I was driving home from work this morning and I saw not one, but several houses already decked out for Christmas and I could not believe my eyes! Did I miss the turkey and cranberry sauce? Did we skip the entire month of November? Am I the only person that finds this a little disturbing?
I love Thanksgiving! It is the only holiday where diets are outlawed and it is ok to wear pants with draw strings. It is all about spending time with family, reflecting on the past year, and taking time to be THANKFUL!
When I was growing up I loved Thanksgiving. I can remember waking up early that morning to the sound of the vacuum cleaner running and my mom getting that last speck of dirt off the carpet. I would go out to the living room and turn on the TV to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. As my mom would be basting the turkey and giving last minute "honey do" jobs for my dad, I would be watching the pink panther soar above Manhattan, dancing with the Rockettes, all while trying to sing the latest Broadway tune! We would have to hurry and get dressed because soon the entire family would be coming to our house for the day. The cars would start to come up the drive...Grandpa unloading a trunk full of Grandma's pies and chicken and dumplings. My Uncle Mel would pull up by the house and get my great grandma's wheelchair out of the van and let me ride on her lap while he pushed her into the house. My cousins would arrive and we would try to sneak a dessert before the meal. After everyone arrived and the "buffet" was arranged, we would all stand in the living room and kitchen together as a family (there were so many of us that we didn't all fit in one room). Everyone would join hands and we would reflect on all of the things that we as a family had to be thankful for. We would hold hands and pray. We would eat. Laughter filled the rooms. Everyone would go back for seconds, some, even thirds!!! The ladies would then sit and chat over dessert. The men would lie on the couch, in the chairs, even on the floor, and turn on some football while talking about the 10 point buck that they missed while hunting earlier that morning. Tums would be passed around and games were played by the kids. This was my memories of Thanksgiving as a child.
When I graduated high school and went away to college I couldn't wait to get home for Thanksgiving break. It would kick off on Tuesday evening with the famous Borden-Pekin Basketball rivalry game. It was like a homecoming of sorts, you would run into all of your old friends, talk about what was new in your life, while rooting for the home team! My car would be packed full of dirty laundry that awaited mom's washing machine. As the years past there were some years that I had to work on Thanksgiving. My how I missed being with my family. I would call every few hours to get the play by play of the day. I would finally get home to a house full of family and warm up a plate of leftover turkey...it was the best!
The first Thanksgiving Bobby and I spent together was actually a week before we were married. The two years before that we were both on call or working, and didn't get to spend the holiday together. It was a crazy time. Not only were we a week away from tying the knot, but my grandpa had just went through major heart surgery the week before and had several life threatening complications. We almost decided as a family not to get together that year, just to go to a restaurant, we thought it would just make things easier. As grandpa laid in the hospital gravely ill he said, "you are still getting together tomorrow, aren't you?" I left the hospital and went straight to the store, bought a turkey, and went home to cook it! I had no idea how in the world to make a turkey, but I did it. We all got together as a family. That was the last Thanksgiving grandpa was with us. That next Friday, I walked down the isle and married my best friend. Two years later we shared the first Thanksgiving with our newborn baby girl, we had so much to be thankful for. It was my first real outing after giving birth. It took me about three hours to get all of the diaper bags packed, breast pump loaded in the car, and about four changes of clothes for the baby! What a day it was!!! Last year was Frankie's first Thanksgiving. When we stood together as a family and reflected on the year and what we were thankful for all I could think about was how BLESSED we were to have a healthy baby. A baby that literally could have died was healthy and strong. How appropriate that he was named after grandpa. What a JOY he has been to our family!
This is what Thanksgiving is all about...GIVING THANKS! I am thankful for so many things, from my family to the fact that this year I'm wearing jeans that I haven't worn since pre baby days! It's a good day. It's a great day, indeed!
So before you start to plan out your black Friday shopping spree or trim the tree, don't forget about carving the turkey. Don't forget to be thankful for the little things in life that matter so much. And please, don't turn on your Christmas lights until the day after!!!! Let the turkey have his day too!