Sunday, October 10, 2010

Thanksgiving at the Homestead

I am not a natural hostess; I would rather sit around with a glass of wine, entertaining guests with my guitar, than preparing and serving a meal. I just don't really like it. Stop by unexpectedly, and I'll pick up pizza and beer. I'm less interested in food, and more interested in the company. I am fully capable of making a turkey dinner, but just have never felt compelled to serve one.

However, since we moved to the Homestead, our home has become the family gathering place. There's lots of room for the kids to run around, a big, spacious kitchen, and that lovely rural autumn view that makes Thanksgiving in Canada a favourite holiday.

Luckily, I have a mother and two sisters who come to my rescue every year; I have become adept at delegating when it comes to big meals: you bring rolls and cabbage salad, you bring pies, you bring the turkey, and I'll do the veggies. It works out well. I know that someday my mom will have to pass the turkey torch to me, but for now, I'll continue to peel my spuds, sip my wine, and crank out a tune or two by the fire outside.

I don't know about your family, but ours is happily dysfunctional. I mean that in a loving way...we don't throw dishes or get slobbering drunk. Just the usual misunderstandings, careless comments, overreactions, hurt feelings, snarky comments, with a healthy side of passive aggression.  It's part of our dynamic. We realise not all families are like this. We're not in denial. But it's gone on for so long, it almost makes me smile in its familiarity.

We also have lots of:
rustic, festive decor, inspired by what we find outside;

smoochy kisses;

ill-fated attempts at nice family pictures (yes, that's my husband);

young hands to help the old;

and the requisite belly-/jazz-/hip hop-/salsa- dancefest after dinner.

Wishing all Canadians a joy-filled Thanksgiving, with all those special ingredients that make your family uniquely...yours!


  1. I love how you all come together and celebrate each bringing something to add the the special occasion:) We do this at Christmas time too. Our home is also the gathering place and everyone brings a part of the meal. This way we can all enjoy the day:)

  2. Thanks for including me in the "thankfully I have a mother and two sisters......" bit. I think you AND I could pull of a turkey dinner but like you, it is not my thing. I would rather drink a lot of wine to cope with the dysfunction and snarky, sarcasm that gets passed around with the mashed potatoes. LOL
    Happy Thanksgiving, sister......and for the turkey feast at The Knitty Gritty Homestead last night.

  3. Really though, I wonder how many families are really perfect? I bet more of them are dysfunctional in some way than you realize...mine sure is! Oh boy, could I tell stories... :)

    Laura @

  4. Another one of those resonant posts, my friend. I am in no way a hostess, intensely dislike cooking, and we also host the big gatherings at our home. Luckily my husband cooks and the extended family is game for potluck. Luckily I can invoke my counselling skills to navigate the run-of-the-mill family dynamics. And the post-function venting with my husband is always therapeutic :-) But truly, just as your photos and words express, we are so blessed to have such family connections. I give thanks for such sustaining roots.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  5. Happy Thanksgiving! Dysfunctional or not, sounds like a home full of love, and isn't that what it's all about?

  6. Oh good, so we're not the only dysfunctional family! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your loved ones! (p.s. I am very thankful for your amazing blog. You truly brighten my day with your posts)

  7. Happy Thanksgiving to you Canadians...this seems like a great time of year to have it, esp here in Alaska where our Thanksgiving is covered in snow and it does not resemble fall what-so-ever.

    I'm so with you on your rather not make a big meal...that's why I like close friends to come over and Sunday is the perfect day...hubby can throw some dogs on the bbq. Today I'm actually making a huge pot of borscht because it's good, makes use of my garden abundance, and it's good, and it's easy, and it's good and perfect for this time of year. Happy Thanksgiving and 10-10-10.

  8. A picture is worth a 1000 words....the home and family you are thankful for.... And wth is Perfect! anyway....looks like you have it to me. When something turns out perfectly..simply by accident i.e. without planning...that's the best.


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