With Thanksgiving just three weeks away, most parents have already made their dinner plans. Many moms I know are attending family functions, and others are hosting.
Some of my friends declare they will never host and are fully content with making their one special holiday dish or dessert to bring to the party and then go home when they choose. They would never host a holiday, they say.
Then there are others who typically host. I fall into that category. Ever since we bought our house, we tend to host the holiday functions. Even before when we were still living in our apartment, we hosted a lot.
I don’t know what it is about hosting that I like the most, but I enjoy when people come over and have fun in our home. It has become more important since we have lost family members in recent years. I remember having them over for special events, and specific stories that happened, remembering the particular room in our home where they occurred.
The year before my uncle passed away, we had a crowded Thanksgiving in our little apartment with my parents, my uncle and my mother-in-law. My uncle proceeded to tell a story about how he saw a TV show where they taught you how to sharpen a knife with a plate. He demonstrated the whole technique and repeatedly told us all how fascinating it was. So much so, in fact, he had to tell the stories a few times throughout the day whenever someone new arrived.
By the end of the night, I jokingly asked him at the table “tell me again, how do you sharpen a knife with a plate?” and he started the story again until he realized I was fooling around and then it was a joke that day that we kept up. It was silly, and not even that funny really but it remains a special memory I have. When I think of it, I clearly recall how our modest, black dining room table was filled to the rim with dishes, and we gathered as many chairs as possible around it. It was intimate and despite being in a crowded space, despite the lack of a beautiful home or a perfect picture setting, it was a memory I would not trade for the world.
And isn’t that what the holidays are about, families coming together and getting through the inconveniences that sometimes comes along with having families together all at once, and creating memories?
In the end, it doesn’t matter what you eat, serve or have, if you host or not, or if anything is perfect. It only matters that you are together, making more memories each year.
Are you hosting this year? Or do you prefer to be a guest?