Every Thanksgiving, my mom is in the kitchen in a full-blown sweat, hovered over four pots of food all shacked up on the stove top.
She is rushing, trying to get everything done so that when the rest of my family arrives, they won’t think we are the lazy slobs we truly are at heart.
Occasionally, she yells downstairs to my dad, who has been lounging on the couch for the past two hours and preparing himself for the three football games he is about to take in.
He’s in a total trance, and he responds to my mom every other time she yells with a loud, “Huh?”
We aren’t the typical family that uses the fancy dishes and sits around a long dining room table with plastered-on smiles.
What actually goes down is more like a Netflix and chill session, minus the “chill.” There's football instead of your favorite TBS show.
We grab trays, take them all over the house and stuff ourselves with turkey until we can’t breathe.
This usually ends with all the cousins lying flat on our carpeted living room floor, bellyaching about how they are, “Never eating again until dinner.”
Now, eating until you look like you are about to pop out triplets is not the most romantic thing.
Your mom cooking in her underwear is definitely not even close to something you want your boyfriend to see.
However, I’ve learned throughout the years (and the boyfriends) that Thanksgiving is the perfect holiday to bring your boyfriend home.
Through past experiences, I have noticed on this day, there are many distractions.
Food, family members and football fill the atmosphere.
This means, if you’re lucky, he can virtually come and do his thing, without being tortured with a panel of questions.
He will be more comfortable because the attention isn’t solely focused on him.
We all know Aunt Sheri is bringing her new boyfriend. Let’s be honest: That’s going to be some entertainment right there.
All day, the men will be watching football, the women will be focused on the food and the kids will most likely be outside, soaking in the last bit of fall weather.
This is a good thing for you and your boo thang.
This is the perfect holiday for love.
Everyone seems to be in good spirits.
It’s a day dedicated to eating food, including turkey, mashed potatoes and some jiggly Jello salad situation your grandma made.
And who doesn’t love food?
It’s not a super serious, religious holiday where everyone feels obligated to buy gifts and go to church.
The day is light, fun and filled with warmth.
It is easier for him to leave a good impression on whichever family member talks to him, simply because everyone is in a good mood.
Anything thrown at him can be handled by a sweet distraction from yours truly: “This [insert food] you made is so delicious! Can I have the recipe? Don’t you like it, babe?”
He can show he is gentle and kind by helping to set things up. He will shine in your mother’s eyes as she scrambles around the kitchen, making sure everything is in place.
Your grandma will adore his manners,and your dad will just be happy he doesn’t have to leave the couch.
If your boyfriend does feel a little daring and adventurous toward the men watching football, let him go.
If he passes grandma’s approval, he can hang with the men.
He can handle himself now.
I, however, find it helpful to check on him every 10 minutes. You know, just in case he needs some more to drink, more whipped cream or more of whatever.
Seeing your boyfriend around your family is always a game changer in your relationship, too.
Seeing him playing with your little cousins makes something within you melt.
I find myself falling more in love when my family falls in love with him.
Not only can Thanksgiving be a great opportunity for your family to meet him, but it’s also a great day to evaluate your relationship and see where things are headed.
Also, when the food damage is done, there is nothing better than being in a mashed potato coma and being cuddled.
I don’t know about you, but cuddling is one of my favorite things.
When you are full, warm and happy, with the house smelling of pumpkin pie, it’s nap time. I am always the little spoon.
When people start waddling out the door to leave, make sure he sticks around for a bit.
He will say his goodbyes and "nice to meet yous" with a smile on his face because he knows the pressure of the holiday madness is winding down.
In the end, everyone will love him.
Yes, you know he is flawless, but you also planned the perfect day to bring that boy home.