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It's a Hit or Miss Holiday at My House

by Tamara Keith, Public Affairs
posted November 11, 1998

With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, my family has been putting some thought into how we'll deal with the holiday this year. For us, Thanksgiving is hit or miss. Virtually every year something bizarre happens and most of the time we've planned it that way. Our snafus are stranger than burning the turkey; a couple times we didn't even have a turkey.

One year Dad came up with what seemed a great plan. Instead of wasting our day slaving in the kitchen, we would have fun and let Denny's take care of the dinner. We got up early Thanksgiving morning, opened up the paper to the entertainment section and figured out our schedule for the day -- three movies, one at noon, one at 3 p. m. and one at 6 p.m.

While most of America was still in its bath robes, we were watching "Three Men and a Little Lady" at our local cineplex. While normal people were watching football and cooking turkey, we were enjoying "Rocky V." And as everyone else was sitting down to dinner, we settled in to watch one final movie.

When "Flatliners" finished at 9 p.m. , our behinds were numb and our stomachs were grumbling. But, as we drove up to Denny's we knew there was something wrong. The neon lights weren't glowing and the place was empty. Apparently Denny's does not stay open 24 hours on Thanksgiving Day.

We drove all around town on our quest for food but nothing was open. Even the grocery stores had closed early. We finally gave up and went home, where Mom made a non-traditional dinner consisting of shrimp and rice.

Last year we spent Thanksgiving with my vegetarian uncle and his family of herbivores. Although an equal number of meat eaters were planning to sit at the table that night, the vegetarians got to choose our main dish -- a tofu loaf. We wouldn't notice a difference in flavor, they promised, and we'd be saving the life of our nation's original mascot.

Then my uncle brought the jiggling slab of pseudo-meat out to the table, and we couldn't help but laugh. He'd spent a good half-hour in the kitchen trying to carve the tofu into the shape of a turkey. The result looked more like mashed potatoes.

Regardless of how our dinners turn out, my family always ends up having fun. For us Thanksgiving is not about turkey, stuffing or cranberry sauce. We don't even spend much time being thankful. We take the day to be together, to laugh at ourselves, and to eat whatever it is that ends up on the table.


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