When couples get married, one of the big issues they face is what to do about the holidays. Do we spend Thanksgiving with one family and Christmas with the other? Do we alternate years? Try to do two Thanksgivings in one day? Ask both families to come to us?
When Tom and I got married, my parents suggested that we celebrate Thanksgiving with his family on Thanksgiving Day--and my family would celebrate Thanksgiving on Saturday. For the first few years, that meant that my mother did Thanksgiving twice...but it meant Tom and I didn't need to choose. As the years went by, my father died, my younger brothers and sisters also got married...and my mother stopped doing Thanksgiving altogether on Thursday, shifting the "big celebration" to Saturday. With five siblings, their spouses, children and dogs, it was a pretty big Thanksgiving. Each new family unit in turn would go to their spouse's family on Thursday, and return home for "our" Thanksgiving on Saturday.
My mother's been gone since 2006, but we all still gather on Saturday for our feast-- a turkey that's generally close to 30 pounds, filled with the family recipe for Sausage and Chestnut stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, sweet potatoes (with marshmallows), green beans, onions, and turnips. (The turnips are probably the most essential item other than the turkey and stuffing--but that's a blog post of its own.)
So tonight I baked my pies, using my grandmother's rolling pin and two of her pie pans...and tomorrow morning we head down to New Jersey to celebrate with family: Susan, Tom, Katie, Jenny, Tom, George, Lori, Dan, Will, Hugh, Victoria, Mary, Tim, Jack, Matt, Kathy, Bert, Caroline, Al, and Eddie.