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The hubs and I typically host all big family holiday dinners at our house.  All my crazy people + all his crazy people = a long day for me.  A long week actually.  Feeding twenty, even potluck style, takes some planning and effort.  This week, I’ve been inundated by facebook, Twitter and Pinterest posts showing The Perfect Thanksgiving – the perfect turkey, the perfect place setting, the perfect outfit, blah, blah, blah…so I want to share how holidays happen in the Pscho home…

www.marthastewart.com

Oh Martha, Martha, Martha. MY table does NOT look like this.

One week before event: 

  • Order a big ass organic turkey from the local market. 
  • Scour the internet for an adaptation to favorite recipes have few enough Weight Watchers points that I can do more than just SNIFF the macaroni and cheese pie.
  • Get hair cut and colored.
  • Change all the burned out lightbulbs all over the house.
  • Decide that the bathroom needs to be repainted now that I can see it in the light.  Stay up til midnight two nights to get this done.
  • Dust all the crap on the shelves that serve no purpose other than to collect said dust.

Three days before the event:

  • Bake organic cornbread and make homemade bread crumbs for stuffing.
  • Clean out drawers in kids’ rooms – because guests always look there.
  • Scrub tubs and showers even though no one is staying over with us.
  • Calculate how many hours I need to log at the gym to eat sister-in-law’s amazing veggie casserole.
  • Don’t actually go to gym.

Two days before the event:

  • Go to grocery store.  Take two grumpy, hungry children with me.  Buy the big ass turkey plus three hundred dollars worth of fresh, organic veggies.  Don’t forget a case of fabulous organic wine.  Stop at McDonald’s to feed crying children some crap food because I am too lazy to even make a sandwich at this point.
  • Mince onions and celery for dressing.  Chop a million other veggies.
  • Brine turkey.  Splash turkey juice (i.e. blood) all over kitchen.  Chase kids from kitchen and mop for the second time today.
  • While mopping, discover that baseboards look like crap.  Pay oldest child $5 to scrub them.
  • Google “Does chasing hyper kids = gym time”.  (It doesn’t, by the way.)
  • Go out for dinner with girlfriends.  Come home drunk at 2 a.m.

One day to go:

  • Pick out clothes for event.  Decide they make me look fat.  It could just be the margaritas from last night, but to make sure I rush to mall and snatch up three new outfits to try on at home and return later.  Every outfit looks amazing and now I’m out $400 with only four weeks until Christmas because I will not return amazing jeans.  Ever.
  • Boil eggs for deviled eggs.
  • Dig out favorite platform booties to wear with new jeans.  Decide they need polish.  Polish every shoe in the house.  Remove shoestrings from kids’ shoes and handwash with dish soap.  (It really works!)
  • Make cole slaw and fruit salad.  Slice open thumb because I still refuse – at 46 years of age – to use a cutting board.  Use duct tape because there is no time for an ER visit.  Plus everyone would have to go barefoot since all the shoestrings are wet.
  • Boiled eggs are soft-boiled and all go into trash.  Run to grocery for more eggs.  Leave barefoot kids in van.  Also spend $30 on seasonal candles because the whole house smells like a big fart because of the eggs.

T minus 8 hours:

  • Turkey in the oven and stuffing mixed.  Go back to bed.

T minus 6 hours:

  • Baste turkey.
  • Mop kitchen.
  • Go back to bed.

T minus 5 hours and 45 minutes:

  • Cover head with pillow and hope husband gets up to deal with crying baby.

T minus 5 hours and 40 minutes:

  • Hear husband call for help from the nursery.  Discover a leaky diarrhea diaper.  Put baby in tub, sheets in washer and Clorox Ava’s room.

T minus 4 hours:

  • Baste turkey
  • Set out plates, napkins and utensils for buffet
  • Feed kids breakfast
  • Hide purse, jewelry, husband’s wallet and kids’ piggy banks in case any of the dope head relatives need quick cash.

