Saturday, November 27, 2010

Holiday at Home

Our Thanksgiving holiday typically finds us traveling to Des Moines to be with Brad's family, then onto Mankato to be with my family, and then possibly back south to other Iowa locations to see extended family...all before returning home to Illinois in time for Brad to preach on Sunday.

One holiday. Two young boys. Four days of travel. Distance to travel equaling approximately 900 miles...

Sometimes, it's just a little much.

And so for the first time in eight years, we decided we were going to stay home for Thanksgiving. (The last time we stayed home was when we lived in Denver.)

It wasn't an easy decision to make. My deepest desire is to be near family, especially during the holidays. I especially want my boys to be with their grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins during this time of the year. Some of my favorite memories of my own childhood involve being at my grandparents home with all of my relatives. I want that for Drew and Reed.

But because of time constraints, our travels this year would have involved driving at least four hours for four days, before making the seven plus hour drive home from what would have been our final stop. That's a lot. So for all practical purposes, we decided it would be best for the four of us to celebrate Thanksgiving here at home.

I began to make plans. Turkey? Never cooked one. Black Friday shopping? By myself doesn't sound as much fun. Putting up the Christmas tree? Maybe.

Then the phone rang. And my dad asked, "How would you like to set two more places at your table for lunch on Thursday?"


Apparently my brothers' Thanksgiving plans involved having to work and a few other obligations, so turkey dinner at my parent's house would most likely have included my mom, my dad, and the turkey. So with my brothers' okay, my parents celebrated Thanksgiving with us!

They arrived late Tuesday night, after the boys had gone to bed. We hadn't told them that Grammy and Papa were coming, so it was quite the surprise when they woke up Wednesday morning to find some special visitors! We spent Wednesday playing, talking, baking, and grocery shopping for our Thanksgiving meal.

Turkey Day included ---

watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade

and Skyping with our families to wish them a wonderful Turkey Day.

My dad gave me cooking lessons for Tom...

and then we sat down to eat our Thanksgiving feast.

We set the table for seven, as I had invited Corissa, a good friend of mine, to join us.

(We even used the good silverware!)

After lunch, some of us took tryptophan-induced naps, while others watched football,

and others planned their shopping strategy!

My mom and I decided to try our combat shopping skills at WalMart later that night. The sales started at midnight, so Mom and I headed out at 10. Our store is open 24 hours, so there was no waiting out in the cold, and much to our surprise, everything was available for the taking. The flats weren't wrapped! So we loaded up our cart with everything on our lists and by 11:00 we were standing at the registers, waiting for them to open at 12 so we could check out. We were back home at 12:30.

Most successful Black Friday shopping ever! Loved it!

Friday seemed like the best day to get started on our Christmas decorating. Drew was especially excited for the tree. He hung all of his own ornaments, putting them all on prominent display on the very front of the tree!

The rest of the day included much of the same: playing, talking, a bit more shopping (primarily online!), and of course, leftovers.

My parents headed for home early this morning.

Of course I missed our usual Thanksgiving traditions.

I missed my brothers.

I missed Brad's family.

I missed being "there".

But words cannot express my gratitude towards my parents. They knew how much I wanted to be with them. They knew how hard it was for us to stay home. They understood.

And then, because things just kind of fell into place, they went the extra mile (or 900) to be with us.

We'll remember this Thanksgiving.

Not because it was traditional. Not because it wasn't.

We'll remember because it was ours.

{To Mom and Dad: I love you.}

1 comment:

  1. Aww, that brought tears to my eyes! Family is so important during the holidays and I'm so happy that your parents made the trip to be with you all.

    Happy Holidays!