This research will begin with the statement that family gatherings should be a time for joy and celebration. They should be a time to catch up with old friends and family members, people who one doesn’t see throughout the year. …
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It is evidently clear from the discussion that as both of the author's and his friend's families gather together at Thanksgiving, and, really, no other time except maybe Christmas Eve, Thanksgiving will be the example that will be used to illustrate what the author means. First, there are similarities that must be pointed out. Both of them have large extended families, and both of them see the members of the extended family on Thanksgiving. The food at these gatherings is traditional. Turkey, cranberry sauce, green bean casserole, stuffing, pumpkin pie, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, and gravy. With her family, there is pot-luck, where guests bring a dish, and typically the dishes are of the dessert variety. So, one year the gathering had carrot cake and fruit salad to go along with the other offerings, while somebody else brought a small casserole to serve. The author’s family is much the same, although his mother makes all the main courses. There is another difference, and that is that the author’s family buys the processed and canned stuff, whereas her family does not. So, instead of real potatoes being used in the mashed potatoes, their mashed potatoes are from a box. Her mashed potatoes are actual potatoes which are put into a food processor with butter and sour cream to whip them up. The author’s gravy is from a jar; her gravy is made from scratch, from animal drippings, wine, and flour. The author’s sweet potatoes are from a can; hers are made from actual sweet potatoes which are roasted and put through a food processor. The author’s cranberry sauce is from a can; hers are real cranberries, boiled and sweetened. The author’s pumpkin pie is made from canned pumpkin pie filling; hers is made from actual pumpkins. The author used to think that her mother was Martha Stewart, but her mother insists that it is just as easy to make food homemade then to buy it from a can. At any rate, the author spent one Thanksgiving with her, and he has to say, the difference in the two meals is amazing. The author wishes that his mother had as much energy as hers when it comes to preparing meals. While the menus are the same, except that her family’s menu is made from scratch and theirs isn’t, there is a large difference in the atmosphere. The main reason for this is because the author’s family typically gets drunk at Thanksgiving. And by family, he means everybody, from age 14 to age 90, partakes in the festivities. One year, a guest brought a large bottle of Petron Tequila, and everybody did shots. The author didn’t do shots because he doesn’t like tequila, but he was the exception. The author doesn’t remember a family gathering where people did not end up throwing up, dancing manically, and screaming at each other for little or no reason. Because hard alcohol is a staple at these gatherings, things get pretty loose. By the end of the evening, the music is blaring, and people are dancing around the living room while others are passed out on various couches. Some people are hanging on everybody, telling them how much they love them, while others are crying. People start skinny-dipping in the hot tub. If it weren’t for the tension that inevitably marks these gatherings, these gatherings would be pretty fun. On the other hand, her gatherings are much more subdued, although not boring. Wine and beer are served to the guests, but no hard alcohol. This makes for much less blatant drunkenness, yet people still have a good time.
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