Don’t even tell me if you’re only interested in the giveaway part of this here carnival. Just go ahead and skip to the end. But you should really read the whole post. It’s touching. And thought-provoking. And I talk about cats. And Cracker Barrel.
If that’s not enough to make you keep reading, well, I just don’t know what will do it…
You know how it’s so hard to get out the door some days? Especially when you have to be somewhere at a certain time?
It’s those days when you can’t find your keys or you have a fight with your husband over something stupid. Corralling your kids is like herding cats . . . and keeping your cats out of the garage is like herding kids.
But once you finally get into the car? Whew! You can breathe a sigh of relief.
Sure, you might have to deal with traffic or snow or ice, the kids might be whiny and the car’s defrost might smell like mildew, but at least you’re on the road.
And then you arrive. It’s Thanksgiving, and all the family has gathered to celebrate the holiday. You pile into the house, take off your coats, say your hellos and make the first round of hugs. And then you realize…
You forgot the turkey. At home. Over an hour away.
Now what? Well, if you’re my family a few years ago, you simply brown up some hamburger and have tacos for Thanksgiving dinner. Because, really? It’s not the turkey that matters.
(And that stressed out family that forgot to pack the turkey in the chaotic mini-van now has dinner for the next week!)
Have you ever had that kind of Thanksgiving?
I wish I were a little more on top of things. Then I would have remembered to dig out and scan a picture of my family on Thanksgiving a few years back. In Florida. At a Cracker Barrel.
It wasn’t exactly anyone’s idea of the perfect holiday, but my great aunt needed help moving to a new home. And so my mom bought us all tickets and we flew south for the winter – or, at least, for the Thanksgiving weekend.
I won’t lie. We didn’t have a whole lot of fun that weekend. There was a lot of family stress (Some might even say “dysfunction,” but of course I wouldn’t. Nope, not me.), and the weather wasn’t even that impressive. You’d think Thanksgiving in Florida would be fun – beaches and sunshine and all that, right? Um, no. Not that year.
But here’s the thing: We were there for family. And that was the last time we got to see my Granna, my Great Aunt Anna. And I wouldn’t trade that for all the homemade turkey dinner and Missouri weather in the world.
So, let’s give up on the idea of a “perfect” Thanksgiving. It’s okay if your turkey isn’t golden brown. Don’t worry if you have to celebrate on Friday instead of Thursday. And if someone forgets to put the sugar in the pumpkin pie, let her off the hook (ahem, Shelly).
Because it’s not really about the gourmet food. Or the beautiful presentation. Or the autumn decor.
It’s about spending time with those family members you only see a few times a year. It’s about taking a moment, an hour, a day to thank God for all that He’s given us. It’s about old and new traditions that have special meaning to our families. It’s about the Yahtzee games and the green punch and the Plaza lights and the wishbone and the kids running around and drawing names for Christmas and breaking out the china for the girls and letting the guys watch football – or whatever is important to your family.
Tell me about it. What REALLY matters for your Thanksgiving? When did you have to give up on perfect? What are your plans for next week? Let us have it – in the comments and in your own posts.
That’s right! Don’t forget – playing along with today’s carnival gives you a chance to win one heck of a Thanksgiving prize! One lucky – and, I’m sure, thankful – reader will win this cool stuff:
- An autographed copy of The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Recipes from an Accidental Country Girl
- A matching adult and child’s apron from Dayspring’s Life Collection
- A limited edition (read: I got it at the book signing) Pioneer Woman Book Tour t-shirt
How can you enter this awesome contest? Simple.
- Leave a comment telling me a Thanksgiving memory – perfect or otherwise.
- Or subscribe to this blog (and leave a comment telling me you did it).
- Or become a fan of Giving Up on Perfect on Facebook (and leave a comment telling me you did it).
- And yes, if you are already subscribed or a fan, that counts. Just leave a comment telling me.
Comments made by midnight on Saturday, November 21, will be eligible. After I consult Random.org, I’ll announce the winner on Sunday. Or Monday. Because I’m giving up on perfect, too, remember!
Can’t get enough of Giving Up on Perfect? Subscribe here, follow me on Twitter and join my Facebook page.
I subscribed/ am a fan, of course.
You know I'm a facebook fan.
