It sounds silly but I wish there was more to Thanksgiving. Like, songs or something. Yesterday they began playing Christmas music on the radio (someone texted me this; I have XM, who is also playing it) and I was commenting today that every year, we start on Christmas earlier and earlier. When I went to get some last minute – like October 23rd or so – Halloween stuff, half of Target’s Christmas displays were up and operational.
I don’t want to say that we now gloss over Thanksgiving because we’re “less thankful” or a country full of materialistic assholes but one could surmise this from the small amount of time spent on the November holiday. Personally, I love the progression from Summer into Fall, to Halloween and then Thanksgiving before the whole holiday insanity and the inevitable letdown come January. For me anyway, I feel terribly depressed when it’s all over and done with. But the build-up is so great.
Thanksgiving in our family was always something we did big and spent time on. I always got this cozy homey feeling in November; one of harvesting and gathering and getting ready for a big feast with family that you love. My mom and I always set up this paper village:
And that always put me in the mood. Most years, we visited my dad’s family in Alabama but sometimes we spent it in South Florida with my maternal grandparents. The meals were vastly different but the company was no less warm and inviting.
I get excited thinking about the food every year. I don’t want to say that it’s an excuse to stuff myself but in some ways, we all like to say so. My mom’s meals now – since we no longer have my paternal grandparents and my mom’s parents aren’t able to cook anymore – are a mixture of the Southern and the Yankee meals of my youth. She still makes the yams with the little marshmallows and sometimes turnips. We find the frozen cream corn like Mema made but we forgo chicken and dumplings because they are labor intensive and never taste the same as Mema’s anyway. The dressing – or stuffing – doesn’t have giblets in it but it’s not plain ol’ Yankee cornbread stuff either.
Mom makes her own turkey recipe but it’s juicy and tender. I make the mashed potatoes so they’re creamy and buttery and not like cement, which my Grammy is famous for. I like that our family get-togethers now are a conglomeration of the old days and wat we’ve become now. We have a new generation of family to show this to and new traditions to build upon. If you couldn’t tell, I am really looking forward to next week. It’s like it can’t come soon enough. Though I don’t look forward to the drive down or the craziness of everyone sleeping in one house and dogs who don’t like each other… it’s still going to completely rock!