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How many for Thanksgiving?

When I was young Thanksgiving was usually 5 people, sometimes 7 depending on which grandparents showed up. Now its usually at my brother's house, depending on which in-laws show up it can be as small as 8 or as many as 25, but usually about 12-15 people. On years I can't get to the mainland I have a group of friends that I celebrate with, usually about 8 - 12 people.

Generally more people = more food, often a geometric increase - when you have 20 people cooking for 20 people....

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  1. We are 6 - five adults and one child. We celebrate with DH's family, and I kind of miss the huge celebrations with my family - but when most of my family passed on over the years, the rest decided not to travel back to the homestead for Thanksgiving. One reason I just can't get too excited for this holiday. (Not because I don't love DH's family, but we see them very regularly, so Thanksgiving is really no big deal.) I'd love to have the "problem" of cooking for 20 or 25!

    1. This year we will be twelve.

      1. On Thursday 5-6. On Saturday at my Grandmother's there will be almost 30 - I think. I lose count. :)

        1. 15 for dinner itself, another 5 or so who come for dessert

          1. This is an even year, that means all Bagelman kids, nieces, nephews, siblings and spouses and their kids/grandkids are expected for Thanksgiving lunch at 1PM, should be 35.

            Next year is an odd year and everyone os free to go to in-laws, so we will be 7, immediate family plus MIL, my mother and her aide.

            2 Replies
            1. re: bagelman01

              Love the odd/even plan! Very creative and gets around that annual..."whose house do we go to?" or that obligation to cook for the whole herd every single year. Creative.

              1. re: pine time

                my mother worked out this deal (with BIL's mother) 42 years ago when first sibling got married. Since then every time a sibling, niece/nephew/grandchild got engaged it was agrred to by the incoming family member. Now 4 generations gather on even year holidays with no problems or feelings of guilt.

            2. And maybe I should have asked how that affects your Thanksgiving experience.
              The simplicity of the smaller Thanksgivings I remember from youth has been replaced by a much wider variety of foods. Our family weren't bakers so we didn't have pie for dessert, grandma probably brought a cake, if the other grand's showed up there may have been pie some years. I'd never heard of green bean casserole. One type of potatoes was enough, usually plain (but good) mashed. Stuffing or dressing was not usually present. And someone must have liked canned jelly, because it was always there.

              Now there is a wide variety of foods, and since both groups I usually spend the holiday with have a variety of ethnic backgrounds there are additional dimensions to the food, some of it never imagined by the pilgrims.

              1 Reply
              1. re: KaimukiMan

                On Thursday it's a pretty traditional carb-heavy meal, in spite of the fact that two family members are diabetic.

                Saturday has always been more traditional, but as my generation gets older and more adventurous we are bringing some fun new foods to the table. One year DH smoked a turkey and then made a fan-damn-tastic smoked turkey shepherd's pie. One cousin is always making an interesting soup. this year we are bringing smoked jalapeno poppers for an appetizer to go with the usual crudite and cheese and crackers.

              2. Only 5 this year. Ever few years we go to the Grandparents in a different state and all the uncles, aunts, and cousins come out of the woodwork to explode to 30+. But we do pot luck style so no one is stuck cooking alone.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Crockett67

                  27 or so at my Aunt's house. Which is less then usual. A lot of people bring stuff so its not one person cooking everything.

                2. 12 as of 4pm Friday but it may increase to 14.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: cleobeach

                    14 with another 5 for after dinner drinks.

                  2. Not enough for me, and way too many for my hubby :)

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: iluvcookies

                      Count is confirmed at 5... which is OK since I have 6 dining room chairs. No one will eat on the sofa this year!

                    2. Growing up - most years just 4 - parents, myself, and sister.

                      Since i left the nest, most years it's been just myself. Sometimes i get invited to a dinner - but, i generally stay away from those unless im really close to that person or the dinner is explicitly an open house type setting.

                      1. This year its just DH, myself and my MIL for Thanksgiving. BUT still doing an 18 LB Turkey with all the trimmings. Love leftovers. I make a number of vacuumed sealed dinners for my MIL to take home. And some for us. The other leftovers I use for making soups, tetrazzini, etc. throughout the year. I love "turkey" day, although I will be known to make turkey in other months of year as well.

