Thanksgiving traditions probably don’t come up in conversations nearly as much as Christmas traditions, but I bet most of us have some.
Here are a few traditions to consider, if they’re not already part of your Thanksgiving routine. And now you have plenty of time to implement them because Thanksgiving’s arriving a little late this year, nearly crowding out Christmas, you know?
— Get up early, but not too early, and get the coffee brewing. Turn on the Macy’s Day Parade on any and all TVs in the house so as not to miss anything. Because, you know, sometimes those floats get out of hand. Or Al Roker might have a verbal slip-up. Or the Santa this year might actually be like the Santa Kris Kringle had to replace in “Miracle on 34th Street.” Then again, everything might go extremely well, aside from the often detected poor lip-syncing by performers, and it’ll all be a great morning show. Still, just in case something goes awry, be sure to DVD the parade so you can replay it.
— If you’re one of those who has their proverbial poop in a group such that every single item for the big meal is cooked ahead of time, requiring nothing more than a warming up before serving, then congratulations to you. You’re sick, but congratulations.
If you’re not one of those, then that’s why you also need a TV in the kitchen so you can keep up with the parade. Nothing beats the mayhem in the kitchen as all the various casseroles, desserts and the main attraction are being prepared. Just don’t turn too quickly with a knife in hand.
— At some point after the coffee and whatever you prepped for breakfast — consider a coffee cake or an easy-bake sausage, egg and grits casserole, by the way — are done and you’re now well on the way to fixing the day’s big meal, you can ease the stress a bit by fixing a delicious Bloody Mary. If you are that person who had the big meal already fixed and are merely warming it up, make that two Bloody Marys. Why not, right?
— Break out the good China because, after all, this will now give you two times a year to put it to use, even though you’ve owned the eight- or 10-place settings since you got married 40 years ago.
Actually, you might be one of those who has special Thanksgiving place settings and Christmas place settings, in which case you haven’t seen the good china in 40 years or, again because you’re so dang organized and have the meals ready ahead of time, you use the good china nearly every day of the year.
Now, if neither of the above describes you, consider spending a little extra money to buy the really good Chinet plates and cups to add a little kick to your holiday table.
Oh, and if the Bloody Mary doesn’t take the edge off enough, especially if some of the guests are those you can barely and only tolerate on this particular occasion, be sure to have some decent wine. White or red will do, even if serving turkey or ham. Don’t be a wine snob. Besides, if that one guest stays too long, you won’t really care if it’s white or red, just as long as there’s wine in the bottle.
— This one is likely a Thanksgiving tradition in more households than anyone cares to admit. When the big meal is done and the dishes are washed, loaded in the dishwasher or, in the case of the Chinet, put in the garbage, it’s time to tune into some Thanksgiving Day football.
That might not be for everyone, in which case and since you’ve already spent a couple of hours with the whole family at the dinner table and offered up why you’re so very thankful for each and every one of them, this might be another time when having multiple TVs comes in handy. Football for them, “The Nutcracker” for you. Or maybe launch into the Christmas movies.
— If you have an awake and industrious family still hanging around the house, you might consider stowing the fall decorations and hauling out the Christmas decorations. But probably not.
— At some point, while yet focused on Thanksgiving Day, crank up Arlo Guthrie’s “Alice’s Restaurant.” Admittedly, depending on your age and the ages of those celebrating the occasion with you, the song might get lost in translation. Another option is to crank YouTube up on the big screen and play the unforgettable episode of “WKRP.” Don’t know this one? Google “WKRP Thanksgiving Turkey Giveaway.” While the show is old, this particular episode is funny no matter how old you are. Granted, it helps if you grew up with Mr. Carlson, Dr. Johnny Fever, Venus Flytrap, Les Nessman and the gang.
— None of this work for you? No worries. Maybe the best thing you can and should make for Thanksgiving is reservations. Let someone else do the prepping and cleaning up while you rest up for early bird Black Friday shopping. Or simply enjoy a long sleep as you skip all the Thanksgiving hoopla and focus on what lies just around the corner: Christmas!