And We’re Off….

The holiday season has begun. Halloween is one of my favorites as are Thanksgiving and Christmas. It does drive me crazy to see Christmas decorations up before Halloween. Joseph and Mary didn’t do that much pre-planning for the arrival of Baby Jesus. They hadn’t even made reservations at the Inn. It’s offensive, really.

Being the modern American family, we have dinner with my family the Sunday before Thanksgiving and then head to my in-laws in Connecticut for actual T-Day. So we get a double dose of tryptophan and indigestion to start the season off right. Woo Hoo!

Neither my children nor Big Daddy have spent Thanksgiving any place else other than Connecticut for their entire lives. It was in the bargaining agreement when we got married. My peeps get Christmas day.

My children start talking about Thanksgiving right after they finish all of their Halloween candy on November 1st. They talk about their cousins that they are dying to see and hunker down with for some serious video game playing (Connecticut in November, need I say more?!), Shopping with “Ma,” and Thanksgiving dinner.

I picked my youngest son up from the bus stop the other day and all he said when he got in the truck was, “stuffing,” which took me a minute to process. My eldest starts to run down the menu from memory on a daily basis like he’s getting ready for a pop quiz; Turkey, stuffing with chestnuts and sausage, mashed potatoes, candied yams, mac n’ cheese, collard greens, green beans, mashed turnips, homemade cranberry relish, and canned cranberry sauce, because, really what is Thanksgiving without ridges on your cranberry sauce? To top it all off, there is red velvet cake, and a selection of pies and ice cream. This has been the menu since I don’t know when. Any mention of deviation from said menu is met with everything from quizzical looks (Has mommy hit her head or something?) to angry glares (Surely you jest, woman!).

I’m looking forward to the car ride with my family oddly enough. Our truck is basically a moving Best Buy with all of the electronics on board-mp3 players, ipods, DVD players, Gameboys, DSs, and laptops. But we’ll also talk and laugh, retelling family stories that get bigger and funnier every time they’re told. On the Baltimore-Washington Parkway, without fail, one of the girls will ask, “How much longer?” My husband will sing Frank Sinatra’s greatest hits at the top of his lungs, followed by a little Earth, Wind, and Fire, Marvin Gaye, Corrine Bailey Rae, and Laura Izibor. After one pit stop for food, bathroom, and fuel, we trudge our way up the Jersey Turnpike. I’ll take the wheel after the Turnpike, and bring us on into Connecticut.

I love Thanksgiving because it is a time to, get together, eat and just be. We don’t have to worry about whether someone will like their present or if it is the right size or color. It’s time to reflect on the year that has swiftly gone by, to reminisce, to love, be loved, and to laugh.

It is a time to be thankful for the richness of our lives.

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7 Responses to “And We’re Off….”

  1. Jessica Says:

    I’ve never had cake on T-Day…hmmmm

  2. Jessica Says:

    Love red velvet – does your recipe have cream cheese frosting? Either way – sure! I’ve never made one…only store bought…

  3. edgeofcrazy Says:

    Yes. It seems like a lot of steps and they have to be done in order, but it’s not hard to make. Here it is:

    Red Velvet Cake:

    1) Cream together: 1 cup oil, 1 cup of butter (2 sticks), and 2 cups sugar

    2) Add: 3 eggs, one at a time and 1 oz(1 small bottle) red food coloring

    3) Mix together and then add to the above: 2 tablespoons cocoa, 2 1/2 cups UNSIFTED flour

    4) Alternate adding the above dry ingredients to the mixture with 1 cup buttermilk

    5) Add: 1 tablesppon vinegar, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1 teaspoon butter flavor

    Pour into 3 9″ pans, bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes or so.

    Frosting:

    Cream together: 1 stick of butter, 1 8oz. package of cream cheese, 1 box confectioners sugar, and 1 package chopped pecans.

    I often make these as cupcakes (I LOVE cupcakes!) but instead of putting the pecans in the frosting, I sprinkle them on top of half because two of my children don’t like nuts.

    These are awesome! I’ve also done german chocolate cupcakes, and chocolate grand marnier cupcakes that are killer. If you try them, let me know how they turn out. Good Luck!

  4. Rita Zimmerman Says:

    Have a great trip B!! We are local for this one.

  5. Norma Wynne-Morrison Says:

    I know what you mean re early christmas decorations. Before Halloween, what are these people on. I have a similar problem with chrissy decs before Guy Fawkes night – one celebration at a time please. Someone should tell these people to live for the moment not moments!

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, eat lots, drink lots and have lots and lots of fun – what am I saying – it’s a family trait!

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