Thanksgiving recap

Well, Thanksgiving is over for another year. In Sparks’ family it is the major holiday, and (as I’ve said before) everyone converges on the tiny no-longer-a-town that his mother grew up in, and spends three or four days eating, socializing, and making shopping expeditions. This year was Mimi’s first and she LOVED it. The people! The new toys! The new house to crawl around! I think she enjoyed Thanksgiving as much as she’ll enjoy Christmas.

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And now we are home. The early Thanksgiving has left a week before December starts, and I think I won’t do very much Christmas preparation at all in that week. I’ll call it a breather. I will plan. I will plot. But no decorations yet, and no baking. I changed our centerpiece to its winter incarnation, with silver-glittered false pinecones and acorns, and these wonderful silver berries. I think it’s very pretty.

I made a batch of Martha Stewart’s macaroni and cheese to take to Thanksgiving, and it was completely gobbled up just during Thanksgiving dinner. That recipe makes the best macaroni and cheese ever. I use two blocks of Cracker Barrel Vermont Sharp White Cheddar and a whole 16-oz shaker of grated parmesan & romano, half in the sauce and half sprinkled on top. I also made four pies this year, apple cherry peach and blueberry, and they were well-received. Thanksgiving dinner was BONKERS, with 37 attendees and about a dozen pies.

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When I was little and my mother baked pies, she would always bake bits of leftover crust with cinnamon and sugar on top. She called them “tarts”.

My aunt, I gather from her Facebook posts, has bought a nine foot tree. Wow, that’s really a lot of tree! I’m inspired to, maybe, possibly, just thinking about it, try to get a similarly big tree at the after-Christmas clearance sales. Our great room has a tall ceiling, and I would get rid of our two six foot trees if I had that. With a little one in the house, this year I’m feeling inspired to start a collection of ornaments that have sentimental value. I am making a few and I’ll share those with you eventually. We have six boxes of those vintage blown glass ornaments from Sparks’ mother, too. Imagine how magical to have a NINE FOOT!!! tree.

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In the “what if” part of my mind, I’ve been mulling over what it would be like to celebrate Christmas the old fashioned way, in twelve days, from December 25 through January 6. Decorations wouldn’t go up until Christmas Eve, and would come down as soon as Christmas was over. You’d have twelve days to leisurely visit with your family and friends. New Year’s would be included in there. Most school’s winter breaks don’t start until very soon before Christmas, anyway. Yes, I think it’s a tempting proposition, but with most of the country putting their decorations up in November I think Mimi would feel a little left out that way. Oh, well. Chalk it up with dreams about “simple” living and “slow food” and all those other nice ideas that just… don’t… work.

Have you been having any interesting thoughts about Christmas this year?

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4 thoughts on “Thanksgiving recap

  1. I hate how the radio stations stop playing xmas music on 12/26 and the tv channels stop showing xmas specials too. They don’t seem to mind starting them the day after Halloween so I don’t understand why they can’t give it a day or two more while everyone is still actually celebrating.

  2. I think in the UK many of us still do it the old fashioned way, waiting well into December, if not Christmas Eve, to decorate and it is often all down again by 2 January before people head back to work.

    A 9 foot tree sounds wonderful, and would certainly keep your breakable decorations well out of the way of your little one. I have a feeling my youngest, at one, might upend the tree this year.

  3. I personally like the Swedish version of Christmas, which starts on Sankta Luciasdag on December 13th and goes all the way to Tjuegondedag Knut on January 13th. 😉 Tjuegondedag Knut (actually, 20th day of Knut) was invented to stop people from continuing to party about Christmas long after the fact. You eat up all the rest of the Christmas goodies on that day, dance around the Christmas tree, take off the ornaments, and then throw it out into the snow.

    I’m going to try making lusikatter (saffron buns) for Sankta Luciasdag if I can manage to find saffron somewhere. We’re also getting another live tree like last year (we have hardwood floors, so I don’t mind the mess as much). Alas, we do not have 10 foot ceilings, so it took a lot of measuring and rejecting perfectly good, but way too tall trees at the tree farm last year. Hopefully we’ll do just as well this year.

    I’m also going to try and celebrate the solstice by turning out all the lights all day, no watching TV or going on the internet, and operating by candlelight. I say that every year, but this time I’m really going to try.

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