|I'm most thankful not to have been a part of THIS gathering.|
|. . . nor of THIS one . . .|
|. . . nor, for that matter, of THIS one . . . ***|
I attended Thanksgiving dinner yesterday with approximately eight-seven other people. Eighty-eight was the closest count I could get of the total number of bodies present, but those being counted were not all that cooperative in regard to being counted; some may not have been counted at all, while others may have been counted multiple times. Additionally, the head count includes the heads of numerous babies, who shouldn't necessarily count as total, complete, and separate entities for practical purposes, but since I didn't have a factor to apply to infants, I counted them each in the head count since all of the babies that I saw had heads. Hell, the pro-lifers would say even the in-utero babies (I have no idea whether or not there were any of those, though no one was morbidly [as in in danger of popping out a new kid before the meal was over] pregnant) count as separate and distinct individuals since life obviously begins at conception, but I will not go there.
After the dinner, my grandmother called us. She was appalled at the dinner that we attended and said that we must not attend another such Thanksgiving celebration and must instead have a smaller gathering at our home with just the fifteen- or-so biological relatives who might show up, that we or must attend her Thanksgiving meal in Utah. My grandmother is a nice enough person, but she's growing every bit as senile as many of her age-level peers. For that matter, her Thanksgiving meal, with just her husband and Utah-based children and grandchildren, wouldn't have been much smaller than ours would have been. I happen to know that the gathering she held was too large to take place in the home of any of the attendees and instead was a catered affair held at some rustic LDS-owned mountain location in Utah. At least all the food we ate at our over-sized gathering yesterday was home-cooked.
After the meal, my immediate family (my parents, my brother, and my cousin who lives with my parents when he's not away at college because his parents kicked him to the curb after he failed to complete his LDS mission because of grave health concerns) discussed the merits of continuing to participate in the gargantuan Thanksgiving Day celebration versus having a more intimate gathering with just ourselves and the families of whatever biological uncles and aunts happened to be in the area. The conclusion we reached is that we genuinely want to spend time with all the people who attend the large gathering. (Half of the attendees are only there every other year, as they spend alternate thanksgiving Days in Utah.) we have the option of inviting anyone we'd care to invite to the event. If we wish, we can have a smaller and more intimate gathering the previous day, the following day, or whenever.
One of the main things for which I give thanks is not having been forced for much of my life to attend the family Thanksgiving affairs in Utah, where the food grows cold waiting while for long-winded relatives to finish praying before we can eat.
*** shout-out to Knotty and to textile-free Thanksgiving Day celebrations (which, for the record, Knotty did NOT have)