This year, many of us will be forced by COVID to stay home for both Thanksgiving and Christmas with just the people who live with us at our mailing address. For those who have children still at home, nothing will change. For us grandparents, it looms as a dismal season, lonely and with the prospect of turkey and sad berry sauce.
The concept of the upcoming holiday season is therefore dispiriting. My husband and I haven’t had a holiday that consisted of just the two of us in nearly fifty years. As a matter of fact, I can only remember one sad and lonely Christmas that we spent together. We were just married, lived in a freezing cold, ancient farmhouse, and we opened our presents three days before Christmas in our bedroom in front of the coal fire because I couldn’t wait; and the living room in that house was like a meat locker in winter. As a result, the actual Christmas day was as depressing as hell. We probably had turkey TV Dinners.
But wait. My newsfeed has the solution. Have a virtual Thanksgiving dinner this year! You know how to Zoom already, so Zoom the dinner! You can still eat your turkey together! This gave me a surge of happiness until I broached the subject with my husband.
ME Hey, guess what? We can still have Thanksgiving with the family! We can Zoom it!
ME It’s in all over the news. They are saying there is no need to be isolated! We can still eat together virtually!
HIM We Zoom on our phones. So how would that work? You hold your fork with one hand and your phone in the other? Do a selfie with the stuffing?
ME Can’t you fix it so we can Zoom on the TV? Everybody else does it that way. So then we could see the family on the big screen.
HIM Our TV is in the study. You are suggesting we haul all that food and gravy in there? How would we do that? We don’t even have TV trays. If I so much as dripped one tiny bit of gravy on your new chairs, you would have a fit.
ME True. So we could lay beach towels over the chairs.
HIM And in our laps? Cutting turkey? Where would we put our knives in between bites? Wouldn’t they slide off our plates onto the floor?
ME I could lay a sheet down. Or the shower curtain liner. Spills wouldn’t be a problem then.
HIM This is sounding more and more like a nursing home by the minute. And would everybody else be having their dinners nursing home style, too? Won’t that be sort of a mood kill? Would you make me wear a bib?
ME Ok, then do you have another idea?
HIM Just drinks. We could all toast each other on The Zoom and then leave to eat like normal people.
ME Just a bunch of toasts? Then we would be left to eat our meager dinner by ourselves after the toasting? All alone, just us, the small, lonely turkey breast, and the Stove Top stuffing? And by the way, nobody calls it THE Zoom. It’s just Zoom.
HIM Stove Top stuffing?
ME Why would I make the real thing for just two people? I was planning to scale it down.
HIM No leftovers? Turkey sandwiches?
ME You talk about turkey sandwiches every single year. But you never actually have one, because you are too full on Thanksgiving, and by the next day, you say the turkey is all dried out. So it’s a NO on the sandwiches. I am getting a small turkey breast.
HIM So we can all get soused making the toasts, then. Your downscale dinner won’t seem so depressing after multiple toasts. I’ll get a few bottles of wine to have on hand.
ME If you make a toast, it better not be anything like the grace you gave that one year at Thanksgiving when you wished for “bountifulness to fall upon us.” Because that was the year you had a stroke and our other friend at the table was diagnosed with cancer. Leave having bountiful things befall us out of your toast, ok?
HIM I will be more specific. But can we at least have Pepperidge Farm stuffing?
We are still working out the details.