Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Two Thanksgivings

Happy belated Thanksgiving to all my Canadian friends. We went away to the island to visit DH's parents and have turkey. We were about 10 minutes away from having everything all done and the power went out. Swell. There went to the Yorkshire puddings I was craving. Pffffft! They looked so promising in the oven all puffed out. Oh, well, the turkey was done, the roast potatoes were done, the brussel sprouts..... well, almost. We ate by candlelight and it was all very lovely and cozy. The power came back after 20 minutes though. I'm lucky to have such great in-laws, they are really funny and so loving. It was bittersweet as well because, well, we both didn't have our doggies around. They lost their dog the same day as we did. It was just an overnight visit and then back home to make another Thanksgiving dinner for my mum. I have to admit, it all gets a bit weary. We'll be repeating this at Christmas. We're going to Edmonton for a few days and then back on Boxing Day for Christmas dinner with my mum. I can't bring her with me, it's just too much for her and for me. I can feel the stress already. Their gatherings are always so raucous and fun, but I get no private time whatsoever, it's breakfast to midnight socializing and of course the group hugs and kisses at breakfast and bedtime. I'm sure we'll be driving around to look at the Christmas lights in the freezing cold and I'll miss Boxing Day shopping in a province with one tax. Then we'll fly back and do a quiet Christmas dinner for mum. I hate being away from her on the actual day. I know it won't make a difference to her, but still....

Sheesh! I'm not really complaining, how lucky am I? It's just that as much as I appreciate it, all that brouhaha is overwhelming for me. Our family Christmases were always marked by my dad disappearing into the basement to cry, my mum working like a dog to time all the dishes so they all came out at the same time, nice and hot, fake cheer and tension abounded. When I was older, I drank as much cheap wine as I could, then took off to the movies with my boyfriend. When my sullen brother in law relented, we had my sullen older sister over, and watched him gulp down the food with the thunder cloud over his head. The funny thing is that I still miss being with my family at Christmas - well, at least the ones I'm talking to anyway. In the best of all possible worlds, I'd love it if my uncle and my mum and my younger sister and her husband and little boy could be there. If nothing else, I could show my sister what wonderful people my husband comes from. My sister and husband do not get along. I'll save the details for another time. However, since she is the only sister I talk to, it would be nice if they could get along.

We had ham and candied yams and roasted potatoes and brussel sprouts (eww!) and mum had a good time. DH had a video of Celine Dion and she really enjoyed watching that. She started to rub my feet because they were so cold, and it's moments like that that make rushing home to be with her all worthwhile.

4 comments:

Pamela Jeanne said...

Happy belated Thanksgiving to you! When I was in Detroit this past weekend I caught up Friday with one of my Windsor friends from long ago just getting ready to visit with her family for Thanksgiving. Living as close as I did to Canada, I've always felt like an honorary Canadian.

Your poignant description of the holidays is, in many ways, familiar. I'm glad your husband's family is so warm and welcoming, and that your time with you mum can bring you such comfort.

loribeth said...

Happy belated Thanksgiving! I actually had my mom here with me, for the first time in years, & even though we didn't have turkey (for just three people, it didn't seem worth the fuss), it felt so good to have her here. : )

Portraits In Sepia said...

Sounds like a memorable Thanksgiving was created. I have never had Yorkshire pudding!

chicklet said...

Your husband's family would freak me out. My family was always into the big gatherings but I haven't done that in so long i just wouldn't know what to do with myself anymore. It'd be all weird and too much - in a good way I guess, but still too much.