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NPR Reports: The Man Who Celebrates Thanksgiving With Strangers

NPR Reports: The Man Who Celebrates Thanksgiving With Strangers

Norman Rockwell

Once, an uncle, having consumed half his weight in Fetzer Chardonnay, switched to Sierra Nevada halfway through Thanksgiving dinner, and remarked, quite loudly, as he took an exploratory sip and jauntily contemplated the bottle: "This beer tastes like p***y."

Thanksgiving can be bad enough with family and friends, but they're at least easy to forgive for all the dumb stuff they say when they're full of stuffing and drink. What if a horde of strangers came over every year, crowded into your dining room, picked at your turkey, and clucked away?

Scott Macaulay knows how that feels. Twenty-five years ago, he placed an ad in the Melrose, Mass. newspaper offering to cook Thanksgiving dinner for twelve strangers. As NPR's Morning Edition reported last week, he is still cooking today. However, now there are nearly seven times as many guests. And because he's been doing it for two-and-a-half decades, quite a few are no longer strangers, but old friends. In the piece, Macaulay breaks down his hosting routine:

"What I do is transform the hall at the First Baptist Church to look as close to home as I can get it. I have a fake fireplace. I have Norman Rockwell's famous Thanksgiving picture framed. And the way I test my success or failure is how long they stay."

The concluding quote is both touching and funny:

"My goal is always to have nobody sign up, 'cause that means everybody's got a place to go and everybody's OK."

But if no one signed up, we wonder, would Macaulay have to heat up a Stouffers and watch football alone?