Themed Weekend: Ho-Ho-Holidays

Isn't it strange how holidays often end up being the most stressful time of year? We worry about what to wear and how to wear it, what to eat and how to cook it. We hustle and bustle and get to places late. We get a little snappier rather than happier.

{Oh, wait. Maybe that's just us.}

thanksgiving-craft-turkey-with-feathersTake Thanksgiving morning, for example. We were rushing around. I was attempting to make sweet potato casserole (for the first time in my life); Tim was attempting to get ready for his upcoming dirt biking trip to the dunes. Our 8-month-old decided she wanted to be part of the action and cried a most sorrowful cry if we put her down for even half a millisecond so one of us was incapacitated the whole morning.

Tim was a little upset because "we" had to make sweet potatoes, stating quite crossly that he wouldn't bring anything at all if it were up to him. I was upset because I was making the potatoes singlehandedly, plus I got a little bit defensive and pointed out that I *always* have to be the one to pack "THE BAG" for the our girls too. You know the one - with diapers, wipes, extra clothes, etc. Not exaggerating about that.

an-hour-late-for-thanksgivingFinally, after much pomp and circumstance, we got in the car in a huff and arrived at his parents an hour late for breakfast. Yes, an HOUR. Embarrassing.

It was our fault. We should've woken up early. We should've made the potatoes the night before. We should've planned ahead. we shoulda, shoulda, shoulda.

All of the grumpiness made us both wish we could just cancel the festivities, order a pizza, and stay home instead.

But then we arrived and everyone was gracious. My mother-in-law had made my favorite Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls. My father-in-law made me a mug of coffee with whipped cream and chocolate syrup. And my 3-year-old quite sweetly announced, "Sorry we're late!" without any prompting. And I realized that I have it good. Really, Really, Really Good.

old-hands-young-hands 3-years-old-thanksgiving-2009

Oh, and - for the record - the sweet potatoes were delicious. I couldn't help but notice that my non-sweet-potato-eating husband put a mound on his plate and gladly ate the whole thing.

YOUR TURN: How was your Thanksgiving? Were you snappy or happy?

***This weekend is entitled Ho-Ho-Holidays because it's all about prepping for Christmas. I am also happy to say that I am going to continue to play Santa this weekend - I have lots of fun giveaways and gift ideas to come.

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27 comments on “Themed Weekend: Ho-Ho-Holidays”

  1. Yes, I have packed the bag 100% of the time too. My husband wouldn't know what to put in it. Even when he takes off with just our toddler (like today) I pack the bag.

  2. I borrowed a crock pot and made sweet potatoes in it. My husband doesn't normally eat sweet potatoes but he loved my dish. I was traveling, so I was not cooking in my kitchen. Instead I was cooking in my mother-in-laws kitchen. She does not cook. So I bought all the spices (even salt). I should have bought a veggie peeler. I was trying to peel 7 large sweet potatoes with a dull knife. Not so fun. The dish was a hit and I have been assigend to make it again next year. I will be sure to pack my veggie peeler next time.

  3. Exactly the same thing happened to us. We were an hour late for Thanksgiving dinner. Our excuse was that we had to pack for 4 days at in-laws. Plus the baby started screaming whenever I bent down to put her on the floor, high chair, crib, etc... So one of us was holding her the whole time. How much can you get done that way? Plus the three year old needs to be taken care of ...

  4. I'd say I was happy. I had my whole family (extended) with me. My brothers and sister and dad came to my house for the first time ever. I had lots of hands to help, a busy kitchen and activity all around, the whole day. The only down side was it wasnt log enough. The weekend flew away and goodbyes came too soon. But Im thankful for the time I had to spend with my favorite people in the world. :)

  5. I always pack the bag too, if I forced my husband to do it he'd leave some necessity behind. I spent all day making pies and side dishes. When my SIL walked in the door with pies from Sam's club, I thought maybe I should have done that and enjoyed my day. But when we ate pie I was so glad I made mine.

