Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanksgiving Holiday Wrap Up

I think I've mentioned before that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday...and this year was no exception.
I'm pretty sure that Thanksgiving appeals to me so much because it is a fairly calm holiday as holidays go.  It is a time for family to gather together, share a meal, the Macy's Parade, football and most of the time relaxation. 
We are pretty lucky.  Our families (both sides) get along well enough that spending the day with one another is not a difficult challenge.  Our college also takes the entire week off for Thanksgiving; we do this instead of having a Fall break.  I LOVE it.  I get to be Mommy during the week of Thanksgiving, my house gets clean, I get to cook, and I get to take lots of pictures.
As my girls have grown, I've enjoyed letting them step in and add their own personal touches to the day.  My firstborn was in charge of decorating the mantle this year...I showed her some pictures of what I really like, she helped me shop for the needed supplies, and then I let her run with it. 

She used mostly natural ingredients, pumpkins, acorns, walnuts, pecans, pine cones, pomengrantes and red pears.
Then, she added green, gold and rust colored ribbon and a Tom Turkey right in the center for extra sass.
We stumbled across a little decorative squirrel and added him as well to honor our little buddy Squeakers who was released back into the woods successfully last weekend.
I think she did a very nice job :)

My youngest decided on her own this year to decorate the piano. 
At school she made pilgrim people with toilet paper rolls, so she decided we needed a nativity of sorts of pilgrim people on the piano.
We have no toilet paper on the roll at our house right now, but I think it's worth it to have such a special and personal touch :)

My middle child's contribution was a Butterfinger pie she made for the first time last year.
This is her own recipe that she found and tweaked (graham cracker crust, ice cream, whipped cream and Butterfinger candy bars)...and it's delicious.  I have no pictures of her pie because she made it while I went to retrieve our pre-cooked turkey...and it was eaten long before I could get around to photographing it on Thanksgiving Day.  One of her cousins told her it was one of the best pies he had ever tasted.
Made my middle child's day!

I do not try to make Thanksgiving perfect because I am no Martha Stewart and I don't have problems with that. Over the years I've made many mistakes.
I've caught things on fire (marshmallows and rolls)
I've dropped things (rolls)...and I have forgotten the cranberry sauce more than once.
I've learned to expect hiccups and laugh at them.
Such is life, right?
The test of my positive Thanksgiving attitude this year centered around the love of my life, The Head of My Household, who was, in his innocent manly way, trying to help.  He announced a couple of weeks ago that he ordered a turkey from our college.  When I asked how big it was, he said he didn't know.
I asked if it would be frozen.
He said he didn't know.
I explained that I really wanted a fresh turkey this year.
He said it might be fresh but...
he didn't know.
I asked when I would be receiving said turkey because I wanted to brine it this year.
He said, "What's a brine?"
I bet you thought he was going to say he didn't know.

The Head of My Household brought home a rock hard solid 10 lb. turkey (the smallest turkey we've had in years) and a ginormous pan of cafeteria dressing Tuesday night.  I had actually already boiled and deboned my chicken for my dressing this past weekend.  I love my dressing.  It's my mom's recipe and it just is Thanksgiving to me. 
The worst part was that I couldn't tell if this concrete slab of cafteria dressing was cooked or raw. 


Since my idea of an unchaotic Thanksgiving does not include babysitting a rock solid frozen turkey for 48 hours while it bathes in a cold water bath, nor does it include me feeling guilty for the rest of my life for thowing away a perfectly fine pan of dressing and hurting the father of my children's feelings. I put my big girl britches on, put the rock hard solid turkey in the freezer for another day, chipped away at the monument of dressing (which turned out to be raw) and called the nearest HoneyBaked Ham store.  Did you know that they will sell you a fully cooked turkey even on the day before Thanksgiving??

Guess what?  The day turned out just fine...even though no one ate much dressing.  In the middle of lunch my older daughters asked if I made the dressing.  When I told them no, they said, "We knew it!!"  "We like your dressing better, Mom!"
Yay, me!!

Over the last year our extended family has gone through and is still continuing to experience some pretty substantial changes.  My goal for Thanksgiving was to create a relaxing, uneventful environment where everyone could just rest their minds and have a little peace for a few hours.
I think we were able to accomplish that and more.
I'm thankful for Thanksgiving.


  1. Dear Patti,
    First off, the girls did a GREAT job decorating the house! and maybe it's better that there are no pictures of the butterfinger pie. I'm convinced that just reading about the ingredients made me gain 10 lbs. I can only imagine what looking at an actual picture of it would to me; probably add another 5 lbs. to my hips!

    Funny story about your head of household and the turkey! Men. So clueless about some things, I swear. This is why they need us. I'm also glad that the day was uneventful in the sense that you were able to rest your mind about some things. Sounds like a great day to me!

  2. Could the girls come and decorate my house for the holidays? They did a much better job than I ever could.

    Love that your college is closed for the entire week of Thanksgiving instead of a fall break. Wish that The Husband's college did the same thing. They were off Wed - Friday, so that's something.

    Also loved the story about the Head of Household and the turkey. :)

    Finally, I don't think I ever mentioned that your black cat in your header photo looks exactly like our Mrs. Douglas. Betty just looked over at my laptop and asked when I took that photo. :)

    Glad you had a relaxing Thanksgiving. Ours was too (and much needed for stressful reasons too).

  3. Wonderful decorations!

    Pardon me -- Butterfinger Pie?? Please, please email me that recipe or post it!! :)

  4. Are those American Girl Dolls I see on the piano?! Adorable! I'm 21 and I still put up holiday scenes with my dolls. They always make the house look really festive!

    It sounds like you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  5. Sounds like a wonderful time! We love thanksgiving, too, for some of those same hasn't been commercialized and it's actually relaxing!

  6. Your girls did a lovely job decorating for Thanksgiving. Fixing a dessert is a big deal for daughters. How wonderful she was complimented so highly for it by outside family members. I love you carefree attitude regarding Thanksgiving. It sure makes a difference in how the day goes, and your's sounded so inviting and relaxed.

  7. What a wonderful Thanksgiving you had. My Head of Household sounds very similar to yours when it comes to helpfulness, which of course makes us love them all the more. I'm glad you were able to have the Thanksgiving you wanted.