Commence panicking

This is the week before Mocksgiving. Unusually for me, I got the invitations out pretty early this year… Septembrish. I was proud of myself for not procrastinating.

Now, a week away, I’m ready to start my annual, pre-Mocksgiving panicking. Mostly, this has to do with physics. After years of panicking about cooking, I’m now confident that a) there will be enough food b) I know how to cook a turkey. Of course, this hubris means that we’ll get a half-scorched/half-raw Thomas this year, but hey. Once every ten years is totally forgivable.

But there are a few things that make Mocksgiving what it is, to me. First, I invite people to my house. I host them. We do not go to a hall or a restaurant. I welcome people into my home. Somehow, this is important. Second, we all sit down together and eat a meal together. It’s not a buffet. There are tablecloths and silverware.

Um, actually that’s pretty much it. The rest happens by magic — the conversations and pot luck dishes and hot beef injections (love ya Ben). The friends and walks and board games. It’s a pretty awesome thing.

But. Right now my RSVPs for Mocksgiving have us somewhere between, oh, 27 and 35 people. I have enough plates and cups and silverware. There will be a gracious plenty of food (although I always end up buying the very largest turkey I can lay my hands on, which regardless of how long it’s been thawing in my ‘fridge and whether I bought it fresh or frozen WILL be frozen solid when I go to try to remove the giblets). But seating? How do you get 32 people to simultaneously sit down in your reasonably-sized house? Do I set the top of the piano? Do I lay a board on top of the couch? It’s a good thing the fire department doesn’t come to visit on Mocksgiving, letmetellyou.

And all this brings me to the only part of Mocksgiving I really actively dislike. I really hate excluding people. I would like to be able to invite everyone I know and like to come sit at table and dine with me. I used to be able to, back when I had fewer friends. But whew. Man. I can’t do more than 30. I just don’t think it’s possible, without renting a hall. I often turn down people’s requests to bring guests, many of whom are people I also know and like. So basically, if you’ve come before you get grandfathered. After two or so years of not making it, you may not get another invite. I may really like you and not invite you. I probably wish I could. One of these days, I might try renting a hall and seeing if I can pull off that collegial feeling. It just somehow doesn’t seem right.

So please? If you get an invitation, come and celebrate and be prepared dine on the piano. I want you to come very much. But if you DON’T get an invitation, don’t read it as a statement on our relationship or think it’s because I don’t like you. And if you really wish that you could do Mocksgiving? I hereby authorize you to do your OWN Mocksgiving (as though you need my permission). If you do, I’d love to get pictures of your celebration.

Ok, so I’ll need a 30 pound turkey, 5 loaves of bread, 5 pies, 15 pounds of potatoes….

I think last year we only had about 20, due to late invites
I think last year we only had about 20, due to late invites

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Brenda currently lives in Stoneham MA, but grew up in Mineral WA. She is surrounded by men, with two sons, one husband and two boy cats. She plays trumpet at church, cans farmshare produce and works in software.

4 thoughts on “Commence panicking”

  1. I am intrigued by something on the ceiling, apparently….

    YAY MOCKSGIVING!!! I always kinda forget that Thanksgiving is still to come after Mocksgiving – I expect Christmas to be next. Which, yes, it totally a statement on Mocksgiving vs. Thanksgiving.


    1. Actually, I usually cadge an invite to Harlan’s folks, but I’m not sure that will work with the whole “He’s in California” thing. It might be a little weird to go to his parent’s for Thanksgiving without him. Maybe we’ll just order Chinese takeout….


  2. I think of entertaining quite the same way you do, and have similar people-fitting issues too. We’ve put small rectangular folding tables (from Target) over our old steam heat radiators to make extra serving space, in addition to end tables, coffee tables. We’ve had to expand to a smaller ‘kids table’ in our living room, but at at least folks are in sight of each other. It is a challenge in your average older New England Home. 🙂

    Have fun! I’m disappointed that my Thanksgiving hosting will be smaller this year. Being the oldest, I’m having a hard time with my siblings up and marrying and spending holidays with spouses’ families. My husband doesn’t have any family beyond me/us, so we didn’t have to do that balancing act.


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