Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Zen and the art of Thanksgiving

Wedding planning is not the only social occasion to have been professionalized and perfected to the point of making ordinarily sane people crazy.

In the age of local, free-range, organic, fair trade food, Thanksgiving has its own conundrums (conundra?), including whether to serve turkey at all.

Consider, as the New York Times explains:

Your grandmother did not have to worry about this; a turkey was a turkey. Your turkey, however, must be free range and organic, and your sweet potatoes should be heirloom and local. Not only should you pick our own pumpkin, you should process it yourself (while hearing the voice of Martha Stewart say that she would never throw away the seeds — such a tragedy that would be!), and not only should you make your own fudge, but you should use the appropriate (fair trade and high cocoa content) chocolate. It’s a wonder you’re not making your own marshmallows, though Martha thinks perhaps you should.

Put this all together, along with your own sense of inadequacy (if you don’t have one, congrats — but are you sure?) and you have a situation that cannot be other than overwhelming.

Given all this pressure toward perfection, the Times has a perfect Thanksgiving recipe: just relax. After all,
When did performance anxiety and guilt become prerequisites for offering family and friends nourishment and hospitality?
Words the queen of social stress needs to hear! It's so easy to focus on what could go wrong, rather than on what will inevitably go right when dear ones are gathered at Thanksgiving, a wedding or any other social event.

We'll be joining friends and colleagues in San Francisco -- so much easier when someone else plans the menu!

Wishing you all a happy and relaxing Thanksgiving!!!

1 comment:

Born to be Mrs. Beever said...

Good point...putting the menu together at our family get together is easier because everyone brings something. I am actually bringing the pumpkin banana mousse tart and the green bean casserole this year :) Let someone else deal with the Turkey!