There are certainly things we look forward to each year at the holidays. People we can't wait to see along with a few we'd rather avoid. Foods and smells we've craved since childhood. Just like so many, our family holidays are filled with tradition - those ways we've always done it.
This year for the first time in our Thanksgiving histories we broke family tradition on both sides. On hubby's side the date, family, and foods were still the same but the avenue changed. Instead of a small town community building with little space and even less entertainment, we moved to a family farm. A family farm that happened to have a trampoline gymnasium on site.
It was better than Christmas morning for my kids' jaw drops and eye pops when they walked in and realized they could actually utilize the equipment. A real live six-foot deep foam pit! As a mom, having a place where my kids could run and jump and play and be noisy, and not get in trouble, was perfect. It filled their bellies and wore them out, and gave them great memories with their cousins.
On my family side, we just didn't go. No bah humbugs, I just voted to avoid three weekends in a row traveling. We decided to keep it low key and see what happened.
Thanksgiving Eve we spontaneously headed to a movie - at an actual movie theatre mind you. When we watch movies there's a couch and pause button involved, so an actual theatre for our kids (and us) is a BIG deal. We arrived to discover our movie was in 3D so we each (Mom, Dad, 10, 9, 4, 3) got to put on our awesome glasses. We headed in to pick our seats to discover we could have ANY seat we wanted as we were the only people there! I told the kids we rented the theatre as a special Thanksgiving treat (sweet babies believed me for three whole seconds.) Dad got treats and we all sat glued to our chairs (except for one little boy who shall remain nameless) for the duration of "Rise of the Guardians." Very good.
Thanksgiving Day we didn't travel or get dressed up. We stayed in comfy clothes, took the dog for a walk. We had an amazingly warm day, so we drew with chalk on the driveway and played outside. We played video games. We gave thanks.
On a whim stop to the grocery store I picked up a few "canned" items. Madeline and I prepared the quickest Thanksgiving dinner ever - no pressure, no timeline, no turkey. Green beans casserole with chex crunchies, homemade mashed potatoes, corn, cranberry slime from a can, deviled eggs, pumpkin pie (crustless), and turkey hot dogs. Yes, hot dogs. That was the slam dunk. The dogs earned this Thanksgiving the "Best Thanksgiving Ever!" title from my children - and Hubby. And me too. After dinner by candlelight we played charades, Ham/Ham/Turkey, and Freeze Dance as planned by our guitar-playing party coordinator, Madeline.
We all six agreed breaking tradition was one of the best things we've ever done! I think there may be more of it in our Christmas future. Although traditions are important for family bonds I have to say this year going against tradition is what led to creating one of our most memorable Thanksgivings ever and most likely some new traditions we'll be repeating next year.