T minus 3 hours:

  • Remove turkey from oven and touch duct-taped thumb to side of oven.  Probably need some medical attention or at least pain meds.  Realize pain Rx is empty.  Probably aforementioned dumbass dopers pilfered my medicine cabinet at our last gathering.  Bitches.
  • Find the fucking cat asleep on my huge serving platter.  Yell at cat and wash platter.
  • My sister Jan arrives because she is having a late dinner with her girlfriend and has to leave early.  She brings two icy growlers of seasonal beer with her.  Decide it would be rude not to taste some.

T minus 2 hours:

  • Wrangle children into decent clothes, wash faces and brush hair.  Bows and clips attached.
  • Take a shower.  Do hair, makeup and put on great new skinnies.
  • Move turkey to platter and slice.  Pour drippings into pan to make gravy.  Spill grease all over new jeans.
  • Wipe legs with a baby wipe and put on new outfit #2.
  • Realize I have NO idea where the stupid “Elf on a Shelf” is.  Send kids outside with Aunt Jan and husband up in the attic to dig through dozens of unmarked boxes.

WHERE did I hide the Elf??

T minus ONE HOUR:

  • Mother-in-law, Sister-in-law, and husband’s great aunt and uncle arrive.  I pour beer into coffee mug and hope they don’t notice.
  • Kids are filthy.  Let the aunts change their clothes.  Both children come out wearing tacky Myrtle Beach t-shirts and sweatpants with no shoes.  Both girls look like we do not own a brush.  Know for fact now that the fabulous lesbians in my family can not be trusted for fashion advice.  Lament – yet again – that Clinton Kelly is not a close friend or family member.
  • Find Elf in sock drawer.
  • Finish all cooking.

T minus THIRTY MINUTES:

  • My grandmother, great uncle and parents arrive.  I break neck to turn off Nine Inch Nails “Closer” which is suddenly BLARING from my iPod.  Twist ankle and toss shoes into corner.
  • Turn on AC because it’s REALLY HOT in this kitchen.  Husband advises that it’s 40 degrees outside and turns off air.  Go put on a tank top.
  • Rest of family arrives and loads up the counters and tables with food.

DINNERTIME:

  • My mother asks my Agnostic uncle to bless our food.  Eyerolls all around.  My husband picks up the gauntlet and throws down a prayer. 
  • My sister advises that she’s hidden the beer cooler in my closet.  I tell her not to tell anyone since that’s where I hid my jewelry and purse.  Damn.  She’s already spread the news so I sneak back to my room and re-hide valuables.
  • Oldest daughter makes her own plate.  Drops it and breaks plate.  I pick up the big pieces of glass and use 200 paper towels to wipe up creamed corn.  Toss a bath towel over the whole deal and continue with dinner.
  • Make a plate for myself.  End up feeding it all to the baby.
  • Put baby down for nap.  Sneak into my closet for a sippy.
  • Make my own dinner of only fresh, healthy food.
  • Leave plate on table to make coffee for dessert since everyone else is finished eating.
  • Cold steamed broccoli tastes like shit.  Cover with gravy.  Yum.

And now they’re all gone….

Wet crib sheets are still in the washer.  My kitchen floor is covered in sweet tea, creamed corn and assorted other sticky substances.  The carpet in my closet is splashed with what was once a delicious IPA, and all cash is accounted for.  I stumble (drunkenly, by now) into the kitchen and step on the errant piece of glass from Sophie’s broken plate and apply an Angry Bird Band-Aid to my bloody foot.  I open the refrigerator and find that I totally forgot to serve the cole slaw, fruit salad or stinky-ass deviled eggs.

Annoyed, I hobble to the bathroom and look in the mirror.  My makeup looks more than a little like Heath Ledger’s Joker and I am not certain that I brushed my teeth today.  I am wearing a wife-beater and am barefoot not unlike my marginally dressed babies.  And THIS is why are there are no photos of me at the holidays.  Clinton Kelly would not have let this happen.

Man, I can’t wait to do this again in a month.

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