Ten on Tuesday: Things You Love About Thanksgiving.

Today’s 10 on Tuesday topic is as easy as it is timely, given that Thanksgiving is pretty much my favorite holiday!

1. Family & friends. It’s an unusual holiday for me this year – my siblings are with their spouse’s families and my mom and I are separated by 300 miles of highway neither of us want to drive on the busiest travel weekend of the year, so I’ll be celebrating with friends here in DC. (As will Mom in Binghamton – she’s not abandoned.) This is only the second time I’ve ever been away from my family for Thanksgiving and I have a feeling I’m gonna miss ’em, but I know it’ll make the Christmas gathering all the more fun.

2. Food. While I’m especially partial to stuffing and anything involving cranberries (especially this), there’s not much in the way of Thanksgiving food that I don’t like. In fact, the only things I can think of are giblets and this green bean casserole my mom makes (or used to – she hasn’t done it in a while), so other than those two things, I like it all!

3. A long weekend. I’m not gonna lie, the extra two and a half days off from work is damned appealing.

4. A reminder to be thankful. While I am always grateful for the usual things, I’m not gonna lie – it’s pretty passive gratitude, so taking time to actually reflect on what I value in life is important.

5. Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. It’s totally cheesy, what with the lip-synching and celebrity cameos, but nothing says Thanksgiving morning like a cup of coffee and the parade on tv.

6. Football. I know – surprising coming from me, the non-football fan, but back when we all used to go home to Binghamton for the holiday, my brother would sometimes organize a road trip up to Syracuse for a game at the Carrier Dome. And, of course, there’s also the time-worn tradition of the menfolk watching football while the ladies clean up from dinner. (Sigh.) With both things taken into account, football just feels like part of the day.

7. Baking. I’m not responsible for bringing any baked goods to dinner this year, but I’m still planning to bake anyway. My plan is to be feasting on fresh cranberry pecan bread during the parade.

8. Exchanging traditions. As our family has gotten bigger, we’ve picked up some new traditions along the way, like Jen’s grandmother’s cinnamon rolls and Chris’s mom’s sweet potato casserole. I’ll be missing those this year, but I’m looking forward to seeing what I pick up at my friend Lori’s this year.

9. The official start of the Christmas season. As I mentioned the other day, I’m a big fan. First order of business will be loading up my iPhone with Christmas music.

10. Small Business Saturday. It might be cheesy to include a work tie-in here, but seeing as I totally hate Black Friday, I think it’s super-cool that shopping local is being promoted as an alternative to big box stores and pre-dawn “doorbusters.” I’m planning on participating – and making it a new holiday tradition.

What do you love about Thanksgiving?

4 thoughts on “Ten on Tuesday: Things You Love About Thanksgiving.

  1. Eileen November 24, 2010 / 6:01 am

    I’ve been thinking a lot about thanksgiving this year and I’m strangely finding it, well, glutenous. (I’m sure I spelled that wrong.) I guess that’s always been built in – you know, thanks for the bounty – but it just seems like way too much.

    I think it’s the menu that’s got me in knots this time. Everything is bigger in Texas ya know. 2 kinds of turkey, double batches of stuffing and rice plus mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes, and bread, and beans, and cranberries. Did I forget the multiple appetizers, two kinds of pie plus a cake. It’s ridiculous.

    To sound totally like me, there are people starving! And hello, have we figuredout why we’re fat?!

    Sorry sis to rant all over your nice post. I’m just sad cause I love the idea of thanksgiving and I just feel like it’s getting lost for me this year.

    So here’s my top ten things I’ve loved about Thanksgiving
    1. Grandma’s special corn, that we used to save special portions of for holiday meals. She’d make it and freeze it fresh in the summer and it was a holiday treat.

    2. Road trips to Baltimore – this (and Easter) are how our cousins became more like our sisters and if that’s not something to be thankful for I don’t know what is

    3. Black Friday trips to Towson Town Center, Hechts & Huxlers (back in the day, with said cousins) when TTC was the mall of our dreams – while I’ve totally lost my love of shopping, this was heavenly to teenage me

    4. Switching from John Denver and Neil Diamond 8 tracks to Christmas on the way home

    5. I think my favorite Thanksgiving memory is that 10 years ago, I came home from an exhausting American Model UN conference secretly engaged to Chris (whom I’d only been dating since Labor Day). It was a secret because it was a spontaneous proposal and we knew our families would flip…so we postponed telling anyone til (as it turned out) mid March. That was the happiest Thanksgiving ever, I think…until this year with my hubby and my baby – that no one can take back.

