Now, there's a headline you may not have expected from me. Don't Be Too Creative.
Let me explain: I'm planning the annual Thanksgiving feast. Our family tradition has morphed a bit, with the passing of parents, and the big meal is now at our house.
One thing hasn't changed: the basic menu. I make the same turkey, stuffing, dressing, sweet potatoes and green bean casserole. Mashed potatoes and gravy for Amber.
I make hot rolls from scratch, using Lynn B.'s recipe. The butter for those rolls has to be Land O'Lakes. Unsalted. Because that's what my grandmother used.
I open a can of that jellied cranberry sauce that no one will eat, because we always have that jellied cranberry sauce that no one will eat. I need black olives for Eva. Whether she's here for the meal or not, she's always part of it.
Mary bakes chocolate chip cookies for Kate and Cary and Sam. And extras, for them to take home.
As we prepare for the holidays, remember: There are traditions worth respecting. When you find one, at home or at work, enjoy it. And if you want to add a creative touch, reduce your stress level. Think small. Come up with new toppings for that pumpkin pie. Add a Food Network side dish to the menu. Forget the fancy linens, and let the kids decorate a sheet of butcher paper -- remember those handprint turkey drawings?
And this year, let the joy of the holidays begin with anticipation.