thanksgiving-dinner-2011.jpg Sitting on my couch, watching Jake manage the after effects of a house party gone wrong thanks to some channel’s shared love of my favorite movie, Sixteen Candles.  Today is Thanksgiving Day, and I’m thankful that my own “house party” couldn’t have gone off better last night.

Did I plan a pre-turkey-tofu-whatever-you-eat Day blow out?  Not hardly.  But Gwenn and I did invite my family (my bro, sister-in-law, two nieces, mom, dad, best friend and goddaughter) over for a Thanksgiving Eve dinner.  Well, my brother suggested we host- I didn’t offer because our place is so small, and his is so big.  And also, over the years, I’ve gotten lazy with the hosting side of things in general.  I know my brother works hard, has a family, and his time gets a bit more crunched up than mine.  So the hour drive to his place and back to mine isn’t a problem for Gwenn and I, since we’re not wrangling two kids and suffering the after effects of a graveyard shift.

So when my brother asked if we’d want to host a Thanksgiving Eve dinner, I stuttered, “Uh... sure!”

Our kitchen table wasn’t big enough for 10, though the make-shift flip top is perfect for an 8-person game of cards.  A folding table in the shed out back helped, and a table cloth made it fit right in.  Everyone brought an item of food, so really, Gwenn and I got off very easy on the preparation side of things.  With two 3-year olds coming, I made a little Thanksgiving Day table out of two pillows, several stuffed animals and paper plates and cups, figuring that if they finished up dinner early or it just took a long time to eat after arrival that they’d have something to do.

Aside from the youngins- both of whom I adore- I was also excited to see my parents.  I haven’t written about any of this since it’s their lives, but last year they got divorced.  I joked with Gwenn many times since then about writing a book about how to survive a divorce in your mid-thirties... as the child of divorced parents.  Anyway, I love them both, and never told either that I think they just work better together: Dad’s less of a sad sack and Mom is less aggressive.  I can write that because my parents are hanging out again. I respect and love them both, and whatever decision they make from here is theirs.  But, I won’t lie, I love seeing them together, most importantly because I love seeing them happy.

The night? Well, it went perfectly.  It’s a Thanksgiving experience I’ll never forget- the kids bonded instantly, I joked around with my older niece, who is about to turn 13 and is just a witty, fun person to be around... we all sat at the two tables, crunched up in our small kitchen, of which I was thankful.  I ended up sitting in the best seat by chance, with the ability to swivel between both tables. Everyone just had a wonderful night, and it was enhanced because of the change in scenery... I was so happy, I didn’t even mind when I busted out during the card game later in the evening.

Probably because in life, I’ve definitely hit the jackpot.

Thanks for reading,