My Family Killed Thanksgiving

My Family Killed Thanksgiving

And now we're going to cook it.
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For some families, Thanksgiving Day means the womenfolk in the kitchen and the menfolk watching football. For some families, the womenfolk and the menfolk both watch football. In some families, the cooking is carried out by whichever-folk are inclined and the football-watching is the same.

This is not so for my family.

My family is a family of contradictions, a family that will scream at the television during the Olympics and fight tooth-and-nail over where the best Mediterranean food in the Portland Metro area is (my grandfather insists that it’s in his kitchen, but the rest of us disagree).

My family takes Thanksgiving way too seriously.

Planning for Thanksgiving begins several months in advance. No one is exempt from cooking. Everyone, from the youngest to the oldest, is given some responsibility for the menu. The menu must be haggled over accordingly. Fights will be had over the contents of the stuffing, over what vegetable to cook and leave on a plate as the obligatory nod to health food. Little to no health food will be consumed.

Thanksgiving in my family is about consuming vast amounts of the tastiest, most fattening food in the shortest possible amount of time and falling into a coma shortly afterward. Blood has been shed over the making of pies. Every year, my grandfather will suggest that we cook duck instead of turkey. Every year, he will be voted down.

Once the menu is agreed upon — or more accurately, everyone gets tired of arguing about it and capitulates – it’s time to buy groceries. Sometimes we do this in groups. Other times, we go it alone. Both approaches have their drawbacks. There’s safety in numbers, but numbers will slow you down; a death sentence in Thanksgiving crowds. Alone, you’re vulnerable to being picked off by stressed-out moms with overfilled shopping carts.

Every year someone gets lost in the warrens of the grocery store and emerges an hour or two later, shell-shocked and missing several of the items they were supposed to purchase. Typical protocol is to castigate this person for being “weak” and “shaming the family” and send someone else in to retrieve the missing items.

Cooking commences early on Thanksgiving Day. Kitchen space is at a premium, and so are ingredients, because despite the exhaustive list-making and trips to the grocery store, something that someone needs will inevitably be forgotten. The person with the missing groceries will not leave the house again.

Rather, they will lurk in the kitchen, attempting to pilfer the missing ingredient from someone else’s stash. Guard your groceries, and your counter space, with your life. Don’t get involved with the queue for the oven. If possible, choose a dish that requires no baking time. You do not want to fight with the turkey for space. You will lose.

Somewhere in the cooking process, there is always a lull of sorts, as things bake and boil and simmer (and, in one memorable year, grill). Members of the family collapse onto the couches to rest, complacent. If you are wise, you won’t be fooled. Stay alert, because the last 20 minutes before dinner is served are the most hectic.

If you can survive the last-minute rush in my family’s kitchen on Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday shopping will be a cinch. Not even a shopper stampede can compare to the feeling of nearly being bulldozed by the turkey on its way to the table.

Have a happy Thanksgiving, and as you enjoy your idyllic family gathering, send up a prayer for those of us engaged in a culinary battle of wills. We envy your calm and peace.

But our food tastes awesome.

Cover Image Credit: room317 / Flickr

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14 Fraternity Guy Gifts Ideas, Since He Already Has Enough Beer

Frat boys are a species of their own and here are some exciting gifts they will be ecstatic to receive!

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What more do frat boys love than alcohol, partying, and just acting stupid? Here are some gifts that help fulfill all of those needs for the frat boy in your life!

1. Beer holster belt

Whats better than one beer? Six beers! This fashionable camouflage accessory can be used for tailgates, beach days, formals and everything in between.

Price: $8.49

2. Phone juul holder 

You know those cardholders everyone sticks on the back of their phones? Well, now a Juul holder for your phone is on the market! This will save your favorite frat boy from ever again losing his Juul!

Price: $10.98

3. Animal house poster 

This Animal House poster is a classic staple for any frat boy. This poster will compliment any frat house decor or lack thereof.

Price: $1.95

4. The American Fraternity book

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Price: $28.46

5. Beer pong socks 

These snazzy socks featuring beer pong will be loved by any frat boy. As for the way to any frat boy's heart may, in fact, be beer pong.

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6. Condom case

This condom carrying case will not only protect condoms from damage but also make frat boys more inclined to practice safe sex, which is a win-win situation!

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7. Frat house candle

Ahhh yes, who does not like the smell of stale beer in a dark, musty frat house basement? Frat boys can make their apartment or bedroom back home smell like their favorite place with the help of this candle.

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8. "Frat" sticker

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9. Natty Light t-shirt 

Even I will admit that this shirt is pretty cool. The frat boy in your life will wear this shirt at every possible moment, it is just that cool!

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10. Natty light fanny pack 

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11. Bud Light Neon Beer Sign 

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Please note that prices are accurate and items in stock as of the time of publication. As an Amazon Associate, Odyssey may earn a portion of qualifying sales.

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6 Confessions On What Makes Christmas SO Special From A Christmas-oholic

Why November and December reign as the best time of the year — no ifs, ands or buts.

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Christmas is right around the corner people! It's time to celebrate my favorite holiday of the year.

Below are six reasons why Christmas is undeniably the most wonderful time of the year. Let the countdown to Christmas begin!

1. Gift-giving is my specialty

Look no further, for you've come across the right person. Whether it be family or friends, I am able to find something meaningful. Big or small, I've made peoples' year because of the thought I invested into what I picked out special for them.

I have a strong gut that helps me decide on items and I always make a point to listen to someone's likes or interests and store them in the back of my mind. I enjoy wrapping gifts in fancy paper and decorating them with pretty bows.

Seeing their face light up whenever they rip open the gift is the best part. I love making people realize how special they are to me.

2. Everyone is joyful

The Christmas spirit hits people right after Thanksgiving wraps up. Thinking about cookie decorating, wrapping gifts and buying presents puts them in the mood. It's amazing how people come together during this time and can spread the holiday cheer.

People manage to wear a smile and converse more, rubbing off on others. Christmas caroling encourages others to get into the spirit.

Even though it's cold and snowy, Christmas is a saving grace in getting everyone through it. I find myself become happier towards others when the thought of Christmas is mentioned. 25 days will never be enough. Smile and find your inner joy!

3. School is off 

Say goodbye to homework and stress. Being released for break means students can focus on making their Christmas a great one. Most colleges even go as far as giving kids near a month off.

School becomes the least of our worries and makes Christmas a priority. We're given a long opportunity for relaxing and spending time with loved ones, all in the name of Christmas!

4. Christmas movies for everyone

ABC Family's "25 Days of Christmas" and Hallmark's Christmas movies fill our screens during this time of year. As corny as they are, these movies are a staple to bringing in the Christmas spirit.

They're only here for a few short months, so it's important to make the most of them. Nothing beats sitting by the fire with a cup of hot chocolate watching these movies.

5. Santa is watching you

Even at 21, sometimes I still believe Santa is keeping a close eye on my behavior. Being a good person should be a yearly thing, especially towards those you're close to. The deliverance of gifts is the highlight of my holidays.

Seeing kids who wait for Santa brings back memories of when I was their age. To them, he is their idol and does anything they can to prove they've been good this year. Nobody wants a bag of coal in their stocking!

6. Christmas charities

Giving donations to the needy is critical during Christmas time. With bitter weather and dropping temperatures, those that are less fortunate suffer. Kind-hearted people make blankets, ring bells for the Salvation Army and make food for those who need it most.

Christmas is a time for giving to those you know and don't. Hearts get bigger and reach out. People who don't have families to celebrate the holidays with are given a reason to smile from others bringing cheer into their lives.

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