Thanksgiving is this week and while traditionally this holiday is spent actively engaging in gluttony and tryptophan-induced naps with family, I’ll be putting in a fourteen hour work day because apparently 5000+ people would rather spend their holiday watching me traipse around in the dirt wearing an aluminum blazer and satin pajamas than break bread with people they’re related too that they undoubtedly avoid the other 364 days a year. Also, we serve a four-course dinner with none of the clean up, so there’s that.
Am I bothered that I’ll be sweating through stage makeup while my butt cheeks chaff from excessive time in the saddle instead of sitting down to a meal with my family? Not exactly. Obviously I would relish in the opportunity to indulge in a meal with my son that doesn’t occur before 3pm however, Thanksgiving has never really registered very high on the holiday scale in my family, probably on the same level as President’s Day (which has actually dropped a few rungs since it will now require me to include Donald Trump, I politely decline.) In my house it would have been more aptly named “Decorate for Christmas Day” or “Research Child Labor Laws Because My Mom Is Making Me Hand-Fluff Hundreds of Feet of Garland Day”. Of course I never felt jilted in the fact that we failed at eating too much turkey on a Thursday afternoon because we more than made up for this lack of enthusiasm in celebrating Christmas, which we honored almost as long as Walmart by putting up our trees (yes there were several) on Thanksgiving and leaving them displayed well into the new year.
My experience of a traditional Thanksgiving didn’t materialize until I started dating (I’m using that term loosely) when I would attend dinners hosted by families of high school boyfriends but even these lavish dinners were quickly overshadowed by the more entertaining memories surrounding Thanksgiving Eve, or Blackout Wednesday for those seasoned professionals. Whether it be because people are traditionally home for the holidays and looking to either catch up with old friends or a hook up with an old flame or more simply, Thanksgiving dinner is the perfect cure for a hangover, the night before Thanksgiving is the busiest bar night of the year. Not New Years. Not St. Patrick's Day. Not your cousin’s first born’s baptism. Blackout Wednesday is the holiday most synonymous with binge drinking and as such, held a very special place in my heart for most of my late teens and early 20’s.
It was on this day that I made my first attempt at mixing my own cocktail having always relied on whoever was near the booze to execute the science of mixology on my behalf. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves and label me guilty of being a subservient female who incessantly leans on other people to perform basic tasks; I just find certain things to be relatively intimidating. I still don’t order steak at restaurants because I spent much of my life unable to properly use a knife and fork to cut meat without almost taking off a finger and I understand that making a cocktail involves slightly less risk however, it was made clear that evening, almost fourteen years ago, that I shouldn’t be left to my own devices when those devices involve Wild Turkey and a disproportionate ratio with coke. Proper measuring was never my forte, even Stovetop Stuffing would come out painfully dry or have the consistency of bread soup because I failed to properly utilize the directions on the back of the box. Too much Wild Turkey and not enough coke meant I would spend most of the following day sneaking off to the restroom to regurgitate turkey and all it’s fixin’s as I battled an acute case of alcohol poisoning. Not surprisingly I have since sworn off whiskey in all of its various forms and leave the art of mixology up to the professionals.
My Thanksgiving has dramatically changed over the years; I still indulge in alcoholic beverages the night before but it’s less of a blackout and more closely resembling what “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” calls a “brownout”, not nearly as severe as a blackout as you recollect fragments of the evening, but blacking out or even browning out these days would require me to miraculously keep my eyes open past 11pm so even that is a rarity. And because Rinn’s preschool has emphasized that this holiday is usually based on the consumption of a “feast” prepared by “pigrums” from “pirate rock” I’ll probably end up whipping some makeshift meal that resembles a Thanksgiving dinner; my version of chicken alfredo calls for diced up breaded chicken nuggets from a box if that gives you any idea of my capabilities, or lack thereof, in the kitchen.
Normally however, I treat Thanksgiving as a deadline for the creative endeavor that a majority of the population refers to as Christmas Cards. I got lucky his first Christmas when I was able to take advantage of a free mini-session courtesy of the photographer who snapped his newborn and first birthday pictures. A woman whose talent in taking pictures of babies and children is unparalleled and if there is one thing I regret in moving to Arkansas almost four years ago it’s that I couldn’t take her with me but alas, kidnapping is frowned upon. Since then I’ve taken it upon myself to personally stage, take and edit our Christmas cards. The way I see it, if at the end of it all I wind up disappointed at least I’m not broke and the only person I can write a strongly worded letter of disapproval to is myself. So far I haven’t had to do that because they’ve turned out wonderfully, and this year was no exception. Without further ado, our 2016 Christmas card!
We hope that you all experience love and joy and peace this holiday season and in the year to come! May your turkey be moist and no one use that word to describe it. Deck the halls, not your family and here’s hoping that the tree isn’t the only thing getting lit this year.
And Tui unofficially got in on the action.