Thanksgiving was always a huge production at my house while I was growing up. My mother would start prepping a day or two before by chopping vegetables, thawing the turkey, and so on. Then she would wake up early and cook all day long while the rest of us ungrateful bastards watched the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. The meal would be ready at around 2:00, and it was always perfect. And my mother was always exhausted. So for me, Thanksgiving has always meant hours and hours of backbreaking and complicated work. The idea of cooking one on my own was a nightmare, because not only do I a) hate to cook and b) hate being around people, but I also c) really really hate to cook and d) see a and c.
Last year, my husband and I ended up up with a Thanksgiving at our home with just us and our twins. All of our relatives were going other places, and we were on our own. At first we were like, “Uh…so what do we do? Do we just skip it? Do we do the whole shebang? Where are the adults who tell us what to do here?” We decided to go ahead and have ourselves our very own full-on Thanksgiving. And you know what? It was heavenly.
Turns out when you are making Thanksgiving for four people, two of whom weight less than forty pounds, cooking that meal is super easy. We finished cooking at around 11:30 and said to each other, “Is that it? Really? Why was that so simple and free of drama?” It was like learning the truth about Santa Claus. All these years I was convinced that making Thanksgiving dinner equaled misery and stress. instead, I learned that, as with so many other things in life, things are a lot simpler if there are no other people involved.
I know. I sound like a sad, eccentric loner. I am undoubtedly on a watch list somewhere.
This month’s Netflix Stream Team theme is “Friendsgiving,” which is apparently something people do. On Friendsgiving, people invite their friends over for Thanksgiving instead of or in addition to their families. I have never in my life had friends over on Thanksgiving because if I had no family I would for sure be spending that day by myself, in my underwear, watching football, eating cranberry sauce out of a can with a spoon. Because that’s what winners do.
This month’s Netflix titles for celebrating friendship are:
For the little kids:
1. Bob and Larry: VeggieTales in the House
2. Bert and Ernie: Sesame Street: Elmo and Friends
3. Bo and Dezzy: Bo on the Go!
4. Justin and Olive: Justin Time
5. Tod and Copper: The Fox and the Hound 2
6. Clifford and Elizabeth: Clifford
I didn’t even offer the kids Veggie Tales, because while I have never watched one, my understanding is that it is about Jesus vegetables. And the Blands don’t do Jesus veggies.
The kids picked Clifford. Or, rather, my daughter picked it and my son said, “Whatever.” They seemed to really enjoy the story of the big red dog whose poops must have their own zip code. (Really, I’m positive I’m not the first person who has wondered where the heck Clifford goes poop. “People in the neighborhood blame the smell on the local dump. If only they knew how right they were….”)
They loved Clifford, as they love all of the new stuff on Netflix. And I loved the list of suggestions for grown-ups because it included not only 30 Rock, but also Breaking Bad. This proves once again that Netflix knows me better than my own mother. Thanks, Netflix. I’d invite you over for dinner but I don’t do that.