    And this is why I should not blog after the 3am feeding.

    Happy Thanksgiving to one and all.

  2. Eileen November 24, 2010 / 6:12 am

    Okay. I couldn’t sleep with just 5…

    6. I learned how to bake one hell of a pie (with scratch crust) from my mom because of Thanksgiving

    7. I have great car stories from childhood, and college, thanks in part to those long Baltimore treks (and November weather made this trip generally much more eventful than Easter)

    8. Memories of Dad always “quality controlling” the meal as the turkey got carved…he had such zeal for sneaking samples. It was his version of mischievousness. 

    9. It was at holiday meals as a kid at Grandma and Grandpas that I fell in love with Grams beautiful china – which I  now blessed to call my own

    10. I’m thankful that I don’t think I’ve ever hosted Thanksgiving, as in I’ve never been solely responsible for the meal.

  3. Common Loon November 24, 2010 / 9:47 am

    Well, I should post as I’m currently Thanksgiving crabby (I’m responsible for all of the cooking, but I’m waiting to find out if I’m to prep the meal for Thursday, Friday, or Saturday and since I grocery shopped for Thursday, how do I keep from making an extra trip to the store for food that I won’t be able to put in my fridge anyways…oh, and one dog is horrbly sick and may need his last surgery on Black Friday, and with company coming the soaf slip cover zippers just came off…the store is at the other end of town and we’re under a winter storm warning). Since I should really be humble & grateful…What do I love about Thanksgiving?

    1. The smell of the kitchen as it’s all cooking.
    2. All of the traditions and associations (the “icky green bean casserole” which we love, to the Siefert’s sweet potatoes, to the homemade rolls, Sarah’s salsa, dressing the bird, chestnut stuffing, etc….just thinking about all the folks that influenced this meal makes me grin).
    3. It’s been 20 years since I’ve had a Thanksgiving at the same table as my parents or sister. I love the feelings and hospitality that are pretty universal, the warmth of “family” as we gather around whatever table we’re at, and the fact that I’ve yet to celebrate with anyone unwilling to offer a prayer before commencing to feast. I’m so thankful that most of my family is willing to pick up the phone that day and check-in.
    4. I love that after I cook, I am in no way responsible for any part of the cleanup.
    5. I love that all males in this house are training to handle the cleanup.
    6. I love hanging out. This started as a game day as a kid (marathon games of Risk and Monopoly – thank you Brian), and then football, and we’ve kept those traditions.
    7. I love the Christmas kick-off on Friday – from the music to chopping down the tree.
    8. I love being in the U.S. for Thanksgiving! It’s just different in Canada, or on a huge floating hunk of metal. It’s good to be an American and to celebrate with fellow Americans on U.S. soil!!!
    9. The kids table. I’m grateful that for many years when we travelled to Winnipeg, I only qualified for the kids table (I’m younger than my DH, and he’s the baby of his family).
    10. I’m not gonna lie: I love getting these 4 days “off!” By that, I mean that DH is around to help out and there is NO SCHOOL schedule to keep. Life is still busy, but I get reinforcements and a load reduction. 🙂

    OK, not quite as crabby. Thanks for the blog pick-me-up. You changed my desperately misguided focus.

  4. Mom November 24, 2010 / 5:33 pm

    Where to begin here — crazy day and I’m not cooking “the” dinner, tho I have made a huge pan of herb stuffing, fresh pumpkin for my little pie, and cranberries, of course! (Guaranteeing ME leftovers). I am dining with special friends who are having their family reunion (45-50 people). It is chaotic FUN !!

    I especially loved your remembrances girls. They cement in my heart that all the holiday journeys — while often fraught with extra challenges — as if 5 toddlers under 5 were not enough & a Grandpa in tow — were well worth it. Your love, caring, & sharing are my holiday blessings. Although our tables are far & wide, our spirits are together. Have a very happy day one & all. Special love from Mom, Mary, Grandma

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