“It wasn’t just about us and our festivities. It was about everyone else who is now missing someone at their table.”
My earliest memory of Thanksgiving isn’t of all of us sitting around a table, playing football outside or baking with my mom. It’s mini hotdogs.
Yup. That’s right. Little pigs in a blanket with ketchup and mustard. I’m not even sure if that is a normal Turkey Day delicacy, but for my family it sure is.
This has been my favorite holiday forever and ever and ever. We normally wake up and eat cinnamon buns, watch the parade, go on a hike and then go to our cousins for a big Turkey Day celebration. I’m that girl who shops for a new “Thanksgiving sweater” every year. I’m also that girl who scrapes the marshmallows off the sweet potato casserole, guilty as charged. I’m so sorry to anyone who gets in line behind me. Snooze you lose Uncle Stu!
For some people, the food is what makes this their favorite holiday. But honestly, it’s just another day in the life for me.
I eat stuffing all the time when I’m home because I am obsessed with the box mix. I eat roasted veggies almost every night for dinner when I am at school. I don’t like mashed potatoes or cornbread and my typical evening ends with a nice amount of dessert.
What makes the holiday so special to me is being with my family. I’ve said this before but I’ll say it again: if you know me, you know how important family is. There are some relatives that we really only see once or twice a year, this holiday being one of those times. It’s the time where I fill them in on how school is going, what my favorite classes are, how the boyfriend I don’t have is doing, etc.
So when my dad texted me a few weeks ago saying that Thanksgiving wasn’t happening, I had a moment. I sat on my bed in my towel dress and hair wrap (two amazing investments for any college gal to have) and shed a few tears. I got really worked up. No Thanksgiving? Just Mom, Dad and Alexis? But why can’t we all just get COVID tested before?
It was no use. It just wasn’t going to work. But after my five-minute breakdown and a few deep breaths later, I realized that it was okay. That was just the way it was going to have to be.
Did I have the CUTEST Thanksgiving sweater and boots all ready to go? Yes.
Was I worried about how the turkey would come out because my Aunt Kara normally cooks it and my mom is a pescatarian? Yes. (It ended up being fabulous.)
But, was this the responsible thing to do amidst the pandemic? Absolutely. It wasn’t just about us and our festivities. It was about everyone else who is now missing someone at their table.
While the day might’ve looked a lot different than normal, at least I could count on one thing: the mini hotdogs. Grandma delivered a tray to our cousins and us the day before. Don’t worry she had some for herself too.
Instead of sitting on my cousin’s couch after three rounds of dinner regretting that extra helping of stuffing, we were all wrapped up, like pigs in a blanket, in our living room all safe and sound by 4 pm because we ate at 3. Plus, I was already wearing sweatpants so I didn’t even have to change after dinner! It was perfect.
I hope everyone was able to celebrate in some way, shape or form. Whether it was Facetiming, Zooming or calling a loved one or eating a whole pie by yourself (you deserve it.) I’m so lucky that I was able to come home from school and spend the day – and the next two months – with my family and that is something that I appreciate and understand now more than ever.
Happy Holidays and stay safe. Like Governor Cuomo said, “Don’t be a turkey. Wear a mask!”