Thinking back to my childhood, I remember the few days before Thanksgiving as being filled with last minute pie making and preparations for Thursday's big meal. My father would bring various card tables to extend the dining room table to an uneven mishmash of long banquet table for sometimes over 20 family members to feast.
What I also remember is that the day before, with the house full of the most sinfully delicious smells — we almost always ordered pizza. That way, we wouldn't mess up the kitchen even more.
Sure, the logic is a little strange. You're already un-tidying the kitchen with make-ahead gravy, cranberry sauce, and trays of not yet stale bread sitting out in the open air. My mother, however, never wanted to contribute to the inevitable mess with yet another meal — the one for Thanksgiving eve. Instead, we would eat cold sub sandwiches, pizza, or order in Chinese food. Sitting down to a family dinner with everyone in town, we would eat a delicious takeout feast on paper plates (because you can't get the dishes dirty either!).
I realized this year that I've adopted this idea for just about any cooking-intensive holiday (read: any holiday at our house). Not only am I pretty unexcited to rustle up a home cooked dinner the night or few days before, but also this saves us from doing just a few more thousand dishes, or so it seems. Plus, it's a sort of fun tradition, like eating take-out on the floor of a new, furniture-less apartment.
It's a weird little thing, but I'm sticking to it. What do you eat in the few days leading up to a holiday?