The things that will never make it in the baby books and other musings from a stay at home mom

Sunday, November 27, 2005

First word, 2 syllables, second word, 3 syllables... what's the symbol for holiday greeting?

When I think of my family -- the family I grew up in, not the one my children are growing up in now -- I always think first of Thanksgiving, the one day of the year that we have always, nearly without fail, been together. It's not exactly Norman Rockwellish, our family Thanksgiving. On the surface, we may look the part; a room full of rosy cheeked Americans gathered around a bountiful feast. But one only has to listen in on the revelry that follows the festive meal to catch a glimpse of our eccentricities.

We're not big football fans, so we've always filled the hours after Thanksgiving dinner with large group games -- Charades and the like. When asked to describe my family, I often use a Thanksgiving game story as a classic illustration. I was a college student at the time, home for the holiday, and my brother was still in high school. We had a particularly full house that year, so we'd teamed up into pairs to play Skattegories. The game was reasonably simple; a letter of the alphabet was selected and each team had to come up with a word that began with that letter for each of a series of categories. As usual, my brother and I, who had joined forces, were engaged in a fierce rivalry against my parents. And this time, we were sure we had won. The letter was D, and we proudly displayed our answers, among them "dildo" in the category of "something you hide." Everyone laughed and we congratulated ourselves on a truly original answer. And then my father read aloud my parents' answers, revealing first their answer to "a piece of sporting equipment." You guessed it -- "dildo." The secret to our rosy cheeks, it turns out, has far more to do with liquor and bawdy senses of humor than good clean American living.

I look forward to Thanksgiving all year long. It's a mini reunion every year; my brother and sister in law fly in every year for Thanksgiving, as does my father's sister. Though my parents live only an hour and a half away, I always end up finding an excuse to spend the night at their house after the Thanksgiving meal and a myriad of reasons to stick around and prolong the holiday well into the following day. There is something about hanging out in pajamas well into the day, helping ourselves to leftovers, talking about nothing in particular and lazily contemplating a 3rd cup of coffee that I just can't resist. As usual, this year did not disappoint. From the unbelievably yummy chocolate pecan pie to the Charades game capped off with a rousing interpretation of The Vagina Monologues, from the incessant teasing of family members to the sight of my children bonding with the aunt and uncle they rarely see, I was surrounded with reminders of all I have to be thankful for. And so I helped myself to that extra cup of coffee and that last bite of pie and I stuck around a little longer. With family, you can pick up where you left off regardless of how much time has passed between visits. With family, you can really be yourself. I can't think of a better reason to be thankful.


At 12:37 PM, Blogger Dana said...

Amen sister.

At 9:53 PM, Blogger Rosemary said...

I've been doing the Thanksgiving meal for the last 4 years, so I miss a lot of the lazing around. Still, I'm thankful for a holiday that lets you take molehills in relationships and sweep them under the carpet. It was nice to end the holiday on good terms with my sister. I'm not sure what happened last summer. We will probably never "resolve" it, but maybe swept away is as good as blown away.


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