I have the perfect Thanksgiving in my mind. It has lots of crystal and china. The table is perfectly set. Friends and family (mostly friends who have become family) sit around the table drinking from big globes of wine that sparkle in the candlelight as we laugh and eat pumpkin and apple and pecan pie as the candles flicker into the night.
The evening never ends.
There are no fistfights on the front lawn in front of the neighbors. No sulking children who have to be punished and told children should be seen and not heard and thoroughly humiliated in front of their aunts and uncles. No food fights. No burned turkeys with long forgotten giblet bags trapped inside.
Yep, that’s the Thanksgiving I’m having in my mind. The happy one.
It’s not like I remember ANY Thanksgiving from the time before my mother died because I have absolutely no memory of Thanksgiving at all. I associate gray skies, snow flurries, my grandparents making an appearance and the whole situation devolving into a drunken fist fest and, of course, football with Thanksgiving but I can’t remember any particular Thanksgiving Day at all…which I suppose is probably best.
I know I’ve tried hard to give Evan memories of Thankgiving. We would always get up, watch the Macy’s Parade and then cook the Thanksgiving dinner. Every year we had the same special dishes. Turkey, sausage stuffing, green bean casserole, sweet potato “hats” (scoops of sweet potato casserole on pineapple rings), and Evan’s favorite – sweet gherkins.
Then after dinner we would watch the Holly Hunter movie – Home for the Holidays.
This year I knew I had really done my job well. Evan has it all planned out. First thing we will do is watch the parade. We will have popcorn and cocoa (popcorn – really?). Then I will cook the feast (mom, did you get the pickles??? Yes, I did get the pickles Evan!)
And we will wind it all down taking our after dinner nap watching Home for the Holidays because I made sure that was the first thing I replaced when I could after we started to get settled again.
So even though it’s not the Thanksgiving in my mind…it IS the perfect Thanksgiving because it has all the traditions that I created so long ago that are just as sweet today as I see how important they are to Evan as they always were to me to make sure he had them.
That makes it the perfect Thanksgiving.