November 24, 2009

Thanks, Pilgrim (In My John Wayne Accent)

In the United States, Thanksgiving is always celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November. Thanksgiving Day is associated with elaborate parades, turkey dinners with all the trimmings, family and friends gathering together in celebration, football, golf, and other sports all day long.

I'm not a bah humbug person, but I have always been a practical person. Raising three kids and working full time left me with little energy or enthusiasm on lots of holidays. My kids grew up with our very own traditions that were initiated for my benefit. I knew I could do a better job of cooking and participating in the games and cheer if I was feeling good. So in our house when my kids were quite young we watched the parade on TV and had a quiet day the Thursday that was the actual Thanksgiving Day. On Friday we shopped for groceries. Saturday morning I was sufficiently rested to get up early and tackle the big Tom Turkey. Their friends were invited to have a second Thanksgiving dinner with us on Saturday and we celebrated.

As the kids got older, I encouraged them to accept invitations to Thanksgiving dinner at friends houses and to invite their friends to enjoy our dinner and games on the Saturday. That seemed to work out for everyone.

This year is my first Thanksgiving to be unemployed. It hasn't been a month since I left my job, said goodbye to my favorite boss ever, and am adjusting to a life of retirement. And this year I am going to fry chicken instead of the traditional turkey. Hubby will make his dressing and put it on a cookie sheet to put into the oven to get his just right crunchy dressing. I will fix mashed potatoes and gravy and of course the green bean casserole. Not huge amounts, but there will be leftovers for a few days. We will take a walk and play darts and listen to music and read and call our siblings and children.

I have a full and grateful heart. Thanksgiving usually brings thoughts of abundance; plenty of food, lots of friends, caring and sharing the overflowing love.

It is a pleasure to hear other plans for Thanksgiving. I would welcome any and all comments describing your anticipated holiday.


Rebel Mother said...

We dont celebrate Thanksgiving over here in England, our main celebration is Christmas. Full of presents, turkeys, puddings, families and friends....and arguments!

Our Christmas wouldnt be Christmas without a good, old-fashioned family row. Why that happens, I really dont know, it must an English thing!!!

Love to you on your Thanksgiving. Hope you have a great day.


Shadow said...

a quiet celebration, if that is your choice, is as good as a big one. each has their place in our various stages of our lives...

Clippy Mat said...

sounds like a plan. and a good one, hope you enjoy it all.
we had thanksgiving in canada in october. not sure why???
but i do like that it's not so close to christmas.

Shadowthorne said...

No Thanksgiving in this side of the planet either. But I know its a rather nice tradition.

Read the final chapter of me against the uni. :)

Brian Miller said...

happy thanksgiving!

this year we are traveling to Ts parents house to enjoy the traditional all day cooking affair, love fest with her side of the family. i will be the entertainment for the kids. last year we slipped into the raceway in town and looked around, really the gate was unlocked so i figured it was an

we trim the tree thie time of year as well...which includes mexican night...i dunno where we got that one, but we top it off with frosties from Wendy's...

for christmas, T always includes a key lime pie, just for me...because nothing says christmas like key

so now you know what i will be doing for the next 30 days. hope you have a great one!

Ina in Alaska said...

Sounds like a lovely plan and I admire your honesty. Never having had, nor wanted, to give birth to children, but having married a man with FIVE, we always had the traditional Thanksgiving meal. I do love to cook but do not do well with children underfoot, they make me too edgy but I suck it up most of the time. Well anyway, now fast forward and everyone is grown and gone. O Happy Life without kids. Ron and I invite whoever we want to join us, then we go over to our youngest daughter Niki's house for dessert with her family. We take a big walk which I enjoy (if it is not too frigid), then we go home and get in our comfy chairs before the fire. The end. Happy Thanksgiving!

Ronda Laveen said...

I loved the way your own tradition revolved around when you would be at your best for yourself and your family. More of us could adopt this approach, me included.

Today, I am grateful for you.

otin said...

I pretty much don't view the holidays as anything but time off, and that is a good thing for me!

cinner said...

