“Ah, Will? Did you know this turkey you bought is TWENTY-THREE POUNDS?”
Will shrugged. “It was the smallest one they had.”
And so we kicked off our very first Thanksgiving with just the three of us by roasting a turkey that weighed almost as much as ONE of the people who would be eating it.
This was the first year ever that we didn’t travel for Thanksgiving. I missed my family, of course, very much (and Will’s family, but since they are overseas there’s never been any question about where to spend the holidays). But there is so much to be said for the ease and simplicity and the calmness of staying put.
We had a leisurely morning. We popped the turkey in the oven at lunchtime. We took a lovely afternoon stroll. And then when it was time to eat, Will carved that motherlovin’ bird and we FEASTED.
It was glorious.
Leftovers for daaaaaaaaaaaays, yo. Well hello there delicious turkey and gravy sandwich, GET IN MAH BELLY.
I have so many fond memories of the holidays when I was little. We lived within 30 minutes of both sets of my grandparents, so every holiday was a whirlwind of people and food and more people and even more food until our little bodies were so overloaded with sugar and excitement that we either had a meltdown of nuclear proportions or just fell asleep on the floor.
I miss those days. I miss living close to my family, I miss having everyone together for the holidays, and I miss just showing up and stuffing my face. No responsibilities wheeeeeeee!
But life is a little bit different now. For starters, I have a car and a license and I can drive myself to the grocery store and buy Kraft Mac and Cheese ANY TIME I WANT TO. That right there is the definition of “adult.”
I mean, what I meant to say right there is that I have a family of my own (a close second to unlimited Mac and Cheese). And it’s high time to start thinking about our OUR family traditions instead of clinging to the knees of the Ghost of Christmas Past, begging him to make things exactly the way they used to be, but ok Natalie and Will can stick around, because I really like those two a lot.
So I’m glad we didn’t go anywhere for Thanksgiving. Not that I want every holiday to be spent in solitude with just the three of us, because, well, that’s kind of what the other 364 days of the year look like. But I’m recognizing that THIS is what my family looks like right now: Will, Natalie, and me.
Of course we love our extended families and of course we need them in our life and adore spending time with them. But things are shifting now that people are getting older, having kids, and establishing traditions of their own. That’s the way life is supposed to go, no?
Overall I’m feeling much more festive this year than in years past, and although I don’t know exactly why that is, I’m not going to give it too much thought. Instead I’m just embracing it: listening to Christmas music non-stop, finding recipes to make for an upcoming cookie swap, and looking forward to Natalie being a little more “with it” this year.
It’s not going to be the Christmas I remember from when I was little, and I’m gradually becoming more ok with that. I’m working on finding the joy in the season (OMG SO CHEESY I’M SO SORRY) and seeing everything good we have in our lives, because there’s a LOT.
A lot of TURKEY, amiright?