As the holidays approach I'm thinking a lot about tradition. My family and I... well, let's just say we have many! For me, they're a big part of what make the holidays so special. Thanksgiving is next week, and for the past few years it has become a tradition for my mom, sister, aunt, cousin and I to exchange Christmas ornaments. I'm especially looking forward to this year's exchange because I have something special for them. I can't tell you what it is, because that would spoil the surprise! Rest assured, it's cool.
My sister and I always join my mom on Wednesday to make salads and pies. What's funny is that by the time Sarah and I get there, Mom, being the efficient and amazing cook she is, usually has most of them done already! There's homemade Chex mix to nibble on (or just pick out the macadamia nuts to eat) and holiday music in the air. I (almost) always get to make the salad, which for me is a necessity at dinner the next day: the 7-layer salad. (But with mayonaise, bacon and eggs, can it really be classified as a salad?) There's lots of giggling and hugging - and by 4:30 there will be cocktails. It's as much a part of Thanksgiving for me as the turkey.
Mom used to make this heinous oyster casserole that stunk to high heaven, but I think mine and my sister's teasing have prompted her to quit doing it. I feel kind of bad about this, since I think it was a tradition of her Mom's. (But seriously, Mom, don't bring it back. Gross.) Dad will carve the turkey with a buzz saw - er, electric knife. (What's wrong with a good ol' knife and fork?) Sarah and I will fight over which end of the wishbone is the winning one - short or long. And we'll all go on a walk before pie.
Mostly I'm just looking forward to the silliness and love and warmth that always surrounds my family - not just on the holiday but always. It makes going home so special - and this year even more so since we have little Miles to add to the mix of our craziness.
Can next week please get here faster?