And I dont know if I was supposed to enter those separately, but I'm not a girl to take chances- especially when a PDub book is at stake here.
Our funniest Thanksgiving was kind of like yours when we all went to New Orleans. We didn't realize that NOTHING would be open for Thanksgiving lunch, so we ended up at the Waffle House. On Thanksgiving. "Pass the blueberry syrup" just isn't heard that often, but it was that year!
Oh me. And we put the fun in dysfunction, my friend.
Next week we are going to see Jason's family,so we are looking forward to it! For now…
I am a subscriber too. Thanksgiving to me is a warm home, yummy foods, and lots and lots of laughter.
You know that I am all over being a fan of yours like tweens on Pizza Rolls and the JoBros. Yep. It's like that with you and me! And for the record, I don't want to win your prize- I like my matching mother/ daughter skull and polky dot aprons. ;) But I will happily take an honorable mention, as that might help soften the stink of the Turkey Tutorial drama. And that's what my entry is all about.
Plus, all my holidays are catastrophic in one way or another, so I couldn't narrow it down to one Thanksgiving in particular. So it's all about the prep this year!!!
Love ya girl!
Charlie, Turkey Master and Video Editing Challenged
I'm a subscriber. And a fan on FB. :)
And, I agree 100% that Thanksgiving is about the experience – the time with family – not the "perfect" setting. Even though close to perfect is pretty special (I'm still waiting for this to happen – only partially kidding about that).
When I was growing up, I remember often having our family Thanksgiving dinner on the Sunday after Thanksgiving. That way my dad and brother could go hunting with my uncle an hour + away. On Thanksgiving Day proper, we often ate lasagna.
One year, to celebrate the holiday, Mom took us to McDonald's on the Wednesday evening before. That was a Treat with a capital T. With 4 kids in the family and only 1 income, going out to eat (even at McD's) was a big deal.
Funny what we remember? I'm sure Mom would be so proud! :)
I am a subscriber and just became a facebook fan!
I have lots of great Thanksgiving memories. I love spending time with family and just enjoying each other's company. I remember as a child having 2 Thanksgiving dinners. We always went to have an early dinner with my Dad's family. I really miss my Poppy's mashed Rutebega. I loved it as a child and haven't had it in forever. Then we'd go to my gram's to have dinner with my mom's family. It was always too much food and lots of laughter with my cousins. This year we are going to PA for Thanksgiving for the first time in more than 6 years. I'm looking forward to enjoying time with my family and my husbands.
I totally subscribe already and am a big fan!
My most memorable Thanksgiving was my first year in the States. I got invited home to a friend's for the holiday. I was thrilled to be included. And then I got uninvited because she hadn't checked with her mom yet. And then I cried. And then I got re-invited.
It was totally worth it though. Turkey and stuffing? DELICIOUS!
I'm already a subscriber, but now I'm a fb fan, too!
Whoever said Cracker Barrel ≠ awesome Thanksgiving just needs to can it. I've done it almost my whole life because my mom doesn't really like cooking or her sister–who does the overboard cooking for everyone else for Thanksgiving. It's always been Gatlinburg, TN and/or a trip to Cracker Barrel. Every year until I got married. Good times, though, good times. Thanks for the post.
My best Thanksgiving memory is meeting my husband on the Sunday just a couple days before Thanksgiving at our church's annual beans and cornbread dinner. In talking to him and finding out he was going to be alone that Thanksgiving, I invited him to spend it with me, my mom and dad. The rest is history. So, every Sunday before Thanksgiving we have a special time together. Afterall it's the day that changed our lives.
I'm a subscriber through google reader:)
Sorry to be a downer but one of my immediate Thanksgiving Memories is the about my Aunt. She just found out a couple of days before thanksgiving that her cancer had come back & very aggressively … it was a bitter-sweet (trying to soak up good memories but also knowing what was looming ahead!)