  6. Every year my mother majorly freaks out about holidays. It drives all of us crazy. She finally mellowed this everyone's delight. But experiencing the freak outs every year of my life has made me a much more relaxed holidayer. And, since she's relaxed a bit too, our Thanksgiving was pretty much wonderful. Hopefully, we can keep this up.

  7. I can relate with you on so many things in this are so great and so normal (in a good way)...thankfully we have a gracious God and fabulous husbands (who just so happen to have fabulous wives :) Our Thanksgiving was mellow this year. Neither of our families are close so we spent it with some friends. All I had to do was bring a cake, so we were happy this year! Love the turkey you guys made!

  8. Can I just say that I think this was a great post. It was very real and relatable. I too am in charge of "The Bag" and that fact has annoyed me in the past. However, my husband was always annoyed when we were late for church and since I had to get me and our two girls ready I taught him to get "The Bag" ready.

    As for could have turned into quite the mess, but miraculously it didn't. We had a major kitchen crisis Wednesday night (unrelated to Thanksgiving) and were up dealing with that till about 2 AM. My husband was still dealing with it the next morning thus not helping with the kids and making it impossible for me to cook. We ended up heading to my in-laws with two crock pots of uncooked food and me with wet hair and no makeup. It all turned out alright though. We just ate my mother-in-laws food first and mine a little later for a late snack.

  9. I totally understand the bag issue. Happens a lot in my house. All in all, we had a nice day.

    Reading through the comments, Cyndi, I hope your little boy is okay.

  10. Our Thanksgiving was very happy! We were able to go visit my family in Indiana and hubs helped mom make mashed potatoes and yummy gravy. She was so thankful for that. Everyone has a great day! The trip was way too short.

  11. Our Thanksgiving was different this year to say the least. Our little boy got burned by scalding hot coffee in our hotel room first thing in the morning, so our entire day and overnight was spent in the children's hospital. He should be just fine over time and with lots of TLC, bandages, and ointment. We are so, so thankful that it wasn't worse than it was. He is burned badly, but only on his chest and left arm, both of which were shielded by two layers of clothes (thank God!). After the initial trauma and the iv's, cleaning, bandaging, and pain medication, he got settled in his room and was asking to walk around the hospital, being silly, and making friends with the nurses. We are so very thankful for his good spirits.
    We were there for two days, and I am struck by the sadness of other people's lives. We shared a room with a teary mom and her newborn baby who had heart defects. I rode an elevator with a mom whose 11-year-old daughter has bone cancer and a 20 percent survival rate. She was diagnosed in March. Her mom said, "One day she was normal, the next she has cancer." What do you say, except I'm so, so sorry. She told me, "It sure does make you appreciate what you do have."
    I don't know that I'll ever look at Thanksgiving the same. We would never have chosen to spend it in the hospital, but our family felt close cuddled together in that little room, taking care of our little one, and we feel closer now having gone through this experience together. And next time I'm sitting down to a big Thanksgiving dinner, I'll remember the mom riding the elevator to get her Thanksgiving meal at the hospital cafeteria, wanting nothing more than for her little girl to be well again and to see her grow into a young woman. We truly do have so very much to be thankful for. My little boy's burns are heartbreaking, but I can't help thinking that all the moms I ran into would probably gladly trade in their children's ailments for a few burns that should heal completely with care and time.

  12. I have to be honest. It was a little bit snappy for me. I had a lot of company and just didn't get as much help as I needed in the kitchen. I did get help (much props to my dad!), just not nearly enough, so it was stressful.

  13. We hosted, which ended up being GREAT! I was a bit nervous.. pregnant, with a teething 11 month old? And all that cooking?! But I was able to get most everything finished up the day before, my husband's sister brought a couple sides, and he did the turkey! It was probably one of the smoothest holidays I have had! AND, altho I did manage to overeat, I didn't go as overboard as I have in the past (last year, third trimester + thanksgiving and Christmas = not so great weight gain! :))

    I love how your oldest apologized for being late! So cute.

