I gotta say. I was a little nervous heading into Thanksgiving this year.
I don’t talk about it a lot, but my parents separated and divorced the year after I got married. People always talk about how divorce affects young kids, but no one ever asks how it affects adult children of divorce.
It’s tough. Especially at the holidays when you feel pulled in 20 different directions and all you really want to do is put your foot down and refuse to stretch your time to include everyone because it’s just too stressful. And for the most part, we do that. Most of the holidays we spend with my mom, because that’s really who I want to be with.
She’s “home” to me (whether she believes that or not).
Sometimes Thanksgiving falls on Yogi Dad’s birthday (which is awesome!) and sometimes, it falls on my parents wedding anniversary. Which is the opposite of awesome. This was one of those years.
We usually head to my Mom’s, but this year, in an effort to make things as light and fun as possible, we hijacked the hosting duties and invited everyone over to our teeny tiny house.
To top it off and make it extra awesome, we threw out the turkey and put out a Snacksgiving spread.
Snacksgiving is Yogi Dad’s very favorite type of Thanksgiving. Born one year when it was just 5 of us home for the holiday. Who wants to cook a giant turkey and all the side dishes for just 5 people, two of them under the age of 1? (Well, my mom would, but that’s just her.).
Snacksgiving consists of huge spread of appetizers, hot and cold, not fussy and all AWESOME.
This year we had:
Hot Crab Dip
Buffalo Chicken Dip
Hot Italian Dip
Italian Egg Rolls
Spicy Pineapple Turkey Meatballs
Neiman Marcus Dip
Black Raspberry Jalapeno Jelly over Cream Cheese
a Cheese Platter
Chips, Crackers and Grilled Buttered Bread for dipping
And, because my Mom thinks there should be something “substantial” (because who can survive on appetizers alone? (Um…THIS GIRL!))
Turkey sliders with four different topping options.
And of course, pie:
Apple (with caramel sauce, hard sauce or whipped cream)
(See, not fussy at all. Kickin’ it old school here.)
I also stocked up on beer I like because I was preparing myself for an emotionally difficult day and sometimes a nice beer or three really takes the edge off.
But, it was actually a pretty awesome day.
Judah camped out at the jar of pickled herring for awhile (viking baby FTW!), Sam tried to get the boys to try smoked oysters (This made me think of holiday’s at my Grandpa Howe’s. There was always a can of smoked oysters and while I can eat my weight in herring, you can’t get me to touch smoked oysters.) and Kailey kept the boys entertained. They LOVE Kailey!
And, when it was all said and done, I didn’t have a single sip of anything other than carbonated water until my guests had left and every one of my dishes was washed. It was a completely pleasant, low key, stress-free day.
I didn’t see that coming.
Because of the boys penchant for clearing all surfaces, all of the food was crammed onto our kitchen counter top which left the dining room table for crafts. The kids made tukeys out of construction paper and colored their own Star Tribune Turkey (A Minnesota tradition!).
After that was put away we started a new tradition.
The Table Cloth of Thanks! (Or something like that. I haven’t worked out the official name for this yet.*)
What you need:
1 Table Cloth, light in color works best (I got mine for like $10 at Target)
People who have things to be Thankful for
Put the table cloth on the table. Tell everyone to write what they are thankful for right on the table cloth! Pass the table cloth on to the next person who hosts Thanksgiving and see all of the things people are thankful for over the years grow.
It’s kind of fantastic. And easy. And super fun.
I traced the boys hands this year (Judah’s hands are bigger than his brothers. How is this even possible?) and they did get to scribbling a bit, which is just fine with me- they are kids and part of the family and this is a family thing. (If you aren’t down with errant marks all over your table cloth I would suggest not leaving the markers within reach of your kids.)
My favorite contribution to the table cloth might be Wyatt’s. We traced his hand and when I asked what he was thankful for, he started to spell out words. This will forever in my mind be the Thanksgiving of “Wolf Train”.
The most profound thing to be thankful for goes to Sam:
Because really, who isn’t thankful for Hot Crab Dip?
After everyone was tucked into bed for the night. I finally poured myself a glass of wine and settled into bed with CNN and a box of crayons and the very last turkey to color. I might be 34 years old, but I will never be too old to color the Thanksgiving Turkey in the Variety section!
I hope everyone had a happy and thanks-filled Thanksgiving day! Enjoy your weekend and happy shopping to all of the holiday deal seekers out there!
*I’m taking suggestions though!