Headless turkeys, ill-fitting pants, family estrangement due to polarized political viewpoints and, er…feelings of gratitude all point to the lard-laden holiday of Thanksgiving which will soon be upon us here in the States.
Living hundreds of miles from our nearest relatives has meant that my family is either traveling on some of the busiest, craziest, kerfuffliest days of the year with a 97.5% percent change of getting stranded in an airport overnight…OR opting to spend a quiet day of thanks hunkered down at home with our small crew of six.
We lean towards hunkering.
After years of celebrating with our large, extended family, we’ve found the positive side of these lonely-ish holiday observances is the lack of bodily injury and/or need for noise cancelling headphones. On the downside, we miss the energy and camaraderie of these domestic get-togethers, as well as the lively and eclectic discussions that only seem to occur when people are forced together in a small space with large quantities of food, alcohol and fire code violations at hand.
Though my family will once again be on our own this year, I thought it would be fun to conjure a Thanksgiving gathering of all my favorite middle grade book characters in the absence of my blood-related characters. I mean, who needs real live people when you can live in a fictitious world created solely in the mind of another writer’s outrageously warped imagination!* See? Fun! (And not crazy at all!)
So, please visualize the toasty glow of a fire in the hearth, the smell of rosemary and thyme wafting from the oven, and the repeated BANG!!! of semi-permanent disfiguring spells breaking through the silence as you ponder my Thanksgiving Day (dream) guest list (table for 10):
- Matthew Cuthbert sits at the head of the table next to a trough of brown sugar, while attempting to transfer his calm, loving energy to the motley bunch surrounding him. (Spoiler: He will fail. And now I'm sobbing, because...Matthew!!!)
- Harry Potter is sitting closest to the cupboard looking alternatingly thoughtful and bemused, while practicing his Expelliarmus spell on...
- Percy Jackson who continuously siphons water from the kitchen sink to both douse Harry in retaliation AND refresh the water goblets while...
- Farley Drexel (Fudge) Hatcher whimpers next to Percy, because he needs some Pepto Bismol after the turtle he ate this morning, but...
- Stanley Yelnats is chastising Fudge for being a wimp, teasing, "Eat it or wear it!" because the soggy old onions Stanley ate were so, so much worse and--BAM BAM BUM...
- Steven Alper cuts Stanley off from his sorry-for-himself tirade by playing a righteous drum solo on the gravy boat, while...
- Meg Murry mulls over the stupidity of boys and her frizzy hair as she watches...
- Sunny Baudelaire gnaw on the leg of the mahogany table in vegan protest of the soul-killing meal, while
- Hermione Granger gives a speech on the "Rights of House Elves" (as they lovingly labor over the Thanksgiving Feast) next to...
- Raina who is adjusting her headgear, so she can actually fit something bigger than a cranberry into her mouth, and...
- I...have been relegated to the kiddie card table in the sub-zero front entryway.
Ahh...can't you just feel the passive-aggressive tension colliding in the air above stomachs that have been stuffed to five times their capacity?! In other words, the perfect Thanksgiving feast.
How about you? Which MG characters would make it on to your Thanksgiving (or other holiday) guest list? Please share in the comments! Happy Thanksgiving to all who celebrate!
List of Books in Order of Appearance:
Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery
Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume
Holes by Louis Sachar
Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pie by Jordan Sonnenblick
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
*Smile by Raina Telgemeier (nonfiction)