It finally happened. A Thanksgiving without any drama. No drama, whatsoever! I think I might have dreamed it but alas I have pinched myself many a time and I'm sure it was real.
Originally, we weren't sure what we were going to do for the holiday. Tim's brother and his wife had invited the whole family over plus some family friends to celebrate Thanksgiving early (last Sunday) since they were going to be away from home on the actual day of Thanksgiving. So we figured that was our holiday celebration with Tim's family. My sister always has her in-laws over and it just gets too crowded, especially with our 4 kids added to the mix. We decided against going there. My mom and step-dad decided to go to San Francisco for the day, rather than spend the holiday with us. What grandparent doesn't want to spend a holiday with their grandchildren?! Enough said.
So it was just going to be the 6 of us here at home....a nice, quiet Thanksgiving. Tim was fine with it. I was okay with it too but I was a little sad that we have family so close to us yet no one was coming over for the holiday. It says a lot about my family. I kept saying to Tim, "I'm just sad that Thanksgiving will be just like any other day for us....me in the kitchen cooking a meal that no one will probably eat and chasing after kids while trying to keep them entertained, changing diapers, cleaning messes....". I'm sure he got tired of hearing it but there was nothing he could really do or say to snap me out of my bad attitude so he would just roll his eyes every time I would start in. I envied all my friends who were getting together with their huge, loving families to celebrate the day.
The one good thing about not having family around was there would be no drama. There's always at least 3 people in my family who aren't talking to other family members and it's awkward and tense. In Tim's family, there's always some kind of needless drama that gets thrown in at the last minute, making everyone dread the holiday.
When we found out that Tim's parents were just planning on staying home, I asked Tim to invite them over. Why not? My MIL and I aren't exactly the best of friends but surely I felt we could both make the best of it for the sake of the kids, who deserved to have a fun, happy Thanksgiving. At the last minute, I got nervous because I wanted to make a really delicious meal that would impress them. I guess I was afraid I would be compared to my SIL, whose meal last Sunday was out of this world.
Thursday came and I had everything in the kitchen ready to go by the time they arrived. I planned on staying in the kitchen most of the time to avoid any possible drama that may happen or any unfriendly, unsolicited comments that might have been said. To my amazement, everything went well. I did stay in the kitchen most of the time chopping, slicing, dicing, arranging and cooking. And my MIL would come in from time to time to offer to help or to have some light conversation with me. My IL's helped so much with the kids, keeping them out of the kitchen and keeping them happy and entertained.
I did the same turkey recipe I did last year (Alton Brown's recipe from Food Network....SO yummy and juicy!) and I made real mashed potatoes (not the powdered kind that my MIL thought would have been easier), real stuffing (not Stovetop), fresh green beans with garlic and bacon, and my FIL made the gravy. It was probably one of the best meals I've ever made. The turkey was just oozing juice everywhere as Tim carved into it. The skin was crisp and a nice shade of brown and the meat turned out perfect. It was so beautiful and I wish now I had taken a picture of it!! Everyone seemed to be impressed, which made me happy, except for Tim who never seems to be generous with his compliments. "So, Tim, what do you think of dinner?"...."it was okay...I didn't like the sausage in the stuffing". Whatever. When he started in with the fact that I was using real bacon in the green beans instead of the fake stuff, his mother finally said, "will you just stop? Your wife is trying to make a nice meal. She's putting in a lot of work...you could say something nice". At this point, I was starting to see her more as my ally and my husband as the enemy.
Needless to say, it was a very relaxing and enjoyable Thanksgiving, much to my surprise. For once, I wasn't left in tears after a holiday meal with my family or Tim's family. I can only pray that Christmas turns out as nice!