Thanksgiving by the numbers

potluck Thanksgiving dinner for 20 people

It’s the day after the day after Thanksgiving,

and I am finally home again in my own cozy nest. Okay, not so cozy (we keep the heat set at 68 degrees Fahrenheit in the daytime) but it still feels good to be home again!

A few tidbits about our time with my dh’s parents and extended family:

  • SIX households bringing together a meal for 20 people, with buffet lines in the kitchen and dining room
  • FIVE = the number of minutes it took to decide to stay a second night
  • FOUR minivans parked in front of the house
  • THREE:
    3 long folding tables (the Costco variety) set up and decorated in the family room, which was remodeled years ago for just this purpose
    3 great-granddaughters
    3 visiting dogs
  • TWO of each of the following:
    bathrooms, Television sets, varieties of ball games on those TVs (basketball and football)
  • ONE annual football game between college rival teams… which none of us saw to completion.

Time spent with this extended family is all about FAMILY. We do things together. We go on “safari” outside with the youngest members and play card games at night when the little ones are in bed. We trip over one another in the kitchen with food preparation and clean-up. We share the morning paper and laptops and iPads.

On Friday afternoon, the menfolk (including teenage boys) piled into a van and headed out for a brainiac adventure — something to do with physics and outer space which was totally over my head so I won’t even attempt to explain it. (Yes, they did try to explain it to me…)  In their absence, I grabbed an empty recliner to watch the 2nd half of the Apple Cup game, only to be cajoled into joining the other 4 remaining women on a late-day shopping trip.

In other words, I failed the objective exercise in staying home on Black Friday. It happened around 3pm, while I was online, looking at beautiful beads on my computer screen (while my team was failing miserably on the TV screen) and considering which shades of blue I liked best. I managed to resist until the words “Hobby Lobby” were dangled in front of me like a craft-infused carrot in front of a starving rabbit.  What can I say? These women know me. I grabbed my shoes and purse faster than you can say, “What the heck — the Cougars are losing badly anyway!” and buckled myself into the backseat of my SIL’s minivan.
In this extended family, going shopping is a community activity. The women all go together. It would have been rude to refuse and stay home.  So while I did fail in my resolve to stay out of the stores on Black Friday (I was only “window shopping” online… truly!!) perhaps… perhaps… if the goal of the day after Thanksgiving is to spend time with ones family, I still managed to be true to the spirit of the non-holiday.

I’m curious…

If you celebrate American Thanksgiving, what were you doing Thursday and Friday?
What about “Black Friday” — did you go out and shop?

**And wha’d’ya know, the Cougs came from behind and beat the Huskies in overtime! Maybe I should skip their games more often.