About 100 miles from Plymouth Rock, my family’s celebration is beginning.
of the Christmas season around here, and while I’m always in awe of families who
manage to fast from Christmas during Advent, we never do. The radio gets tuned to
the Christmas carol station while the dishes from Thanksgiving dinner are being
cleared, which is a minor victory for me, considering my kids start badgering me for
it sometime around October 30th.
where fifty Pilgrim settlers and ninety members of the Wampanoag tribe met for a
three-day feast of gratitude. The fifty Pilgrims were the only ones of the hundred
who had originally landed in Plymouth. Among those fifty were four adult women—
the only four women who had survived that first winter in Massachusetts.
It was upon the shoulders of these four survivors that the task of cooking for 140
people for a three-day period fell. Of course.
Wampanoag had taught the settlers how to catch. Feathering and butchering the
waterfowl and turkeys that had been killed. Cleaning and prepping the corn, the
have seemed very wild and unruly to those European women.
Rock, my family’s Thanksgiving is beginning. My sister-in-law and her two girls
have flown up from Georgia to spend the holiday with us, and instead of a meager
three-day celebration, we get almost a full week. We are down two adult women to
help cook, but we’ve got three tweenaged girls, who make up in enthusiasm what
they may lack in kitchen experience.
thinking it will last for three days. Within twelve hours, half of it is gone. I blame
the four year old, who is notorious for pulling bookmarks from books, hitting his
towards our fellow man. It’s the holidays! Loved ones are here! Family memories
to last a lifetime! Also, the junk food companies have suddenly decided that 2014 is
The Year of the Cranberry, and suddenly there’s cranberry-flavored Sprite, cranberry-flavored Oreos, even some cranberry-flavored cereal. What’s not to
cart, I’ve navigated 15 extremely crowded aisles in search of those dang French-
fried onions, and neither me nor my sister-in-law remembered to write out a
grocery list, things start getting a little less festive. By the time we reach the
checkout line, and the cashier is unable to understand why my sister-in-law gave
him $61 for a $51 grocery bill, staring stupidly at the money in his hand while my
kids paw through all the gum, begging me for one more chance to have some, please
mom, we swear we will stop the baby from smearing it in her hair this time, the first
cracks in my holiday cheer start to show.
We’re missing a dog, and I suspect he may be hidden under the mountain of dirty
dishes on the counter, but since he’s not making a racket, I’m not in a hurry to
investigate. The kids have let the chickens out- deliberately- seven times, and have
spent a combined total of four hours chasing them around the gully, trying to round
them back up. This is, apparently, great fun for kids ages 12-2. It is less fun for the
mothers. And the chickens. Egg production is going to suffer. The noise level in the
house hasn’t dipped below 110 decibels in 72 hours.