I hope you enjoy your Thanksgiving. Not so rushed and chaotic is a good thing. Big hug to you. Our Thanksgiving was in October, but the States really goes big time with the Holiday. Ours often is just another long as your with the one you love, life is grand.

Eternally Distracted said...

Thanksgiving is not celebrated in the Middle east but the first day of the Eid holiday is Friday which means I get a full nine days off work :0) We are just coming to the end of a six week period with visitors and I am happy to do nothing but wish that someone would cook me the dinner you just described - YUM!!!

TechnoBabe said...

Rebel Mother, hello there. Even with family quarrels, your Christmas celebrations sound divine. Family. Together. Gotta love it.

Shadow my dear, you always find the right words to say something. I like the way you understand the various stages of our lives. Thank you.

Hi Clippy Mat, I know Canada celebrates Thanksgiving in October from reading all my Canadian blogger friends. You are right, it would be nice to have the big holidays further apart.

Shadowthorne, you are writing up a storm over there these days. Keep writing. You sound in better spirits too.

Brian, my hero writer, I read your posts to hubby and we are in awe of your writing ability. You could write a story about anything from road kill to toilet paper and make everyone interested. Enjoy your Thanksgiving at T's parents.

Ina, Have I ever told you how much I admire the good job you did being step mom to five kids. I so understand your glee that they are all grown now. Kinda like what Shadow said earlier about the different stages in our lives. Happy Thanksgiving to you and Ron, dear Ina.

Ronda, you are a blessing. Thank you for your thoughtfulness and for your wonderful shares on your blog.

Hi Otin, I understand what you are saying. When I was working I just wanted a holiday for the time off work. Now I can actually enjoy the day and appreciate the holiday for what it was meant to be. Happy Thanksgiving, Otin.

Cinner you sweetie, you are right Thanksgiving is a big holiday in the U.S. and I don't know if it is because it gets us in the general holiday spirit for the commercial side of the month of December or not but I do enjoy taking the time to remember the many blessings in my life. You and I are on the same page appreciating being with the love of our lives. Hugs to you too.

Hi E D, so the day after our Thanksgiving you begin a holiday over there. The difference is that you have nine days off work and for our holiday we have four days off and some people don't even get that. I wish you were close enough to share with hubby and me, after all your company lately, you and Mec could eat dinner with us and yes, you could even bring Max.

Big Dave T said...

Very traditional Thanksgiving at our house. My wife's sister comes over and together they prepare the meal. I only insist they make stuffing like my mother makes, not Pennsylvania Dutch style like their mother used to prepare. Afterwards, we usually play board games. I remember one year we all played spoons at the the dinner table after the dishes were cleared. Not sure if you know how spoons is played but my son leaped across the table to grab a spoon and the table collapsed, broken. We have a new, stronger table now.

tasmith1122 said...

Lovely, past and present. I look forward to our own holiday. Wish you the best.

TechnoBabe said...

Hi Dave, my kids and I played spoons over the dinner table often. We always ended up laughing so much we couldn't keep the spoons on! Happy Thanksgiving to you and Wendy and your family.

TechnoBabe said...

Hi Yousei, Thanks for stopping by and for your kind comments. I really enjoy reading your blog. Happy Thanksgiving.

Julie said...

Hi, Technobabe. Having Thanksgiving on Saturday is a great idea. I know couples who, having both sets of parents in the same town, have to go to both houses. Neither family will have it on a different day. The couples are usually exhausted after it's all over. That seems silly to me. It's not about a day on the calendar. Anyway, I like your idea much better.

I also like Big Dave T's idea of playing spoons. I have lots of good (and crazy) memories with that game. A broken table sounds about right...ha!

As for me, I'm headed out to travel to see relatives, because we don't live in the same town. We're traditional when it comes to Thanksgiving, except we celebrate it for several days. In the Southeast, oysters are also a must.

I wanted to say hello to you before I left, and now I'm glad I did. I enjoy your thoughts very much. Happy Thanksgiving!