Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Turkey Day Dreams and Tryptophan Coma's
It's funny how traditions change over time.
When I was growing up, Thanksgiving was a big deal (and not in the way that it smelled of rich mahogany...). The entire family on both sides would convene on our house, tables laden with my grandmother's china, yellow goblets on the table, tablecloths and nice linens. Gathering around in the kitchen as my mother slaved over the food, ready to feed the masses.
Everyone would sit down around the table, then in the other room at the other table we had to put up to seat everyone, and of course the kids table (damn that kids table...) and we would say "Grace". No literally, someone would just shout "GRACE!" and we would dig in.
Our table dwindled to one and the kids table, year after year getting smaller and smaller. Finally getting that much needed promotion to join the adults.
That promotion was bittersweet. Sure you were now sitting with the big guns, but there were far fewer of them as the years went on. And just like the saying "...and then there were none".
Last year, I took back turkey. Forced my mother and brother to my house (well made her cook, and travel but still). I set an adorned table with cloth napkins and rings, matching place settings, the nines. We sat around a table my father had built and we yelled "GRACE!" and dug in. (ok so I literally nodded off pretty much during dinner at the table from exhaustion, but that's a whole other story...)
I tried to make a tradition, even if it was just 4 of us. And that has been thwarted. Too much of a pain in the ass to lug the fried turkey and pies from one house to another. So thus, this year we are back crammed into my mom's little kitchen, no more fancy plates and cloth napkins. Mission aborted.
And so it goes again, that tradition is overrun by ease.
Poor Thanksgiving, the red-headed step child of holidays lost after the splendor of Halloween, when they started (YES the day after) playing Christmas tunes incessantly on certain radio stations. My child's favorite TV station, interrupted every 5 minutes with a stream of toy commercials, leaving him stating "I want that!" after every one.
I mean sure, I jumped the shark last year by partaking in Christmas-themed goodness the day before Thanksgiving (a huge pet peeve) but it was one day before...
Enchanted Village, Polar Express 4D, a Christmas themed laser light show. It was amazing. Followed by a hope for continued tradition on Turkey day. Food, football and Miracle on 34th Street. That evening taking out all my holiday decor and then spending that much anticipated day off after turning my house into an Elfin paradise.
And so now, 2 days before, I sit and hope that tradition, even dysfunctional, finds its way back into my Thanksgiving. Hoping my Turkey Day dreams don't slip into their own tryptophan coma.