Remember that scene from A Christmas Story where the neighbor’s dogs get into the Parker’s house, go rampaging through the kitchen, snatch the Christmas turkey from off the table, and tear it to pieces?

While my family has never experienced anything quite as traumatic as having our turkey stolen by a pack of dogs, we have had our fair share of holiday meal mishaps. Maybe it’s because there are too many cooks in the kitchen? (We’re pushing thirty at any given get-together.) Or maybe it’s because the majority of them learned to cook from my grandma who doesn’t believe in following a written recipe? Whatever the case, more often than not, something goes awry.

Example 1: We always end up with way too much marshmallow fruit salad; the solution to which has become to scoop as much as you can onto your neighbor’s plate. I don’t care what the rules of “the clean plate club” are, I’m vowing not to choke down half a pound of that stuff this year.

Example 2: One Easter, a few years back, we were waiting around for an uncle (who shall remain nameless) to show up with the ham. When said uncle arrived, it appeared there had been a miscommunication because he had brought no ham with him. We ended up eating hotdogs for Easter brunch that year!

Example 3: On more than one occasion, someone has cooked a turkey without checking the cavity for the gizzard and other innards. Enough said.

Thankfully, if there is one thing my family has, it’s a sense of humor! We always seem to laugh it off and make do. If you recall, Ralphie and his family end up going out to eat at a Chinese Restaurant for their Christmas dinner, which reassures my thinking that if something goes wrong this Thanksgiving, we should all say, “Stuff it! Let’s go out to eat.”

Lucky for us, we have plenty of local options that are open on Thanksgiving:
 

29 Pines

● Thanksgiving Buffet: 11am - 4pm.

● Adults $16.99; Senior (60+) $14.99; Kids (2-5) $3.99; Kids (6-12) $5.99

● Reservations are encouraged: (715) 874-2929
 

Altoona Family Restaurant

● Open from 6am - 4pm

● Serving a turkey special
 

Bridgewater Restaurant at the Avalon Hotel in Chippewa Falls

● There will be a full breakfast menu: 6:30am - 10am

● Thanksgiving Buffet:10am - 2pm

● $16.99 for adults and $7.49 for kids

● Reservations are encouraged: 715-723-6941
 

Bug Eyed Betty's

● From 11am - 2pm they will be providing a FREE Thanksgiving buffet

● Donations are welcome, proceeds going to Special Olympics Wisconsin
 

Chippewa Family Restaurant

● Open from 5am - 3pm

● Serving a turkey special
 

Dooley's Pub

● They will be open from 11am-10 pm with their regular menu
 

Green Mill

● Buffet: 10:30am - 2:30pm

● $18.99 for Adults and $7.99 for kids 5-12, kids under 4 eat free

● Their regular menu will be available until 10pm

● Call 715-839-8687 if you have any questions
 

Johnny’s Italian Restaurant

● Buffet: 10:30am - 2:00pm

● $24.99 for Adults and $7.99 for kids ages 6-12, under 5 is free

● Reservations are encouraged: 715-830-9779
 

Old Country Buffet

● Their hours of operation will be 11am - 6pm.

● $13.39 Adults and $2.49 for a drink.
 

Perkins

● They will open with their regular business hours
 

The Plus

● Open at 5pm and serving food until 10pm from their regular menu
 

T.G.I.Fridays

● They will be open 5pm-midnight with their regular menu