Sunday, November 21, 2010

Celebrations - Now and Then....

The other day, when we were casually discussing Thanksgiving, Annalise looked at me with her thoughtful face and said,

"Let's just have a regular day for Thanksgiving, this year."

I told her that Jim would be home, and that our Thursday homeschool co-op wouldn't be meeting, so those things would be different than regular Thursdays. Once she understood, I asked her,

"Do you mean a regular day, with all of us here, doing what we want, without the Thanksgiving food?"

"Yes, just a regular day with us all here. " She beamed.

"But there has to be pie," Jeremiah qualified.

"OK. What kind do you want?"

"Pumpkin! No, Apple! Wait - "

Pumpkin and apple?" I asked, because I have had the same dilemma year after year.

His big, bright grin was all the answer I needed.

"Yes! And good ice cream."

"And whipped cream?"


So, this year we will have a simple day together, and we won't. The kids think they might like to watch the Macy's parade, and we usually enjoy all or part of the Madison Square Garden Dog Show. Of course, people may be up exceptionally late Wednesday night, so those things may not happen.

Jim would like to move forward on preparing the house and garage for winter, and just have time to be at home with us on a day he would normally be working.

For myself, I will likely do some housework, in a relaxed and puttering way, or, even better, reorienting our home to support winter living. I hope to find some extra time to soak Jim and the children in (it's been rocky, these last few days - sleep is off and tempers shorter and more frayed than normal). I'm hoping to find some moments for writing, and reading....and my new fancy camera may have arrived, so I will almost certainly be testing its capacity throughout the day. =)

We might or might not decorate, might or might not read about Thanksgiving. We won't be having the traditional fare, since the kids really aren't into those foods, and neither of us really cares to cook them. We'll make our list together just as we do every week. Jim will find good pies, and ice cream Miah likes. And we'll probably have both Cool-Whip and organic whipped cream, because some of us prefer each of those.

Mostly, we will just be together, being ourselves, with no effort to impress anyone, but rather to live the day in the spirit of gratitude.

How very different this is from those holidays from my childhood. Out would come food we didn't usually get to eat, in massive quantities, and over many hours, so different from the usual three meals, no snacks, and seldom dessert else. Out would come the fancy flatware and tablecloth, the family and the feuds, the turkey and the dishes that needed was always the same, always according to script, always more for the show of perfection than for true celebration. My opinion wasn't requested or wanted. I was to play my part, just as everyone else was.

I was going to go into specific detail, but I find I'd rather just focus on now, and leave then, with its pros and cona, sunlight and shadows, where it is, and be grateful we are here, now.

Happy Thanks Giving! =)


Sandra Dodd said...

The "show of perfection" line chilled me. You're right. My own Thanksgiving is neither a regular day this year nor a show of perfection. It is a day. :-)

I hope you have peace and warmth and gratitude with your sweet family, and I look forward to meeting them in February.

Shan Jeniah Burton said...

Sandra - I came back to edit and reblog this(a questionable choice, since I may more awake than asleep), and found your now two year old comment...

Since I wrote this post, these days have become all the more -days. The need for the show has faded into enjoying each other.

Last year, we went to a buffet reataurant, so that everyone could have what they wanted to eat, and no one felt they needed to cook. They had a fondue fountain, and I bumped into a former coworker and good friend I hadn't seen in longer than I liked.

The atmosphere was festive and welcoming, and we are going back this year.

The rest of our day will be - whatever it will be.

Thanks belatedly for stopping by!