Tuesday, November 22, 2005


There are some traditions that are sacred. Easter egg hunts, back-to-school clothes, pizza Tuesdays...they just make sense. Then we have Thanksgiving, a big, fat, juicy four-day week-end perched like a sitting duck right before the big enchilada - Christmas. I've got eighty-seven thousand lights to put on the house, twenty-three dozen cookies to bake, seventy-eight presents to regift, and twenty-two cards to mail - and I'm supposed to put that on hold and cook a seven-course meal? Couple that with a couple of boys that abhor ham and detest turkey, and you see where I'm going with this. The lightbulb glowing over my head is not from the oven. Am I truly going to pull the frozen entrails of a dead bird out of its patootie just because my Nana did? My grandmother also drank Gallo wine, ate Kitchels, and watched the Price is Right. Sorry, Nana.

My boys each have a distinct reason for disliking the traditional turkey feast. My eight-year-old, the sensitive one, is a vegetarian. My seven-year-old says turkey is "icky," "gross," and "sick." Last year I tried to placate them by stuffing the turkey with the icon of kid-dinners - macaroni & cheese. It was "icky," "gross," and "sick."

This year will be different. This year, whether we like it or not, we're going to celebrate the true meaning of the season. We're going to be thankful for a four-day week-end. We're going to stay put and be a family even if it kills us. And my boys are going to be thankful they have a mom who can buck tradition and say, "Turkey, you may live, because you are icky, gross, and sick." Instead we will create a more palatable, albeit frozen, main course - a custom-made, turkey-shaped ice cream extravaganza. Gobble. gobble. Eat your heart out, pilgrim, and pass the sprinkles.