Is it just me or does it seem that no one celebrates Thanksgiving anymore? As soon as Halloween is over (sometimes before), the stores already have Christmas decorations out, the radio stations are playing Christmas music, and everywhere you go, people are talking about what their plans are for Christmas.
Hello?! There's another holiday between Halloween and Christmas; it's called Thanksgiving! I LOVE Thanksgiving and it seems like nowadays it's just another day to some people, where you eat lots of food and watch football.
Personally, to me, I like Thanksgiving just a tad more than Christmas. Why, you ask? Because you get all of the family get-togethers/traditions and food, without the pressure or guilt of buying gifts. Every Thanksgiving morning, I get up at 6 a.m., and by 7 a.m. I'm awake and ready to get started on the cooking. The turkey goes in the oven and I begin boiling the eggs for deviled eggs. After I get the eggs finished, we usually watch part of the Thanksgiving Day parade. (I don't get to watch all of it because I'm back and forth to the kitchen.) Our kitchen is soon filled with smells of turkey and I get started on everything else. Every year, we have the turkey, mashed potatoes, corn, deviled eggs, green beans, rolls--and I make all of that. My mom makes the turkey dressing--it's her thing so I leave her to it. The last two years it was just Momma and myself, because my nephew was in Texas going to school and couldn't make it home. So, we had leftovers for over a week, ha! I, also, didn't make any dessert the last two years. No one in my family likes pumpkin pie, so I never make it. The dessert of the holiday is usually chosen by Samuel, my nephew. It's usually either banana pudding or lemon pie. Most of the time, he chooses lemon pie. Why? Because he knows he'll get most of it then, ha ha! Banana pudding is very popular around here, so it doesn't last long when I make it. On the other hand, I hate lemon pie and Momma likes it a little, but not much. He is home this year, so we'll have to wait and see what he chooses. I usually don't ask him till a few days before, so he can't keep changing his mind.
Getting Creative, Instead Of Broke...
Yes, I feel guilty when I can't gift someone something for Christmas. When anyone asks me what I want, my reply is always the same. Nothing - buy yourself something or spend it on something you need, like the electric bill.
When I used to have a full-time job, I'd buy oodles of presents for everyone, and then I'd be playing catch-up for 3 or 4 months on my bills or what-not. I don't do that anymore. One, because I can't afford it, but two it's not worth it. Yes, I love seeing my family and friends happy when I can buy them something, but I don't go overboard.
I have tried to get "creative" on making gifts. For instance, a couple of years ago, instead of buying gifts, I made my mom a collage. I put it in a 11x16 picture frame, and I had dug out a bunch of family pictures. I put a bigger photo of my dad and her together in the center, with a picture of her mom and dad right above that one. Then surrounding those 2 pictures, I added pictures of us three girls, and the two grandchildren. I didn't put just any pictures either... I put two pictures of each person. The first one was an older picture, where we were younger, maybe around Kindergarten or even younger, and then I added a high school Senior picture on the other side, sort of like a before and after. Of course, one of the grandkids I couldn't do that with, considering she's still in high school now. So I wound up putting the most recent picture I had of her as the "after". Why am I mentioning this? Because of all the gifts I've ever gotten Momma, this is the one she still has and takes care of. It's hanging above the entertainment center. So, my question is: WHY spend oodles of money on something that the person won't have in two months time when you can come up with something that'll fill them with joy and they can keep for a lifetime?
Cross-stitching is another option. I used to love cross-stitching, but I don't ever seem to have the time anymore. There have been a few times I've cross-stitched something and gave it to the person I made it for, for either Christmas, their birthday or just because. I know several "book lovers" so one year my thing was bookmarks. I cross-stitched several bookmarks but personalized each one, with their individual name and favorite colors, a few years ago. A few months back, I was visiting a friend and she said, "I want to show you something." She left the room and came back in holding the bookmark I had made her. She smiled and said, "I use it in my Bible. Every time I see it, it brings a smile to my face, remembering you took the time to make it for me."
What about you? What are your tried and true family Thanksgiving traditions?
What is something you could make for a loved one this year for Christmas and show off your creative side?