First off, I won't recap how things went. There are plenty of blogs attached to this one that you can find that stuff out.
First thing's first, HUGE amount of thanks go out to Yukiko and Paul for their immense help. I suspect I may have reaped much more of the thanks than perhaps I myself deserve, but I assure you we all put in a huge amount of work (not to mention days and dollars) to make this something special, which I really thought it was. And I'd be lying if I said I didn't have fun for the 3 days we tackled this thing.
Second thing, thanks for everyone who showed up and pitched in, be it via food (I was blown away by everyone's ability to cook well!) or money. Obviously without attendees, this would've been a pretty lonely event. And not a SINGLE person complained about the food I assigned them. That was incredible.
So, with those two "administrative" points out of the way, I just wanted to say a little bit about why I did this. Since before I could remember, Thanksgiving has always been about family. My mom always did the whole turkey, potatoes (though strangely no stuffing), and pie thing. It got to the point where it was automatic. More importantly though, it was always a time to see everyone. But with expectation came an inevitable level of "taking it for granted."
In university I kind of discovered that Thanksgiving was NOT this huge thing for most people. In fact, I found it quite stunning to realize my family was probably in the minority. At first, being the ass I am, it offered me great opportunity to stick my tongue out at others and tell them "a bar? f- that, I'm having turkey and pie at home bitch!" But this year, with my parents gone, it gave me the opportunity to share something with everyone that was/is commonplace for me, but perhaps something unusual for them.
So why not?
So that was the reason I wanted to put this little shin-dig together. The only other thing I really want to say is that I know I looked stressed out during the planning period and even a bit during the party. God knows, there were a few times I thought about 30 people in my house and just wanted to cancel the whole thing. Furthermore, I appreciate everyone who told me to sit down, take a rest, etc, etc. I'm grateful for all the thanks I got from people constantly. I definitly thank everyone who asked how they could help out (and especially those who basically forced their way into the cleanup process). I know it seemed like I ignored your advice/questions a lot of the time. It was because, above all else, I wanted you all to be able to take the party for granted. I wanted everyone to enjoy Thanksgiving, without worrying about all the remedial little things, if only for one night. And I only ever saw smiles, so I think we did alright in that respect. If I wanted everyone to take away one thing from that party, it was this:
It wasn't about me, just like it wasn't about Paul or Yuk. The aim was to make it about everyone else. It was about extended family.
That is how you do Thanksgiving the right way. That is the right way to be thankful.
I hope that for the people whom Thanksgiving was just a "long weekend" before, that it's something a little more now.