Just became a FB fan:)
i'm a fan!
i'm still not the greatest cook when it comes to thanksgiving. although last year i decided to host and cook everything. and EVERYTHING turned out great! but not without many phone calls to my mom…. "mom, do you cover the turkey? mom, how long does it take? mom….."
but i've had my share of mishaps. like the first year i made thanksgiving dinner for ben and myself when samantha was about 4 months old. and i totally forgot to make mashed potatoes. we sat down to eat. he grabbed some turkey, mac n cheese, and then said, "hun, did you make potatoes?!" sheesh! i remembered the gravy but totally forgot the potatoes.
and then there was the time i made my dad some pumpkin pie and i poked the pie crust with a fork before i poured the filling in, because you're supposed to do that, right?! that was a mess. i ended up having to bake the pie twice as long and when we decided it was close enough to being done, i dished out a piece and somehow the crust had disappeared. i think it dissolved….
ahhh… this year we're going to ben's mom's house. i'll bring the apple pies. and if i may say so, that's something that WILL turn out near perfect! :-)
My perfect memory…just married, first Thanksgiving together, hubby in grad school, just the two of us. :)
I'll save my not-so-pefect for my post. :)
I subscribe! You know I love you, girl! :)
I'm a fb fan! :)
My best/perfect Thanksgiving was last year…and while I was sad because all of my extended family was back home enjoying their time together…I had a great time making all of my mom and grandmother's Thanksgiving recipes…family traditions, it was a beautiful trip down memory lane…and…
Being with just my own family, husband and kiddos was really fun and special. Our first Thanksgiving on our own…we even made our own napkin rings. I loved it.
You know I love your blog, girl…and subscribed a while back…
Hip Mama is a fan…a Big Fan…on FaceBook…
We always host Thanksgiving at our house. I love this tradition. My hubby's family comes as well as my family. We've been hosting since the first year we were married, ten years ago. (Before that, my mom would host it and his family was invited the first year we started dating!) Our very first Thanksgiving we hosted, I thought I had it all under control. Until my mom told me that I would have to reach inside the turkey to pull out the baggie they leave inside with gizzards and gunk. Yep, I hung up the phone and announced to hubby that my mom was on her way over to help! I just couldn't do it. Now we just brine a turkey breast. No sticking my hand in any cavity, thank you very much! (Rea would be disappointed in me, I'm sure.)
Does it count that I follow you in my Bloglines reader? ;)
My dog ate the turkey. I was young and I left him alone with the food for just a minute. I knew my mom would be upset so I tried grabbing it from his mouth and even considered washing it off and trying to put it back on the platter. Madness I know! but I was panicked. Funnily enough, mom just laughed as he gobbled it all up bones and all in record time. And it has been the great THANKSGIVING story of my family!
Growing up, we always had more than family at our table. Usually, it was an elderly couple who had children that had all moved away. They became like my own grandparents. They often spent Christmas dinner with us, too!
I'm a fan on FB!
Thanksgiving is always wonderful, but don't you remember the funny stuff gone wrong more than the "perfect" Thanksgivings? My SIL forgot to put sugar in the pumpkin pie one year (which is HILARIOUS because everyone thinks she can do no wrong!) so your quip about Shelly forgetting, made me laugh. We had to spend Thanksgiving in a restaurant one year, due to the fact my sister HAD to get married that weekend. (they're celebrating 25 years on Tuesday!) My MIL CONSTANTLY asks, "Is everything ok?" during the ENTIRE Thanksgiving meal, which it is always good. My in-laws ONLY have me bring salad and cranberry sauce because they know I can't mess it up and they don't want any "weird" dishes. I could go on for days. Maybe I should post this on my blog!
Well, since we have already HAD (eh hum Canadian) our Thanksgiving, I thought I would tell you about it. Given that it was in October, I think you would consider that less than perfect! :)
At any rate, I'm going to tell you about my wonderful mother-in-law and how she has given up on having a perfect thanksgiving. You see, her sons keep marrying women with health concerns that play into what they can eat. This year was much better as my diet has loosened up some, but last year I couldn't even have potatoes as they caused my blood sugar to freak out. My sister-in-law has Celiacs disease, which means that anything with gluten is a bit no-no. So no stuffing, no potatoes for me, no tortiere (French meat pie- a family tradition for them) etc etc. Almost everything had to be done differently, and my mother-in-law did not complain one bit! She is, however, very thankful that her newest to be daughter-in-law is perfectly healthy!
