Since I'm not doing anything particularly productive on my vacation (I guess that's how vacation is supposed to be, but I feel like I should be doing work), I may as well play the Rev Gals Friday Five instead of striving for a more theologically-trying post. (I replaced the RevGals pic with a Tofurky pic to better represent my Thanksgiving experience)
So here it is:
1. Did you go elsewhere for the day, or did you have visitors at your place instead? How was it?
This year we went to my aunt's house. For the past four years, we had Thanksgiving dinner at my parsonage, but now that I live in New Jersey, I couldn't get everyone to come to my new parsonage! We had 18 people altogether, including four generations of the extended Mudge Family. We had a good time. Now that my cousins are mostly grown (the youngest is 13, most of us are in our 20s and 30s), we seem to have rekindled our interest in getting together and keeping in touch/keeping close. We've always had a close extended family, although we've had some shaky years, and I think we're starting to remember and re-value that tradition.
2. Main course: If it was the turkey, the whole turkey, and nothing but the turkey, was it prepared in an unusual way? Or did you throw tradition to the winds and do something different?
We have a mixture of meat-eaters, vegetarians, and vegans at our dinner. Main dishes: Turkey, tofurky, spinach tortellini. Stuffing cooked in the turkey. Vegetarian stuffing. Vegan stuffing. Chocolate milk. Eggnog. Soy eggnog. Mash potatoes. Mash potatoes made with soy milk. We've been doing this long enough though that this is a pretty typical meal for us now.
3. Other than the meal, do you have any Thanksgiving customs that you observe every year?
-Most years, we have crayons set out to color on our table cloth.
-We exchange names for our "cousin exchange" for Christmas shopping. We started doing this because we have a huge number of cousins in the family, and we used to try to buy for everyone. It got to be too much. So we started drawing names and just buying for one cousin. Now, we don't actually draw names. It was too tricky to make sure everyone got someone not in their immediate family, or to honor special requests, so now I just tell everyone who they're buying for. (Ah, what power I have!)
4. The day after Thanksgiving is considered a major Christmas shopping day by most US retailers. Do you go out bargain hunting and shop ‘till you drop, or do you stay indoors with the blinds closed? Or something in between?
When I was in high school and my mom (a nurse) would have to work a very early shift on Black Friday, my friend and I would drop her at work, go get Dunkin Donuts, and then hit the early sales. Now, it depends. I did shop some today - my mom had the day off for the first time in years (actually, she's currently out of work with an injury). We didn't go at the crack of dawn though! And my locations included places like Cokesbury, Fair Trade Marketplace, and the Syracuse Food Coop. (Ok, and Target.)
5. Let the HOLIDAY SEASON commence! When will your Christmas decorations go up?
Growing up, we had firm rules on this. Advent Calendar - December 1st. Everything else, not until the 15th. I'm not exactly sure why, but I would lean toward this tradition myself if there were no other circumstances. BUT, now I have an open house every year, so I usually decorate a couple days before that, whenever it falls. (And the Advent Calendar still goes up on the 1st.)