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Thursday, November 13, 2014

Mama Rita’s Holiday Advice.

RELAX. STOP STRESSING. STOP listening to the media telling you everything has to be perfect. It doesn’t!
I just used an exclamation point and I never use them.
My mother was the East Coast distributor of guilt and I grew up thinking everything had to be perfect.  Of course, for her, it never was. And more important it doesn’t have to be. Honest.
I eventually (yes, I am a slow learner) learned it wasn’t about the decorations, table settings, and the right gifts. It was the fun of being with family and friends. Okay, the gifts are sorta important.
I want you to sit back and think about your most memorable holidays. Can you remember the things you just had to have from Santa? What about the family gatherings?
I will bet you your favorite bippy that what you remember about the fabulous brussel sprouts casserole your mom made isn’t how it tasted. You’ll remember how your older cousin Vinny fed his to Aunt Tilly’s yappy dog causing it to fart so bad the house had to be evacuated.  You remember the Christmas the ancient furnace blew, spewing soot on everything and everybody. Aunt Tilly’s yappy dog looked like a Tasmanian devil.
Which Thanksgiving would you remember?  The year it was Uncle Fritz’s turn to bring the thanksgiving turkey? He promised it would be fresh. It was, ’cause he’d just shot it an hour before. It still sported all its feathers and, obviously, hadn’t been cleaned. The kids were agog and grandma took the broom to him.  Or, do you remember the year your prissy Aunt Minny had dinner catered and everything was perfect?
True story. My mid-west family always went to grandma’s for Christmas. As she got up in years the temperature in the house also rose. In the 90s. No joke. Cousins couldn’t take any more. They came, changed into shorts, Hawaiian shirts, and flip flops. Opened up the beach chairs (her furniture was covered in plastic) and had their tropical drinks. It developed into quite an event, tarps spread with sand, a baby pool, neighbors coming by. I had pics but they are long lost. Sigh.
Point is everyone was happy and by gosh we all remember.     
Make some memories and be happy yourself. If you don’t want to cook, get takeout. Or get someone else to do it, like hubs and kids. If you don’t want to go to someone’s house, don’t go. They’ll get over it in a few years.  
Holidays are for sharing love with family and friends. We women deserve to enjoy them also.
Anyone want to share a bizzaro holiday story? I have plenty more but plan to use them in a Christmas book.

FOR ELISE My kinda Thanksgiving - someone else doing the cookin.  


Elise Warner said...

Mama Rita:I would have loved to see your photos of the 90s Thanksgiving.
The first time I made Thanksgiving dinner, I left the liver, neck etc. in the paper bag inside the turkey and the sand on the asparagus. Everyone was kind and pretended not to notice.

Marcelle Dubé said...

Great post, and great advice, Rita! I don't remember much about the state of the various houses, or the various holiday dinners I've had, but I do remember the family and friends who were there and all the laughter we shared.

Rita said...

Elise I posted those pictures just for you

Rita said...

Marcelle egg zackerly. But it's so easy to get our panties in a knot over the other things.

jean harrington said...

Rita, Does that guy bending over the stove rent by the hour?

Anne Marie Becker said...

Haha, Rita, I love the idea of a tropical Thanksgiving! And you're so right. It's about the family, and the memories. I'm hosting Thanksgiving this year (as I often do) and I can't wait. And it ain't because I get to cook all day. It's because I'll be surrounded by my loved ones. <3

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