15 Years of Pre-Thanksgiving's

So in writing the post about giving and getting gifts, I realized I was writing two blog posts. Hosting parties are my passion and yes, I know I should really make a career out of it. For me I do thrive on the organization, planning and dreaming up these parties. But the thought of living party making 365 days a year is scary. I am still not sold on the idea. 

I love throwing parties, my first party was back in 1993. I hosted a birthday party for myself in my freshman college dorm. It was a modest gathering of about 45 friends. Yes it was all about the booze and yes I had groom the RA & RN to let us host it with out getting in trouble. I was successful. The follwoing year I hosted my first of many Pre-Thanksgiving Parties! The parties were held the Saturday before Thanksgiving giving my friends the chance to celebrate the holiday before heading home to their famlies. 

The Pre-Turkey Day parties were such a lovely tradition that lasted 15 years. The first party was only 8 people sitting down for dinner. The following year in my apartment in San Francisco, I began to make the event more about bringing a lot of friends together and the introduction of eating in your lap came about. The head count really did evolve at those parties in SF. I lived in a 600 square foot apartment which consisited of a bedroom, living room, large murphy bed closet (eventually turned into a tented sitting area) and my tiny kitchen. You would always find me cooking till the last minute in my kitchen. 

OUR 2001 Pre-Thanksgiving Party

I was use to having between 40-50 friends at most of these parties and I was trying to keep the head count at a controllable level. Then came the party in 2002. I believe I had about 50-60 RSVP’d but many guests brought guests. I was in the habit of providing appetizers the first two hours and then setting out my spread with my famous mashed purple potatoes. After an hour and half, the head count I saw come through the door was already over 60. I scrambled and starting making extra food. Due to this snafu, service for dinner was pushed back. Some people even left the party and went down the street to get something to eat and came back for the spread. Right before service, I had counted 84 people. After the party was over and done, I eventually counted over 90 people in my tiny 600sqft apartment. The party even spilled out in the hallway and even into the my next door neighbors apartment. 2002 was a headache but I cherish that headache greatly.

OUR 2002 Pre-Thanksgiving Party

I didn’t stop there! The following year was just as big but the last year before we moved out of the city, we opted to host a small sitdown for what we expected to be our last dinner in the apartment. I believe we had about 16 friends there and we all sat a long table in my bedroom, of coarse all the furniture was in the closet. When we moved to our house in San Jose, we were in party heaven. We kept with the tradition of pre-turkey day parties and the 2005 party became our housewarming party. The guest lists started getting large, the housewarming party final count was almost 100. After this party we realized we couldn’t do the food for such a large number.

OUR 2003 Pre-Thanksgiving Party

In 2006, I instituted the new rule that if the guest count is over 40 we hire a caterer. For the 2008 turkey party, we opted to make the event our wedding reception. In 2007 we had begun planning two major events in our life. We had begun the journey of having our first baby and we were planning on getting married at destination wedding in Tofino, British Columbia. In June 2008, we were neck deep in diapers and wedding plans for a September 2009 wedding. Then came the news that the California Supreme Court ruling on the validity of California’s Prop. 22 which discriminated on the basis of sexual preference. The ruling  opened the door for marriage licenses to be issued to same sex couples. This was promptly followed by organizations NOM and FRC to file a stay which was rejected and followed by a filing for new proposition on the next ballot. The birth of Prop 8.!

We were in a conundrum. Do we just get legally married and wait another year to have the destination wedding or just do it all now. We opted for the latter and we got married in late October 2008 right before the general election. Of coarse Prop 8 passed by a narrow margin and we were 1 of the 2600+ couples who were legally married in California. For the reception we opted to host the event in our backyard in lieu of the annual pre-turkey day party. We went overboard since it was our reception. The whole backyard was covered in sub-flooring and carpet. We have 11 - ten top rounds allowing us to sit the 106 guests for a full sit down dinner. We opted for an open air event, no tent but we brought in almost 12 heaters to keep the guests warm. It was successful! The house was even emptied of all the furniture. 

OUR 2008 Pre-Thanksgiving Party

The following year we were still in a party mood, so we hosted the 15th annual pre-turkey day. It would be our last of the pre-turkey day series of parties. The whole spectacle and prepping was become to exhausting for us. We need a break. Se we went out with a bang! We pretty much did the same party as the wedding reception with the addition of huge tent being erected in the backyard. It was amazing. Everyone had such an amazing time. So now we are just enjoying all the grand birthday parties we love hosting for the kids. The twin’s first birthday party is coming up in October, which we might move to the first weekend of November. I am already working on it, can you believe. Some day we will bring back the big pre-turkey day festivities, when the kids are older and we can embarrass them some more. 

OUR 2009 Pre-Thanksgiving Party

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