I am currently persona non grata in my corner of Steubenville. Not because of any advice I’ve been dishing out as of late, but rather because of what I won’t be dishing out next week: Thanksgiving Dinner.
For years, mostly because of the hassle of traveling 1280 miles, roundtrip, on Thanksgiving weekend, I’ve stayed in Steubenville for the holiday and opened my home to whomever didn’t have one that day. One year, that number was as large as 25. Another year, it was as small as four.
A few special friends, however, have always been around the table, and those are the ones less than pleased about Chris and I going to my parents this Thanksgiving. (His family gets us for Christmas).
I’m looking forward to being with all my nieces and nephews next week, but I have to admit, I’m a little sad too. There’s no holiday I like better than Thanksgiving, and (in all humility) there’s also no meal I cook better than Thanksgiving Dinner. People have flown across the country for my mashed potatoes and stuffing. Some of those people also are under the impression that my gravy is a beverage. (“Just because something has brandy in it,” I tell them, “doesn’t mean you can drink it.” They never listen.)
It’s not only the company or food that makes Thanksgiving special for me, though. It’s also the chance to pull out all the decorating stops and set the most elegant table I can muster. In grad school, that wasn’t much. But here’s what we did last year.