I love so many things about Thanksgiving: a beautifully set table, the traditional dishes, the whole emphasis on gratitude, and just the idea that so many people around the country are sitting down to similar tables and bowing their heads in thanks. And I have so many great Thanksgiving memories.
The first time Brian met my family was Thanksgiving '90.
And Angie and I bonded over a failed pie-extravaganza at Coronado on Thanksgiving '91.
Even in Russia, we hosted a big Thanksgiving feast after scoring some turkey legs in the city. I also remember an event hosted by the English department at the university in Komsomolsk, where the female students dressed up as Native Americans and the males dressed up as mobsters, yes--ala "The Godfather", in their celebration of America.
We were so young---*sigh*.
We've always either been guests (at the Chandlers in '02, at my sister Eileen's in '03, and at the Rockows in Flagstaff last year) or, more often, hosts (the Numaguchi's and my sister Maria in '04, my college friend Kris and family in '05, Brian's mom and our neighbor Carol in '06).
Thanksgiving 1998 when we hosted Brian's parents in our tiny Oregon apartment.
This year we had the least stressful Thanksgiving of our adult lives. For the first time ever we were neither host nor guest; it was just us. And guess what, it was heavenly. I love a big table of family and friends, like we enjoyed last year, and I hope we will again next year. But it was also nice to put aside whether the whole house was company-clean, and if the turkey needed another half-hour, there was no worry.
Our Thanksgiving traditions are simple. The usual dishes: turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes & gravy, sweet potatoes, corn or green beans, walnut-craisin salad.
Brian always makes the turkey. And apparently I always take a picture of him doing so:-)
We go around the table saying what we are grateful for.
Becky Higgins wrote about giving winter jammies on Thanksgiving instead of Christmas Eve, so they have a longer season. I love that idea (and as I type this, I realize that happened last year when the boys received pjs from Angie & Jeff on Thanksgiving). So that is a new tradition.
I never thought my boys and the curmudgeon Andy Rooney would have much in common, but when it comes to Thanksgiving, they're on the same page. Aidan and Sean were the Thanksgiving police, complaining in the grocery store about the Christmas decoration display "when it is STILL November!" They stared aghast as our neighbors strung Christmas lights on their front porch last week.
Rooney makes a good point about why Thanksgiving gets cut short every year---it's not a big marketing holiday. There's nothing commercial about this holiday, which perhaps explains why I'm so sad this year to see it go.