Usually I tend to develop some major anxiety and irritability (read: flip the f*ck out) if my husband and I don’t partake in at least one traditional Thanksgiving activity. I don’t know why but I just have this thing about formally acknowledging a holiday, which used to pose a problem because my better half isn’t big on celebrating. When we first started dating, he once called me on Thanksgiving from a Jack in the Box drive-thru. In my opinion, consuming fast food on a holiday is a complete travesty, but he saw nothing wrong with it.
Fortunately, since then we’ve created a few of our own traditions, but what I most look forward to is him frying a turkey the evening before Thanksgiving. The entire house smells like Cajun spices and it helps to get me in the holiday spirit.
This year’s Thanksgiving was really non-traditional, at least compared to the stereotypical holiday gatherings of tons of rowdy friends and family, excessive amounts of food and cool, gloomy weather. Who knows what kept my meltdown at bay—perhaps it was the aroma of fried turkey or the near-70 degree sunny weather.
Either way, here’s what made my Thanksgiving surprisingly non-traditional:
I only ate one plate of food: Yes, you read that right—my actual Thanksgiving appetite didn’t quite measure up to the insatiable appetite of my dreams. The food was good, but it was one of those situations where I drank soda and the subsequent bloating didn’t leave much room for seconds. Plus, I left my sister’s house before I grew hungry again.
There was no family drama: While lurking on social media, I noticed that some people were posting about huge family revelations, being grilled about their life choices and the usual chatter that comes along with holiday meals with the family. On the other end of the spectrum, I had Thanksgiving dinner at my sister’s house and the guests included myself, my husband and one cousin. With such a small crowd , the drama was pretty much non-existent (We expected our cousin to make a huge announcement but that didn’t happen.) The only actual drama came via text from my mom who traveled to our hometown in Louisiana and reported some unfortunate family news, but thankfully I wasn’t there to get caught up in the fallout. As I’ve written before, all family isn’t good family.
We didn’t do much house-hopping: Being from a small town where a ton of relatives live within a few miles of one another, house-hopping to visit everyone (and eat their cooking) is a tradition I particularly enjoy on Thanksgiving and other holidays. But this year, after I left my sister’s I made a quick stop by my mom’s house to drop off a plate to my dad, who skipped the trip back to our hometown. My mother-in-law should’ve been on our list of stops but had a last-minute change of plans and was already in bed by the time we left to visit her house.
No “Who is this?” text messages: You know…those responses that come when someone inevitably replies to a mass text. Surprisingly, I didn’t receive any of those this year and I didn’t miss them either.
Also, I only had one single brownie for dessert, didn’t get drunk (shame, isn’t it?) and didn’t bother perusing the newspaper ads or the Internet in search of irresistible Black Friday deals, thanks to the disheartening events going on in Ferguson, Missouri.
Despite the non-traditional day, I’m relieved to say that I still managed to have a great holiday. Maybe my priorities have shifted. After all, there’s no hard and fast rule that deems a holiday unsuccessful if it doesn’t involve a big fuss. In the end, I’m just grateful for having a day that was filled with love, peace and simplicity.
Did anyone else have a non-traditional Thanksgiving? If so, how did you feel about it?