This year we spent our Thanksgiving with our Midwest relatives. I missed spending some pleasant November days with my Dad and my sister and her family, but I did not miss the hurry up-and-wait cattle lines at the airports that a trip to Atlanta requires. I did not miss the packing, the unpacking and the hurry-up laundry loads before returning to work on Monday.
Instead we stayed home. Wednesday involved a Daddy-daughter day at Grandma’s to see a cooking turkey and arrange the dozens of Christmas cookies on platters. It was followed by a birthday dinner at Red Robin and a few more birthday presents for a little princess.
Thursday was an Italian family dinner at Grandma’s, complete with a recitation of a little girl’s favorite part of Hop on Pop.
“Do you know why it’s my favorite part?” she asked her college-aged cousins.
“Because I actually get to hop on Pop,” she paused thoughtfully. “Hey, Becca, Meghan, you should hop on Uncle Paul! He’s your pop.”
The adults at the table worked really hard not to choke on our turkey and tortellini while Uncle Paul attempted to get out of this situation gracefully.
The remainder of the Thanksgiving holiday found us playing some of our new birthday games and checking out our new toys. (It turns out the LalaLoopsy remote control scooter is incredibly durable; ours has survived two trips down stairwells.) We had a new friend visit on Friday for an afternoon of giggles and fun. We put up Christmas decorations at a leisurely pace. We listened to Christmas music, and our daughter sang her favorite Christmas carol:
“Jingle bells, Batman smells, Robin laid an egg…” (sorry folks, but she loves it)
We did very little shopping—only at off times and for absolutely necessary items.
The red kettles appeared again, and it was fun to sneak a twenty dollar bill in, when the ringer wasn’t looking. It’s a feel-good way to start the Christmas season.
We discovered the “giving tree” in the atrium outside the Milton Public Library, where you can pick out an envelope and volunteer to provide a Christmas dinner for a family in our community. It’s a good thing to do.
Mostly, the Thanksgiving holiday was just what it is supposed to be, time spent with family and friends. Time spent laughing and hugging and enjoying each other. Time spent genuinely appreciating the tribe of which we are members, without hassle or stress or pretense. No to-do lists. No plane to catch. No Jones’ to keep up with.
It was a wonderfully refreshing long weekend, in which I was able to recharge and refresh and remember what’s truly important.
And I am truly thankful for so many blessings, my family, my friends, satisfying work, the ability to help other people, this incredible and amazing world that I inhabit.
Perhaps it isn’t Christmas that we should keep all year long. Perhaps it is Thanksgiving that we should keep—an attitude of gratitude that will serve us well through Christmas and the rest of the year.
©2012 Michele Arduengo. All rights reserved.