Thanksgiving was nearly perfect for me growing up. My mom's mom hosted Thanksgiving dinner the Saturday after Thanksgiving, so everyone was sure to be there. With at least 30 people in attendance each year, one turkey was never enough. She had turkey, ham, and her mouth-watering roast beef. I could never pass up the roast, so I didn't eat a lot of turkey on Thanksgiving.
The most prominent tradition I remember from my dad's side of the family is getting together for dessert on Thanksgiving night. I always had my dad's chocolate dream pie. It was a beautiful thing.
That left Thanksgiving day open for our small family most of the time. But instead of having the traditional dishes, my parents did something else. We had sandwiches. Not just any old sandwich, though. We'd toast french bread, fry up some bacon, and have gourmet club sandwiches. We also got lots of unhealthy snack foods -- the kind we didn't normally have in the house. We had Doritos, M&Ms, buttery popcorn, nachos with cheese.......the works. We'd snack and play all day.
This year, we won't be spending the holiday with any family. (They're all at least 16 hours away.) I'm mildly depressed about it. We'll be spending the day with some friends, but........it's different. We were going to spend it just with our small family, but that was kind of depressing, too. So we decided to take our friends up on the invites. I just know that if we weren't going to be with friends, it would end up being a lazy day with grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch and a pizza for dinner. Which is no kind of Thanksgiving.
It's probably because I never developed a taste for all the traditional Thanksgiving foods. Not a big fan of turkey or ham. I prefer mashed potatoes to yams and strawberry/banana jello to cranberry sauce. Not a big fan of pumpkin pie, either. (I know. How un-American am I?) So I see NO POINT in cooking all the food I don't want to eat. Now, I'd cook a pot roast, complete with roasted potatoes and homemade gravy and a yummy salad if I could, but Superman has this silly idea that because it's Thanksgiving, you have to have the traditional meal. Which rules out the roast beef or even sandwiches and snack foods.
It seems we are at an impasse when it comes to Thanksgiving.
So tomorrow, we'll join some friends for a casual lunch, then have a formal dinner with some other friends. It'll be fun, but it's honestly not the kind of Thanksgiving I would pick if I had my way. In my perfect world, we'd be spending it with family. Or friends that are like family. (I like the people we'll be with, but I wouldn't call them family.)
I know the holidays are stressful for a lot of people because of the family togetherness. If I had problems with my family, or my in-laws, I probably wouldn't be so bummed about not being with them for Thanksgiving. But I don't have problems with any of them. (Of course, that may be because we live so far away.) So if you're one of those people who just grins and bears it to get through the holidays with your family, take a second to be thankful for the fact that you have family to spend it with. Don't take it for granted.
~~ I didn't expect this post to go this direction. Now I'm all weepy and sentimental. ~~