Thanksgiving 2007 marked a change in tradition in our home this year.
My son spent his first holiday away from home (not counting Halloween while attending Coastal Carolina University). He is in CA this year; I was dreading his absent seat at the table. Typically, he rolled out of bed when the turkey smells reached his nose, pulled on some jeans, called current girlfriend, and once she arrived, we would eat and they would leave and that would be that. BUT, he was there.
My eldest daughter has been away a few times over the holidays, while living in Nashville, but she would usually get home, driving all night, and then hurry back to make it to work. One Christmas when I had two days off my other two children and I loaded Christmas in the car and drove up there to be with her -ate Christmas dinner at Burger King (one of those in a gas station) so I could be back to work on time as the Office Admin at Century 21 (my former employer).
My son is the baby, youngest of three.
I tried (unsuccessfully) for the third year in a row to bypass the Thanksgiving feast altogether. I came VERY close this year, almost pulled it off.
"Your poor brother, out there in a strange place (ok so he's with his father-but trust me, that's strange), let's just drink wine and watch Christmas DVD's, how does that sound? So he doesn't think we don't love him? Let's show him it's not the same without him.
My middle daughter bought it, ‘no prob mom, we'll make up for it when he comes home for CHRISTMAS...' Laura was up for frozen pizza and wine...followed by a nap.
It didn't fly with Anne; she offered to bring the TURKEY! "I'll fix the turkey...and mac and cheese...you just do the sides and dessert" she said.
What could I say? She had me and she knew it. I realized I wasn't being fair to her. All those years she drove home for the holidays and now she is living near home and we cancel? What's that about?
And so Anne baked the turkey. I was amazed at how much less stress there seemed to be from that one little change-I just cleaned up a bit, peeled potatoes, arranged a few things around the house, and waited for her to arrive.
And then she arrived with the most exquisite herb rubbed, golden gem I have seen to date! She pulled the usual disclaimer out...'oh, its probably dry or not cooked...blah blah blah'.
It was perfection! Now Anne is a very good cook, I was not concerned in the least about how it would taste. It just felt odd not having to do everything. But nice too. After the meal - with the much anticipated wine and Deck the Halls in the DVD player, I dropped the bomb on HER.
"Of course you know what this means now Anne? From now on, YOU do the turkey! You do it so much better than I do, it was such a help not having to deal with that". I even quietly threw in that perhaps we could go to her house next year. I think I may be on to something here.
Nathan had a nice Thanksgiving too, we are planning the Christmas dinner now. It will be here at my house, as always. I think I am going to suggest that I BUY the turkey and ham and get Anne to cook it.
We watched Christmas With the Kranks as well. I love the idea of a cruise for Christmas, been trying to pull that off too - I vowed last year would be THE LAST CHRISTMAS at my house. I was committed to the idea of being on a cruise this year (actually persuaded my step-sister to go along), but w/Nathan coming home from CA for the holidays, that is out of course (for now).
At least I have eased up on the cooking. I wouldn't mind so much if I had grandchildren to cook for.