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Thread Starter 
Martha Stewart will not be dining with us this
Thanksgiving. I'm telling you in advance, so don't
act surprised. Since Ms. Stewart won't be coming, I've
made a few small changes:

Our sidewalk will not be lined with homemade, paper
bag luminaries. After a trial run, it was decided that
no matter how cleverly done, rows of flaming lunch
sacks do not have the desired welcoming effect.

Once inside, our guests will note that the entry hall
is not decorated with the swags of Indian corn and
fall foliage I had planned to make. Instead, I've
gotten the kids involved in the decorating by having
them track in colorful autumn leaves from the front
yard. The mud was their idea.

The dining table will not be covered with expensive
linens, fancy china, or crystal goblets. If possible,
we will use dishes that match and everyone will get a

Since this IS Thanksgiving, we will refrain from using
the plastic Peter Rabbit plate and the Santa napkins
from last Christmas.

Our centerpiece will not be the tower of fresh fruit
and flowers that I promised. Instead we will be
displaying a hedgehog-like decoration hand-crafted
from the finest construction paper. The artist
assures me it is a turkey.

We will be dining fashionably late. The children will
entertain you while you wait. I'm sure they will be
happy to share every choice comment I have made
regarding Thanksgiving, pilgrims and the turkey
hotline. Please remember that most of these comments
were made at 5:00 a.m. upon discovering that the
turkey was still hard enough to cut diamonds.

As accompaniment to the children's recital, I will
play a recording of tribal drumming. If the children
should mention that I don't own a recording of tribal
drumming, or that tribal drumming sounds suspiciously
like a frozen turkey in a clothes dryer, ignore them.
They are lying.

We toyed with the idea of ringing a dainty silver bell
to announce the start of our feast. In the end, we
chose to keep our traditional method. We've also
decided against a formal seating arrangement. When
the smoke alarm sounds, please gather around the table
and sit where you like.

In the spirit of harmony, we will ask the children to
sit at a separate table. In a separate room. Next

Now, I know you have all seen pictures of one person
carving a turkey in front of a crowd of appreciative
onlookers. This will not be happening at our dinner.
For safety reasons, the turkey will be carved in a
private ceremony. I stress "private" meaning: Do not,
under any circumstances, enter the kitchen to laugh at
me. Do not send small, unsuspecting children to
check on my progress. I have an electric knife. The
turkey is unarmed. It stands to reason that I will
eventually win. When I do, we will eat.

I would like to take this opportunity to remind my
young diners that "passing the rolls" is not a football
play. Nor is it a request to bean your sister in the
head with warm tasty bread.

Oh, and one reminder for the adults: For the duration
of the meal, and especially while in the presence of
young diners, we will refer to the giblet gravy by its
lesser-known name: Cheese Sauce. If a young diner
questions you regarding the origins or type of Cheese
Sauce, plead ignorance. Cheese Sauce stains.

Before I forget, there is one last change. Instead of
offering a choice between 12 different scrumptious
desserts, we will be serving the traditional pumpkin
pie, garnished with whipped cream and small
fingerprints. You will still have a choice;
take it or leave it.

Martha Stewart will not be dining with us this
Thanksgiving. She probably won't come next year

I am thankful.