Working holiday |

Working holiday

For some, Thanksgiving means slaving over a hot stove

Patti Craig of Craig prepares a large dinner on Thanksgiving, and then she cleans up the dishes when everyone’s finished eating.

Her husband, Rick, said he stays close to the kitchen to give her a hand. But that’s not exactly how he was raised.

“When I grew up, grandma and mom did everything,” he said. “I don’t see no problem with guys helping out some.”

The Craigs invite their children home for the holiday, and Rick said the girls help some, but the boys usually retreat to the living room to watch television.

He said their Thanksgiving is traditional in many ways, though he does not think the tradition of women doing all the work should stick.

But for another area family, Thanksgiving roles are still similar to the way Rick grew up.

Irva Robidoux, who lives on a ranch 20 miles east of Baggs, Wyo., said when she was younger, holidays included only her mom and her five sisters. Her father was not around, and she never had any aunts and uncles to celebrate with.

So now, Robidoux enjoys having her children, her husband’s parents and anyone else without a place to come over for a big dinner she made.

“When I decided to get married, I wanted a big crowded house for Thanksgiving, and I’ve got it,” she said.

She said everyone visits in the kitchen area while she and the other women make dinner.

“Everybody stands in the kitchen and munches on the vegetable tray,” Robidoux said. “It’s a madhouse, but it’s so much fun.”

Heidi Jensen of Craig said she and her husband, Craig, enjoy a bit quieter Thanksgiving dinner, one that’s prepared by both of them. He takes care of the turkey, and she takes care of everything else.

This is their second year celebrating by themselves, because their family is in Oregon. They spend the day with their four young children.

“We’re really enjoying it,” she said.

Mary Jo Brown of Craig said she used to be responsible for the entire meal when her children were younger. Now she gets together with her siblings at her sister Maria Keller’s house.

“It’s mostly getting together and having a good time visiting,” she said.

After dinner, the women typically take care of the dishes while the men spend time together, a traditional aspect of the holiday Brown said she enjoys.

“I think it’s neat because we can talk all we want about our subjects, and they go watch football or do whatever they’re doing,” she said.

Michelle Perry can be reached at 824-7031 or

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