There was a lot of food. Turkey. With all the fixin’s. Even the fixin’s had fixin’s (pomegranate seeds and avocado even made a showing). There were cakes (chocolate, cheese, cherry and pound), cookies (shortbread, chocolate-chip, sugar and peanut-butter), bark (almond, pistachio, peppermint…) Okay. Before I go naming all of the dessert food ever created, let’s just say the source of the tummy ache did not require detective services to figure out.
Last year, the dessert table was a little sparse. What was available was “diet-restriction friendly” (so...think barren, desolate wasteland). No one wanted a repeat of that, so this year, everyone designated themselves as the hero and secretly brought their own fantastic high-fat, sugar-laden dessert. I had to pinch my daughter a few times.
Mom, did I die? Is this heaven?
No, look around. Do you think heaven would be a hot, crowded living room?
(not looking around, only focused on the dessert spread) Yes, no, I don't know...cake...cookie...
Don't eat too much, you might get sick
(cookie-monster style eating, crumbs flying, words barely discernible...) Totally worth it!!
(fast forward to 3am with bucket) Totally not worth it. Kill me now. As long as heaven is not like today.
Last year, one single bag of chips was reduced to crumbs almost while it was being set down, so I guess this year, everyone felt it was their personal responsibility to ensure this "crisis" didn’t happen again. There was a total of about 10 family-sized bags of chips. Roughly a bag for every 2 people. Because, you know...chips go so well with an enormous turkey dinner.
I figured we might need something healthy for later, so I brought an impressive veggie tray (but no, Pinterest, not in the form of a Christmas tree fashioned out of broccoli with cherry tomato ornaments. I have to draw the line somewhere).
The time frame for the dinner was about 2pm to 4pm. If everyone got down to the business of eating right upon arrival and for 2 hours straight, I still kind of doubt that all 20 of us would have even made much of a dent in the bounty. Pretty sure no one ate any chips. Except me. They were “sour-cream and onion”, so I threw some on the mashed potatoes. Loosely based on a baked potato idea, I thought. With all the fixin's? Should I stop saying fixin's?
I felt blessed. And spoiled. And guilty. Guilty for hoarding about a third of all of the food in the entire country (possibly the world), when it’s supposed to be the season of giving. And full. I just felt really really full. I'm pretty sure everyone's pants top button was unbuttoned, but I thought it might be rude to fact-check that for you.
So obviously, the abundance of food might have suggested some gaps in communication. Maybe less than ideal planning. It’s also safe to assume that my sister and her family are looking at a 10 to 12 pound weight gain in the next week or two because no one seemed to be taking any of the food back home with them. Curiously, it was “suggested” that I take my giant veggie tray home. I’m seeing a lot of stir-fries in our future. Not as exciting as my sister's house right now…but my daughter, still recovering, is totally on board with that.
The family get-together at Christmas is about eating way too much. Wait, that can't be right. True maybe...but kind of shallow. It is about joy, laughter and sharing. Ew. (also true, but ew.) It is about miscommunication and awkward moments? Definitely! Still...hmm. Okay, it is about the weird uncle who wears racing gloves at all times and would be happy to offer a detailed, half hour explanation as to why.
The thing is, it’s all of those things. Plus your own little weird twist or tradition. Or twisted tradition. So, whatever they mean to you, regardless of the amount of people or food, here’s hoping that you have some fun. Just, you know…try not to get sick.