A Norman Rockwell Thanksgiving

thanksgivingHolidays are curious times. Most of us look forward to them; some of us dread them. We all have a perception of the “perfect” celebration, which is usually unrealistic. So, when the actual holiday rolls around we are either elated or disappointed. There’s  no in between.

This year I was looking forward to being with Ken’s family in Chicago only to learn they all are heading to Nebraska to be with Ken’s other brother and his family. Needless to say, I was in a funk. My picture of our usual Norman Rockwell-type Thanksgiving with the turkey sitting golden brown on the perfectly set dining table, surrounded by smiling faces were dashed with one phone call.

Last year we went to my dear friend Kay’s house. Little did I know that would be the last time we’d be together for the holiday because this fall Kay and her husband moved to Florida. I’m so thankful we had the opportunity to be together because Thanksgiving is special to Kay. It’s the one American holiday she enjoys as a Scottish immigrant.

This year, though, I had to develop a plan “B,” so  I called a few friends to see if they had plans for the unique American holiday only to find out they were already busy.  It looked like Ken and I would be roasting our 15 pound bird alone, and then we’d sit across the dining room table just like any other ordinary night, staring at each other, while we would eat a meal which was meant to be shared.

And then the phone rang.

Just as I accepted our lonely fate, I got a call from a close friend. It was our Dave inviting us to his family’s Thanksgiving dinner. He and Terry have been friends for over 20 years; we have watched their boys grown into handsome young men and supported each other through good times and bad. This invitation lifted my spirits more than I can tell you.

Now instead of moping around like an orphaned child, I’m actually looking forward to Thursday. I’ll begin the day with a cup of coffee, while I watch the Macy’s parade in my jammies. Following that tradition, Ken and I will enjoy a special breakfast, before we watch the Packers/Lion’s football game dressed in our Packer regalia. Finally, we’ll toddle off to a thankful feast with great friends. Sounds like a good day.

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5 thoughts on “A Norman Rockwell Thanksgiving

  1. All holidays carry some unrealistic expectations. Last year my daughter and I went out for dinner. (no dishes nor leftovers we didn’t want). This year I’ll be joining my niece and her family an hour and a half from here. My son will be alone but doesn’t mind one bit. He’s saving his stuffing for Christmas with us. I’m glad you will have a day filled with people you enjoy.

    • I’m glad you agree holidays put too much pressure on us — especially our expectations, but how do we turn off the feelings?

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      • The principles of the Buddhist philosophy is that it’s our expectations that cause suffering. When we release expectation and enjoy what is, suffering ends. I don’t do the religion part of it but it made too much sense to not incorporate. Every holiday has been different for me. I’m grateful for the differences. It’s what makes life interesting.

      • Thank you. After all the hoopla, I ended up staying home because of a severe intestinal issue and fever. I popped a couple of turkey legs into the slow cooker, boiled some rice and opened a can of candied yams. It was a Thanksgiving of a different kind. And I was thankful for having the “fixings” on the shelf.

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