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Going Out To Dinner For The Holidays Is Not As Bad As You Think

Updated on December 1, 2008

Long have holidays played a strong role in my family’s life. I’m sure that’s true for almost everyone. Whether they be good or bad memories they seem to be an integral makeup of who we are and how we handle ourselves in what should be the happiest but are oft times the most stressful days for each of us each year. So when my Mother informed me that we were going to a restaurant for Thanksgiving dinner this year I raised one eyebrow pursed my lips and let my mind fill with cynical thoughts. Little did I know that going out to dinner for the holidays is not as bad as you think – Don’t Get Me Started!

My parents had traveled to my brother’s the previous week and they had a Thanksgiving dinner there with his family, including his in-laws. They did the turkey and all that came with it. I unfortunately could not join them for the event. It’s not new to my family to change the date of a holiday to suit our own needs due to scheduling around work or someone being in town. I’ll never forget the fight I had with my Mother one year trying to convince her that while she could change some holidays, changing Passover was not an option. So with my guy out of town and just my parents and myself here I was not surprised to get the call from my Mother telling me that what she was making was reservations for Thanksgiving dinner.

Although we go to this restaurant often and my parents are somewhat “regulars” it is a restaurant in one of the local casinos here. So not exactly your local Mom and Pop restaurant where you’ve been eating for years and years – do those exist anymore? I hope so. (And for those who are wondering, yes – it’s the same restaurant I chronicled in my Vblog about “Dinner with the folks” – you can watch it here And while our “usual” waiter was not on that day we had one who was equally, shall we say, “interesting?” Our waiter was a man who no doubt has been a waiter for at least thirty years. His body was bent over in what seemed liked a constant partial bow. My parents had been waited on by him before and when my Mother greeted him with a friendly “Hello, how are you?” He answered with a not so surprising, “Well, I’ve been through quite a few illnesses as of late but now I’m back to my regular 80%.” Gee that’s a great start to an early evening meal (our reservation was for 4pm) and while you may think this was due to Thanksgiving, let me assure you that my parents eat early all the time so that they may maintain the stereotype of older Jews and early bird specials. Comics everywhere are grateful.

The meal was a five course affair and provided all the elements of Thanksgiving that you would expect from a culinary perspective. As we ate my Mother regaled me with a blow-by-blow of every moment of the previous weekend with my brother and his family. I would look occasionally to my Father to get confirmation on some of what seemed as embellishments to the actual happenings. Or as my Father’s Mother used to call it, “pushing them in” when you “added” something that didn’t really happen to a story you were telling. The meal was yummy and we all had a good time.

What I discovered was that some people don’t want to be Martha Stewart or some who allow all the cooking, cleaning and relatives to make them completely crazy (yes, I have friends who had this experience) end up hating the holidays. Holidays are all the clichés you’ve ever heard. They aren’t where they happen, they aren’t what you eat, they’re who you’re with and who you are. So if someone says to you that you’re going out to eat for the next holiday, take a moment to go ahead and raise your eyebrow but then let it go and as the waiters always says to you when they deliver your food, “enjoy.” Going out to dinner for the holidays is not as bad as you think – Don’t Get Me Started!

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