I always have the fondest of memories of Thanksgiving + the wintery Holiday season in general. We always went to my Grandparent’s house to spend the long weekend together and bask in the (whether we wanted to or not) bonding time of, well – just us!
My sisters and I spent hours playing card games like, “Spit”, “Go Fish”, and “Slap Jack”. We ran around the open spaces of the Midwest acting as though we were the newest mayoresses in town. We searched for the neighborhood horses, donkeys, and dogs (well, maybe I was the only dog detective). We spent hours “practicing” our jumping off of the basement’s staircase and sticking a landing at the bottom – you know, can you go a step higher?! (No bones were broken, fyi)… We also spent hours “practicing” our bellyflops, flips and double twists from bed to bed to bed (YES, three beds in a row made the PERFECT trifecta of MONKEYS jumping on the bed mischief – also, no bones broken here, fyi) Not sure if mom and dad knew what we really were doing down there ; ) WAIT, I almost forgot the sliding on the floor and the… um, well laundry chute – OH, those were the best of times!
And then there was the big night to clean up our adventurous little selves and be on our BEST behaviors. Thanksgiving Dinner. I remember, being a mini fashionista from a young age. I would plan, and plan, and PLAN my one THANKSGIVING ENSEMBLE that would ROCK the moon and ALL of the stars in the sky. The perfect shoes, skirt, earrings… Many times, my sisters and I would all be matching in some synchronistic way or another. I wonder if they still would want to do that, even in our mid to late 30’s? We would spend “cocktail hour” in the living room of my grandparent’s home, sucking on peanuts, pretzel sticks and ginger ales, while the “over-agers” served themselves some bubbly.
We would soon all pile up – smashed 4, maybe 5 – in the back of my grandparent’s Cadillac, “just because”, and float down to their country club for Thanksgiving supper. This club was one of my most favorite memories, the GIANT – I mean, GIANT gingerbread house was awaiting our arrival to decorate! The chef put out bowls of frosting, candies + spatulas, while we each got our plot to entertain ourselves while the parentals did their “adult” things… I guess we were still having our magical adventure!
Soon to set ourselves at the dinner table, we were offered a WIDE – I mean, WIDE variation of options at the buffet – I dreamt of desserts only, but never won that battle. I will never forget my mom loved cranberry sauce the most, so that must be why I have such a strong connection to the wondrous little berries. They “pop” in your mouth like an unhinged cork of spritz and burst into a tart piece of satisfaction. The meal always gave me a stomach ache – I tended to over eat, of course – but I enjoyed the experience of new flavors at the same time.
Dancing to the pianist and running around the club as the clock wound round and round, it was time to go “home”. Back in the car and off to put on our snuggliest of sweats. What a night.
So, you thought Thanksgiving was just about some feast?! I think that we can all relate that it is purely a more memorable and magical moment in itself, “that” I wouldn’t take back in a trillion years – or for any amount of coin.
This year, I will be spending it in a whole new light, like many of you. I will be toasting under a solo candlelight with memories to simply meditate on. Wherever you are, whomever you are with, I want you to actually take some time and write down… What are those times that you are truly, ‘Grateful’ for? Because these are the moments that make life absolutely spectacular.