A Sarine Thought… or Two
Thanksgiving, Traditions, and the Like
NOVEMBER. A thirty-day month full of gratitude, joy and, for some, appropriately timed Christmas shopping. For me and my family, this month marks the beginning of a fairly complete transition to cooler weather, celebrating a wedding anniversary with my stud of a husband, continuing to watch PG and A&M football, being able to wear my UGGS in public with less self-awareness and my favorite American celebration: THANKSGIVING!
Thanksgiving has become our favorite holiday spent with the whole family, and we are all refreshed once it is over. In light of what we have experienced, I would like to share with y’all the keys that my family and I have found to bring about a successful Thanksgiving holiday.
Wear your tightest jeans to the Thanksgiving feast... skinny if you got ‘em.
I used to wear stretchy pants to this event but have recently stopped. My working theory had been that if I felt comfortable while eating, I was winning. However, after much research, the uncomfortable feeling that no longer existed during the Thanksgiving bounty would rear its ugly head the entire week (month) afterwards when wearing pants with buttons and zippers. I also felt significant knocks to my pride when just a few short weeks later the clothes I had asked for on my Christmas list were now incapable of being buttoned across my newly begotten food baby. Ugh! With these things in mind, for your own happiness, be sure to wear your button-up pants to Thanksgiving to lessen your future discomfort and shame. Or if you value eating comfortably above self-image, you can go up a clothing size on your Christmas wish list, or just ask for shoes.
2. Enjoy keeping, discarding and creating traditions together.
Thanksgiving is full of traditions for us. Some, we have continued since combining our families at First Baptist Church, Sulphur Springs on the evening of November 1, 2003. Some we practiced for a season but have since been left by the wayside. Some we need to add to the list of “Things We Will Definitely Do (Maybe).”
One of our longest-held traditions is to have Thanksgiving lunch with my extended family on Thanksgiving Day and then have second Thanksgiving lunch on Friday with Ross’ family. There are a couple of positives to this tradition. First, we get to spend equal amounts of time with each family. For those reading this who don’t have children, the concept of “Shared Time Equity” may be foreign to you. For those who are reading and do have children, I know you are totally feeling me on this one.
Another perk to this practice is that we also get to have four Thanksgiving meals. You read that right. Four! This is because we like to keep the southern tradition of “making yourself a plate” to lessen the burden on the hostess of the distribution of leftovers. Since we have two different lunches, we make two different plates.
A tradition that we have discarded as of late has been the running of the Turkey Trot. We have run several, which is enough for me to have a complete wardrobe of multi-colored long-sleeved Turkey Trot t-shirts. We have run 10K’s and 5K’s galore. We ran for both a cause and the ability to feel less guilt about the calories soon to be consumed. They were thrilling endeavors but running also meant getting up early on a holiday and then returning to shower after the ENTIRE family had already done so. The hot water was as meager as my 9-minute mile running pace earlier that morning. So last year we slept in (not much though, because I wanted a completely hot shower). It was so nice. A slower pace to start the day wasn’t half bad. I’m not saying we will never “trot” again, but we are ok not doing it for now.
And then there are those traditions that need to be, or have recently, started. I realize this on a more personal level as our son, Jack, is getting older. While Ross and I are still carrying on the traditions of our childhoods, and we don’t really want to give those up because we really love sharing them with Jack, we have no new ones started for him. We have made some efforts to eradicate the situation of only old traditions. For instance, we have started trying to have a short vacation at the beginning of the Thanksgiving school holiday (P.S. Shout out to whichever school dignitary elected to change the school calendar from a two-day holiday at Thanksgiving to a whole week. Mad props to you!). This has proven to be a really sweet time to make memories for our family of three before we descend upon all the grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.
3. Whatever you do, always, always, always find something to laugh about.
There is nothing more therapeutic than a hearty laugh with people you love. Those moments when the cousins remember that crazy time you pranked the grown-ups at Christmas. Or everyone goofs on the person who claimed to make a pie from scratch for this year’s meal but is exposed at the hand of a Walmart price tag on the bottom of the pie plate. These times are the best. They’re the ones we always like to recall. Even if your holiday looks different this year because of unforeseen circumstances, or if you are having a rough go of it, try to find something to laugh about with those who know you the best.
4. BE THANKFUL.
Now, I understand that Thanksgiving 2020 is giving us all a run for our money in the gratitude distribution department, but there is always something to be thankful for. The Lord has blessed me beyond measure with salvation, a loving family, sustained health, fabulous ride-or-die friends, a thriving church family, etc… I could fill an encyclopedia with my blessings, but even if you can only think of one thing to be thankful for, be thankful for that one thing. More than likely, once you say thanks for that one, you will find that ten more things will pop into your mind and fill your heart with gratitude.
Take or leave these little tidbits as you will. They work for me and I can’t wait to put them into practice on the 26th! Happy Thanksgiving!