I adopted Thanksgiving probably 11 or 12 years ago, and really love planning, cooking (okay, my cousin brings the Turkey) and hosting the event. It’s a lot of work, but tightly planned, with the shopping, setting up, cooking, etc. spread out over a few days.
So I’m talking to my mom on Sunday, and she starts asking what I’m serving to drink. I had just heard an interesting grape juice reduction cocktail (that could go non-alcoholic with club soda for kids, or with champagne and grappa for adults) from Alton Brown on foodnetwork’s Thanksgiving Live show.
“Oh,” mom says. “Will you serve the cocktails first and then wine with dinner? Do you think everyone will drink a cocktail? What about serving a punch?”
All I can think is “1. Eww, not a really big punch drinker and 2.) really, mom, you are coming as a guest and you are going to have an opinion on what I’m serving? What, do you think it’s too much liquor? What are you saying?!!”
And before I could speak, a cardinal rule of Engagement and Inclusion just kicked in automatically “Assume Positive Intent.”
“Okay, mom, where are you going with this,” I thought, and rather than responding waited to hear more.
“I wondered if you wanted that beautiful crystal punch bowl with the 12 crystal glasses and ladle, that was always on the dining room table when you were growing up. It was a wedding gift,” she said, ” but if you can use it, I’d love for you to have it.”
Wow–her line of questioning was really about trying to maneuver the conversation to where I might mention needing a way to serve punch or cocktails–so that RATHER than trying to tell me what to do, she could offer this amazing gift in context.
There are so many movies and articles this time of year about dysfunctional families and stress around the holidays and how to get along with family, that I know I’m not the only one who might want to jump to a knee jerk do you think I’m still 10 reaction of don’t tell me what to do!
Glad that the tools for diversity and recognizing bias, etc., apply to getting along with family too, and that I remembered to use them.
Can’t wait to get the punch bowl. It solves my dilemma of how to serve the Sqash Bisque on a buffet–it will look stunning in this crystal ball that my parents got for their wedding, 52 years ago.
And, now, for the real Thanksgiving manipulation? In seaching online for Alton’s grape juice cocktail, I see that he is a spokesperson for Welch’s. I feel so used. But it does sound good…
Happy Thanksgiving! How will you get through without any family tiffs?