Tuesday, November 23, 2010

All by myself...at Thanksgiving!

Well, not really.  Sort of. 

As you may remember, this past July, my wonderful 95 year old grandmother went home to be with our Lord.  Thanksgiving has *ALWAYS* been a tradition that took place with our entire extended family at my grandma's house in Hemet every year for as many decades as I can remember.  We have anywhere from 20 to 40 people each year and it has been a solid family get together forever.

But with Grandma now gone and most of the family traveling about 90 minutes to get to Hemet where my Aunt (who took care of her) still lives, we decided there's no need for all of us to make that drive each Turkey Day.  So we are starting a new tradition...and it's at *MY* house!

Yep, I will be making my first Thanksgiving Day feast this week for 20 people at the Beever household.  It is bitter sweet for several reasons:

1)  The cooking:  I love to cook - especially for parties - but I've never done a Thanksgiving feast for this many people so it will be interesting to see how it turns out.  I have already finished all the shopping last night and even made my first appetizer yesterday:  Citrus Marinated Green Olives that sit in the fridge for 3 days.

2)  The traveling:  We won't have to drive far...almost all of my aunts, uncles, cousins, mom and sister live in Orange County so most of them will only have to drive about 30 minutes to get to my place.  But it is going to be super tough this year being without Grandma and in a house other than hers where I grew up.  And it may be a bit chaotic with our new puppy jumping all over the place.

3)  The cost!  Oh my gosh, I never realized how expensive it is to feed this many people!  We are going to have each family pitch in $5 for kids and $10 per adult to help me pay for the expenses but even after that contribution, I am still paying about $100 - $150 out of my own pocket.  If I do this again next year, I may need to up the ante by either having people bring a dish or pay more like $15 each :)

4)  The preparation...oh wow.  I started shopping for non-perishables two weeks ago then bought cold items on Saturday and the produce and turkey yesterday.  I cleaned the house all weekend and tonight I am making pumpkin banana mousse tarts and the cranberry sauce/relish.  Tomorrow and Thursday will be busy days for sure but I am actually excited (and a bit nervous) to see how it will all come out.

But the unfortunate thing about all of this is that Mr Fix It will not be with me this year on our first Turkey Day as a married couple.  We have always spent Turkey Day apart each year since he goes up to his parents house in Northern California and I have always been at Grandma's house.  So after we got married, his family assumed we would go up there together.  But Mr Fix It understood how important it was to me to have this year with my family since we just lost our grandmother. 

He asked if I wanted him to stay here with me so I wouldn't have to be alone but I told him to go ahead and go up to his family's house and next year we will start the alternating of holidays between the two families.  A lot of people think it's weird that we won't be together, but honestly, as much as I love him, I know that he would probably stress me out pretty bad while I am cooking all day Thursday.  Mr Fix It tends to be one of those guys who sits over your shoulder in the kitchen thinking he knows everything better than you do.  So silly...he always talks about what a good cook I am but when we have people over to our place, he just has to have his hands in everything. 

So I told him that I loved him and I would miss him and I would make a plate of leftovers for him to try when he gets back, but to go enjoy his thanksgiving with his family and not to worry about me.

So, ladies.  What are your big holiday plans this week?  Any of you having to deal with changes for your holidays now that you are married?


Scout and Blondie said...

I feel you on the amount of time to prep and the cost! I DO NOT add up how much it all costs because I know it will bum me out and keep me from enjoying the meal! But I LOVE so much more having a house full of people. It is going to be small for us this year, just two friends coming over, but I am excited to make all the side dishes!

Hannah said...

When we first got together we decided we never wanted to spend the holidays apart. With two sets of divorced parents we quickly realized that there was no way we could do thanksgiving together without making family feel left out.

Instead we started the tradition where we cook at our place and invite ANYONE who wants to come. Some years that has been 12 and others its just been 4. This way, though - we don't pick one family over another.

SG to SP said...

For the past two years we've done Thanksgiving with Kristian's family so this year I figured we would do it with mine. However my mom and brother decided to go on a cruise for Thanksgiving instead!! So we are celebrating with his family again and then Christmas day with mine. Next year we'll switch.

Kristy said...

so fun! when i lived in LA and couldn't afford to come home for thanksgiving i hosted a dinner for up to 25 of my friends who were also missing their families. It's a lot of people but it became a tradition that everyone looked forward to. To cut down on costs I made the turkey, stuffing, and potatoes and delegated the rest to my guests. One would bring a salad, one the sweet potatoes, on the green bean casserole, and many would bring wine and pies...don't be afraid to delegate - people like to bring things and help out!! looking forward to photos of the spread of your first thanksgiving!!!

Bicoastal Bride said...

I'm so sorry that it will be the first Thanksgiving without your grandmother. I can't imagine how tough that must be. But I think it's great that you'll be hosting your family, though it sounds like you will defintiely have your hands full. Wow!

I can relate to your situation in a way, becasue Stephen and I have decided to be apart for Christmas this year for a few different reasons. As crazy as some people think this is, Stephen and I are together each and every day, yet I only see my family once or twice per year. I have a post scheduled for next week about this very topic.

honey my heart said...

i'm sorry that this holiday is without your grandmother, and hope that you can create new traditions during the holidays.

trying to alternate holidays has been difficult for the hubs & i. i ca't wait until everyone comes to our house.

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PartyPlannerGal said...

Hey lady! Kudos for you for stepping in to create new and fun traditions for your family. I don't think there's anything wrong with spending the holidays apart - sometimes circumstances don't allow for togetherness with everyone, you know?

You have inspired me to blog about our Thanksgiving arrangements tomorrow :)

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