Friday, October 5, 2012

Holidays Aren't What They Used to Be

When I was a girl, I loved holidays.  Loved them!  What's better thank spending time together with your family and friends, enjoying an extra few days together?!!
Now, as a Mom, I kind of find holidays to be, well, a LOT of work!  The work starts early in the week, making lists and checking them twice.... making sure I have my menu planned out and all my needed groceries on a list.  Then, we head off to the grocery store, braving the crowds to try and find all that we require.  2 days before the holiday, I always start with making bread crumbs for the stuffing.... letting them hang out in a bowl in the oven to get nice and crunchy.  The day before, I make my mashed potatoes, pies, buns, cranberry sauce, jello, cut up everything for salads and stuffing.  Finally, the big day arrives.  Thankfully, I've done most of my work before, so I can enjoy the day with family, and only have to put the stuffing in the crock pot in the morning, Art gets the turkey going, and the final foods to prepare are sweet potatoes and gravy. 
When the Girls were really little, it really kinda stunk to do all that work by myself when all they wanted was to eat the jello. Now that they are a little older, they are my helpers, and they enjoy the meal as much as I do.  They all helped me this morning with preparations, and are already talking about who's going to set the table, what dishes and decorations they're going to use and who's going to light the candles.

In the past, I had a hard time if I didn't make a big spread on Thanksgiving, because I am always thinking about what kind of memories my kids will have when they get older.  I didn't want them saying, "We never celebrated holidays because my Mom was too lazy to make a turkey dinner!".  That just sounds wrong!
So, alas, I work like a dog, preparing everything for my loved ones.  I guess the silver lining on this cloud is that I don't have to cook for the next several days because we're eating all the leftovers!  When you're a child, you're fairly oblivious (or at least I was) to the amount of work that goes into making the holidays special.  In my life, a huge part of the specialness is what food we are going to eat.  And so, I plan and prepare and get excited for the memories that we are making with our own children, and hopefully, they'll say, "Holidays?!  I loved the holidays as a girl....My mom would prepare for days to make the best meal, and we had to help too!"
Happy Thanksgiving, friends.  Enjoy working your butts off and eating way to much.  Enjoy being with family and friends.  Enjoy cleaning your floor once it's all done because your feet keep sticking to it.  Enjoy your husband eating "vegetables" for breakfast, which is actually pumpkin pie.  Enjoy the whole house smelling of turkey. Enjoy a walk after dinner, with leaves crunching under your feet. Enjoy having the ones you love sitting around your table, and being sad because some are missing.  Enjoy a whole holiday around the idea of being thankful.

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