My family is getting together for Thanksgiving again, on Thanksgiving Day itself, as we've been lucky enough to do for the last several years. When it comes to holidays, we are a remarkably low-maintenance tribe. We do not obsess over appearances, who sits next to who, or who eats or doesn't eat what. If we can all be together, we're good, and the rest is just extra.
My mother probably obsesses the most. She comes from the old school, and in the old school, you do not have only a turkey on Thanksgiving; you have both a turkey and a ham. It's what she does because it's what her mother did, even though her mother was cooking for somewhat bigger gatherings than my mother is. Mom also makes lots of stuff for dessert, although it's a cumulative process. She's always putting baked goods in the freezer so she can send some home with whichever of us comes to visit, so at holiday time, she can bust out a wide variety of goodies. And there is usually pie. My mother has never, as long as I can remember, baked a pie that turned out right, or so she says. Her mother was exactly the same. You'd compliment Grandma on the pie and she'd say, "Oh, it didn't turn out." (Sometimes she would do this pre-emptively, before you had a chance to compliment her.) She would say this while the entire family was falling out of their chairs with delight because the the failure of a pie was so delicious. And the same thing happens at Mom's dinners now.
We always ask if we can bring something. Mom always says not to, and we always do anyway. This year we're all contributing a little something for noontime while we all watch the Packer game, then having the main meal later in the afternoon. "The little something" will be undoubtedly be more than a couple of celery sticks and some cheese, so we won't really need a big dinner, but we'll have it because that is how we roll.
This Thanksgiving, I hope you get to hang out with people you love and eat stuff you like, too.