Friday, November 16, 2012

It's Tradition

Photo Credit:  Stephanie Karfelt
“So what do you want to do for Thanksgiving?” I ask my family. “Because I could really go for Thai food, and I’ve always wanted to see Bangkok. Delta is running a special.”  Once again they decline my latest holiday plan and opt to go the traditional route. That is why my kitchen is covered in a fine coating of powdered sugar, and my freezer is already filling up with baked goods that involve pumpkin and cranberries. Twice this week I’ve forwarded emails advertising gourmet Thanksgiving buffets at posh hotels, but they ignore me. I hate to cook, but they know I can do it. My Bohemian Gram and my MIL taught me everything you really need to know about cooking and baking. Make everything from scratch and use butter. So you see I can do traditional and old-fashioned, with a small dash of Glitter Globe style. Are you a traditionalist?  Or are you faking your way through the holidays too?
Photo Credit: Stephanie Karfelt
 
“Hon?  Where are the tents?”  I searched all morning, between chopping ten pounds of walnuts and working on a scene in my novel. It is my philosophy that overnight company needs their own space to hide in, especially kids. There are not enough bedrooms, so I use tents. String up some fairy lights, a pile of pillows, blankets, flashlight, and good books that I subtly tuck inside – then everyone has their own space. Indoor camping is hardly traditional, but it is fun. Have you ever left something out of place for so long that it became invisible?  Like a pile of tents by the back door, waiting to be put away?  For ten months?  “Never mind, Hon!  I found them!”
 
Photo Credit: Stephanie Karfelt
 
Food and shelter aren’t enough for a good old-fashioned Griswold Family Vacation. Entertainment must also be seen to. We opt for traditional games like, “Can you do this?” which is fun for all ages, and my MIL kicks butt at. Not only can the woman tie a cherry stem into a knot with her tongue, but she rocks at somersaulting. If you know the family personally, you did not hear this here, and if you don’t – no we do not drink. Hard to believe, but true.
Photo Credit: Stephanie Karfelt

Music, dancing, baking, crafts and storytelling are also part of our tradition. Sometimes we’ll toss something new into the mix for the kids. Last year we arranged a small plane ride for them. I’m almost surprised they’ve agreed to come back to my house this year. I guess nausea passes. It was sweet though, the way they clambered out of the plane and kissed the runway. It was sweeter the way everyone got along too. Family time, life just doesn’t get any better than that.
Photo Credit: Stephanie Karfelt
 
What are your Thanksgiving plans?  I hope you have the day off!  Are you doing the cooking?  (If not, how do you get out of it, email me explicit instructions.)  Are you a traditionalist or a non-conformist?  Is company coming or will you be the company?  And have you ever set up a tent in your house?  (As always, if you follow my blog and leave a comment you will be eligible for an Epic Slinky Dog!  Winners will be based on epic Thanksgiving tales, so give it your best shot.)
Photo Credit:  Stephanie Karfelt
 






 

7 comments:

  1. No Thanksgiving for us this year. We are just going to hang out and try to pretend it isn't a holiday. But I remember Thanksgiving as a kid, we would all congregate at someone's house. There were five adult brother's and sister in the family and all the grand kids would get together and play the games that seemed to be attached to whatever house we were at. For example, if we went to Baton Rouge, we would always play cowboys and indians. If we went to Batson, we would play school in the education space of the church my grandfather pastored. If they came to our house, we would play church in the sanctuary (my dad was also a pastor) or fish for crawdads and there was the one time we tried to fly by jumping off of the garage roof. That didn't end well. But everywhere we went, when the sun went down, we would all gather around a table with another piece of pie or cake and play Anything goes Monopoly. You could cheat, steal, lie, make under the table deals, extort...whatever it took to win. Every year the shenanigans got bigger and bigger. At the end of the game, everyone would confess to all the cheating and we would laugh, hoot and holler. Those were good times, right there. Mmm, yeah.

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  2. LaDonna - Those are the best games ever - the ones where you make your own rules! I want to play anything goes Monopoly. I'll bring all the money from my own game, and come right over (see, I catch on quick).

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  3. We play who-can-avoid-gravy-duty. I get to skip it now automatically because of an incident a few years ago that resulted in no gravy for Thanksgiving. The rest of the day is spent arguing over who gets the last black olive in the dish. My sisters or my uncle

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  4. *bump* Jill on that excellent gravy maneuver. "Oopsie, guess this is just beyond my pay grade." Though heaven forbid I run out of gravy. I make a gallon for the visiting giant alone.
    They argue over the black olive? Really? I think we might be related.

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  5. This is so fun. I don't have good memories of Thanksgiving growing up, but made a lot of the same memories you are here with your family. Tents, baking, yes, that powdered sugar all over... Thanks for the fun visit. Mine will be kind of depressing this year. So your post gave me a pick up! 8^)

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  6. Cindy - Sorry to hear you're having a depressing Thanksgiving! The holidays are so rough when things are bad. Wish I could have you swing by the chaos, and share some pumpkin roll with you. Private message me an address and I'll send you a Slinky Dog just to brighten your day, they're very good at that. And thanks for stopping by! Glad to have you!

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  7. LaDonna - You have the best tale between fishing for crawdads and Anything Goes Monopoly, so you win another Slinky Dog! Maybe you can use him to bargain next time you play. Either that or use him as a watch dog.

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If you can hear me, verbose on me. Or throw glitter. Wotever.