I’ve always wanted to know what it feels like to host a big celebration, like Thanks Giving or Christmas. It sounds like so much work, and I couldn’t imagine how I could ever prepare for that many people with that much food to make and that many dishes to clean up afterward… and yet, it seems like it would be fulfilling… to know how much you contributed to the success of an event that brought loved ones together when they might not have otherwise been together, and formed memories that might not otherwise have been formed.
My suite mates and I got a small taste of what that might be like this weekend. We hosted “Friends Giving”, my roommates tradition with a couple college friends. Here’s what I learned from the whole experience.
1. Very little goes as planned.
A: Turns out most grocery stores don’t have thanks giving turkeys until a bit closer to thanks giving, so we settled on mixed rotisserie turkey and chicken.
B: I made one batch of rolls that turned out wonderfully, then put the next batch in only to come back 10 minutes later with them burnt to a crisp. My buds didn’t realize that if you turn the oven knob one way, it turns on the oven, and if you turn it the other way, it turns on the broiler. Whoops.
C. We planned to eat at 6:00 Pm. I think we sat down around 7:30. Hahaha.
2. Decorations are Worth it!
One of our friends brought pumpkins, gourds, and pretty fall leaves to brighten our dinner table. I grew up in a family that wasn’t too fussed about getting out decorations of any kind, except for the tree and lights at Christmas and the occasional wreath, so it’s kind of a novel idea to me to decorate for Thanks Giving, but I love it and have decided to adopt the tradition.
3. It’s fun to cook with other people.
If I were doing all the cooking on my own, there’s no doubt prepping a holiday feast would be enormously overwhelming, but having the opportunity to prepare a meal as a group effort was so wholesome and satisfying. Sure, it was crowded, loud, hot, and all of us were tripping over dogs who had appointed themselves cleanup crew for the kitchen floor, but we were also talking, laughing, singing along to country music, helping each other when we needed an extra hand or spice or tool that someone else had been using, and every bit of that added to the flavor of the food we sat down to hours later. I think, in a very dim and modern way, it reflected the way the pilgrims and Indians must have felt in feasting together after so much hard work at that New England meal hundreds of years ago.
So, today, I am thankful for burnt rolls, and crowded kitchens, and a delicious meal with friends and food aplenty.