“If you are really thankful, what do you do? You share.” ~ W. Clement Stone
Back With Family
Despite Thanksgiving being a family holiday, since I was a teenager, I can count on one hand the times I havespent it with my immediate family. It always seemed I was traveling. Or the insanity to travel on the busiest travel days of the year, just wasn’t worth the possibility of me being arrested, because I, with my one small suitcase and carry-on was stuck behind someone with ten suitcases and they were all overweight. And probably also had banned items. Thanksgiving really brings out well versed travelers.
This year was different. It was an impromptu trip, booked only a few weeks prior, and the ticket prices made my piggy bank squeal. But preparing for a huge move in May, this very well might be the last Thanksgiving I get to spend with my family for a long while.
Since I was a little girl, I would wake up to the house smelling of rosemary, thyme, nutmeg and cardamom. My Mom would have already been up cooking for hours, and us kids would proceed to perch in front of the television, watching the Macy’s Day Parade and eagerly anticipating the parade’s conclusion when it felt like the holiday season officially kicked off with the appearance of that jolly fellow in the red suit.
As I got older and as a pastry chef, I would be more in the kitchen helping my mom with the baking. I would still watch the parade and if it wasn’t in the kitchen baking, I would be watching it in my parents rec room, where I was racking up miles on their treadmill while running down memory lane.
After having lived in the city for almost eight years, knowing quite a few performers, and having gone to the parade last year, it has taken on a new meaning, more of a cheering on of friends, and the small chuckles to myself knowing some of the secret’s of the parade.
I hopped on the treadmill and knocked out five miles, while I watched the colorful floats and performances on the television. My Mom who usually hosts dinner, got a reprieve this year. While she had made some trimmings and pies. She wasn’t slaving away like she has in years passed and it was quite the lazy morning.
We snuck out around ten, for a coffee date. Frontside Grind, the maple latte dealer of all coffee dealers, was open in the morning and was busier then I thought it would be for Thanksgiving morning. I grabbed my
addiction usual, chatted with the baristas who are legit the best and sent time with my Madre. Who I roped into taking a couple (or twenty) pictures of me.
We headed back home just in time to catch the end of the parade. As a kid, it was the one moment my Mom would take to pause from cooking so she could watch Santa enter Herald Square with us.
After I saw Santa, my brother called to see if I wanted to go to Starbucks AND Walmart with him and my youngest nephew. Since they had just moved, there was some stuff they needed for dinner that night and we turned into THOSE people shopping on a holiday.
Walmart was eerily quiet before the Black Friday craziness would start THAT night. They had pallets about pallets of inventory making the aisles narrow. Some of the shoppers were even trying to get in on the doorbuster sales early and they kept making announcements. As entertaining as it was I was happy to leave. (and no I did not go back that night) We went to Starbucks where my brother and I got into the holiday spirit with peppermint white mochas (and I snagged the red cup) and my nephew got a Frappuccino despite the freezing temps!
Happily caffeinated, I headed home for a little while. I got some writing done, watched a Hallmark Movie with my Mom and I even got her to shoot some holiday content of me, in preparation for the holidays. It was a low-key afternoon and utterly perfection.
After buying a house, Maura, my SiL, had asked my Mom if she could host Thanksgiving and my Mom happily agreed. Maura’s parents also drove up and pitched in with some of their own traditions for dinner.
Despite just moving in a month ago, the house was beautifully decorated and full of autumnal festiveness. A huge spread of hor’ d’oeuvres were laid out, and the house smelled divine.
They had a fire going and it was downright cozy. Even the pups agreed.
My niece and nephews ran and gave me great big hugs and I joked with them that the day wasn’t anything special, to which I got giggles and told I was a silly auntie. Which I just might be. They legit hurt my heart.
The food was delicious. I admit, Thanksgiving food has never been my favorite, mostly because I am not a huge fan of turkey, (having been vegetarian for ten years, it was something I always skipped growing up) but they really out did themselves with turnip, sweet potato, stuffing, which I do love and I had gluten free, and mashed potato.
After we cleaned up, we broke out the pies, and my nephews had decorated cookies, which were interesting if not a little scary. (love you guys!)
It was then time for the tryptophan to kick in. We hung out by the fire, drank wine, watched some football, played Memory where my five year old nephew legit beat all the adults. Even after trying to cheat, he still beat us. Someone is five going on twenty-five and it is even more scary then the cookie designs!
I don’t throw around the word perfect a lot, but it really was just that. After having not spent Thanksgiving with them in a few years, it was wonderful to be back with my family, relaxing and just connecting. I am so lucky to have all of them, and immensely grateful I got to spend the holiday with the people that not only make me feel, but also give me so much love. It truly was a special day. <3
How did you spend Thanksgiving? What are Thanksgiving traditions you have?