I’m thankful that my parents raised me with wonderful memories of the holidays so that when this time of year approaches, I’m filled with excitement. It’s especially fun to watch Hugh develop his own holiday giddyness. Yesterday, he found a generic stocking at my sister’s house and insisted on bringing it home. He climbed up on a stool and laid it flat across the mantle, draped over several candles and some magazines. “My stocking is hung!” he said.

But first, Thanksgiving. This was my Grandpa Dick’s favorite holiday. Hugh is named after him (his middle name is Hill, which was Grandpa’s last name), and I always miss my grandparents this time of year. Grandpa Dick with his crazy inventions; Grandma Joyce who always made calico beans from her yellowed, midwestern recipe card box; and Grandpa Gale who donned orange wigs and pushed everyone’s plates and silver ware into different positions while they attempted to eat.

This year, we’re having 14 at our table. A mix of old friends and new friends, family and neighbors. We’re serving: turkey, sweet potato casserole, mashed potatoes, broccoli salad; traditional stuffing and oyster stuffing; green bean casserole; rolls; apple pie, pumpkin pie, and Texas sheet cake. Tasha is making a special cocktail with vodka, sparkling cranberry pomegranate juice, and limes.

I read this great quote in the New York Times today: “Thanksgiving has a way of shaking up the beer can of family turmoil and spraying it all over the room.” The movie that best captures that spirit of that loving disaster is Home for the Holidays starring Holly Hunter. We’ve rented it to watch after dinner.

Love to you and yours.

Preparations begin. After picture to come.