Growing up, I always hated Thanksgiving. My mom would drag me to someone’s house to eat a bunch of food that I didn’t really like (cranberry sauce, mystery casseroles, dry turkey) and the only TV in the place was turned to football. Always football. I hated football.
The year we bought our house, I thought it would be nice to host Thanksgiving for a change. It would give me something to do. Little did I realize how much work was involved. Not just the cooking, but the cleaning – before and after – and all the STUFF that has to be dragged out – turkey roaster, giant serving platters, the nice dishes, etc. Fortunately, I had received most of that stuff as wedding gifts, so we were pretty much covered minus a few things – like nice serving spoons. Also fortunately, my mom was there to help me. She makes the best homemade stuffing and gravy. She also knows how to cook a turkey so it stays juicy. And ever since that first year when my grandma burned the sweet potato casserole, mom makes that now too.
This year was our fourth year hosting Thanksgiving at our home, and I dare say it was the best one yet. Everything was delicious and we all sat together at the kitchen table. No one ran off to go watch football. And my grandpa, who hasn’t been feeling well due to his chemo treatments, even helped himself to two plate-fulls. I was worried he wouldn’t eat much at all.
Also four years ago, my mom and I started our new Black Friday tradition. After the dishes are done and the leftovers put away (most of which we send home with the family), we get out all the ads, talk about what to get everyone, and then plan which deals we think are worth getting up at 4 am. I remember the first year we went to Target and I walked out with two flat screen TVs (for us) and two digital cameras (gifts) for ridiculously good prices. This year, I stood in the checkout line at Wal-Mart for an hour and a half only to spend $10 on two New Moon games (for my aunt and SIL). Not my best Black Friday purchase ever but we also hit Kohl’s and Sports Authority and picked up breakfast for the boys. Then later, my husband actually wanted to brave the crowds so we went to Target and the mall. I’d say we’re about half way done with all of our shopping now. Maybe this year I’ll actually have time for baking too.