For the first time in years, my husband’s family was all in the same country for Thanksgiving which means that (naturally) we spent the holiday with them. They are living at our undergrad alma mater so we trekked up to Jackson, TN to have Thanksgiving up there. Let me just say that Thanksgiving is my FAVORITE holiday of the year. It’s the time where it doesn’t matter what gifts were bought, or how things are decorated, as long as you eat and are just hanging out with family/those you love.
With all that being said, Thanksgiving was a huge let down.
I got up that morning at 7 am and got ready to spend the day in the kitchen. Because we are staying in some guest apartments at Union University, we toted our Pyrex dishes over to the commons, which is where we were actually eating that day. There was one double oven there, plus the oven upstairs in the commons, plus the one at my in-law’s apartment that were full all day. We planned to eat at 2, which was going to work perfectly with Lila’s eating schedule. But of course, as the day went on, we realized that many casseroles wouldn’t be ready by then. We finally gathered round to eat about 3, and I excused myself to go feed Lila. Just as she was finishing eating, I started seeing my in-laws walking the halls and trying to come into the lounge area. I handed off the baby to my mother-in-law and walked back to the dining area and almost cried. Everyone was gone. Joel was the only person sitting there, waiting on me to come eat. I WAS GONE FOR 20 MINUTES.
Y’all – my favorite part of Thanksgiving is sitting around and talking with family during and after the meal. At some point, Joel’s family started this new thing where as soon as someone finishes eating – they just get up and leave. I was so disappointed. Plus, the food was cold at this point (let’s be honest, most of those casseroles weren’t ever really HOT because there were multiple ones in each oven and I don’t think they ever actually got cooked all the way), which was just icing on the really terrible cake. Also, I think there are a lot of negatives about having SO many dishes to choose from. Fewer dishes mean that there are fewer things people can choose from, which means you aren’t going to be eating leftovers for the rest of the weekend. This way you don’t have a ton of waste either.
I realize that my family is a lot different from his. We sit around and just hang out and talk. There’s no rush to disperse. I don’t understand because Joel’s family really likes each other and likes hanging out but they didn’t. It was like all the work from 8-3 was just OVER within 20 minutes and I didn’t even get to reap the benefits. UGH. I demand a Thanksgiving do-over.
So as unfortunate as actual Thanksgiving was, we went to Memphis Friday and Saturday and hung out with my family. We did a little bit of Black Friday shopping at a few stores (Eddie Bauer and Children’s Place – only because it was right next door) and then played everything really low key. We ended up coming back to Huntsville Sunday morning and frantically cleaned the house so the realtors could come take photos this week.
You know what the good thing is? Having disappointing holidays only reinforces that Joel and I need to have our own traditions, separate from our families. For instance, Christmas morning is becoming a sacred private time for just us. My parents are invited to come over that night, but we don’t want anyone here that morning. I have a feeling Thanksgiving will start to change. And if we ever have our say, no one will leave the table until everyone is done with their seconds.