I don’t know how my mother did it. In fact, I don’t know how she still does it at 85. She insists that she host every holiday family feast. It might be because she knows none of her children would do it. Whenever the change of venue comes up, our solution is a restaurant. Sound lazy? Maybe, but our reasoning is that it’s easier, no prep or clean up and everyone can enjoy themselves…and we are all overwhelmed by my mom’s mastery of pulling off this huge meal.

Turkey, ham, sausage, stuffing, cranberry sauce, vegetables, salad, biscuits, gravy, cheesecake, carrot cake and cookies. All home-made!

Really, it’s not my fault. I’m the youngest of 4 children and my job is always the same, even now.

“What would you like me to do?” I ask.

“Set the table.”

I’m the master of the place setting. First arranging the appropriate holiday tablecloth, centre piece and napkins, then, plates, knives, forks, spoons, make sure there is enough chairs, water jugs pre filled and iced, coffee maker set on timer, coffee tray ready and cakes unwrapped and ready to go. Whew!

You’re not impressed are you? Neither am I. I’m now 50. Am I capable of taking on the big feast and shouldering the responsibility of satiating everyone’s expectations? No way, I can’t take that pressure!

I’m in awe of anyone that can take on this monumental task.

It’s the night before Thanksgiving for my American friends. I’m checking in with them to see what their plans are and inquisitively asking about their big meal.

“Turkey, stuffing, potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, corn, bread, pie”, my friend replies.

Wow, it must be just me who’s a family feast failure.

“I ordered it all pre-made. I’m just heating it up.” She coyly adds.

That I know I could do!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Are you the master chef or the table setter?