Simple Sunday – Practice Thanksgiving 2013

There were twelve of us gathered around the table this year.  I took time throughout the meal to look, really look at the faces of my friends and family as they chatted and laughed and enjoyed the meal we all took a part in creating.

I was glad I did not let my mini meltdown just three short days prior get the best of me and cancel the thirteen year long tradition of Practice Thanksgiving.  You would not believe how hard it is to track down a fresh, not frozen turkey in the months of September and October.  I made the mistake of assuming the store that has come through for me the last several years, had turkeys.  They did not.  On Thursday night I called all the grocery stores in town – only frozen turkeys.  I did not want frozen and I feared that I would not have enough time to defrost one before Saturday.  Tears welled up, the frozen turkey conundrum on top of a huge school project due Monday was starting to become too much for me to handle.

Husband saved the day.  While I read the boys their bedtime stories that night, all the while trying not to think of frozen turkeys and multiple page long papers on math assessments, Husband got online, looked up stores in the next town over and started making phone calls.  I think it was on the fourth phone call that he found us a bird.  He reserved it and picked it up the following day.

And so on Saturday, we gathered.  We dined and enjoyed each others company.  Each party brought a dish to share, lightening my load and putting upon the table a colorful display of flavorful food.  Pre-dinner there were deviled eggs, crackers and cheeses, Chex mix, mixed nuts, and chocolate covered raisins.  The main course consisted of the turkey, of course, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, green bean casserole, cranberries, cauliflower au gratin, a pasta salad containing mini shrimp, fresh veggies from the garden, and a surprising dash of paprika.  There were homemade rolls, both plain and onion with a variety of jams to satisfy the sweet tooth.

We lounged with sparkling ciders and wine for a while before putting on jackets and heading out for a neighborhood stroll.  Upon our return we dined on homemade white pumpkin pie with whipped cream and homemade apple pie with vanilla ice cream.

The children alternated their play by location: outside in the forest making forts and being explorers, back in the boys’ bedroom building elaborate marble mazes, and in the T.V. room jumping up and down to destroy cities King-Kong style and swimming in hot lava as they played Kinect Party.

Then in twos and threes, they gathered up their belongings and said good-bye until just one couple remained, a long time friend of mine and her husband.  And by long time friends, I mean that they are really more like family.  Robin and I sat on the couch sipping wine and talking in that way one can do with a person you have known pretty much all your life.  In the other room we listen to our husbands play video games with Cody and Carter.

It was the perfect end to a perfect day.

This morning the dining room table is longer than usual and there are chairs crowded around it.  In the kitchen there are a few empty wine bottles on the counter and the fridge is full of leftovers waiting to be eaten.

All signs of another successful Practice Thanksgiving having come and gone.

About Shoes

I am an elementary school teacher, a former microbiologist, a mom to a herd of two boys, and a grilled cheese sandwich and beer connoisseur.
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15 Responses to Simple Sunday – Practice Thanksgiving 2013

  1. As I told you, I love this idea. Can you get inside my wife’s mind?
    Btw, did you see I mentioned you/this idea on my blog the other day?

    • shoes says:

      It truly has been one of my better ideas in life. I love Practice Thanksgiving! I always get that moment during the day when I look around at all my family and friends and I inwardly smile, knowing that I brought them all together. The amazing potluck meal is just an added bonus.

      And no, sadly I hardly even get a chance to read blogs these days. I am off to check it out right now though – thanks for the mention Larry!

  2. Ronit Fried says:

    I love this idea too. If I can actually get my nerve up, I might even be brave enough to try it one year. Thanks for the inspiration.

    • shoes says:

      The fact that it is a Practice Thanksgiving makes it easier to face. I have never actually hosted a real Thanksgiving but when that day comes I will be ready. I make it clear to everyone that it is casual and informal (in fact, some of my long time Practice Thanksgiving goers showed up this year with their cozy slipper to pop on for the day!). I hope you give it a try, we look forward to it every year. 🙂

      Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment!

  3. ksbeth says:

    sounds like a wonderful day and a wonderful idea )

  4. st sahm says:

    Practice thanksgiving!! What a great idea.

    Any chance you could describe your mini melt down? I’d like to see how mine compares…

    • shoes says:

      Nope, I shall not describe for you my mini melt down for surly it would tarnish the image you have of me in my frilly, clean, white, apron serving healthy homemade meals to my family every night, while getting A’s on every assignment I turn in for my Master’s program, and being a cape wearing crime fighter in the wee hours of the morning to burn off all the extra energy I have. 😉

  5. Hetterbell says:

    It must be so much fun for Carter and Cody to have two Thanksgivings in a year. 🙂

  6. your practice Thanksgiving sounds as good as my real Thanksgiving on Sunday

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