Despite the fact that it goes against all blogging protocol, I can’t bear to decorate for holidays before that holiday actually arrives. So, it wasn’t until this week that I started thinking about Thanksgiving, playing with table settings and planning a menu. That means the pictures y’all are seeing are the “real deal”… I took them as I set the table this morning. It also means my Thanksgiving table is pretty low key… mostly because that’s my style, but also because I had to work with what I had. We’re staying home for Thanksgiving this year and Mike’s parents and my mom are joining us on Thursday. My mom flies out of Raleigh Friday to spend the rest of the holidays with my sister and her family in England and my dad and stepmom are joining us Saturday for a couple of days.
I grew up with two Thanksgiving celebrations every year… the first being a huge family reunion/potluck style get together with my Dad’s side of the family. It was fun and boisterous and more food than you could ever imagine. There were big smoker grills, firepits, footballs and even a family golf tournament. We spent every Thursday for years mingling with family we don’t get to see often enough and enjoying every casserole, cake and meat known to man. On Fridays, we’d load back into the car and head east to my mom’s side of the family. There, we would enjoy Thanksgiving, part 2. With my grandmother, great-aunt and great-uncle, we took part in a traditional Thanksgiving meal… at the dining room table, set with china, crystal and silver. There was always turkey, dressing, rice and cranberry sauce (sliced in a silver tray) and pecan pie waited on a nearby table for dessert. We wore our Sunday best and tried to be on our best behavior. It was a completely different experience, but the memories are just as special… just as warm.
As I get set to host a Thanksgiving meal in my own home, I find myself incorporating elements of both of my Thanksgiving experiences growing up, along with new traditions Mike and I have started through the years. I loved blending old and new, mixing low-key with long-standing rituals. In our own home, we sit down to a big meal in the dining room full of the traditional dishes Mike and I both loved growing up. This is the first year in a long time that Mike hasn’t fried our turkey… and although it’s a lot of work, I think he’s sad not to be doing it this year. But we’ll have a fire in the firepit outside the dining room window and the boys will all play football in the backyard in between watching it on the family room TV. It will be casual with a lot of tradition… warm and cozy… just the way I envision Thanksgiving Day.
I hope you have warm and cozy plans for Thanksgiving and hope you get to spend the day with those nearest and dearest to you. I read a quote on this week that said, “there is always something to be thankful for”. This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for my family… my amazing boys and husband, our loving and supportive parents, my siblings, their spouses and their own growing families. I am thankful for our 2 “old gold” girls, who will try to chase that football around Thursday afternoon and for a warm home to celebrate in. And I’m thankful to all of you, who check back here each week to see what I’m up to. Thank you for being along for the ride. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!