  14. It was a quiet event with family members! My 91 year old dad was recounting his WWII stories for all of us! The food was delightful and a good time was had by all. Happy Holidays.....Cindi

  15. ohhhh we've had the baby bag argument.....several times. i look forward to the day we won't be lugging it around anymore!
    this year, we too are staying local and have invited family to come to our home. so we'll see how that all goes. surely there will be some tension over who watches the kids and who gets the meal ready or who puts them to bed this night etc.
    its my (most family's realities).

  16. This was the first Thanksgiving that I can remember that I *didn't* get snappy. Due to extenuating circumstances, we stayed home and kept it very low key. Morning was slow and relaxed, cooking was slow and relaxes, dinner was slow and relaxed, clean up was slow and relaxed. Sensing a theme? I think it had to do with not having to meet *any* expectations, mine included.

    Happy holidays!

  17. I'm one of those people who is obsessed with being to places on time (I know, annoying habit). But, somehow my wife always wins out and we end up being late (she's Mexican and that's just how they roll down there :-) Sweet potatoes is one of my favorite dishes. To bad the hubby got grumpy about it, but I guess I understand since I've been in that spot before. Required to go someplace and also required to bring something. hmmmm. Well, glad it all turned out for you :-)

  18. Our day was a great one.... except for the fact that my husband was working and the house was destroyed at the end of the day it might qualify as my favorite Thanksgiving yet! We didn't have anywhere to be until early afternoon so the girlies and I stayed in our jammies and watched/ danced and sang our way through the first half of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. Then we took a break to make some "hand print turkey brown sugar cookies" to take with us to my grandmother's house. Great day!

  19. Our Thanksgiving holiday was very happy however we are the grandparents and the party came to us. We did all the cooking and there wasn't any pressure to get anywhere on time.
    I've had my share or snappy holidays when my kids were little and we had places to be. Sometimes it's much easier if the "party" goes to the house with the little ones than the little ones packing it up in the car to travel. This of course isn't always possible. I'll have to give your sweet potatoes a try.

  20. We always seem to start out a little on the off side when we are traveling. And this time was no exception. But, we did okay and really enjoyed the family once we got there.

    Glad you had a nice time!

  21. First we could afford to host family and see them both we hosting and I cooked for three days to make it a stressless day for us all. It was a great day, even though Monkey decided she wasn't going to sleep and got sick. Even though I said dinner would be around noon and it was around 2:30 I didn't get snippy so that is considered a success!

  22. We decided to avoid all family gatherings this year. We don't live near any family and both my husband and I have to work one day of the long weekend so we had a good "excuse." We had the most LAZY thanksgiving. We made pumpkin waffles and bacon in our jammies and watched the parade. We went for a drizzly afternoon walk. We made a small turkey dinner for all 2 1/2 of us. We wore comfy clothes and ate on a lovely Thanksgiving tablecloth that I took right out of the package and didn't iron. It was great. It was easy. We skipped all the little details you can't allow yourself to get away with when you have company. We did miss our families good cooking but hey, Christmas is right around the corner. Oh wait. We are hosting Christmas.

  23. Glad to know I am not the only one who tires of being solely responsible for packing "the bag." It can be just a little too much this time of the year. Glad you all enjoyed your day despite the rough start. Thanks for sharing it ;)

  24. I can't help but laugh a little when reading this because I felt the same way. Rushed, stressed and panicked that I was hosting Thanksgiving,cooking a Turkey and sides, cleaning house, etc. My poor husband and kids had to put up with me during the day.

    Thanks to God, I was able to realize what I was doing, I apologized, had a wonderful time, then when everything was done, guests had left, I knew everything had gone perfectly.

  25. Happy. My hubby had to work, I was just thankful he was able to pick up my brother and eat dinner with us. Although in years past it hasn't always been that way. But this year I really didn't want it to end.

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