My Thanksgiving story doesn't differ from most others; I can be out of the box any other day of the year. On holidays I like things to stay the same, traditions are important but while we've always gathered around a table on Thanksgiving Day where that table sits seems to always change.
Growing up my mom told us Thanksgiving was her holiday too and considering she was a stay-at-home mom raising 3 kids under the age of 6 my dad agreed. So, we went downtown to the Houston Thanksgiving Day parade complete with old blankets, do-nuts and hot cocoa (although it was usually 65 degrees out) it was chilly to us. Later, we got dressed up and headed to 'Luby's Cafeteria' for our Thanksgiving spread. We didn't have family living close by and no one would have to clean dishes so it just made sense. We did this routine for years until one year we were invited to a close friends house but I remember that didn't feel right so, the next year my mom decided to sacrifice her holiday and cook for us (her cooking is uh-mazing).
Then we attempted to do what the majority of other Americans do on Thanksgiving - spend it with family (ahhhhh!) Sorry, I couldn't resist. The 12 hour drive was well, miserable, and the meal didn't make up for it. Let me clarify my mom didn't cook that year - big mistake - instead we arrived to a turkey roll which in case you were wondering is not near as pretty as the golden bird you see on the cover of every other holiday cooking magazine. A turkey roll is more like lunch meat; as if that weren't bad enough the yams were without marshmallows and there was no green bean casserole. I thought my younger brother was going to walk out of the house right then but we all suffered quietly during the meal and the hours of family time that ensued after the meal. Don't get me wrong I don't dislike my extended family but again it just didn't feel right.
By the next year when my mom went back taking one for the team I was off in TV career land and couldn't come home for her fabulous meal. I've spent many years away during the holidays and my Thanksgiving tables included dinner at The Hyatt, Cracker Barrel, my desk (it’s just sad) and with my husband's family.
While all of these tables served a purpose and an important point in my life I am so thankful this year I was back to just feeling ‘right’; at home with just our little pod plus a few spouses around the once table that is most important to me any day of the year.