Take It or Leave It.

12246610_1106466662699531_5920138625633756882_nI saw this picture on Facebook this morning. (I love Facebook. That will be another post…or many other posts.) It reminded me of the struggle a friend’s family is having about how to handle a difficult family member’s food choices for the holidays. The “difficult person”  is insisting that the family’s traditional meat dish be changed to accommodate her. Not a very good approach to a family gathering.

I offer two additional choices.

One: bring your own food if you do not like the options.

Two: host the dinner yourself! You can make all of the decisions.

I am fortunate that I have never had this family/friends issue. My mother always hosted the holidays, and she ran a take or leave it kitchen. A family of four, we always had 5-7 dinner guests and people in and out through the evening. No one went hungry!

When I married and moved from the midwest to the east coast, I found “unconditional” friends who became the family my children knew best. Three families who shared the holiday dinner responsibilities.

For several years, we would pick a theme menu. Italian. French. Greek. Mexican. Middle eastern. The host made the choice and would make suggestions to the others. It was always wonderful! Colorful. Very tasty! Take or leave it.

Today, the “unconditional friends” don’t gather very often. The children have moved to other parts of the country (sometimes other parts of the world); some are married with young ones and new traditions of their own; divorce, new friends, and new commitments have entered our lives.

But the holidays keep coming! And new traditions are created! This will be my 2nd Thanksgiving hosted in my home as a single woman. New friends come to my table; some without other family; some with family who have other commitments. All with a dish to share. No grousing. Take it or leave.

Happy Thanksgiving!



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