My daughter ate scrambled eggs and buttered toast with a side of baby carrots for Thanksgiving this year. I know there are the “kids must eat what you eat” folks – and I wish I had the backbone to stick to that. And I know there are the traditionalists who may raise their eyebrows at the coddling eggs and toast imply. But I’m pretty sure the majority of parents would have made a similar choice, if not for the same reasons.
I’ve tried to verbalize to my disappointed-in-my-laid-back-attitude husband why I shut down a little when it comes to making a big deal about holiday meals. I’m pretty sure part of it comes from my mother always trying so very hard to make each holiday perfect; we always teased her that she was trying to recreate Norman Rockwell’s idealized images. The attempt to reach the unattainable surrounded holiday meals in layers of stress for the entire family. I always compared the amount of stress and preparation and work to the 30 minutes or so of chowing down. Throw in the clean-up and it just didn’t make sense to me. By the time I became a vegetarian in my teens and disrupted my mother’s Rockwellian dream for good, I had already decided that perfect holidays were overrated.
I’m sure there’s a lot more going on with my whatever attitude, but that’s the five-cent version.
My anti-Martha Stewart ways come in handy in very few ways. Usually, my apathy comes across as laziness, I’m sure. But when “things” happen to disrupt the ideal holiday plans, my lack of enthusiasm* for creating five-course sit-down meals with a homemade centerpiece and artisan cornbread stuffing means I don’t think twice about being flexible and spontaneous.
This Thanksgiving we went from hosting to being guests just a day before The Big Show, and it didn’t bother me at all. And when my four-year-old slept through the Thanksgiving meal and woke up asking for eggs and toast, I indulged her to keep the peace. Because, really, aren’t scrambled eggs and toast kind of the perfect meal?