Passing the baton on hosting Thanksgiving



Last year as we gathered around the table for our Thanksgiving meal, I announced to my five kids that this was the last year I would be putting on the big feasts for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

All but my youngest daughter had moved out of the house, and two daughters had houses of their own that could easily accommodate the crowd and the meals. So, I told them I was passing the holiday baton. No cleaning the house, no shopping for food, no spending upwards of $200 on one meal, no cooking a turkey plus a dozen side dishes, no doing dishes afterward, and no one stealing Tupperware I likely would never see again to cart home leftovers

This year, before anyone could start the annual, “What are we doing for Thanksgiving?” round-robin discussion, my oldest daughter said she wanted to have everyone to her house. Mission accomplished! Then the seven-way text messaging started about what time and what everyone would bring. You have not lived until you’ve been in a group text with four daughters who are easily sidetracked and one son who always says, “Can you leave me out of these group texts?”

The difficulty in planning comes from the four daughters, who all have a husband or boyfriend, who each have parents/family of their own who, for some reason, believe they should be accommodated, too. No doubt, anyone with grown children knows that backand forth of trying to decide whose family is visited when.

We finally had it worked out so that we would have our Thanksgiving at 2 p.m. at Kassie’s house. I should have known the relative calm of that decision would never last.

Last week, Brenna told us her boyfriend’s grandmother, who originally had planned her meal for 6 p.m., now wanted to have hers at 2 p.m., too, and could we change our time? If it was to be at my house, I would’ve said, “Too damn bad! See you next year!” But no. Back to the drawing board!

The next suggestion was to have our meal on Friday since everyone would have the day off. None of us ever go shopping on Black Friday – you have to be crazy for that, and luckily, none of us really is. So Friday at 4 p.m.

Not so fast! Meaghan decided to go back to her old job at a jewelry store for the Christmas season, and will be working on Black Friday. Well, sorry, kiddo, but at least you’ll be raking in all the bucks from people buying diamond rings they can’t afford.

In the end, a 100 percent satisfaction rate is not possible with so many people in the mix. The odds just are not in our favor. As Rick Nelson sang in “Garden Party,” You can’t please everyone, so you got to please yourself.” I’m still pleased not to have the holiday at my house, though the girls seem to think this is a temporary glitch that will right itself by next year.

Happy Thanksgiving! Next stop – “What are we doing for Christmas?”

Jalene Jameson is a staff writer for the View Newspapers. Contact her at