I’ll think of something….
My daughter Kate, who married an American, is now the matriarch of the family. She and her husband had 21 people for Thanksgiving dinner this year.. The attendance keeps growing, not only with births of new members but with addtions by splits and absorption. This year she roasted two turkeys, with stuffing to suit the specific tastes of some of the group - not sure what - gluten-free maybe? Her husband eats Paleo, so lots and lots of vegetables for him.
Kate reminds me of Helen Mirren playing the housekeeper in the movie, Gosford Park, reacting so swiftly and decisively to the unexpected dietary requests of the house guests. A few years ago at Christmas, we who were already seated drank all her special wine as we waited for several extra guests, grounded by a snowstorm and prevented from attending their distant dinners, to arrive at Kate’s table. Unfazed, she produced a beautiful belated feast - and more wine.
Arrangements get more complicated every year as families divide and multiply. I read a comment this week that children today have more grandparents today than ever in history, with grands and step-grands and great grands, because that generation has divorced and remarried more and is living longer. My mother used to add a lugubrious note to our post-Christmas tidying. As we were taking down the tree she would say cheerfully, I wonder who’ll be gone next year?” These days the question would more likely be, “I wonder who the new guests will be next year?”
All in the extended family.