Heading to your family’s home for the holidays can mean one of two things: traveling for miles to get the best meal of the year or preparing for a marathon session of bickering relatives over bland food that makes you wish you had ordered pizza instead. Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross, stars of the new ABC comedy black-ish, have sidestepped that scene altogether and discovered how to prevent the perennial headaches that often come with being a host. Here, the actors share their personal—and very funny—handling-the-holidays techniques for coping with unexpected guests, navigating kitchen duties and divvying up the leftovers.
Your house or theirs?
Ross: My family rotates whose home we go to. Most often it’s at my mom’s, but we did mine two years in a row.
Anderson: Actually, I am considered to be the Diana Ross of my family; everybody comes to my house. We’re in the backyard for Thanksgiving in L.A.: poolside grilling, deep frying turkeys and smoking meat.
Dinner at 3 p.m. or a normal evening mealtime?
Ross: I personally like a 6 or 7 o’clock dinner, but my family is not into that.
Anderson: Sometimes my mother wants to have Thanksgiving at her place. But her place isn’t her place. My mom is the resident manager of a senior home. We’ll eat early in the community room. So I have to sit there and pretend to eat the food that the seniors had, then later, we eat dinner at my house.
How do you tackle unexpected guests?