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Thanksgiving Dinner

  I'm telling you in advance, so don't act surprised.  Since Ms. Stewart
  won't be coming, I've made a few small changes:
  Our sidewalk will not be lined with homemade, paper bag luminaries.
  After a trial run, it was decided that no matter how cleverly done, 
  rows of flaming lunch sacks do not have the desired welcoming effect.

  Once inside, our guests will note that the entry hall is not decorated
  with the swags of Indian corn and fall foliage I had planned to make.
  Instead, I've gotten the kids involved in the decorating by having
  track in colorful autumn leaves from the front yard.  
  The mud was their idea.

  The dining table will not be covered with expensive linens, fancy
  or crystal goblets.  If possible, we will use dishes that match and
  everyone will get a fork.  
  Since this IS Thanksgiving, we will refrain from using
  the plastic Peter Rabbit plate and the Santa napkins from last
  Our centerpiece will not be the tower of fresh fruit and flowers that
  Instead we will be displaying a hedgehog-like decoration
  hand-crafted from the finest construction paper.  
  The artist assures me it is a turkey.

  We will be dining fashionably late.  
  The children will entertain you while you wait.  
  I'm sure they will be happy to share every choice comment I
  have made regarding Thanksgiving, pilgrims and the turkey hot-line.
  Please remember that most of these comments were made at 5:00 a.m.
  discovering that the turkey was still hard enough to cut diamonds.  As
  accompaniment to the children's recital, I will play a recording of
  tribal drumming.  
  If the children should mention that I don't own a recording
  of tribal drumming, or that tribal drumming sounds suspiciously like a
  frozen turkey in a clothes dryer, ignore them.  They are lying.
  We toyed with the idea of ringing a dainty silver bell to announce the
  start of our feast.  In the end, we chose to keep our traditional
  method.  We've also decided against a formal seating arrangement.  
  When the smoke alarm sounds, please gather around the table and sit 
  where you like.

  In the spirit of harmony, we will ask the children to sit at a
  table...in a separate room...next door.

  Now, I know you have all seen pictures of one person carving a turkey
  front of a crowd of appreciative onlookers.  
  This will not be happening at our dinner.  
  For safety reasons, the turkey will be carved in a private
  I stress "private" meaning: 
  Do not, under any circumstances, enter the kitchen to laugh at me.  
  Do not send small, unsuspecting children
  to check on my progress.  
  I have an electric knife.  
  The turkey is unarmed.  
  It stands to reason that I will eventually win.  
  When I do, we will eat.

  I would like to take this opportunity to remind my young diners that
  "passing the rolls" is not a football play.  
  Nor is it a request to bean your sister in the head with warm tasty
  Oh, and one reminder for the adults: 
  For the duration of the meal, and especially while in the
  presence of you diners, we will refer to the giblet gravy by its
  lesser-known name: Cheese Sauce.  
  If a young diner questions you regarding the origins or type of Cheese
  plead ignorance.  
  Cheese Sauce stains.

  Before I forget, there is one last change.  
  Instead of offering a choice between 12 different scrumptious
  we will be serving the traditional pumpkin pie, garnished with whipped 
  cream and small fingerprints.  
  You will still have a choice; take it or leave it.

  Martha Stewart will not be dining with us this Thanksgiving.  
  She probably won't come next year either.  
  I am thankful.
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