Bryce and I had a quiet Thanksgiving -- dinner just the two of us on Thursday after a relaxing day, Bryce's duck breast with blueberry port sauce and potatoes gratin and asparagus, and completely delicious and tart lemon chess pie (gluten free of course). Friday we went up to my mom's and had drinks and appetizers in the garage with the door open to assuage our COVID fears, which was great except the real feel outside was TWENTY DEGREES. I appreciated the flexibility in the name of peace of mind even though we felt like we might lose some toes in the process.
On the way home, we saw something we haven't really seen before -- Thanksgiving decorations! There were multiple homes that had the Giant Bags of Ugliness (big blow up lawn ornaments, can you tell how I feel about them?) but instead of early Christmas stuff it was a TURKEY! A turkey in a pilgrim hat! I have conflicted feelings about the pilgrim hat, but I was like, "Yeah! Giving the turkey his due!"
This morning I talked with my best friend on my way in to work, and she was thinking on when was the latest she could get away with putting the Elf on a Shelf out. Her kids are 14, 13, and 10, but the 10 year old is still gung-ho about it. Now THAT is a holiday tradition with kids that I am glad we don't have to do (you move the little elf doll around each night, it's watching the kids and reporting to the North Pole, and if anyone touches it Krampus comes and devours the whole family or something like that). Some holiday traditions seem to have exploded in the way of gender reveal parties and promposals and "Will you be my bridesmaid" elaborate exploding boxes with confetti.
We haven't put our tree up yet, even though I wanted to on Sunday, but it will go up by the end of the week. Ahhhh, fake pre-lit tree, year two. It will be interesting to see how Eggi does with the tree since this is her first Christmas with us. I thought I'd be sad with the fake tree, but it is actually gloriously easy to put up and turn on and I don't have to worry about setting the house on fire by accident.
I think this next weekend will be our Christmas Decorating Extravaganzaaaa, and we'll get our Woodland Critter Countdown out for Wednesday. So far I've just changed out Pumpkin Bourbon candles for Balsam Cedar and Winter Clementine. We're a bit behind, but there's no pressure from tiny people to have stuff ready.
The holidays used to be a source of deep, deep sadness. Christmas is literally about a miracle baby, and families and family things are flung in the face willy nilly (oh how I hate "the magic of Christmas is all about children" and similar comments accompanying Christmas photo shoots on Facebook), and it used to be a horrid reminder of all we lost. But, I think about our new house and our new prelit tree and all the ways that we have made the holidays ours, enjoyable for what they are and not what they could have been but weren't. I don't think I would have believed 5-6 years ago that we could be in this space of acceptance and flourishing. It is good to remember how it felt that that sadness would never end, and now it's more of a hum I can only hear on occasion when a song or movie hits just right, and not our whole experience.
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