I love Thanksgiving. I love the family gathering part, I love the food, I love the fall, I love that there are no religious implications at the heart of the holiday - that when it comes right down to it the whole day is supposed to be about taking time to reflect on all you have to be thankful for. Who can't get behind that? But every past year I seem to have gotten mired down in the fact that Thanksgiving has less to do with being thankful and more to do with figuring out how to break up the day so that neither of our families were slighted (One memorable year our insistance that we spend equal time with each family resulted in us missing both families meals and we ended up picking up fast food at midnight on our way home.).
This year the lightbulb finally went off and we've invited everyone to our place. If everyone comes who we're going to invite there will be 20 people at our place. And because I do actually value my sanity I'm going to have everyone bring one dish.
Here's what I'm thinking so far:
Mixed nuts (us)
Brie with cranberry chutney and crackers (us)
Some sort of appetizer (W&T)
Smoked turkey (us - borrow smoker from my ILs)
Turkey gravy (us - with help from Mom or MIL)
Bread dressing (us)
Cornbread dressing (Uncle F)
Mashed potatoes (ILs)
Vegetable side dish (Aunt F & Uncle D)
Cranberry relish (B&J)
Pumpkin pie (JD)
Some other dessert, something chocolate? (Grandpa)
Coffee, tea, hot cider (us)
Theoretically this should go fairly smoothly. Only problem is that since I leave on a work trip in two days and two days after I get back from that we leave for vacation until November 10. So I've got to gt cracking on finding out who will be joining us and if they can bring a dish. Yikes. And then as soon as we get back I've got to start buying stuff - the turkey and food and whatnot, as well as table linens (we have none that will work). So much to do, so little time.
Question: is it tacky to serve on decent quality paper or plastic plates to throw away? Because while we do have service for 16, we definitely don't have enough for 20.