Thanksgiving Starts In September

It all started in September.
I was marketing with the Boyfriend, and at one point I stopped in mid-aisle to exclaim, “Where are the roasting pans?  It’s late September!  Where are the cranberries?”
You see, with the beginning of September, the first of the blessed quartet of 3-syllable months, my mind will turn to Thanksgiving.  Thanksgiving, and all of its lovely panic-strewn preparations.  Thanksgiving, the fear, the food.  Thanksgiving and butter.  Thanksgiving and the only marathons that count – the ones on TV.
Now, previously, the holiday would either be a restaurant meal, where one could not ask for seconds, or ask why the gratinee on the potatoes was so flimsy.  (Such a crisp, cheesy roof should be in danger of crushing the entire building, for goodness’ sake.)  And if not at a restaurant, the other Thanksgiving alternative would be one at a relative’s or friend’s home – there, seconds would be available (possibly encouraged, depending on the friend/relative).  But there  one would pay for one’s boldness by helping to Clean Up.  Both of these meals would be full of thanks to be sure, but they would also last only a few hours: a mere nibble out of the year.  For me, when Thanksgiving is in someone else’s hands, the celebrations are always far too brief.
So, years and years ago, I decided to have the meal at my apartment.   And this brought about a paradigm shift in my perception of Thanksgiving.  Between shopping, cleaning and cooking, my prep work begins in October.  And I will begin to sniff around for new recipes in September (doubling my annoyance with the Halloween menus on the covers of all the cooking magazines.  What’s to plan?  Give me – or anyone, for that matter – a a vat full of Heath bars and I’m happy).
I trust the people I invite, so I use the good silver.  Fashion-shaming could make people uncomfortable, but I invariably will greet them at the door wearing a tiara and petticoats, but I mean no harm – so everyone gets a corsage or buttonhole.   Oh, and the secret handshake, obviously.
So, it is therefore safe to say that my Thanksgiving lasts for 3 months.  As a result of this elasticization of the holiday, of this metaphoric conversion into an easy-fit stretch band, I will be sore, weak, and often ill from being maid-of-all-work for such a distance of time.  My sciatica will be erupting.  But it is still glorious.
Now, I hope this won’t frighten people away from Thanksgiving.  Because no matter how you choose to celebrate this peculiarly American and hedonistic day, please make sure that you do.   For this day was not made to be joyless.

5 responses to “Thanksgiving Starts In September

  1. Happy Thanksgiving, Aubrey! I distinctly remember you describing years ago a magnificent meatball lasagna you constructed that weighed about 15 pounds when finished. Was that for Thanksgiving or Christmas?

  2. I hope it was a lovely day! I love to dress up too – although the first time we skipped the family obligations and simply hung out with friends (we all cooked) was my all-time favorite Thanksgiving. Far better than a restaurant, more genuine but without the drama of quarreling relatives. More like an authentic gathering.

  3. We should all be so lucky as to attend Thanksgiving at Chez Aubrey.

  4. I hope you had a joyful one Aubrey.

  5. Oh, my goodness. You weren’t kidding one bit about that kitchen routine, were you? Truth to tell, one of my favorite Thanksgivings was the year that his family said, “Of course you will be with us,” and my family said, “Of course you will be with us.” Being fans of the Third Option, we said, “We’re going to Chicago.” Which we did, and had a wonderful dinner at a Greek restaurant that happened to be open on the holiday. But I’m quite sure that dinner Chez Aubrey would have topped it all.

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