I remember when I was young(er) that this day was THE night to get dressed up, go out, and share college stories with high school classmates. The lines would be out the door at Eli's or Side Street, but we'd wait in the cold – sans coats (who wears a COAT out even when it's cold? no one cool, that's who).
You never knew who you were going to see. You weren't sure which bar everyone was going to go to. You really didn't keep in touch with people that often, so you couldn't check in with everyone to see what their plans were. It was a guessing game. Or maybe you bumped into someone at the gas station earlier in the day and heard that a crowd was going to such-and-such a place.
It was wonderful and horrible all at the same time.
A few years later, when I was living in Boston, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving was my travel day home. I'll never forget the day I had to work until 2pm and then got on the road and it took me 4 hours to make my 2-hour drive. I paid my toll in Natick and just sat; there were so many cars I couldn't pull through the toll, so I just struck up a conversation with the toll booth operator.
Cut to the last few years when we've been hosting Thanksgiving at our house and this day has been a big preparation day.
I always take this day off from work. I start my morning early at 7am at the grocery store and then head home for a day of cooking. I start first thing in the morning and don't finish until dinnertime. Then Mr. KK and I go out for happy hour and something to eat (after all that cooking the last thing I want to do is cook dinner) preferably to a place high schoolers didn't frequent.
This year, it's completely different. Having the holidays off, I've been doing Thanksgiving prep all week long. I did my grocery shopping on Sunday. I started cooking Monday and Tuesday. Today I made my (famous) pumpkin cheesecake and my cranberry sauce. The leaves were in the table and the bar was set up by 4pm.
We didn't go to happy hour this year. As much as we love bringing Max to our favorite bars, I felt child services would come after our asses if we brought him out in a snow and ice storm. (Even I'd come after me in that case).
Instead, we had leftover pizza, music time with Max and – cue the blood-curdling screams – Max's bath time.
The funny part is, as much as our lives have changed, I don't miss the old "me"; the one who would go out on the "biggest party night of year". I love spending my day inside cooking, and my night with our little nugget, who is the cutest little time-sucker around.
Whether you're headed out to see old friends, or hang out with new little family members, be safe and have fun.
We all have so much for which to be thankful.
Happy (early) Thanksgiving.
(PS: I'm thankful I've gone 26 days strong blogging…only 4 more day to reach my goal!)