gratitude

Today was a stress-less Thanksgiving. In 2001, John and I tried to do the whole Thanksgiving deal, with a turkey and the traditional fixings and both families in attendance. It was . . . stressful. I forgot to thaw the turkey out in time, it turned out that dad wanted giblets which I didn’t know how to fix, I got the wrong “type” of cranberry sauce for John’s side of family (I dislike cranberry sauce, have never eaten it, and had no idea there was a right or wrong type), and our respective in-laws kind of clashed. I swore never again.
After that John and I made our holiday agreement — lesser, non-stress holidays (like birthdays, Labor Day, or the 4th of July) we could host and spend with extended family. But any holiday requiring lots of stressful preparation and clean-up would not be hosted by us. ‘Course, that very quickly didn’t matter — mom was too sick for holiday celebrations, John’s parents were usually working on holidays, and both our siblings either married and spent it with their in-laws, or moved away.
So we’ve built a pretty laid-back holiday tradition. Generally we have pizza or some other low-effort meal, and some Costco pumpkin pie for dessert. Then we play video games or watch movies. The whole goal is to really enjoy the holiday and family time, and take a moment to be grateful for everything we have. Sometimes we accept an invitation to someone else’s place and do that. Pretty much the purpose of Thanksgiving; I just excised the stress of preparation.
This year, my brother and nephew joined us. It was really fun. Turned out no delivery places were open, so I made a semi-traditional Thanksgiving meal in less than 10 minutes — some sliced leftover rotisserie chicken, instant mashed potatoes, instant gravy, and some canned cranberry sauce. We had both pumpkin and apple pie from Costco as a dessert. We spent the day hanging out, teasing the animals, wrestling the dog, and playing Halo, Monster Madness, and Left for Dead 2. John’s mom called early in the morning, and we got to talk to them for a bit, and I’ll be calling my sisters in a 1/2 minute here.
Pretty awesome day. I’m glad to have such a great family. I’m also glad we no longer live in Centralia, which is flooding once again.
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