Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Thankful - With A Capital T

We are in full Thanksgiving preparation mode around here. You might think that we’re well ahead of schedule, but not really. This year we are celebrating Thanksgiving on Sunday, the 18th, before the scheduled holiday on Thursday, the 22nd. There are a lot of good reasons to do this and it turns out there are some side benefits. For instance, I shouldn’t need to be in the store the day before Thanksgiving, trying to find just the right size fresh turkey, from of field of three lonely plastic wrapped carcasses! Also, it means that all the family members who usually have to try to make it to multiple homes for multiple dinners on Turkey Day, will have a much more relaxing time of it.

Years ago, my family started celebrating Christmas Eve on different days. We’re independent folk. It grew out of similar reasons. We all wanted our old Christmas Eve festivities of long standing. But those just starting out with young families of their own, wanted to build new traditions. So having a “you can have your cake and eat it too” collective mentality, Christmas Eve became a floating holiday. We’ve opened presents and eaten chicken salad rolls together, anytime from a week or two after Thanksgiving, all the way to the end of February. It works for us.

Which might make you think that we’re not wedded to routine. But you’d be wrong. I’ve hosted a goodly number of Thanksgivings for a couple of decades. Sometimes I tire of wrestling a cold dead bird, just past dawn, on that particular Thursday morning. Once, I decided to break out of the mold. No turkey. Instead, a Middle Eastern Feast! I planned. I cooked... Oh Lord, I should have listened to the lack of enthusiasm from my family as they received the news of the menu change. Nope. I was undeterred. Hummus, baba ganoush, dolmas, la maejun, chicken, rice pilaf, salad... Those poor beloved family members, all they wanted was turkey and gravy and my knock-your-socks-off dressing. They wanted Thanksgiving - with a capital T, which stands for turkey.

Bless their hearts, they let me pull another non-turkey Thanksgiving a couple of years ago. Yup. They’re saints. I served beef stew. I hear you! I really do. But I make a wicked good beef stew! But it was no darn roast turkey. No dressing, which my niece Kate complimented me by calling it “Holiday Crack Cocaine”. (She has a way with words that one!) So this year I am straightening up and flying right: turkey with all the trimmings, as we say around here. They’ll be thankful. I’ll be thankful. Sounds like Thanksgiving, doesn’t it?


Tonya said...

we switch up our dates at christmas and thanksgiving in our families too. i never thought of calling floating holiday but i like that and if you don't mind will probably borrow it. ours works out that we still have dinners on the regular days but get to have extra ones on other days too. lots of eatin' and lots of gettin' together.

Pink Granite said...

Hi Tonya -
It really makes sense doesn't it?
Feel free to call it a floating holiday - I'm happy to provide a title!
I like your description: "lots of eatin' and lots of gettin' together"!!!
- Lee

dancingmorganmouse said...

We don't have thanksgiving, which is a pity because it sounds like a great feast-y get together. And we've celebrated xmas on the 24th for as long as I can remember. Came in handy when I set up with a bloke who's family did the traditional thing!

Pink Granite said...

Hi DMM -
Clearly, we are all trend-setters on this "floating"holiday business!
I think you all should just adopt Thanksgiving. It's one nice thing the U.S. can still send around the world!
And Canada has one, why not Australia?
- Lee