Saturday, November 24, 2012

Thanks, But No Thanks

Ever since Peter broke his arm in late September, life has felt crazy. Melanie’s hospitalization and subsequent daily trips to the hospital for antibiotic treatments took quite a toll on us, emotionally and otherwise. Although I took the kids out trick-or-treating on Halloween, we didn’t carve pumpkins until November 5th and we didn’t have our traditional Halloween dinner until last week! We’ve been playing catch up for the last couple of weeks, and it often doesn’t feel like playing at all.

Two days ago, it was Thanksgiving. While we didn’t treat it like an entirely normal Thursday, our celebrations were minimal. We watched the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV in the morning, which Melanie regards as traditional. The boys loved it and paid more attention to it than they ever have, and Melanie baked some fun pumpkin chocolate chip bread for us to enjoy as we watched. Once the parade was over, we spent a few hours pretty much doing our normal weekday routines. Then Melanie had the wonderful idea of putting up our Christmas tree. I’ve always been the kind of guy that wants to wait until at least December 1st to put up the tree, but I liked the idea of doing something holiday-oriented on Thanksgiving afternoon. We put up the tree, which overjoyed the boys and was especially fascinating for Creegan, whom I’m sure doesn’t remember anything about Christmas trees from last year. We then turned on How the Grinch Stole Christmas while Melanie made us a dinner of hash browns, eggs, and sausage. For all it’s worth, it was turkey sausage.

So, why didn’t we celebrate Thanksgiving in the usual way? Quite honestly, we just didn’t get around to it. We’d expected to grocery shop sometime earlier in the week, and other things just kept getting in the way. Doctor’s appointments for almost everybody, Eddie being sick with a fever, etc. On Wednesday afternoon, with timing running incredibly short, Melanie spent over two hours at her final appointment with the doctor overseeing her cellulitis. Most of those two hours were spent in the waiting room, Melanie’s 2:45pm appointment resulting in a near 5pm visit from the doctor. It was like that for her the last time around, too. It’s a joke. Anyway, by the time Melanie was getting home, I was starving and everybody was worn out. The thought of embarking on an extended grocery shopping trip, not to mention spending the next day working furiously to prepare an abundant feast, was too much to bear. We decided to postpone Thanksgiving dinner.

At the moment, we’re not entirely sure when we’ll celebrate Thanksgiving. We still plan to do so. We’ve had a menu planned and are relatively excited about it. But it was too much, too fast to try to celebrate Thanksgiving on its nationally recognized day. Whenever we celebrate Thanksgiving, it needs to be in a manner that is conducive to the joy that the holiday is meant to evince. It cannot be a rushed or high-stress thing. Unfortunately, with the end of the semester coming up, it won’t be easy to take a day off and celebrate it in the middle of the week, or even on a Friday. That pushes us back to at least December 1st, and that day already has other plans. So who knows when it’ll happen. But it will. And I’ll write about it when it does. In the meantime, head to Melanie’s blog and check out the fun pictures she’s already posted of the boys decorating the Christmas tree.


  1. You guys have been through a lot lately. We know that just everyday life can be crazy most of the time, so even little disturbances can really throw family life out of whack. I have always been impressed how you guys do a thanksgiving dinner for your little family. I think if we lived away from family we would start a new tradition for thanksgiving like homemade pizza or something.

  2. Ben, for what it is worth, I disagree that things we are playing catch up on don't feel like playing at all. We aren't doing these things to do them and check them off of our list. We are doing them when we feel like doing them, so they can be fun and not stressful. Because of getting cellulitis I learned life can give you stressful things. Those are times to be stressed. Day to day life shouldn't be stressful. Holidays and fun things shouldn't be stressful. I honestly think most people spend holidays like Thanksgiving being stressed. I am trying not to. Let's try not to.