Not a Good Housekeeping Thanksgiving
By: Carmela Cunningham
Real Thanksgiving Day feasts are nothing at all the way they’re pictured on the cover of Good Housekeeping Magazine. In the magazine, there’s a beautiful roasted turkey with steaming mashed potatoes, a specially made autumn-colored centerpiece, hand-cut crystal glasses, and everyone is wearing color-coordinated outfits.
It’s not quite that way at the Cunningham house. First of all, our main dish is not turkey. It’s ravioli made during a weekend of flour, chicken, and chaos two weeks prior to Thanksgiving. Sure, we have turkey, but for us, it’s a side dish.
Then, there’s the decorations. Ours are hand-made. But the hands are small, the colors are black and purple, and they usually include an ugly picture of the artist’s sister. At our house, we may start out dressed nicely for a family holiday, but if you lift up anyone’s shirt, you’ll find drawstring pants that can be loosened if it becomes necessary.
Throughout the day, children will run around like Indians until they all finally get yelled at and told to go play quietly in the other room, wives will get snippy at husbands who won’t say what they are Most Thankful For, and people will eat until all the drawstrings are untied. Sisters will declare “the dressing isn’t right” and question the cook about why she got “that kind of cranberry sauce.” There’ll be a couple of fights, several heart-to-hearts, at least two good cries, and a few choruses of “Chela Luna.” Everyone will butt into everyone else’s business.
People will start saying good-bye about three hours before they actually leave, everyone will hug and kiss about 20 times, and anyone who married into the family will be confused.
What a great day it’ll be. We hope yours will be too.
NOTE: George and I are putting the finishing touches on our new book, “Come Rain or Come Shine.” It’s a book of essays about life, love and the pursuit of everything. Based on the essays we wrote for The Cunningham Report, some of the essays you may have read before. But there’s also quite a lot of new material, which we hope you’ll enjoy. Slated to be out by the first of the year, we hope you’ll give it a look. In the meantime – we hope you enjoy this sample.