More Thanksgiving Day Help. Why? Because I CARE

Once you've realized that Thanksgiving is imminently doable as long as you have very low expectations, you can think about decorations. You will want to do as much of this before the big day as possible so it that doesn't interfere with your drinking. Here's are some tips to ensure that special flair:

1. All that really matters is that you have a clean bathroom. Everything else is extra. Remember: High Standards = High stress. Low standards = LOVE to You (Lots Of inVitations Extended to You).

2. Thanksgiving is not a competition. Sure, your sister in law will go the whole nine yards and put on a display that would please even baby Prince George, but you are not her competition. You are her family, whether she likes it or not.

3. You are actually teaching your sister in law important lessons with your low standards. You are teaching her to lighten up, which is very Buddhist (and thus good) in its whole "be in the moment/process not product/let down the mantle of perfectionism" thing. You are being like a zen master. She's lucky to have you! And for God sakes you're doing all the fucking cooking so why should she even care.

4. Say yes to candles. They hide any matter of sins.

5. Instead of worrying about your centerpiece, worry about your pie. People will not remember your centerpiece. They will remember your pie. If you buy your pie, of if you buy a pre-made crust or filling, people will remember that your pie was bad. I'm sorry to tell you this, but it's true. People may even begin to believe that they don't like pie, all because of you! Do you really want to live with that burden. Make the damn pie.

6. Honestly, it's not so hard to make a pie. The key is the crust: Don't over-knead it (you will be tempted!). And, when it's time to add the water to the crust, make sure it is VERY cold.

7. And none of this bullshit pre-made whipped cream. Make that too. It's super easy and way better. Google it.

8. Although it's important to keep your standards low, you have my permission to use the "good" dishes, table cloth, etc. Don't be 100% lame. Aim for more
like 80% lame.

9. In regards to cranberry sauce: There is no shame in it coming from a can, but there is shame in presenting it in the shape of a can.

10. Also, can I just go on record here as saying that when someone
says, "Can I help clean up?" The answer should always be "Yes! Be sure to turn off the lights when you're done."


wendell.foster said...

The holidays seem to bring out your potty mouth. Good advice, though.

Petrea Burchard said...

I never have to worry about anyone wanting to come to my house for Thanksgiving because I haven't the faintest idea how to make pie crust or cook a turkey.

I'll take your advice about the clean bathroom though, just in case.

Karen said...

Now here's some advice I can get behind: "You will want to do as much of this before the big day as possible so it that doesn't interfere with your drinking." Ha!

LOVE the photo, by the way!

Jean Spitzer said...

Great advice about the low standards, just not quite low enough. Store bought pies can be delicious ; just need the right store. Or, let someone bring the dessert. They get the glory and you have one less thing to do.

Ms M said...

Ha! Love your "zen" take on Thanksgiving!
What advice do you have about choosing the "proper" wine (or other alcoholic beverage) to go with the meal?

Daisy said...

To save all that trouble, just "invite" yourself to someone else's house!!

Happy Thanksgiving day to you all, no matter how you spend it

Olga said...

9. In regards to cranberry sauce: There is no shame in it coming from a can, but there is shame in presenting it in the shape of a can.

This is so very true!!

altadenahiker said...

There was a TED talk recently regarding low expectations, and apparently you agree with the great minds of our age. (By the way, fuck the turkey. I make seafood gumbo.)

Desiree said...

How was the pie? I must confess, candles ALWAYS vex me, from the year they set my table on fire (true story) to this year where they leaked their oozing brown pine cone wax onto my pristine white table cloth.

Petrea Burchard said...

Desiree, I'm sorry you've had bad candle experiences. J and I eat dinner by candle light every night because we like it, and because the dining room is an ugly color. We put dishtowels under the candelabras to catch the wax. Very casual, kind of in the "lower your standards" vein of the conversation.

Cafe Pasadena said...

I think you got the beginnings of a book here, MF! It may be shelved in the $1 section, but, authors write for the love of it, becuz it's sumthing they gotta do, right.

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