Today isn't actually Thanksgiving, but close enough...tomorrow I'll be cooking that big dinner I told you about a few posts ago in Let's Talk Turkey, and I will be busy working on the meal. I wanted to make sure to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!
I also wanted to touch on why I love Thanksgiving so much and it's my favorite holiday (besides by birthday because no one gets to celebrate my birthday but ME!).
Growing up Christmas had to be my ultimate favorite. Of course! Who doesn't like getting presents from the jolly, happy toy maker from the North Pole. But as I got older, there were things that my parents did before Christmas that became a tradition and not about the presents. It was about family and the importance of it.
My parents were ever so clever in teaching us the family tradition way. The last thing you want to do when you are sixteen is spend ALL of your Thanksgiving break with your parents!
Here is how it worked. We had Thanksgiving with my aunts/uncles/cousins etc., which was fun. But the real magic came the days following Thanksgiving. NO! It didn't involve shopping or black Friday. As a matter of fact. . .I don't participate in shopping on those days. I get my shopping done before Thanksgiving and don't CARE about any deals!
Okay...back on track....
The days following Thanksgiving my parents would say "let's go get the Christmas tree." Yes! They were thinking along the lines of presents! I could totally skip my friends for a few hours to do that! Then they'd say "before we do that, why don't we go out to dinner and then drive around looking at Christmas lights."
DUH! What teenager doesn't like free food?? So generally we didn't get home until late and the tree lots were closed, but it was okay because we were going to go the next day and have lunch out!
The next day, I'd get up to Christmas music playing throughout the house. It made me warm and fuzzy just thinking about that new purse I was going to get or the new shoes that was going to go with the new outfit I had picked out from United Colors Of Benetton (yes, that was my store!). And the smell of breakfast wafted through the house. I yanked my long phone cord that was wedged between the side of my water bed (yeah, I had one of those too) and tried to uncurl it before I rotary dialed my best friend to let her know I was doing the "Christmas thing" to keep my parents off my back! Oh. . .was I pulling one over on them! Life was good.
We were on our way! We had a little lunch, we got a tree, and then went home. We couldn't decorate because the tree needed to "fall," meaning the branches needed to warm to room temperature before we put the ornaments on it, so that would have to wait until after church on Sunday. BUT THAT WAS MY LAST DAY OF BREAK!!!!! But I wanted those shoes sooooo bad.....
Like a good teenager, I sucked it up, after all. . .there was a purse too! So on Sunday, my mom had Thanksgiving left overs (which I love) and put on the music while my dad sat back and watched us decorate the tree. Oh. . . and she made apple cider along with homemade goodies!! All in all, that is how all my Thanksgiving breaks went.
Boy! My parents were sneaky!
As I got older, I expected we were going to do those things. Even when I moved away, I still went home longing for the ride through the neighborhoods to see the lights, pick out a tree, listen to carols (and sing them at the top of my voice), have family meals, and then finish off break by decorating the tree.
It become a tradition and my favorite holiday!
As I had my guys (13, twins: 15) my family and now husband, continued to do this tradition. We still go to my parent's house, and do it all the weekend after Thanksgiving. Of course the driving around looking at lights has turned into driving through the Kentucky Horse Park to see their display or this year we are going to downtown Lexington for ice skating and the Christmas tree lighting, but we are together as a FAMILY TRADITION!
My guys are at the age where they value their break just as much as I did. . .or at least I thought they did. One of the 15 yo guys said, "We are going to Granny's to decorate, right?"
The other 15 yo said, "yeah, why would we miss that? We do it every year."
Then the 13 yo said, "do you remember last year when y'all got mad because I put all my ornaments with my face and stuff on them in the front? AND I put one as the angel on top?"
I smiled, listening to their conversation because that was exactly how last year went and I had totally forgotten about it! But what struck me most was that I too had instilled this long standing tradition in my guys. A tradition that didn't include presents, but being together as a family and learning how valuable those times really are.
I have to say. . .I'm one proud momma!
Do you have any traditions you'd like to share?
The winner of the copy of COLOR ME A CRIME is Nora Adrienne! Please email me what ereader you have so I can send you a copy!
The winner of the copy of A NEW TRADITION is Lisa Thomas! Please email me what ereader you have so I can send you a copy!