October 16, 2013
Canadians celebrated Thanksgiving this weekend. In previous years I’ve co-ordinated my schedule around everyone else’s when planning the main dinner. When the kids were little, we’d often travel to the grandparents and have to figure out travel times (since they all lived more than an hour’s drive away), and organize it around our brothers and sister’s schedules too. Christmas got a little easier once we had kids—my mother-in-law realized that it was tough travelling with children, and most kids wanted to open their presents in their own homes, so she gave us permission not to feel guilty if we stayed home and only visited them on Christmas Eve or Boxing Day.
When my sons got old enough to work, our meals would be worked around their schedules. (Since his first job was a theatre, and cinemas don’t close on holidays, my eldest often had to work on Thanksgiving or Christmas Day.) Now they’re all grown up and my eldest has moved away, I’ve worked around when he could come back home, and work in when his girlfriend’s family was having their main meal.
This year, my son didn’t tell me until the Friday that he’d only be home on the Saturday and that would be the only day they’d be around. Since I’d been glued to my desk for the last year, I hadn’t had a chance to shop and wouldn’t until Saturday, I threw in the towel. I said “it’ll be nice to see you, but we’re not having our meal until Monday.”
Which was rather freeing.
I finally got to make a meal I preferred. You see my husband is vegetarian and has been all his life, and for the last four years my youngest son is as well. Which meant I’ve always had to work what I wanted to eat around what they would eat. It also freed me up from wrestling with a turkey in the morning, sticking my hand into its belly to remove that slimy bag of innards, wrestling with the neck and trying to figure out whether to cook it and feed it to the animals or just toss it. My eldest used to pack up all the leftover turkey and take it home for him and his girlfriend—so no leftovers for me in previous years.
Instead I declared I’d drag out my slow cooker and make a pot roast, something I’ve been craving for ages. Probably not the best for my cholesterol levels, but OMG beef! I’ve not eaten it in so long. And no one else complained that there wasn’t a turkey. AND best of all I have left overs for lunches and dinners for the rest of the week.
I think I may have just set the tone for next year’s Thanksgiving. Now I’m wondering what other traditions have grown to annoy me that I can change up…
Have you ever thrown over a long-standing tradition and gone your own way? Was it successful or did you revert back?