As we gather with our friends and families next week for the big feast there are always a few tense moments.
If you are worried that the gravy will be lumpy, the dressing ("stuffing" for you Yankees) too dry, or if Dad will burn down the house trying to fry a turkey, not my department. Call Butterball, a caterer, or make reservations at the Ritz Carlton.
Blue bloods & black sheep have far more interesting and fun quandaries.
Quandary 1. Uber rich Great Aunt Gertrude actually expects her 16 year old incontinent shar-pei to sit at the table again this year?
Solution: Pour Gertie a couple of stiff drinks, throw some doggie treats in the dryer, when Mr Snookums follows, slam the door and turn on the wrinke release cycle. Of course you will probably be out of the will but that is a small price to pay for saving your dining room upholstery and a few giggles.
Quandary 2. After 44 years of marriage, Uncle Arnold unexpectedly shows up with Brittany, his new 19 year old girlfriend. Poor jilted Aunt Millie is already in the living room, what do I do?
Solution: Calmly re-arrange the place cards so Brittany is at the kiddie table and out of reach from Arnold's wife. Also, hide the red wine, a thrown white is less likely stain than a syrah.
Quandary 3. Your teenage niece and her new boyfriend have decided to become a militant vegans and paint themselves with giblets in protest.
Solution: Seat them in the garage, serve them the entire salad course and offer to pay for therapy & military school, preferably on another continent.
Quandary 4. Your cousin Jake, the star college quarterback, arrives wearing a sequin sheath, and declares he is now known as Miss Maybelle Leen and doing two shows a night at a local cabaret.
Solution: Smile sweetly, welcome him and say a prayer of thanks that his shoulders are too broad to borrow your favorite Chanel. Note to self, give him a body wax gift certificate for Christmas.
Quandary 4. There is near bloodshed between relatives whether Nana Middleton used light or dark corn syrup in "her" heirloom pecan pie recipe?
Solution: Tell them the real story: Nana had no frigging idea, she was too busy schtupping the gardener so her housekeeper always bought the pie at the Piggly Wiggly.
Quandary 5. Your juvenile delinquent nephew has switched the dried sage for the dressing (Yankee translation: stuffing) with his home-grown marijuana.
Solution: Serve extra large portions! The sullen kin will suddenly find everything hilarious, all arguments forgotten. When the munchies kick in, you won't be eating turkey leftovers 22 ways for the next week. Video for You-tube and become the next internet sensation.
If you are a guest instead of hosting:
Compliment the hostess on the beautiful table settings. When the conversation comes around to why you are still single, unemployed, and/or a bit heavy remember: napkin on the lap, fork on the right, knife in the back.
Your 4 year old twin cousins, little Cindy Lu(cifer) & (Beelze)Bubba Jr. won't
stop screaming? Introduce them to Prince Vallium in their chocolate milk. It might be the road to future addiction but you only have to get thru the next 3 hours. Others will thank you!
If the dinner is pot luck style, a big bottle of fine bourbon can double as covered side dish.
Keep your phone handy, makes it so much easier to schedule a week at a spa in place of the next holiday gathering.
And that my dears, these are the perfect tips for a Blue Blood Black Sheep holiday gathering!