Today, we’re teaming up with some of our favorite bloggers for the We Gather Together Thanksgiving Blog Hop! As always, a big thank you to the sweet and creative Amber of Follow the Yellow Brick Home for hosting this hop.
If you’re coming over from Katie of Let’s Add Sprinkles welcome, we’re glad you’re here.
The Phone Call That Started It All…
A few weeks ago, my Mom totally blew our minds when she called to say she wanted to spend Thanksgiving at home this year. To say my sisters and I were all gobsmacked is an understatement.
My Dad was in the military for most of our lives which meant we moved around a lot.
Every single holiday, no matter where we were living in the US, we’d make the trek back to our hometown to spend time with our big farm family.
It was a non-negotiable.
When we celebrated Thanksgiving, we didn’t just celebrate on Thursday. We celebrated the entire weekend with activities planned for four full days.
It’s never been uncommon for us to have Thanksgiving with at least 100 people.
A New Thanksgiving Plan…
So, when my Mom came to us with a new plan this year, we really didn’t know what to say.
We listened intently as she recounted what our holidays have been like for the past four decades.
For starters, they’ve been an absolute blessing. No question. A blessing none of us takes lightly.
But they have also been filled with constant travel, having to pack all the suitcases, tackle the laundry, get the cars gassed up and serviced, organize places for everyone to stay, coordinate 12 different meals with family members, manage expectations and rush from one place to the next to make sure no one felt left out or had hurt feelings for four days straight.
Even now, it takes my breath away thinking we’ve done this for over forty years.
By the time my Mom finished detailing our holiday, she was all kinds of teary on the phone.
Honestly, we were too.
I’m beyond embarrassed to say while I’ve always known our holidays could be considered “magical chaos” to people who don’t have big families, I had no idea they had become totally consuming.
A Fresh Start…
So, this year, we’ve pledged to support our Mom in her decision to simplify our Thanksgiving. Our family has always been extremely close, so we know it wasn’t an easy decision for her to make.
Truthfully, I’m sharing this because I know there is someone reading this right now that is probably already stressed out about what’s to come.
But I want you to have the courage to ask for what you need this holiday season. Even if it goes against a family tradition that is decades old.
I’ve been spending a lot of time at my parent’s primary home, Bliss Barracks where we’ll be gathered for Thanksgiving, helping with everything from creating gift tag ornaments, to working on a blue and white guest bedroom refresh.
Thankfully, it’s given us a lot of time to decide how we want to make Thanksgiving memories this year. We came up with a Thanksgiving bucket list of sorts to give us all something to look forward to.
The things that are on the list are things a lot of you have probably done a million times. But these are things we’ve never been able to experience because we’ve always been on the road or traveling from one place to the next.
Here’s a look at what we came up with…
- Be fully present at Thanksgiving
- Create a blessings tree
- Watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade (we’ve only seen 10 minutes max)
- Make a turkey (my Mom’s first!)
- Try a new pie recipe
- Ride bikes around the neighborhood
- Wear matching pajamas
- Movie night in Popi’s Cave (My Dad has a big viewing room that connects his office with a popcorn machine, mini fridge and snacks. We have no idea why the littles call it a cave though ?)
- Make smores and have a bonfire
- Host a cookie bake off
- Have a silly string fight
- Slay at Christmas karaoke
- Play Apples to Apples or Bananagrams
- Attend the light festival
- Ride the Santa train
My Mom has already made it pretty clear we won’t be celebrating Thanksgiving at home every year. I think she just wants to see how it goes.
Still, we’re proud of her for speaking up.
We’re also delighted to find a fresh way to celebrate a day that’s so important to us. And for the first time in over 40 years, to gather around our family’s table at Bliss Barracks and make new memories.
Be sure to stop by Janet’s blog Rosemary and Thyme next and don’t forget to check out the rest of these fabulous ladies on the We Gather Together Thanksgiving Blog Hop. Until next time, I’ll see you on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.