The holiday sandwich

Well folks – Halloween down, Thanksgiving done, now the Christmas countdown begins.

The first two holidays were nonexistent this year. I never do the Halloween thing here since we haven’t had costumed trick-or-treating little humans in twenty years. We are a rural bedroom community north of Tucson with no street lights or sidewalks so there is just no reason to do things up. My decorations tend toward fall harvest themes inside the house. No pumpkins, skeletons, ghosts, witches or vampires in the vicinity.

Thanksgiving has, for years, been a real family time. My house tended to be the gathering place. I had plenty of room, and I enjoyed the whole process of celebrating the holiday with great food, football, laughter and love. I liked cooking the turkey, and sharing what everyone else brought to the table. I have a huge front yard where the annual Thanksgiving football game was held. Family made the effort to be together.

This year was different.

Neither of my kids could be here. Melissa and Bubba were with Vaughn family in Las Vegas. Aaron and Chelsea were in Florida and Oklahoma respectively and Aaron was working at his Disney World tech gig. My sisters had their own family things, and my mom was attending a huge Thanksgiving feast at her retirement apartments. Chuck got a notice from the University of Arizona asking employees and their families for help feeding the troops at Davis Monthan AFB who were staying in town for the holiday, so we signed up-ready to volunteer. We made a big mistake on the date, expecting it to happen on Thanksgiving day at the UA campus. At the last minute I discovered it was scheduled for the week before Thanksgiving and at the base! We totally blew it. Chuck was working that day and I hadn’t cooked anything or made any purchases, so that fell through.

We decided to keep with the volunteer idea and I started checking for places to help out. I found out that the Salvation Army did a Thanksgiving meal at St. Demetrius church so I started calling and emailing to put our names in the hat. Granted we were down to the wire time wise, so I wasn’t sure what would happen, but so be it. We never heard a word from anyone telling us yes, no or get lost. No return phone calls, no email reply. Nothing. So…Thanksgiving was just a day off for Chuck that we spent cleaning, doing outdoor chores, moving some furniture, binge watching Hallmark Christmas movies and just hanging out looking at all the pictures on Facebook of Thanksgiving feasts others were having.

Now we are planning Christmas. Melissa will be here with Bubba so it will be very fun having a wee one here. It is our first Christmas as Nannie and Poppa. Aaron will still be in Florida working and Chelsea will still be in Oklahoma. Hopefully my mom will be sharing Christmas eve with us which will be our Christmas meal since Chuck has to go to work at 1pm Christmas day. Yet we will be decorated and festive!!

How has your holiday season been so far?

Cheers!

-N

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