We are back from our Thanksgiving vacation and unpacked and the laundry is even under control. It was wonderful having everyone together for several days. It was also pretty darn blissful completely ignoring the computer for four days. Well, blissful that is until I finally did turn it back on only to have to slog through over 200 emails. But, I digress. As usual.
I'm always interested to know how other people celebrate holidays, so I thought I would share a bit of what our Thanksgiving is often like. We often travel to Fort Wayne, Indiana, where J.'s aunt and uncle live and we were joined by two of J.'s sisters and their families. We were a crowd of 25 for the holiday. We all departed on Wednesday, well, all of us that is except B. We did a little car trading before we left and 11 of us rode in the van and B. stuck around for another day and drove himself on Thursday morning. It's tough when you have a Wednesday night class that was not cancelled.
Thursday morning was spent as most Thanksgiving days are spent... alternating cooking with throwing logs on a huge bonfire. There is also a creek which runs through the property and at least two boys went in the water when there were various raft failures. Because of my lack of photographic equipment, the few pictures I have are from A., the only child to actually take a photograph. Here is G. in front of the bonfire.
Later in the afternoon, it was time to head back to the hotel to change for dinner. We went back a bit earlier so that children could swim in the pool first. Then it was into nice clothes for dinner. G. and L. had new dresses to wear for the occasion. This seemed like a grand idea a few weeks ago, and a really bad idea on Wednesday morning when I was sewing at 6 am putting in the sleeves right before we left. But I finished them. I asked A. to take some pictures and she ended up with this nice little series. G. is on the left and L. on the right. Notice the pre-dinner melt-down by G. while L. continues to stand nicely and cooperate. (They like to keep us on our toes by switching roles every so often.)
G. recovered and we ate dinner. On the menu? Turkey, of course, as well as stuffing, mashed potatoes, red curry sweet potatoes, creamed onions, roasted Brussels sprouts, cranberry-orange relish, and homemade rolls. For dessert... pie. Pumpkin, pecan, apple, and chocolate.
Following dinner, we always gather to watch the movie A Child's Christmas in Wales. If you haven't ever seen it, you should try to find it. It is a charming live version of Dylan Thomas' Christmas memoir of the same name. There is also a sometimes tradition of J. writing and telling a light ghost story, often involving John Howland who was the family's Mayflower descendant. (He was the one who fell off the boat.) Finally, we load up overly tired children and head back to the hotel.
We had a lovely time. It is the increasingly rare time when I have all my children together and I appreciate it all the more. Plus, cousins, aunts, uncles, and plenty of unstructured time to visit, and play games, and burn things up, equals a great holiday.
Now, it's back to reality and the need to create a giant to-do list in order to be ready for Christmas and international travel back-to-back.