My friend Jeri, knowing my aversion to anything reminiscent of Martha Stewart, sent me a hilarious essay on how NOT to be so “Martha” at Thanksgiving. Of course, I’ve edited it liberally and it bares little resemblance to the original version.
“For those of you who are coming to my place for Thanksgiving dinner-
Martha Stewart won’t be here or have anything to do with my Thanksgiving dinner preparations.
My sidewalk will not be lined with homemade, paper bag luminaries.
After a trial run, it was decided that no matter how cleverly done, rows of flaming lunch sacks do not have the desired welcoming effect and in case of a windy day my house would go up in flames in a matter of minutes.
Once inside, my guests will note that the entry hall is not decorated
with the swags of Indian corn and fall foliage, carefully cut from construction paper. (No joke, this was in her magazine this month.) Construction Paper? What’s wrong with the leaves Mother Nature paints for us each fall?
There will be no fancy place cards made from clever turkey feathers or mini pine-cones. Everyone knows where they sit – they’ve been sitting there for years, and no one would dare fluctuate from the traditional line up.
The dining table will not be covered with expensive linens – I got mine at Artex in West Point for a grand total of $7 back in 1995. They are used seven times a year – Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, Daddy’s Birthday, the boy’s birthdays and Father’s Day.
Our dinner conversation will focus on the stains on the table cloth as we lovingly and laughingly remember who put them there and what the dish was.
“Oh look! Here’s Aunt Emma’s spinach Madeline from last Christmas.”
“And there’s the hole from last Easter when Daddy knocked over a candle.”
If possible, I will use dishes that match and everyone will get a fork. Not so sure about spoons since I’ve chopped most of them up in the garbage disposal over the years (they slip in by accident and when I crank up the disposal you get the awfulest sound in the world. That’s why I had to replace the disposal last week when Glen redecorated my kitchen.)
My centerpiece will not be the tower of fresh fruit and flowers a la Martha. Instead I will stack the plastic pumpkins I purchased at Hobby Lobby several years ago. (Martha wouldn’t be caught dead with anything plastic on her table.)
There will be no dinner bell to herald the family to the table. When the smoke alarm sounds, they will know I’ve burned the first batch of bread and am popping in the back-up. That’s the last thing before saying the blessing.
In lieu of dessert, Daddy (Dr. Braddock) will line us up and give us flu shots. Betcha Martha can’t do that!
Note. Martha Stewart will definitely not be dining with us this year. She probably won’t come next year either. I am so thankful.