Sorry, BIG no-no, VERY BIG not bit no-no. Whoops!
oh- and I'm also a Facebook fan- you linking to your posts is very helpful by the way
hmmmm…I was scrolling along and just realized I may should have Mr. Linky'd my post today to the "thankful' theme from Thursday instead of today's theme. Oh dear…NOT perfect for sure :)
To make up for it…I believe I need to share a Thanksgiving memory. (20 minutes have just passed as I stare off into space seeking a memory…any memory!) We keep it pretty simple with low expectations. So…no memory of anything but food, fun and fellowship. Looking forward to more of it this year. But if we do have drama…You will be the first one I come tell! :)
Oh ya…been a fan on FB since I first got invited…thanks for thinking of me :)
one more…you show up on my igoogle home page everytime I open it…so I'm all subscribed up!
I subscribe to your blog!!
This year for Thanksgiving we are getting together with my husband's family and it will be small, but intimate. I love baking and make a mean pecan pie!! A happy memory/tradition we have in our family is on the Wednesday before my mom, grandma and I would get together and get all the side dishes ready. My mom and grandma made stuffing from scratch and it would always a fun time. They taught me how to make my first pecan pie when I was in middle school and the first one I made I even included pasty leaves to serve as decoration. Well, in my quest to give up on perfect, I no longer make my own pie dough, let alone little pastry leaves, but my pie is still just as yummy!
Oh, and I am a Facebook Fan!
I'm subscribed through my Google reader and have you bookmarked at work — your posts always pick me up during my down time (at work and mentally!) I've loved following your Pioneer Woman trek!
Oh, I should tell you about the Thanksgiving that my oven blew up … yes, really. It was in 1985 and I had invited too many people to fit in my dining room but it was a new house and I couldn't resist (I was SO young!) The thermostat blew on my oven with plenty of sparks and all the smoke detectors blaring — oh the drama! With dinner only half done I ended up carting dinner, dish by dish, two doors down to my neighbor's house who had a microwave (yes, back then — no microwave!) and cooking each dish for about 20 minutes each and then trudging back and serving it. Did I mention we had 2 feet of snow and the sidewalks weren't plowed? Everyone ended up eating one course at a time, mostly cold but (thankfully) no one complained … not even my grandmother who was kind of crotchety (I think she somehow knew that any criticism would be met with a flood of tears that I held back all day!) The good news is we went out the next day and bought a new stove AND a microwave and got a great deal because I told the salesman our story and they wanted to use it for advertising! Best Thanksgiving? No. Most memorable? Yes :)
One year for Thanksgiving, we ordered pizza from Pizza Hut. I can't remember why, if something went wrong with dinner, or if we just couldn't make it to the main dinner and came after everyone else had left. But as a I kid I thought it was so cool.
I'm pretty sure I'm both a suscriber and FB fan, I'll have to check!
My memories include going to my grandma's when I was younger. My uncle would watch football on the TV, my brothers and cousin would play football, so I (not being a football fan) would take a nap! I'll blame it on the trytophan! :-)
The first "unperfect" Thanksgiving that I can think of was in 2004. I have two brothers and we always get together at my parents house on Thursday for as long as I can remember. This year they both decided to spend it with their in-laws. This was very different for my family. I was single and didn't have anything else to do…but I was glad to spend it with my parents. My mom didn't want to make a huge dinner for the three of us….so our compromise was to take a trip to Eureka Springs, Arkansas. It was so great!!! We rented a cabin on the lake and it was cold and beautiful!!! Downtown Eureka had all their Christmas lights up and festivities going! We had a sit down dinner at one of the inns…it was a set menu for Thanksgiving day, but it was wonderful! We had the best time!!!
This year is another "unperfect" year. I got married in October and its obviously the first Thanksgiving to spend with my husband. He is a police officer and has to work on Thanksgiving day. Remember, like I said, our family has always had Thanksgiving ON Thanksgiving. My parents have been so great this year! They completely understand that I want to be with him on Thanksgiving…so we have moved our family Thanksgiving to Wednesday. I am so very thankful for a flexible family! I am so thankful for the wonderful blessing of being a wife! :) Sometimes the imperfect is actually PERFECT!!!!!
I subscribed to your blog through "my yahoo"
I also became a fan on facebook!!!
For years, my husband and I didn't have anyone to spend Thanksgiving with, so we'd go out to dinner. We tried fancy hotel buffets with varying results and eventually figured out that Cracker Barrel and Old Country Buffet both had about as good a meal as you could ask for and they were really cheap. One year we had lunch at one and dinner at the other.