Happy belated Thanksgiving. I hope everyone enjoyed some turkey and time with family or friends. Notice that I didn’t say restful. That’s not because it is not my wish for you, but I’m assuming that it is the reality for many of you.
Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. I love spending time with family and friends, houses bustling with people, and running around nonstop. My family tends to split our holiday between my family and my husband’s family, with additional family activities a few days prior and continuing through the weekend. And don’t forget Black Friday shopping, schlepping out the holiday decorations too. When you step back and think about it, it puts a lot of pressure on us to cram ALL that we do into these few days.
The actual activities for Thanksgiving have changed for us over the past few years, as there have been additions to the family, family members have moved and passed away. For almost 30 years, approximately 30 of my relatives would pack my aunt or grandmother’s living room for 4 hours on Thanksgiving afternoon. My aunt literally moved all of the furniture out of her living room and set up folding tables so that we would fit. We would eat, play football, have dessert and then many of us would head out for a “second Thanksgiving.” Others would begin the 4 hour car trip home, with some families opting to drive back and forth in one day instead of spending the night at a hotel with 3 kids. It’s a lot. We had it easy, driving only 30 minutes.
Now that we no longer do it- I miss it. I miss knowing that this was one of two days a year that we would ALL be together. Just a week ago, one of my cousins emailed and is trying to set up “Thanksgiving in July” when we can all get together away from the pressures, financial and otherwise, that come with traveling on Thanksgiving. I’m not sure how many of us will make it, but I know I’m already looking forward to turkey, mashed potatoes, and some football in July.
I’m curious to hear how some of my readers spend the holiday. Do you have any unique family traditions? Do you brave the travel rush? Do you stay home and celebrate as a small family unit?
I’d be remiss not to say that I am acutely aware that not everyone has family to spend Thanksgiving with, so I hope that whatever you did, it brought happiness to you in your own way.
We spent Thanksgiving eve at my mother-in-law’s house this year. A went down relatively easy. The three of us were sleeping in one room, with A in a crib. I went up to bed around 11 and I could hear that she was awake before I even opened the door. I realized it was a lost cause to try and get her back to bed with me sleeping the in the room, so I brought A into bed with me. We both fell sound asleep. However, about 1 AM, A woke up. She must do this on a pretty routine basis, but at home she goes right back to sleep. However, on this night, she decided to take in all of her new surroundings. A proceeded to babble and chat with us for 3 hours!! Some of my favorite tidbits include: “Read Cuddly Animals.” “Grandma Kisses please.” A’s pillow. Daddy move!” “Pictures!” “Me: It’s night night time. A: No night night time.” Finally by about 4:15 we got her back to sleep. Needless to say, we all needed nap time on Friday!