i've been thinking a lot about my feelings about thanksgiving these last few days. i see people's fb status' talking about being excited for the holidays, and looking forward to being with family and how they are already preparing food for tomorrow.
aside from the obvious reason i don't have a warm fuzzy about thanksgiving (given my relationship w/ my parents) i think there's more to it.
when i was growing up, going home for thanksgiving was always a big deal. since my dad was in the army and we moved every three years, going home meant going back to wv, to where both sets of grandparents lived, along w/ most all of my aunts and uncles and cousins. i don't think we went home every year, certainly not the years we were in germany, but when we did there was always excitement leading up until the day we left (probably a day like today). we always drove. from georgia or north carolina or pennsylvania.
both sets of grandparents lived in the same small town so we'd usually have two thanksgiving meals, lunch and dinner. i'm sure for my folks this was quite the juggling act. as i recall though, my dad's mom always scheduled her meal around when my other grandma was having hers because she had more people to coordinate.
the two dinners could not have been more different. my dad's mom set her formal dining table, table cloth, nice dishes, the works. sometimes it was just our family and my grandparents, but i'm sure there were times when my aunt and her family were there too (her husband was in the navy so they were in the same boat as us as far as being home for the holidays).
my mom's mom had a packed house. there were seven kids (my grandma's five and my grandpa's two sons) but i think my mom's siblings were the only ones that made it home on a regular basis for the holiday. so...the siblings and their spouses and of course all the grandkids. my grandparents had a small three bedroom house and had turned the garage into a huge bedroom that turned into a den/tv room when the kids started leaving home. i'm sure they did this renovation on their own because from the outside you couldn't tell it was a bedroom....the garage door was still there. they put up a panel wall on the inside, covering the garage door and carpeted the room, though i think it was indoor/outdoor carpet if memory serves correctly. strange room. during the holidays card tables were set up out there and that's where the kids ate. everyone else gathered around the small kitchen table or ate in the living room. it was chaos, but, it was always fun. at least that's how i remember it.
maybe that's why i'm not so excited about this holiday...there's nothing to look forward to.