Holiday Traditions; What to do with Family; How do You Cook a Turkey?

The topic here is this: WHAT THE HECK DO I DO WITH THE HOLIDAYS?

Who travels to whose house, and what are the new traditions going to be? ”

Do I make new traditions or stick with the old? One kid is married, one soon to be, 3 grandchildren, empty-nest most of the time, single again. So, what’s what with the holidays? My friend, Jen, and I were talking about this very thing over dinner. We googled what do do at the holidays when you’re an empty nester? We actually got some pretty good ideas.

Hey adult children are hard. Just a head’s up for those of you who still have little ones.

My mom gave up on this topic early on. Before she died, she and her boyfriend, Bob, would drive around looking at Christmas lights while listening to a radio station narrating the experience. Then they hit up the Cracker Barrel. Not a bad plan.

Some families do the Double Holiday deal. Go to one parents house, then the other. If said parent’s are divorced, that’s 4 houses in one day. 4 meals and 4x the grumpy kids. If grandparent’s are still hanging in there with their holiday traditions, then adult children are screwed. How many holiday affairs can one family go to and not decide that next year it is Tahiti baby?

Okay, so, if life is transitioning then it stands to reason that the TRADITIONS are TRANSITIONING. (I should name the post that, but I won’t because I prefer long wordy titles to quick, snappy ones.)

So what to do? I don’t know. I’m literally playing it by ear year-to-year. This Thursday I’ll be at the Grove Park Inn Spa, alone and well, probably pretty darn happy. It’s been a long year of hard work. A spa day indeed. Then dinner at The Vue 1913, joined by one child and his girlfriend. I am actually looking forward to doing something different, and I’m beginning to figure out that if I don’t change, I’ll be left behind.

Still, there are lingering conflicted emotions. Subtitled and all.

Conflicted Emotions

The older I get, the more people I miss. That’s the thing, more and more people are missing from my holiday table. It ain’t just the kids anymore. My daddy. My mom. Old friends. And, as my table diminishes in size, and my ability to cook flies out the window, I find the holidays are transitioning in more ways than where to spend them and what new traditions to come up with. I miss the people who used to grace my holiday table.

I  go to my children’s homes and feel blessed beyond measure to see them and be with them, but I do miss that table set for everyone. I miss the faces I grew used to seeing year after Thanksgiving year. I miss my holiday traditions, even as I embrace the new ones that aren’t so traditional.

Holiday Traditions Wish

I often ask my kids, Okay what’s the best case scenario here? If you could have anything? So I ask myself, best case scenario? Easy. Everyone around my table for one meal. Just one. The whole family together for one day, one hour, one moment in time. Then we can all go back to separate lives and separate ambitions, but, for that one holiday day, there’d be no holes, no one missing from my table.

And, I’d remember how to cook a turkey.