With October passing by all too quickly I find myself thinking ahead to one of my most favorite of holidays ... Thanksgiving! It really is a perfect holiday. It is all about family and togetherness and gratitude with very little stress. There is no frenzied gift shopping, wrapping, and giving. No one has numerous "Thanksgiving parties" to go to. Any decorations one may have for the holiday tend to be pretty low-key. It really is a day to just...be. And I love that!
Thanksgiving also brings one of my favorite, though admittedly goofy, traditions ...
the early morning, Thanksgiving Eve run to the grocery store.
I know right about now you are like, "huh? wha?"
I know I know. It sounds crazy, and maybe it is just a bit. Normally I loathe grocery shopping. It is seriously not a task I enjoy even a little bit. But on Thanksgiving Eve morning (and yes, we call it Thanksgiving Eve...) I can't wait to go. "We" would be my friend Elizabeth and me. This is our friend tradition that we share across the miles. You see, Elizabeth lives in Nevada and I am of course here in Massachusetts. So while I am making my early morning run to the store she is still in la-la land. Then by the time she goes I am home preparing goodies with the stuff I bought at the store! But part of our tradition is we always "meet up" at the private message board that we are part of and share pictures of ... well, our shopping carts!
~* My cart from 2008 *~
Yep! We are the crazy girls on opposite coasts in the grocery store at a wicked early hour snapping pics of our shopping cart!
~* The bags in my trunk, 2008 *~
And, uh, yeah, in the parking lot, too...
If you ask me what it is that suddenly makes me enjoy grocery shopping this one day of the year (well, actually two days because I kinda like doing the same thing early on Christmas Eve morning, too!) I don't know if I could really convey what it is. It is just a ... feeling. Like there is something in the air. Anticipation, maybe. The hustle and bustle that signals a beloved holiday is upon us. Maybe it is the knowing that what I buy that day will be made in to special, time honored recipes that have been passed through our family for generations, ready to nourish and comfort and please those I love. I don't know. I think it is a combination of all of these things. And every year I look forward to it. The fact that I have a good friend to share this with, even if it is across thousands of miles, is just a bonus!
The rest of the day is great, too. I have a whole routine that I pretty much repeat year after year. Since I go out so early, even if I have a few other errands to run, I am usually home by mid-morning. The first thing I will do is bake whatever dessert I am making for Thanksgiving Day (this year I think it is going to be a Pumpkin Spice Cake with Maple Frosting!). While that bakes, I will start any prep I can do the day before: prepare the stuffed mushrooms and get those in the fridge, peel and chop potatoes and get those in a pot of cold water and in to the fridge, slice cheese and pepperoni and get them in to ziplocs to be ready to be placed on the tray the next day, and get all the pots and pans and serving pieces ready that I will need.
My fall candles are burning. Sometimes I even build a fire in the fireplace! At some point in the day, I make myself a hot cup of tea and grab my journal and record what I am feeling. I will most likely blog as well (of course!). And at some point Bailey and I will probably take a short nap! It is just one of those days where I feel blissfully domestic!
When Kevin gets home (usually early...yay!!!) we have a nice easy dinner, either grilled cheese and soup or he picks up take-out on his way home. My sweet husband, even if he has worked all day, will still jump right in and help me with whatever still needs to get done! And that night we will snuggle on the couch (or in bed!) and watch Thanksgiving shows or a Thanksgiving themed-movie (a favorite is Planes, Trains, and Automobiles). We do try to get to bed early since we have a busy day the next day!
Does this all sound sappy? Yeah, it kinda does! I am a sap! I just love this time of year so much and it goes by so fast. I just like to make the most of every second.