Years ago, after my split from he-who-shall-not-be-named, the kids and I got busy and established some new holiday traditions. The kids (not unreasonably) hated our fancy, formal Thanksgiving, so I chucked it. We had a sit-down family meeting – there were a lot of those at that time — and decided that for Turkey Day we’d be ordering pizza from Domino’s (I think they were the only place open, bless them) and the day would be devoted to putting up all our ridiculous Christmas gear, including the fake tree and my huge collection of vintage ornaments. I bought a bunch of appetizers and snack-y things from Trader Joe’s, and I got some big, old-timey multicolored Christmas lights to festoon the front of the house, since the kids had always been envious of neighbors with those.
We had such a great time the tradition stuck; Thanksgiving remained the day that Christmas threw up all over our house, as the kids gleefully told their (possibly envious) friends. I missed the traditional meal, but I can make a turkey breast and stuffing and open a can of cranberry sauce any time I want to, so it wasn’t a big deal. The kids love pumpkin pie, as do I, so that was the only thing I made from scratch for Thanksgiving over the past few years. In fact, we make it all winter. Pumpkin pie — breakfast of champions!
The three kids in Maine will be doing their pizza-ordering and decorating their place on Thursday for the first time, on their own. I sent all the bins of Christmas decorations to Maine with them, so. I’ve slapped a small, cute wreath on the front door and on Thursday I’ll be setting up my Scandinavian whirligig-thing and my big, festive Holiday Rat that Musette gave me a few years ago, commemorating my Great Kitchen Rat Invasion and Pie Massacre (where would we be without our sense of humor?) That’s the year I came down and discovered huge, rat-sized footprints all over the gnawed tops of the pies I’d left cooling on the stove the night before. I will spare you the photos.
Small things I am grateful for right now: my crock-pot, apparently every day is a good day for a hearty stew — breakfast, lunch or dinner. I freeze some, eat the rest, and then make another batch of something different. When the freezer’s full I’ll eat all of that and start over. Hot teas are having a moment over here; Musette brought me several boxes when I whined that I was having trouble finding something like Twinings, which is good enough for me; the stores here are full of health / detox teas, and no thanks. My fireplace which has given me the fun of re-learning how to build a small pyramid-shaped fire in a kiva and bank coals and nurture it, and allow me to mention for the 357th time how great pinon wood smells when it’s burning. Lots and lots of books, on loan from the library and from friends. Listening to music on the local, surprisingly good classical station. Soon it’ll be time to bust out all my Christmas classics from the 1920s-1940s, if I can’t find a Google Play channel/playlist for that (and there probably is one, or several). I got suckered into paying for Google Play by the kids a couple of years ago (it’s like Spotify Premium, I guess, or Amazon music) and I thought it and the related Alexa-like Home device were dumb, and now I can’t imagine life without it, being able to ask it for the weather and random facts and to set a timer is awesome. And, of course, Coco – my biggest small blessing.
What’s going on in your world? Thanksgiving plans, if you partake? Reading anything good? Links to your favorite crock-pot recipes? Should I bake a pumpkin pie and eat the whole thing myself? I should, shouldn’t I?