Being super pregnant this year for Thanksgiving has it’s advantages. I can eat whatever I want, blame it on the baby, not stand on my feet for hours cooking, and watch the football game with little to no interruption due to my need to “rest”. My family normally heads up north to Maryland to spend Thanksgiving with my grandmother’s only living sibling and her children. It’s a one day trip, and very often we do not get home until 1 o’clock in the morning. I normally don’t mind, and I love seeing the family, but this year I do not have it in me to make the drive (or sit in the car). At 7 months pregnant, I just want to be comfortable and relax. And since I am a vegetarian, I really don’t want to celebrate a holiday of turkey. I’d rather spend the time celebrating what I am truly thankful for this year.
I want to focus on my family, cook food I enjoy, not spend hours in the kitchen on the traditional dishes, and maybe even start early on our holiday crafting. This year, I don’t want the stress of buying food, cooking food, buying gifts, buying foliage that will be dead in 30 days, redecorating the entire house or any of the million other things we usually do.
This year, I want to find the nothing. Find the times to sit still and be grateful for the peace of nothingness in that moment. This can be a very powerful tool. Our minds and our society can get us thinking that we should always be doing more, buying more, giving more. I plan to save some time for a calm and collected sense of the why in my actions and mindful non-action. I am going to say no to one holiday party this year. I will decline to cook one dish at each gathering. Reduce the gifts by one. This will result in a more intentional mindset for the parties I do attend, the gifts I do give, and the gatherings I do participate in. I will be there not because I thought I should be there, but because I wanted to be there.
My mother laid the plan on me for the trip up north and I responded,
“This year I am not going, we are going to stay home and relax here”. She stopped and looked at me and said “What will you cook?” I proudly stated “I don’t know. I think we will make a nacho and taco bar. Have a Mexican Food Thanksgiving”. She just walked away a little confused.
A few days later I found out that my father found out about my plans and decided that he wanted to attend my Thanksgiving rather than make the drive as well. My 5 year old will be with us, and my husband is working so Dad would have been home alone if I had not decided to stay home as well. My mom caved and now we will all be celebrating Thanksgiving in a very non- traditional way all because I decided to have Thanksgiving for one. Last weekend, I found out that another family that we are friends with will be joining us.
I am excited to celebrate and concentrate on what we are truly thankful for rather than just doing what we have done for years because it is what we thought we should do. If anyone is looking for a Mexican Taco & Nacho Bar for Thanksgiving, let me know and I will be happy to send you an invite! Happy Thanksgiving!