The holidays are certainly full of moments, both big and small.
Full of fun, full of stress, full of warmth, full of too much food, too many desserts. Never too full of love though. No matter how you spend the holidays, remember to embrace each moment.
A holiday moment I’ve learned to embrace is this one:
MY FIRST TIME AS A GROWN-UP HOSTING THANKSGIVING
It was several years ago. My husband and I decided to host Thanksgiving at our new house, which we had recently purchased. We were newly married. I was three months pregnant. Neither of us had ever cooked a turkey. Overall, not a good combo, but I was excited to give it a try. In the weeks leading up to it, however, I was worried about the fact that I was suffering horrible morning sickness and had trouble being anywhere near the smell of food. My husband told me he’d be there for me if I couldn’t stay in the kitchen. So I planned and prepared. I was nervous about taking on such a huge meal but I felt excited about the challenge.
BUT THEN… (and this is where a big moment occurred), two days before Thanksgiving my husband came home with a second turkey and said he wanted to try to smoke a turkey too. My first reaction was “That’s great – more turkey”. My second reaction was “Why do we need more turkey when I already have a 25 lb turkey brining?” And my third reaction was “You’re kidding me, right? I’m pregnant, nauseous, throwing up, exhausted, my ankles are already swollen, and oh yeah, I have no idea how to cook one turkey, let alone TWO”. I kept that all in my head though. Out loud, I said, “Okay, great… but I may need some help in the kitchen.” He said, “Honey, don’t worry. I can cook everything if you aren’t feeling good that day. I got it”. Alright. What could I say? I was a new wife, with a new challenge. I thought, “I can do this”.
UNTIL… Thanksgiving Day. I woke up and it was POURING RAIN. Which meant the outdoor smoker needed to be watched. Which meant, there stood my husband, with an umbrella over it. All morning. For hours! Which meant I was left inside with the turkey, gravy, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, stuffing (two kinds), green beans, broccoli casserole… and don’t forget, I was feeling completely nauseous. The only “plus” was that the desserts were already made.
BUT… It all worked out. HOW? Because of the big & small moments throughout the day…
THE BIG MOMENT:
The entire meal was heading toward disaster, but my mother-in-law jumped in like a super-hero! She helped us cook everything. I mean everything. There would have been no food on the Thanksgiving table that year if it wasn’t for her. Her experience and sense of calmness (and humor), were invaluable. Literally, she saved the day. Big moment.
THE SMALL MOMENTS:
My husband’s brother stood in the rain the entire day with him. Yes, they had a lot of beer to keep them company, but still… I was happy my husband had some company out there.
My niece & nephews showed me what I had to look forward to… they behaved so well. They had patience, had fun… they showed me that my own children would make holidays even more fun.
Pre-ordering desserts from a local bakery… SMART CHOICE!
The smoked turkey actually tasted even better than the big turkey. But please, don’t tell my husband I said that!
Try to embrace all the moments of the holiday!