Thursday, November 17, 2011

Finding Time

Listen to this quote from Pottery Barn:  "Get ready for an unforgettable Thanksgiving with those you love...not only do we have everything you need to set a beautiful table, we also have expert tips...Host Thanksgiving expertly with our online party planner.  You'll find creative centerpiece ideas, free downloadable invitations, how-to videos, and much more."  Really?  I have to print and send invitations?  After reading that I feel like I might need a private tutorial on how to do Thanksgiving.   What happened to simplicity?  I thought this was Thanksgiving.  The menu's fairly self-explanatory.  The same people show up year after year.  The centerpiece just can't obscure views of leftovers across the table. 
I love this time of year: the gathering, the food, the warmth.  On the other hand, you know we all complain about it.  There is never enough time, we say.  I'm so busy, we say.  If only I didn't have so much to do, we say.  But after a rather philosophical discussion with my 13-year-old, I realized, there is plenty of time, we just have to have patience.  Patience is the pacifier of time.  Patience gets us everything we need, but in good time.  Patience calms time and lets it know it will be satisfied, eventually. 
My to-do list, like yours, is very long this weekend.  Family arrives, games go on, shopping has to be done, meals have to be prepared. And the list will grow longer the closer we get to the Holiday.  I haven't ordered my turkey yet.  I haven't made the table runner.  I haven't bought the latest set of turkey platter servers from Homegoods.  But guess what?  I have time.    Maybe I'll buy a turkey breast, so I can skip the herculean task of defrosting!  I'll have the table runner made by Christmas.  I don't really need another serving platter, I just need to go up in the attic to find the old one.  I can't expect or be expected to create the perfect Williams-Sonoma/Martha Stewart/Mayflower Thanksgiving and still be sane.  I have to have patience.  Finding the perfect cranberry-orange relish recipe is not going to happen this year.  (My family doesn't even like it that much!)  So I'll bake a quick cranberry bread instead, preferably from a box, and I'll have gained an hour.  An hour that I could actually spend with my family curled up on the couch, maybe with a good book to sneak a peek at.  I'm starting to think that the greatest drain on my time are all the inspirational magazines and catalogues and tv shows that "inspire" me to bake the next great Pilgrim Feast.  Look, I just don't have time.   Next year, or maybe in ten years, when the kids bring friends home from college, I'll cook up that perfectly delectable cranberry sauce that everyone talks about for the rest of their lives.  (Really, not going to happen anyway!)  So this year, family, don't expect much.  No homemade cheesecake, no homemade sweet potato pie, no honey-glazed-sausage-and-lemon-stuffed-beer-soaked-butter-laden turkey.  We are having frozen vegetables and a pie baked by someone besides mommy.  And I hope you'll be truly thankful!

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