000thanksgiving16I’m not sure where the year 2016 has gone. It’s seriously awe-inspiring to me. I remember growing up as a kid in the 80s, you know in the “Back to the Future” era, and thinking about how awesome the year 2000 was going to be and how far away it seemed at the time. Now….wow, we’re 16 years after that and some of the people I work with were barely born before that!

Yeah, I feel kind of old I guess, but as I look back on my life so far, I also feel tremendously blessed and thankful. Not only have I always had a roof over my head and food on the table, but I’ve been pretty healthy and for the most part able to go do anything I wanted at anytime. Those are all good things to remember at Thanksgiving for sure.

It’s more than that though. I’ve been blessed with wonderful family and friends. These folks have supported me every step of the way even when I’ve been a real pain in the butt to be around. (There have been plenty of those times by the way.)

So this morning I’m reflecting on my family’s Thanksgiving traditions over the years. There’s been a lot of food (of course), a lot of wine, and a lot of fun. My family is a transplant to Utah from Ohio. My mom’s parents moved here to work at Defense Depot Ogden after World War II, along with another family from Ohio that we’ve remained good friends with.

So we’ve always been a pretty close knit group. Over the years, particularly after my grandparents died, we’ve often had Thanksgiving at my aunt’s house and Christmas at my parent’s place. That’s changed over the years. My cousins had families and moved to the Salt Lake area, and my sister and her family moved to Washington DC. A few years ago my uncle Greg was diagnosed with lung cancer, and he’s pretty much home bound at this point. So we try to everything we can at my aunt’s house so he can be a part of it.

For as long as I remember, my mom has gotten up on Thanksgiving morning and made pies. Usually one pumpkin and one pecan. As a matter of fact she’s doing the same thing right now, just a few feet away from me as I sit and work on this blog at their kitchen table. I can already smell the pumpkin. Christmas music is playing. In a little bit I’ll probably watch some football and chill before it’s time to go to my aunt’s.

Once we get there, my mom and my aunt will go to work preparing cheesy cauliflower. I don’t know how to describe it really, it’s like cauliflower cooked in bits of cheese crackers, and to this day it’s pretty much the only way I’ll eat the stuff. It’s probably cutting days off of my life span as well. There will be wine and vegetables and dip and time to catch up with my cousins before we eat.

Oh yes, we eat. Full turkey and all the fixings. You name it, we usually have it. We generally serve it buffet style since there’s not room at the table. I’m actually not much of a turkey person. I’ll have the obligatory amount of white meat smothered in gravy, but I’ll pile the sides high, particularly stuffing and the cheesy cauliflower. I mean, it’s not thanksgiving unless you have to undo a button on your pants after dinner, right? Better yet, wear the stretchy pants!

After dinner, we generally slither like slugs into the TV room for the big family tradition. Watching Christmas Vacation with Chevy Chase. I don’t know how many times we’ve watched it over the years. Most of us have it memorized. The funny thing is that we still laugh like it’s the first time we’ve seen it. It’s kind of hard for me to envision Christmastime starting without watching it.

Generally I have to work early Friday morning, so I have to leave early, but not this year. I actually don’t have to work until tomorrow night, so I don’t have to run home and go right to bed. It should be fun.

So that’s a little look into what my family does for the holiday. Whatever you and yours are up to today, I pray that it will be fun, safe, and blessed. Try not to argue about politics too much!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!