My family loves to be traditionally untraditional, especially when it comes to holiday food.
For years Mom would faithfully get up in the wee hours of the morning to baste the turkey – only for us all to admit years later that none of us even like turkey. We had a few years of trial-and-error options like fried turkey and Tofurkey and Turducken and othersuch critter combinations (just don’t say it incorrectly in front of the children!), but they all taste like they sound.
For the last few years, Dad has thrown caution to the wind and prepared either a prime rib or a pork tenderloin with a Jack Daniels marinade, glazed with a brown sugar/cranberry reduction, while Mom double-stuffed the potatoes and maple-glazed the bacon and over-soaked the rum cake. It is nothing short of A-mazing.
Adding to the traditionally untraditional feel for our holidays is Mom’s flair for decorating. The dining room is completely harvest-festive, from the dramatic stalks of wheat reigning over the tablescape, to the subtle touches like leaf-shaped pats of butter, to the whimsical turkey-embossed napkin rings.
Why is that untraditional, you ask?
Because my mother callously engages in the practice of irreverent holiday jumping.
While the dining room is harvest-festive, you should understand that Thanksgiving is confined to that space, and that space only. If you venture out of the dining room, it’s like stepping through the wardrobe into Narnia, because sometime back in August she began completely Decking the Halls for Christmas…and the front porch and the den and the garden room and the foyer and all the bedrooms AND THE BATHROOMS.
I am so not kidding. Sometimes there are as many as EIGHT lighted trees, all with different themes and/or color schemes. The house rivals a the Southern Living Christmas edition.
I, on the other hand, am still contemplating whether or not I want to go to the effort of putting a pine wreath on my front door.