I took the holiday on the first year I got married. It seemed to be a holiday that shifted around the family a lot. No one person willing to take it on. My thinking was it was all the cooking. Even today 21 years later it doesn't scare me. I love to cook and feed my family good food. What does scare me is the offers of people wanting to bring stuff. With my husband's side of the family one does not know exactly what you'll get. Not that they are weird, but I don't know them well not growing up with them. I have to admit though there have been some odd surprises they have all been pretty good.
There was one year a green bean casserole with a one inch thick coating of sour cream on top. My husband HATES sour cream with a mad passion. You can't even sneak 1 T of it into a dish... his sour cream senses go off! If it were an actual useful sense I'd have him team up with Spiderman, but all of mankind doesn't need to be protected from sour cream. His cousin set the 9X13 inch dish of sour cream green beans right on the table. I could tell my husband was on the verge of retching. Since nothing on the table was nearly that big except the turkey I slyly suggested we set it on the kitchen counter as it took up SO much room. That I'd send a smaller bowl of it around. I got a silent very thankful look from my husband.
There was the year of the green salad with dried cranberries and sugar glazed pecans. We like savory salads at my house. So, biting into something sweet in a salad was about as shocking as the time I inadvertently sprinkled chocolate chips on my salad at a dimly lit salad bar not knowing it connected to a dessert bar. After the initial shock of the sweet bits and the tart dressing it was actually quite good.
This years surprise came in another form. Starting on Monday we began slowly cleaning the house a little bit each day. Then Wednesday was the push to finish everything up. My daughter volunteered to clean the bathroom. Not that we need a volunteer it's not that bad, but I was surprised she did it without being told to do it. I just let her run with it. Keeping any of my own ideas or suggestions to myself. She'd come out and say, "I'm putting the rugs into the washer" or "I just mopped the floor." I knew things sounded like they were going well. I let her have full credit for a job well done. The big surprise came Wednesday night when my son alerted me to a sign on the bathroom door.
He was very aggravated. "Mom," he says, "Can she do that?!!" I looked at the sign and had to chuckle. I knew exactly how she felt. I've wanted to put a similar sign on the front door many times and have my family check into a hotel for the night. You work so hard and the family mess up your hard work before the company even gets there. We have 2 bathrooms, so I told my son yes she can do that.
2 hours ago