Over time, Thanksgiving has somehow morphed into a multi-day holiday. Since it’s always on a Thursday, it rolls right into a nice long weekend. And of course, Black Friday marks the official start to the Christmas season (another favorite time of year of mine!). I definitely tend to keep myself busy, making sure I can soak up every bit of holiday cheer that I can with as many people as I’m able to. I have a big family, and more years than not I’ve had multiple Thanksgiving dinners that week. It makes me feel especially grateful to have so many good friends and family to spend this holiday with. Being thankful is something I strive to do every day, and it feels even better when you’re gathered with people you love and sharing good times together.
I always celebrate at least one dinner with my parents and the southern half of my extended family. When I was little, we would go up to New England for Thanksgiving with the Keets (my Mom’s side). She has so many siblings that they decided years ago to split up the meals and celebrate Thursday with in-laws and Saturday with everyone else. We’re pretty good at maximizing our celebration time in my family, I wouldn’t have it any other way. We’ve been home for the most recent years, and more traditions have been added. I try to spend time with as many people as I can, including the families of the guys I’ve dated. This year will be the first I’m spending with Tyler’s family. I already feel so welcomed by his parents and I’m excited to spend a holiday with such a sweet and fun group of people.
I’m a little biased when it comes to the food, though. No matter where you go for Thanksgiving, your mom’s food is always the best. It’s what you’ve known for years and it’s a meal that brings so many good memories back. Menu planning is an art my mom has mastered, and she always starts early. I love chatting with her about what she’s planning, because something is always a little different year to year. Once we made oyster dressing (way delicious!), and she’s tried a lot of different potato recipes until I begged her to only make the Roasted Garlic IPA Mashed Potatos. There was the one year my mom wasn’t hosting so she didn’t make nearly as much food as she would have. My siblings and I were upset we’d miss out on some of our favorite dishes so she decided she’d just have another Thanksgiving the next day for us. My mom is a huge reason why I love holidays so much, she always does what she can to make it extra special for everyone. And she got an unexpected surprise this year; my brother and his wife unexpectedly came in town from California and are able to join us tomorrow. She was so happy and she said “I’m so excited all my babies will be home for Thanksgiving!” It’s things like that which make me feel so grateful for her constant love. It makes this holiday resonate a little more each year.
Tonight, though, is Thanksgiving Eve and for the past few years I’ve been spending it going out with friends. In recent years, it was always a fun excuse to get together because everyone was back in town for the holiday. We’d get the group back together and go out to the bars and catch up. It’s become known by more than just me as Dranksgiving, which is just the rowdy version of Friendsgiving. It’s another thing to be thankful for, staying in touch with good friends over time. After high school I can admit that I was pretty bad about it. But it’s a tradition that sticks around, and I look forward to this whole week because of it.
I’ve got a lot of celebrating ahead of me, and I’m heading to Nashville this weekend to visit a few more friends that I haven’t seen in a long time. Before I go, I wanted to make sure I took a minute to really spell out my gratitude. Putting thoughts into writing really helps solidify how I feel about them, so here it goes. I’m thankful for this outlet, and that I’m able to share the great blessings in my life with others. I’m thankful for my readers who inspire me to keep up with what I’m doing. I’m thankful for my job that lets me be as creative and ambitious as I’d like to be. And most of all, I’m thankful for all of the wonderful, caring and intriguing people in my life that give me so much happiness and love. I hope you all have a beautiful holiday!