It is crazy to me to think that Thanksgiving is two weeks away from today. What a crazy year it has been! Some parts of it dragged on forever and other parts have been speeding by. My husband and I were discussing our Thanksgiving plans last night. We used to try to go home to South Carolina every year to spend time with family, go Black Friday shopping with my mom and sister, and attend our state rivalry football game. Since we moved so much farther away two years ago, though, we haven’t made the trip. It certainly isn’t that we don’t want to because that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Unfortunately, the long drive down there is bad enough on a normal week, but the traffic on the way back home after all the festivities is such a nightmare that we can’t bring ourselves to make the trip. Thanksgiving is the biggest travel time of the year across the country, which typically adds several hours to an already LONG trip. The drive to and from SC during Thanksgiving week is too miserable to justify the trip. On top of that, both girls always have practice on the Sunday after Thanksgiving that they are expected to attend. It is hard for them to miss practice this time of the year with competition season about to kick off. We have just decided that it is best that we stay close to home that week. It makes me sad that we don’t get to carry out our family traditions, but part of me also likes that we get to spend the time together as a family of 4 making new traditions.
Two years ago, we had a quiet Thanksgiving here at the house. I didn’t cook a huge Thanksgiving meal for just the 4 of us, but we did have a nice dinner together. Then I went out and did a little Black Friday shopping on my own while my husband watched football and the girls did their own thing. The shopping wasn’t nearly as fun or as enjoyable as it usually is with my family, and I did not stay out all day and night like we normally do. Black Friday isn’t so much about the deals for me as it is about time spent laughing with my mom and sister. Doing it alone just isn’t the same. Then, last year we had a mini stay-cation and traveled a couple of hours away for a change of scenery and to do something fun with the girls. We had our Thanksgiving meal at a restaurant for the first time ever, which was strange and nice all at the same time. We did a little bit of Black Friday shopping at a nearby outlet mall as a family. However, shopping with my crew was no fun at all for me. They couldn’t keep up with me and were miserable most of the time, so I cut it short and we went to an amusement park instead. Except for the shopping, we actually had a really good time together for those few days. No, those two years weren’t the Thanksgiving that we were used to, but we made the best of them and were together which is all that matters.
This year with COVID, we have made the decision to have another quiet week at home. We are not going anywhere or doing anything out of the ordinary. I will make a Thanksgiving meal for us to enjoy. I’m not sure what it will be yet, but I am certain that it will be something small as none of us really love the big, traditional Thanksgiving meal (Yes, we are weird!). I will probably make a little something that each person loves. I doubt I will go out and do any Black Friday shopping this year either. I honestly don’t really know what Black Friday will entail this year anyway. Some stores are already having big sales each week in an attempt to keep the crowds to a minimum, so I will likely do all of my shopping online this year. Yes, I will again miss spending time with our extended family and Black Friday shopping, but the memories that I am sure we will make instead will be just as special. It is just a different kind of Thanksgiving. I am sure that there will be some football and Christmas movie watching as usual, a bit of online retail therapy, good food, a little Christmas decorating, and a whole lot of family time. We can begin to create new family traditions. Maybe I will even have the girls help with the baking this year. It may be different these days, but we are going to make the best of the situation. Honestly, I couldn’t really ask for anything better than time together.
Anchored in a Different Kind of Thanksgiving,