Lots of our friends travel several hours – or more – to be with family at the holidays. Overnight visits, early morning flights and cranky kids (or husbands) are par for the course. Other people I know host huge gatherings in their homes, cooking enormous turkeys that require brining or stuffing or something, cleaning every corner and decorating every surface.
Our holidays are a bit simpler, although still stressful. (Let’s be honest – what occasion that involves family isn’t?) Because we’re fortunate enough to live near both of our families while still living in a small (read: not big enough for a crowd) house, we get the pleasure of driving all over the metropolitan area for three days.
I think it’s safe to say that whether you travel or “stay home” like we do, this week is the beginning of a month-long marathon.
All [three] of our family dinners are potlucks. I really can’t imagine showing up at a family dinner without a casserole dish full of something, to be honest. This is how our families have always done it, and I like it that way. I’m not saying that nobody wants to eat a whole meal prepared by my dear grandma, but, well, we don’t. Besides, this gives me the chance to try out a few new recipes.
Here are my plans for the rest of the week:
- Wake up early enough to shower before Annalyn gets up.
- Fix – and eat – a real breakfast, so I’m not tempted to nibble all morning long!
- Enjoy watching the Macy’s parade without Mark’s usual [annoying] commentary (because he’ll either be still at work or asleep).
- Make baked beans (Mark style) and green bean casserole (Pioneer Woman style).
- Head west for Thanksgiving lunch at my cousin’s house.
- Let my parents feed Annalyn. Let my cousin think that Mark made the beans. (Shhh! Don’t tell!)
- Go home in time for a late nap – for everyone.
- Enjoy a quiet Thanksgiving evening at home and watch the Plaza lights come on…on TV.
- Try to convince Mark to rent Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.
- Get up early to do only the most necessary Black Friday shopping.
- Or not. I haven’t decided yet.
- Wave goodbye to Mark and Annalyn as they leave for a day at my father-in-law’s farm.
- Convince myself to make the most of my day “off” with productivity and not relaxation.
- Make broccoli and rice casserole, two pans of cheesy potatoes and creamy cheese grits with chilies.
- Vacuum and clean the bathroom. Decide that’s good enough.
- Relax in the little time “off” I have left, probably picking up a book off my fall reading list.
- Get the whole family – and the food – into the car. Head to my parents’ house.
- Enjoy family togetherness and (hopefully) little-to-no drama.
- Get up – and moving – super early to get the whole family dressed for photos.
- Make it to the portrait studio early – or, more realistically, on time. Endure photo torture.
- Drive to my aunt’s house to make candy with all the “girls” in the family.
- Join my family for lunch at our favorite Mexican restaurant.
- Go home and take nap. Or get ready for dinner. But I suspect the nap may win.
- Serve dinner to in-laws.
- Count minutes until Thanksgiving is officially over.
- Catch up on missed TV shows on Hulu with Mark.
What about you? What are your plans?