Loving Thanksgiving Weekend

Though I may bitch and moan about a lot of things, I am always truly thankful for the Thanksgiving Holiday and the 4 day weekend. (Although there have been times and jobs where I have had to work on "Black Friday."  While that wasn't fun, the one GOOD thing about it was that traffic was usually light.  Everyone was either still in the food coma or already out shopping and NOT on the highway.  For those of you who work in retail...blessings and good wishes to you all.  That's the best I can do in this consumer hungry society.)

I love the holiday weekend because for me and my family it is USUALLY pretty laid back.  (Ok, there was the year that BOTH of my parents were in the hospital for Thanksgiving.  That year was not quite so laid back!)  I handle the Thanksgiving meal and there being only 6 of us for dinner, it's really not that much of a challenge.  Yes, right before the meal is served I am in a tizzy, but we're talking less than an hour of stress.  And since we changed our holiday dining hour from evening to early afternoon, once the meal is over I still have plenty of downtime before bed.

Of course many of my family traditions revolve around food:  cinnamon rolls for breakfast, cranberry wine with dinner, but there are many other "unofficial" traditions that I am looking forward to.  (And, I am of course, looking forward to NOT having to get up at 4:30 in the morning.  3 days where I can "sleep in" with nowhere to run off to.)  There are family board games to play.  (I just may have to hunt down Candyland.  We used to play it when my son was really little and I think we need to play it again just for the heck of it, but I'm not sure if we still have it in the house.  This calls for a search in my son's closet and if it can't be found a quick run to a local "mart" where I can find it relatively cheaply.)  There is the parade to watch.  (While playing said board game and getting setting the table for the big meal.)  There used to be Black Friday newspaper ads to go through (even though I didn't "do" Black Friday, the ads were fun) but that has gone digital.  I will pull out Grab and Gab Elf (not to be confused with Elf on The Shelf).  I will force my son to play along.  (Annoying mom is part of the holiday fun!  And when he doesn't want to get up in the morning, this annoying little elf with haunt him!)

After our meal, Ralph, our Elf on the Shelf will make his annual appearance.  (Never mind that the boy is too old for all of this.  Ralph and his antics will be around for an eternity.)  

Once the guests are gone, we MAY put up the tree.  I say MAY because it really depends on how much food and wine has been consumed.  And how much the living room sofa is calling me to crash.  (This year my family will get to bask in the glory of my new sofa and chairs.  No more saggy sofa that you can't get out of.)  If not, that's fine because there's always tomorrow.

The only shopping that I will do on Black Friday is the weekly grocery shopping. (Long, long time ago...in the dark ages when the internet was just a toddler, I did do Black Friday with my husband.  For several years we visited Staples early in the morning to get their deals.  But after a while the deals faded to nothing.  I did once ATTEMPT to visit our local Kohl’s at 5:30 in the morning after a Staples run.  I pulled in the lot, saw the line out the door and up the length of the mall.  Realizing that the store had been open for a good 30 minutes and this was what awaited me, I pulled right back out of the lot and headed home.)  There may be some holiday decorating.  There is no rush.  There is nowhere to go and nothing to do.  

Perhaps that is the most soothing sentence I could write.  Nowhere to go and nothing to do.  This is such a rarity.  There is nothing planned for Friday and Saturday.  There is nothing we "must" do.  Nowhere must we "must" go.  Although I may end up going somewhere or doing something, there is no pressure to be anywhere at a specific time.  And this is the major reason why I am looking forward to the Thanksgiving holiday.  This is what I am truly thankful for.  The down time, no pressure time.

In my book, that's what Thanksgiving SHOULD be about.  No pressure...just time to be.  (Apologies again to those in retail.)  

Here's wishing you all a stress free (or as stress less as it can get) Thanksgiving and holiday season!


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