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November 21, 2011

What Would a Turkey Do...

…if he didn’t have plans for Thanksgiving?

I’m guessing he’d hightail it to Canada!

And I sure wish we could join him. I’m picturing a beautiful snow lodge with fireplaces, fountains of hot chocolate, and stacks of books, just waiting to be devoured.

...but if travelling to Canada were possible, then we’d actually just hop in the car to Sweet Home Alabama.

Alas, travelling with little ones is not easy, though, and we’ve opted to do it only once during the larger holiday season. Thus, we’ll be staying put for Turkey Day.

While we’ve been on our own for Christmas several years, it dawned on me that this is the first time we’ll be away from family for Thanksgiving. Over the past 15 years or so, our family hasn’t followed any kind of Turkey Day rituals, but we’ve always been together in some form or fashion.

So…in the absence of ritual and being just the four of us…what’s our little family to do?

I debated a number of different game plans, but I think I’ve settled on a few things.

Wednesday we’ll go to the zoo. I wouldn’t want to brave the Big City traffic on Thursday or Friday, but I think that will be a great family treat to kick off our vacation time together.

Thursday – despite the hubby’s encouragement to “make something different” since he says he’s not a big fan of turkey – I’m going to cook a relatively traditional meal…at least including turkey and homemade cranberry sauce. We’ll do baked sweet potatoes (no casseroles for this girl!), and steamed asparagus (not sure if the pilgrims would approve of that one, though).

And I’ll make my semi-famous pumpkin cheesecake. I started making that a few years ago, and it’s been a keeper. The girls have never had it, but my hunch is that they’ll be fans.

The big ta-da for me is that we’re going to sit at the dining room table for our main meal. I’ve been laughing to myself that the girls probably don’t realize that table is actually for eating…as we’ve never done so since they were born!

I hope between the turkey and cheesecake and table arrangements, the girls will recognize the day as a special one. I also want to spend some time talking about things we’re thankful for. I hope the girls will cooperate for some craft time…in my mind I’d love to make a “thankful tree”, writing the things we’re thankful for on the leaves. What fun it would be to repeat that, year after year.

On Friday I have plans to make Chex Mix. My grandparents used to make the most wonderful concoction of snack mix this time of year, but this will be the first time I try my luck. I think I’ll enlist the girls’ help to dump the cereals together…and I may even get crazy and let them mix it up with their hands.

Saturday is GAME DAY in our world…Alabama versus Auburn…the day the entire state of Alabama stands still for four hours for the rivalry that determines bragging rights for the next 364 days.

Hubby and I will DVR the game in order to watch it uninterrupted after the girls are in bed, but we’ll all don our jerseys for the first half the of the day. And of course the second half of the day will be spent avoiding all outside contact in order not to accidentally learn the score.

No matter what the agenda, I know we’ll enjoy the family time together. And no matter the turkey, the trimmings, or even the outcome of the football game (did I just write that???), we’ll be thankful for so many blessings.


Brad Jenkins said...

We're all about non-traditional food items as well. We just assume the pilgrims didn't have access to the foods we make - otherwise, they would obviously have eaten them.

Forget the turkey and get a duck.


Marcia (123 blog) said...

you have GOT to post the cheesecake and the chex mix recipes - promise!

Mandy said...

You know, I've bought the makings for chex mix several times but I always end up eating the chex... I LOVE homemade chex mix, with lots of peanuts!

I can't wait to hear how a small Turkey day works, we're thinking about starting that. I'm tried of hiking all over the place, especially with two little ones in tow now!

Julia said...

Love that you're staying home for Thanksgiving. Makes me a little jealous, actually.

Don't get me wrong---I love seeing my siblings. But---I guess I've become a bit of a homebody. I love our family time, just the four of us.

Even though we always travel for the holidays, we make a point to have our own Thanksgiving meal at home on the Sunday after Thanksgiving. It's a fun tradition :)

Johanna said...

Break out the fancy china! I hope the girls enjoy eating at the 'new' table. :)

Enjoy the quality time with your little family - sounds like you guys will have a wonderful break!

Eric, Marilyn, and Elliott said...

Maybe you should try Cornish game hens. Much more appropriate size for a small family.

Just Another Mom of Twins said...

Man you make Canada sound FA-bulous (which it is but...chocolate fountains and fireplaces...hmmmm...LOL!)!

Happy Thanksgiving to you and the FAM....sounds like wonderful plans! :)

Barbara Manatee said...

Pumpkin Cheesecake? I think I Just gained back 5 lbs thinking about it!!! ha!

The weekend will be a busy one for us but should be fun:
Wednesday - work followed by get together with friends while 1 is in town from MD.
Thursday - 30 minutes north to nieces with the In Laws
Friday - J&S's birthday - decorate for holidays and probably go to a movie.
Saturday - hour West to my parents to celebrate bdays with that family.
Sunday - crash and catch up!

Have a great, quiet holiday!

reanbean said...

I think a just the four of us Thanksgiving sounds nice, and your menu sounds delicious.

We go to my in-laws every Thanksgiving, and while it's nice to spend Thanksgiving with family, there traditions are very different from the ones I grew up with, and that often makes me miss my family (Mom, especially). The foods, turkey and cranberries aside, are totally different, and while I'm not a great cook, I often feel like making *my* traditional Thanksgiving meal in the days that follow, just to have a little bit of home for myself.

This is the first year we've really talked about giving thanks on Thanksgiving. We've been taking soups and pasta to various food pantry drop-off stations and talking about who that food will go to. At church on Sunday, there was a Thanksgiving tree and everyone was given a leaf on which to write something he/she is thankful for. Tiny wanted me to write that she is thankful for so many costumes to dress up in. With a lot of prompting, I got Buba to let me write that he is thankful to be able to spend so much time with his grandparents. They'll figure out what it's all about. Not this year, but someday.

Trish said...

We'll be watching the Iron Bowl as well, although we are Auburn grads! I second the desire for the Pumpkin cheesecake recipe, that sounds YUMMY!!! I love the idea of the girls making your gift tags...

Deanna said...

I hope y'all enjoy your family-of-four Thanksgiving! I wanted to do the thankful tree this year, but we haven't had a chance so far.

The girls have been talking about things they're thankful for both at school and home. Right now, the first two things on their list are "my mama and my daddy"...LOVE! : )

We are pretty excited about the game this weekend; Jeremy is not so excited this year--ha! Roll Tide, my friend!

cat said...

Happy Thanksgiving to you. Enjoy your day