Wednesday, November 21, 2012
The start of the holiday season. It comes with mixed feelings around here; I love the holidays but it's always sort of bittersweet, you know? There are the memories of holidays past (both good and bad!) and inevitably things change.
In our family we used to all gather at my mother's house...well, actually, at my grandmother's house before that. Then, when Thanksgiving dinner got to be too much for my grandmother, we did it at mom's house. We've always been a small family but mom always pulled out the sterling flatware and serving pieces, a white, starched tablecloth, candles, the whole nine yards.
My grandfather would always bring a bottle of port. The men folks watched football and when it was time, dad would carve the turkey with the electric knife (that's the only time of year we ever used the thing.)
As a kid I always some little job or task to keep me occupied - something like filling the salt and pepper shakers or preparing the relish tray (celery, sweet gherkins, cocktail onions, olives).
The extended family would come in from Dallas, and often after dinner family friends might drop by. We ate around 1:00 and after dinner the women always lingered around the table over coffee and pecan pie while the men adjourned to the den for football.
Almost always some crazy family foible would occur, like the time my grandfather went for a walk after dinner and got lost; he went to the wrong house. We all were in a panic looking for him. It was funny later, but not at the time.
Anyway, in more recent years as my own mother has become ill and unable to do the cooking, Thanksgiving has moved to my house (which ironically is the same house in which my grandmother lived, so it's sort of come full circle). Nobody comes anymore, though. the Dallas family saves their holiday trip for Christmas. I always cook just for us, me, Steve, and my son John. After we eat I always take a plate to mom.
And like my mother, I pull out the nice dishes, the tablecloth, the candles. I cook way more food than the three of us need. But, it's hard to let go of those traditions, you know?
It will be a quiet holiday but one with lots of love and lots of food! And new traditions are always liable to spring up when you least expect them. This year my brother will be joining us, or at least, I've invited him. And if we aren't too stuffed tomorrow evening, Steve and I are going to attend the Thanksgiving dinner at the American Legion to support those that don't have any family at all and try to help make a brighter holiday for them.
Holidays are always bittersweet for me as I remember the good times of the past, the people that are no longer with us, and the family that can't be here. But there's so much to be thankful for.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and I hope you take the time to enjoy Thanksgiving. Christmas will come soon enough. One holiday at a time, please.