Monday, November 16, 2009

The bigger the family, the bigger the...gratitude.

On Saturday, November 28, I am hosting a Thanksgiving dinner here at the apartment for Edmund's family. Since they don't celebrate Thanksgiving here, they don't get Thursday off. It seemed to make sense. I have been thinking long and hard about the menu. Of course, there will be turkey, and I have tried to think of classic side dishes to go with it that Irish people will enjoy. The real dilemma, though, hasn't been the meal but the space. I have invited over 20 people into a space the size of a refrigerator box, and you may be wondering why. Why, Alyse?

A glutton for punishment? Nope, just a glutton. I like food.

Actually, the fact of the matter is that Edmund has two parents, six siblings, five siblings in law, and twenty nieces and nephews. Ahem. Twenty. Eleven boys and nine girls, if I'm counting right. Now, I don't think everyone is going to be able to make it, and my sister in law Catriona has offered to swipe a couple of folding 6-foot tables (with chairs) from her church, but when I look around my living room and picture, say, 15 people in it, I imagine that the place will essentially be a kennel. Food everywhere, noise everywhere, and since there will be infants, possibly feces everywhere. But doesn't it sound like fun? I'll just pop open a couple of windows and line the floor with cardboard litter. Woof.

So I don't even know where to begin preparations. The good news is that none of them have ever celebrated Thanksgiving before, so they shouldn't be disappointed. The bad news is, none of them have ever celebrated Thanksgiving before, so their hopes could be pretty high. I'm just going to ply them with alcohol early and start throwing scraps of turkey out of the kitchen every now and then as a teaser. (Note to self: think of good appetizer ideas.)

When I called my sister in law, Sorcha, to invite them, her response was, "That sounds like fun!" Then she put the phone to her shoulder and asked her 17 year old daughter Caoímhe, "Wouldn't it be fun to go to Edmund and Alyse's to celebrate Thanksgiving?"

Then, muffled by the cries of her younger sisters, I heard her reply with 17 year old disdain, "Thanksgiving? What's THAT?"


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