Honestly, traditions are such a burden. We are coming up into the most tradition-filled time of the year, and I am already in a state of tizzy over the whole thing.

It is because I am the last person anyone should depend upon to uphold any sort of family legacy. For one, nearly every turkey I have ever cooked has been raw. They always look fine on the outside: brown and crackly. But inside is another story altogether: red and with blood. It is enough to turn me away from poultry altogether. But since our family only eats poultry—no other meats—Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners would consist of a bunch of side dishes. I am not that good at those, either. One year, I thought I had the whole thing beat. I had friends who told me that they “didn’t do holiday dinner” anymore. They just ordered the whole shebang from Kroger. So I did this. When we got there, they gave us a RAW turkey and some Stove Top Stuffing mix. Flummoxed.

And, second. Decorations? My God, have you seen the Pottery Barn catalog? Apparently, we are supposed to decorate the outsides of our houses for Halloween, for Pete’s sake! What happened to sticking a pumpkin on the steps and calling it a night? And people put up Thanksgiving tableaux and have special tableware for the big meal. But not for me. I simply refuse to buy turkey salt and pepper shakers. Honestly, that would really be a faux pas, considering the raw turkey, right?

And Christmas? I used to think that those tiny tabletop trees were pitiful. Of course, that was when my mother was still doing all the decorations at her house, where I boarded for eighteen years. All of a sudden, when I had my own place, two bumptious kids, a job, a raw turkey staring me in the face, and Santa Claus to consider, it all became a different story altogether. We immediately went to fake trees. Whew. One less tradition! Dragging everybody through the woods or to the Kiwanis tree lot? At least one child got either a sideache or forgot her mittens. Ugh.

This year, the whole clan, including one adorable grandson, will be coming over. They are all expecting greatness from me. Oh, and did I mention that I have never in my entire life made a Christmas cookie?

Prayers and encouragement are appreciated.

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