We've had a wonderful couple of days here celebrating Thanksgiving. On Thanksgiving, we tend to eat late. This gives us most of the day to relax, enjoy visiting with family whom we don't get to see very often, get the tables set, and not feel too rushed preparing food. At 4pm or so, people start changing into their dressier attire. I didn't get a chance to take a group picture of everyone this year, but we did get some photos of G. and L. in the new dresses my mom sent.
G., while L. was getting dressed.
G. on left, L. on right
G. on left and L. on right
No matter how well prepared we are, there always seems to be a frantic last half hour in the kitchen while everything is made ready to serve. Following dinner, everyone moves into another room to watch the movie, A Child's Christmas in Wales together. For us it seems to mark the end of Thanksgiving and ushers us into the Christmas season. It is often very late by this time, so as soon as the movie is done, tired children are trundled off to bed and the adults finish with any cleaning up that is left.
The day after a holiday is perhaps my favorite part. The work of the holiday is over, family is often still in town or on vacation, and we can enjoy being together without worrying about what needs to be done. The holiday, whether Thanksgiving or Christmas is wonderful, but having it past without the vacation really being over is so relaxing to me.
So what does a family do if intense shopping is not on the schedule?
Well, for us, we started the day with a leisurely pancake breakfast, then many children joined some cousins at the pool where they were staying. Some other people didn't swim, but spent the time reading books instead.
(M. with L. on left and G. on right)
After a nice, long swim, it was time to eat again. This time, leftover turkey and cranberry-orange relish sandwiches. (As far as I'm concerned, the best reason for cooking Thanksgiving dinner!)
Following lunch, another group of cousins and aunts and uncles went to the Museum of Science and Industry. Those of us staying home with napping little ones had a marathon game of Settlers of Catan (one of my very favorite games) while the spaghetti sauce simmered on the stove.
(B. and M.)
The day ended with more playing (there were 14 children here all total) and another big dinner together, though this time we used plates, glasses, and silverware which could go in the dishwasher. Much, much easier clean-up!
G. with her cousin playing on the front stairs.
Today, all the cousins and aunts and uncles head home again. I just need to remember in the middle of putting the house to rights, that Advent begins tomorrow. I must dig-up the Advent wreath, some candles, and choose a devotional to do this year. This time of year always feels as though someone has hit the fast forward button. The key to enjoying it is to remember that there is also a pause button which I can use.