suspicion that there will be much for me to learn. The first lesson, in accepting the gracious invitation of a friend, has already begun.