The BEST Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is one of those holidays that I basically just looked forward to because of the break from school. I prefer the ham at Christmas to the turkey at Thanksgiving, there aren’t any presents to open or buy and there aren’t a plethora of Thanksgiving decorations. This is the first year that I haven’t been in school during Thanksgiving and somehow it made me actually enjoy the holiday MORE. go figure.

It is so rare that things go exactly how you planned them, but this year, by some miracle they did (mostly). This year our turkey dinner was to be cooked by my little sister, Madeleine and I. The first one either of us had ever done. But besides, you know, wrestling with a raw bird, we had some of our own favorite traditions that we couldn’t miss. And we even added a few new ones.

Let me walk you through the BEST Thanksgiving:

{TUESDAY}

Madeleine and I got a late start on our grocery shopping and had to take Evelyn with us. But miraculously she fell asleep in the car on the way there, and STAYED ASLEEP THROUGH MOST OF THE SHOPPING. And get this, when she did wake up, she was content to just sit in her carseat. It was a Thanksgiving miracle. We found every last thing on our list and made it out of the store in about an hour.

That evening, with the help of our mom, we made a cooking schedule and planned out our music video to a T. Which brings us to…

{WEDNESDAY}

::a little background::

Last year was the first time I had been home for Thanksgiving in 6 years. One night Madeleine and I decided to have a girl’s night and make a music video. Turns out that making a music video was a lot more work and less fun than we were expecting. We sort of quit halfway through and the ending result, while kinda funny, is proof of our lack of follow through.

 It was an odd mashup of Walk Like an Egyptian and Wannabe.
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Somehow however, making a music video became a Thanksgiving tradition. Now, the video has absolutely NOTHING to do with Thanksgiving but alas…it’s now a tradition.

This year, after making a music video of my own back in February, I knew how we needed to plan out this one to make it go off without a hitch. It took us the whole day, but we did it. We filmed and I edited the whole thing by Wednesday evening. Granted, I left Madeleine making the rolls while I edited, but we were pleased with ourselves. Especially considering how we gave up last year!

Please enjoy a few screenshots. The video is a bit too embarrassing to reveal. Maybe if enough people want to see it, I’ll post it. Maybe. See if you can guess the four songs we used…

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{WEDNESDAY NIGHT}

Madeleine and I gagged our way through rinsing a turkey and getting it into a bucket of brine in preparation for tomorrow.

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 I somehow got it in my head that we needed to watch Thanksgiving movies to get in the spirit of the holiday. Let me tell you something, there is a reason why people don’t talk about how much they love Thanksgiving movies. There aren’t a plethora of good ones.

On Wednesday night we made it through Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. A few parts were kinda funny. The rest was pretty tortuous.

{THURSDAY:T-DAY}

We turned the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade on, ate some monkey bread for breakfast (after having to keep in the oven for about an hour) and went right into dinner preparations.

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We had a brief cooking break in the afternoon and put on our second Turkey day movie, Free Birds.

Man, if Planes, Trains and Automobiles was tortuous, I don’t have words to describe Free Birds. Go ahead and read the premise of the story and you might understand.

 During our dinner prep we watched Thanksgiving episodes of Gilmore Girls and How I Met Your Mother.
I don’t know how we pried ourselves off the couch to keep cooking. We were already so exhausted. But amazingly dinner was on the table in a timely manner and everything was cooked on time exactly how we’d planned it. How often does that happen?!

The best part is that we never made it out of our pajamas. Totally casual Thanksgiving dinner. It was perfect.

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Thursday night we watched the only good Thanksgiving movie we found, Tower Heist. And then a marathon of Brooklyn Nine Nine for no particular reason.

{FRIDAY}

We slept until Evelyn woke us up and then headed out for some Black Friday shopping. By the time we made it out all the crazies were gone so we got great deals and somewhat smaller crowds.

My big success was buying Evelyn her entire, adorable, winter wardrobe.

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When we got home, Evelyn was in bed and it was time for our second unusual Thanksgiving tradition, our gingerbread house contest!

Last year we just bought gingerbread houses and decorated them. This year, Christopher was convinced that we needed to use graham crackers and creativity to build our own houses. It was infinitely more difficult. But the results were way more fun.

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{SATURDAY}

We didn’t actually finish our houses until Saturday afternoon. Then we headed out to play some black light put-put golf at an arcade. Then Madeleine won the jackpot on jumping jackpot, and Evelyn/Christopher won the jackpot on one of those ‘drop a token in and see if you win’ type of games. I’ve never held so many tickets.

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I’ve had some fabulous Thanksgivings, but this one was my favorite. The only thing that would have made it better was if I was with the rest of my family.