Happy Day Before Thanksgiving!

I hope this finds everyone well! This is the beginning of the long slide into the holiday season and I want to take a minute to thank each and everyone of you for reading our blog and being part of our family here at Wildflower Junction. 

This is will a different Thanksgiving for me. When my daughter was a freshman in college, her boyfriend’s family invited our family to dinner. It meant a drive and an overnight stay in Reno and breaking our own holiday traditions, which was me cooking a huge dinner for the family. Long story short, we said yes to the invitation and it was the beginning of a very good thing. I discovered that bringing a pie instead of cooking the entire meal was an amazingly freeing experience. We discovered that we liked spending Thanksgiving in a hotel and shopping Black Friday the next day in a city–something we’d never done before.

My mother, who at the time lived too far away to travel to our family Thanksgivings (and vice versa), was horrified. Not cook dinner? Eat it out? Break tradition?

Yes, Mom. It’s amazing!!!!

Thus started our tradition for the past fifteen years. Eventually Reno became San Francisco, and we saved all year for our stay in the big hotel in the city. We had dinner out. Our daughter-in-law joined the tradition, first as a girlfriend, then as a fiancee, and finally as our official daughter-in-law. 

But this year is different. My daughter got married three days ago and is off on her honeymoon, so Thanksgiving as a family in a city simply isn’t working out. Another change. So this year I am cooking the entire dinner for the first time in almost two decades. My turkey is defrosting in the fridge. I’m baking pies today. My son and daughter will spend the holidays with their in-laws and I will cook for my parents who now live close by. 

Change is good and traditions need not be carved in stone. I will miss my city Thanksgiving, but am so looking forward to bringing back the old traditions we’d carried on for years prior. 

I hope your Thanksgiving is wonderful!

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Jeannie Watt raises cattle in Montana and loves all things western. When she's not writing, Jeannie enjoys sewing, making mosaic mirrors, riding her horses and buying hay. Lots and lots of hay.

19 thoughts on “Happy Day Before Thanksgiving!”

  1. We are going to my husbands sister’s tomorrow for dinner I have to take mashed potatoes for about 20 people that is a lot of potatoes to peal. I use to cook dinner for my family the weekend after Thanksgiving for my older sister’s birthday but now my younger sister is cooking it at her house so will be going there this weekend. Husband complained about me not cooking because he doesn’t go to my sister’s with me so I am cooking a turkey breast today so I will be eating turkey the rest of this week. It is a good thing I like turkey.

    • That is a lot of potatoes! 🙂 I like that you used to have Thanksgiving on a different weekend. That’s what we did with my parents last year so that we could have TG with them, and then spend the official time with the kids who had to work around their jobs. Enjoy your turkey!

  2. I’ll spend Thanksgiving afternoon with cousins. Then Friday we are going to Branson for a week.

    Have a blessed Thanksgiving!

  3. It is hard to not do a tradition! This year we are taking my parents for a drive and find somewhere to eat – how exciting is that to not cook at all!! It will be a change, but like you said it will be so freeing and relaxing. I cannot wait! I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family who can be there and you relax while cooking. 🙂

  4. I get to go to my big sister’s house this year. No major cooking for me other than the stuffing! Hurray! I’ve spent a couple of Thanksgiving’s in New York but was too chicken to do Black Friday. My daughter lives there and we did movies instead.

    • Hurray for no major cooking! 😉 I can totally see skipping Black Friday for movies. Last year after Black Friday, the family gathered in my daughter’s very small apartment to binge watch Love Sick. It was fun.

  5. Our church will be serving a Community Thanksgiving Dinner tomorrow so my husband, daughter, granddaughter and I will be eating there. My parents are both gone and my brother will be enjoying dinner with his in-laws. I plan to make some pumpkin pies and have a mini-Thanksgiving meal at our home Thanksgiving night but no big production. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

  6. We are having Thanksgiving today at our middle daughter’s home. Tomorrow our granddaughter has to go back to WSU in time for marching band practice. The most important football game in the state takes place on Friday,”the Apple Cup”, and this year it is at WSU and the band will be playing, too. When kids go off to college many of our traditions go through change,too.

    • Hi Alice–I grew up close to WSU if we’re talking Washington State University, although there are probably several WSU’s in the nation. How cool that your daughter is part of the marching band! I hope they have an excellent performance. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

  7. Happy Thanksgiving Jeannie to you and your family. I hope your day with your parents and your cooking again is a very special one. There’s just my son and me and our cairn terrier left now, and my son who is not the world’s biggest turkey lover decided we’re having Italian food tomorrow even though he apparently didn’t get any of my Italian dna. So, a very nice thing for him to do since he also arranged for it. I’m very thankful for my son.

    Happy Thanksgiving to everyone and more than that, a day filled with peace.

    P.S. In the unlikely event anyone is wondering, yes, our cairn with get a taste of our dinner since he’s a family member. 🙂

    • Eliza–I love Cairn terriers and I was certain he’d be a guest for dinner. How nice of your son to arrange everything! What a guy. I once had Italian for Thanksgiving and really enjoyed it. I hope you have a blessed day!

  8. Our holidays have also been changing the past few years. With children growing, getting married, and moving away, those big family dinners aren’t happening. I will admit to missing them. Our oldest daughter is married to an only child and his family hasn’t yet learned to share – even after almost 15 years. I refuse to play tug-of-war with with my daughter’s family caught in the middle. We were a military family for 24 years and learned early on that it is the event or holiday you are celebrating, not a date. We celebrate when we can and it doesn’t have to be not THE DAY. Our daughter started law school last year and is now 6 hours away. She is studying for finals and it is a good excuse not to make the trip back for Thanksgiving. The college has a dinner for students still on campus. They have started their own new tradition and don’t have the pressure of family expectations. They will be home over Christmas break since law school and our granddaughter’s school will be on break. No competing with in-laws then, they celebrate Christmas Eve. Our son usually works on the holidays and pops in if he can. Our other daughter lives nearby and we will spend the holiday at her house. I have done a pie and will fix the dressing tomorrow morning. We are also helping with a dinner at church for the community. I have had some health issues and haven’t been able to get things together for holiday meals for a couple of years. I really hope I can again soon. I do miss it.

  9. My granddaughter is the band member and yes the game is in Pullman this year. After I wrote WSU I realized there are many colleges with the same initials. Since you’ve mentioned growing up in the Moscow area I thought you might understand the significance of the Apple Cup. It’s the game with the University of Washington. OSU are the initials that most often confuse me because the agriculture magazines and newsletters use them and it sometimes takes reading the whole article before you know if they meant Oklahoma, Ohio, or Oregon State University. They all are Land Grant universities with ag colleges.

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