Evolving Traditions…

Freedom From Want by Norman RockwellWe are neither the Walton’s nor a family Norman Rockwell would have painted. We came close once but the pressure of perfection was just too much. So our halo moment lasted just that… a moment.

Big family gatherings are, well, big when you have a big family. For us, if everyone shows up, there are only a few homes which can hold us. Fortunately, mine is not one of them.

As the years have progressed there have been changes in the family which has triggered changes to past traditions. One major change, for me at least, is the time we eat. For the last few years we have been having what I lovingly call Thanksgiving LUNCH. That’s right, we are expected to be ready for a huge turkey with all the trimmings meal by noon on Thanksgiving day. (Really, I’m still drinking my morning coffee at that time.) A couple hours later we come home to an overly quiet house with not a leftover to be found…. NOTHING. This didn’t sit well with me or Hub, who loves leftovers.

Then I found out my son and family actually stopped at a drive-in for a bite to eat on the way home one year. On Thanksgiving! Oh no… that’s just not right. That’s when I knew something had to be done for my family. And I was just the person to do it.

turkey sandwichI now cook a turkey on Wednesday and make sure I have all the supplies we’ll need. Then when all is done at the big gathering, my family (if they choose to) come back to our house for our Thanksgiving “Leftover” Dinner. We set the food out and everyone is in charge of making their own turkey sandwiches.

Some of us spend the rest of the evening playing cards or Apples to Apples while others may opt to sit with feet up and watch a football game while pretending not to be sleeping. It’s all laid back and relaxed for everyone, even the cook. No outlandish expectations, no pressure.

After, leftovers from the leftover dinner get sent home for more enjoyment later. The perfect picture of a Thanksgiving dinner? Not even close. But who needs the pressure of a perfect turkey dinner when you have a fun family to enjoy?

Wishing all a Blessed Thanksgiving!

Happy Thankgiving Wreath


14 thoughts on “Evolving Traditions…

  1. A great “workaround” for one of the perennial holiday problems – and nicely written.

    It used to be that this time of year the most frequently asked question was “what are you having for Thanksgiving?” Now it’s more along the lines of “with WHOM are you spending the holiday?” or “how many family dinners are you attending this year?”

    It saddens me to hear about young families spending hours on the freeway shuttling between holiday dinners at various relatives — even missing the meal sometimes because of traffic.

    Your “cook for sandwiches” idea is perfect! And it sounds as if there is no pressure to attend — come on by if you want a sandwich later in the day – very nice.

  2. You are a diplomatic genius, Sis. I admire your ability to “take back” this day for your own family. When I give thanks for my blessings, I count you twice. ♥♥♥♥

  3. We’re doing Thanksgiving “lunch” for the first time. In fact, I’m cooking for the first time and the meal is at my house for the first time, but I’m not nervous. We’re doing lunch so we can have the leftovers for dinner. I think it’ll work out. 🙂 Happy Thanksgiving.

  4. There is a first for us this year too, Ellen. Mike and I, and my sister and her husband will be having Thanksgiving dinner about 4:30, 5:00 pm at son Tony’s house. All together there will be fourteen people in his little house. We’re bringing the turkey/stuffing/gravy and cranberry-orange relish. Everyone is bring something, and Tony has borrowed plates (unless I can talk him into disposable) and been given an extra box of miscellaneous silverware.

    We will be meeting people from Heather’s family we haven’t met before. It will be an interesting and eclectic group to be sure. And I am looking forward to it. I don’t have to worry much about left overs as we will be doing a separate celebration with Katie so she doesn’t freak out with so many people in such a small space. It will be easy and fun, and enable down time with Kate. I can’t ask for better. I’m learning to be flexible. Thank you, God. It’s a valuable skill to have!

    • Hey Pammy…. My how times change. I feel your accepting calm to go forward in a new direction. Good for you, Mike and Tony… and good for Katie.
      May blessings fall all around your Thanksgiving time with family and friends.

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