It’s Thanksgiving eve, and we’ve already had one holiday celebration – at Axel’s school, all the kids sat down to a turkey and applesauce feast, together. Well, except for one boy, who only eats bacon for lunch. He brought his own personal pork supply to get him through the day.
Now, we’re preparing for our at-home meal.
In our house, Sean has become the Mastermind of the Feasts. In consultation with my mother and me, he comes up with holiday menus, and does most of the execution. My mother and I contribute a couple of dishes each, and I attempt to get the kids to create festive holiday decorations (which they resist creating, instead taking the chance to rip the paper off of the crayons or throw sequins in my hair). Sean’s two greatest food loves – meat and pie – are the centerpiece of the meal, and so it’s fitting that he be in charge of that. This year, we’re skipping a turkey and he’ll be making pork wrapped in bacon (too bad Axel’s bacon-loving classmate won’t be at our house), and an apple pie.
As you can see, we’re flexible when it comes to traditions. You’ve got to be when you’re married to a firefighter, who’s often at work on major holidays. We celebrate together whenever we can.
Our boys are going to grow up thinking that people eat Thanksgiving dinner several times in a row – once at a school wide feast, once at home, and at the fire station. Or, sometimes they skip Thanksgiving and go right on to Christmas.
They’re also going to grow up thinking that Santa Claus has a pretty flexible schedule, delivering gifts on the 24th, 25th, or the 26th, and sometimes even bringing a crop of presents just after Thanksgiving. That’s what we’re doing this year – my grandmother, and my brother and his wife and daughter, will be in town over the long weekend, and we’re taking the opportunity to shower the three little cousins with a few gifts. Since my brother’s in the Navy, and Sean’s also in a line of work that doesn’t shut down just because it’s December 25, we’ve got to seize the chance to celebrate as it comes. My father’s already decked the halls at his house, cranked up the Christmas music, and introduced Axel to the Grinch. Our own personal Black Friday came a week ago, which means that we get to avoid those frightening crowds wrestling over the newest video game system.
This year, I am thankful that our extended family will get to celebrate together. I am thankful we will have a delicious meal, and that we were able to help others and supply a few other families with food. I am thankful we have two wild and joyful boys who tackle me because, as Axel told Sean when he asked him to be gentle to his mama, “But I love Mama!”
And, like Axel’s classmate, I am thankful we’ll be eating bacon.