                        Christmas will be with all the kids (but I'll still probably have to cook).

                        1. Fortunately, most of my family stayed in the area so we get to have the size of the celebration that I grew up with. Though the guest list has changed due to births, deaths and marriages, we are usually 15-20.
                          The one year it was just the five of us, it seemed so sad. Guess it's just what you are used too.

                          1. 10, this year, which is the perfect number for us. 6 adults and 4 kids. I have done larger Thanksgivings. but the same ten of us have gathered for several years, now, and it just feels right,

                            1. As it has been & most likely will always be - just hubby & me. And frankly, we like it that way. A nice relaxing day, no having to dress up, lying around watching holiday stuff on tv, making our own favorite dishes - along with a huge turkey to provide lots of great leftovers. Love it.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: Bacardi1

                                Just 2 of us, too, and we're happy. I make some stuff on Wednesday, and on Thursday morning, before I put the turkey in, we have a big breakfast (skip lunch), then put in the bird, go for a long walk to pre-burn a few calories, then a relaxing dinner and music. Kinda fun.

                              2. 7 for sure and then there's the one person who is always vague and then shows up whenever and we just fit her in.....never ask her to bring anything, especially not first course!

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: escondido123

                                  At last report there will be 27 ... thank god not at my house.

                                2. 5 or 6. My folks, myself, another couple, and maybe her sister.

                                  We traditionally go to my Grandmother's place, in a town where most of Dad's family lives, about an 8 hour drive away. Last year was kind of a drama fiasco. There's always something going on with those people. So this year, Mom and Dad decided that we'll just stay home.

                                  Unfortunately, in the last couple of weeks, Grandma has had some serious health issues, so the folks are going to go up to visit, but since they've already declined Thanksgiving, they'll go up the next week or so.

                                  1. Generally I invite 35-50 people.. one year I had over 80 though!

                                    1. Just five this year. But when my family gather's it's 15. I'm always in charge of cooking because I start menu planning in September but many cousins and aunts are on hand to help with the prep and cleaning.

                                      1. 7- me, my boyfriend and his two sons, and my parents, plus a goods friend pf mine who is out of vacation time and can't travel to her family celebration. Looking forward to hosting for the first time in many years.

                                        1. This year we have 12.
                                          My fiance and I are hosting in our new house of 6 days! Plus my parents (2), his mom and stepdad (2), my grandmother and sister (2), his stepbrothers (2) and his grandparents (2).

                                          My family is spending Wednesday night.

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: melpy

                                            You've only been in your new home for 6 days and are already hosting? Wow... that is commendable. Or perhaps you are planning a good old-fashioned "unpacking party"? LOL

                                            1. re: iluvcookies

                                              My father and fiancé worked their butts of on Wednesday and we had some help readying the house. There are a few rooms with boxes but for the most part all the common and guest areas were clean and ready.

                                              1. re: melpy

                                                Hats off to you guys! Hope you had a lovely first dinner in your new home.

                                          2. Thanksgiving is the big holiday in my family so everyone comes and stays on Cape Cod for a couple of days. My parents (92 & 88) host but I cook. We will be 32 this year.

                                            The adjunct to Thanksgiving is a Chinese banquet I have at my house on Friday. A lot of people come and help cook in the afternoon. That will be 35-40.

                                            1. Thanksgiving for our extended family was 43 this year. Thankfully, we don't host. The most we ever had was 63 several years ago.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: John E.

                                                Holy cow! I thought our friends 30+ years were epic! She has since gone "on strike" and was at our house this year. Mr. CB, Litlle CB and I miss their spreads. I know it was stressful for her but it was fun for the rest of us!

                                                1. re: cleobeach

                                                  My father's extended family is quite close. My grandparents were immigrants and my dad and his siblings never knew their grandparents or cousins. So instead of a family reunion in the summer (we tried that a couple of times) one of my cousin's decided to host Thanksgiving. He has a large house and so even when we had 63, everyone was able to sit down at a table at the same time. It's a big potluck and as long as they're willing to host, we're willing to bring food.