I’m not sure how Thanksgiving got to be my favorite holiday of the year. I mean, stuck between the candy-extravaganza of Halloween and the present-orgy of Christmas, I don’t think I gave turkey-day much credit as a kid. But now, after being in charge of all holiday productions at my house for more than 35 years, I have to say the one day where all you do is cook, eat and enjoy people’s company is the best.
This Thanksgiving holiday at my house was no exception, especially since it almost didn’t happen it all. My youngest daughter had a baby in September (her first), and little Savannah was not ready for a seven-hour car ride to Nonna’s house just yet. My oldest daughter and her family had planned to spend the holiday with her husband’s mom. And my 92-year-old father-in-law no longer drives after a bad accident in the summer. Up until about ten days before Thanksgiving I was contemplating a trip to Cracker Barrel for the day.
But then my daughter’s mother-in-law had to work and couldn’t have guests, so daughter and her family hit the road for my house. We worked out transportation for my in-laws, and Thanksgiving was back on!
Now, every family has its own turkey day traditions, from the food that graces the table, to the programs that light up the television. My Thanksgiving dinner menu was passed down from my mother (who learned it from the friends she lived with as a WWII war bride in Nashville, Tennessee), with just a few tweaks in recent years to accommodate gluten-sensitive members of the family. Usually my youngest daughter helps me cook; this year my 16-year-old grandson stepped up.
We spent all morning in the kitchen bustling about while the first Christmas carols of the season played in the background, then sat down with the whole family to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (which had been recorded so we could skip commercials and particularly annoying lip-synching acts). We recorded the football games, too, so no one whined about missing anything during dinner.
When it came time to serve the meal, four generations of the family gathered around the table, with our friend Lisa, the town’s holistic veterinarian. And, as we loaded up our plates, we each shared what we were thankful for—turned out to be plenty, despite the year’s ups and downs.
|Hubby and Grandson perform at open mike.|
The Thanksgiving weekend usually involves decorating for Christmas around my house, but since my daughter’s family was going to be traveling home early we just relaxed. We had football to watch, of course, but there were other distractions. My husband and grandson entertained at the local open mike night. I fended off my grandson’s challenge at SCRABBLE, but went down to ignominious defeat at LIFE. We laughed at several silly Seventies martial arts movies courtesy of the El Rey Network’s Way of the Turkey Marathon and re-enforced family values by watching the Corleones defeat all comers in The Godfather. And, finally, after everyone had gone home, my husband and I joined the crowds oohing and aahing at the entries to the National Gingerbread House competition at the Grove Park Inn in Asheville.
|Feeling Christmas-y at the National Gingerbread House competition.|
Maybe you can see why Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. Family, friends, food and fun—what’s not to love? I already can’t wait until next year!