WILY: Thanksgiving in August

My son and sister in law have birthdays close enough that we've celebrated them together at the beginning of August the last few years.  Being relatively close to Independence Day and in the heat (pun intended) of summer cookout season, no one really wanted another grilled burger and hot dog party.

So, last year, my mother in law suggested something that seemed crazy at the time:  a full Thanksgiving dinner.  

She went all out.  Turkey, mashed potatoes, and dressing.  The works.  There was even a gravy boat under the deck umbrella near the pool.  

When she announced her plan, reactions ranged from quiet surprise to full-on "she's lost it."

Then a funny thing happened. Everyone loved it.  It turns out that a traditional Sunday dinner is a welcome break in the middle of sandwich and noodle-salad season.  As this year's party approached, everyone asked if she was going to do Thanksgiving again.

She'd taken it from a far-out idea to a tradition in one year.  

That first party was like a controlled trial or pilot.  Try the risky solution once and check the results.  If it's not as expected, no problem.  Try something new next year.  Everyone will come back.

Put the idea out there.  Be open to feedback, and maybe even criticism.  You'll never have Thanksgiving in August if you don't.