I hate Thanksgiving. I hate the history behind it, and I hate a good majority of the people who celebrate it. But I myself celebrate it for one reason and one reason only; my black ass family.
Black Thanksgiving, in and of itself, is like a holiday. You have relatives of all shapes and sizes, that make this holiday one of my favorites every year. What’s even funnier is that there always seems to be a formula that these Thanksgivings follow. It all is dependent on who shows up and what age they are.
The formula is as follows:
Stage 1-The Host: The catalyst for a perfect Black Thanksgiving is the host family. The bigger the house is -and the fewer the kids- the better. I had no idea how this selection worked until I became an adult. Basically the decision is based on how petty everyone within the “committee” is feeling. “Who has the biggest house? Auntie *insert name here*’s crib? Then it’s settled.” That is truly the extent to which the plan for the house goes.
Stage 2-The Food: The planning for food can last up to months when it comes to black families. It’s really just a crapshoot when you get down to the core of it. Most of the time the decision of the meals depends on who has enough free time and who’s willing to really cook the longest. Black families, depending on size, can have as much as three or four of the same dish in varying degrees of taste. Logic, in this case, dictates that the older the person who makes the food, the better it tastes. So when your 32-year-old cousin decides to bring the mac and cheese, just pass on it.
Stage 3-The Arrival: Arrival is key to an individual’s Black Thanksgiving experience. The Arrival determines how much food you get, which family you interact with, how much time you spend at the house, and the length of your post-itis nap. If you arrive late, odds are you probably aren’t going to get a decent plate and you gotta bounce before you can take a nap. The earlier, the better- in this stage.
Stage 4-The Interaction: Now this one differs from family to family. Because of how close I am with my family, the Interaction is extremely healthy. However, from intersections I’ve had with other families, this may not be the case. With my family, we mostly talk smack about people outside of the family. Other families talk about each other. Being on the healthy side of that coin, it’s really funny to see how other black families interact.
Stage 5-The Itis: You sleep, you wake up feeling bad about yourself because you put yourself into a food-induced coma, and then you move on. The end.
Stage 6-The Cleanup: The clean up is the subject of a lot of inter-family debate. Some people say that it’s up to the host of the dinner, others think that it’s the job of the people who are there. All I know is I’ve never had to clean up and I really don’t plan on it in the near future.
So as you prep for the holidays, just keep this formula for black families in mind. Now, this formula is subject to change depending on the size and closeness of your family. My family, being large and close-knit, tends to follow this formula to a more accurate degree. But every family is different, so these steps may switch and change depending on those factors. So happy Black Thanksgiving to all my brothers and sisters. Make it a good one this year.