Sunday, November 1, 2015

It's Time To Start Thinking About...

It's November 1st. Time to start thinking about the holiday season. Not that we haven't already. It's come up in conversation. Thanksgiving is right around the corner. The next few weeks will fly by. Then, Christmas Eve. Christmas.

A few years ago, we opened our home to a gentleman who had no place to go for Thanksgiving or Christmas. George. At the time, Coco was our only child. The following year, we had my in-laws over the weekend before Thanksgiving. That was our day to celebrate. I'm fairly certain I made another turkey dinner on Thanksgiving day. I have no idea what we did on Christmas Eve and Christmas.

I'm getting old. Cut me some slack. 

Last year, we had 2 kids. Coco and Sophie. For the first time ever, we attended a Thanksgiving gathering. Friends who have become family. We had an incredible time. The food was scrumptious. Conversation flowed. Lots of laughs. Wine. More food.

We left later than we had anticipated. When we got home, and after the Welcome Home Doggie Dance and sniff down, Coco and Sophie looked at us as if to say, "When do we get our Thanksgiving dinner, Moms?" We stood there holding a bag of turkey. That's all we had taken home for leftovers.

The guilt weighed heavy. I was waiting for Coco and Sophie to present us with the 'Shittiest Dog Moms' award. After eating their late dinner of turkey, rice and steamed vegetables, they walked into the other room. Coco jumped on the living room chair. Sophie curled up in the doggy bed.

Our kids shunned us. They made it clear that us spending the holidays away from home, away from them, was unacceptable.

Oh, the guilt.

Two days later, I made a belated Thanksgiving dinner. Turkey. Stuffing. Mashed potatoes. Sweet potato casserole. Cranberry chutney. Pumpkin pie. Rolls. When dinner was ready I took out 4 plates. We all ate together. Coco and Sophie snuggled with us after dinner. Gave us juicy kisses. We had redeemed ourselves.

That's when we made them a promise. We would never spend the holidays elsewhere. 

Since then, our family has expanded. Lisa and I. Three kids. We're keeping our promise. Our plans are to stay home for Thanksgiving and Christmas. I'll be whipping up a huge dinner on both days. If people want to stop by to say hello, the door is opened with the understanding that our kids will not be confined to the bedroom. We will use gates, however, they bark. If that bothers any potential visitors, well, I don't know what to tell you.

Also, if you're all dressed up, you probably won't want to sit on our furniture. Our kids shed.

The same goes for Christmas Day. Food. Dessert. Wine. Christmas Eve is opened. We attended a gathering last year and had a blast. Hoping to do the same this year, but it's too early yet.

A few people have asked if we have plans for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Our answer is yes, we do. Next question, as you may have already guessed, is always, "What are you doing?" We're staying home. With our kids. Celebrating the season. The door is opened.

There's always a pause. An uncomfortable silence. As if staying home doesn't fall into the category of acceptable plans. It reminds me of when someone asks, what are you doing this weekend. Your answer is, "nothing." It's always assumed that nothing means your free. No. Nothing means nothing. It doesn't translate to, "I'm bored and need something to do."

We have plans for the holidays. We're staying put. With our kids. As a family. Celebrating. Those are our plans.

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