Thanks and Pass the Gravy

Oh, Thanksgiving.  That classic holiday that I love for so many reasons, the number one being the FOOD, of course.  I started thinking about all of the Thanksgivings I have attended all of the years and what has changed and what hasn't.  I mean, part of the draw for Thanksgiving is that it is a traditional holiday.  That translates to "don't mess with the menu" and, similarly, "everyone play the same family role they have played for decades".  All of us have some variation of the same dishes, I would imagine.  Turkey, stuffing, veggies, sweet potatoes, cranberry something, bread, pies.  But beyond that there are the family traditions.  Whether it is being forced with people that make you twitch or being with those that know and love you for who you are, those traditions run deep and are part of the glue that hold us all together. 

Sometimes I walk away and am relieved that I won't have to relive any of it again until the next holiday and sometimes I can linger in the moment and wish it could always be that way.  And then sometimes, it is the fantasy that keeps us coming back.  You know the one.  It's where everyone gathers around a huge table to eat food that is masterfully prepared and everyone laughs, drinks, eats and loves each other and there is NO DRAMA.  There is no crazy uncle that tells you that you look pregnant (No, Uncle Arthur, that would be my sister that's pregnant but is still in a size 6.  Thanks), no relatives talking about insane politics (Actually, I can't imagine that the American people would elect a socialist, much less a Nazi, but keep that dream alive.  Maybe y'all can get Sarah elected next time around), no family members using racial epithets making you question how in the hell you were born into this family and what really happend all those years ago at the hospital when you must have been switched out at birth because you could not possibly share DNA with these people ("How are those colored folks you work with Jennifer?"  Really?).

I have a holiday fantasy that I share with my mom and sister.  We have a lake house (see?  It's already a good fantasy) and we all escape to said lake house for a long weekend and have cold hikes with the dogs and kiddos and come back to board games and spiked hot chocolate and long afternoon naps and great food for days.   Someday...

The reality of the holidays, however, will be that we all shuttle from house to house and eat inordinate amounts of food (That third broccoli casserole was by far the best of the day) and bask in the skewed glow of our family.  Whether they are crazy or sane, funny or just morbid, they are ours and oddly comforting I suppose.  I will be taking note of all of those things that I am supremely thankful for at some point over the course of the few day food and family mayhem.  Those things will most certainly include those wacky, lovely people that I call family and the adopted family I have in my friends.  Now pass the gravy, please.   

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