Thanksgiving isn’t all about food!

EDITOR’S NOTE: I was supposed to post this Thanksgiving week but….let’s just say life got the better of me and it’s now 3 weeks later.

I’m not gonna lie, it’s mostly about food on Thanksgiving, and I love to eat! Truth be told, I love to cook Thanksgiving dinner. I’ve been doing it for many years and I kind of have it down. Turkey, Mom’s stuffing, Shawn’s mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, all the traditional yums make it to the table….except for the rolls, which I leave in the oven EVERY year! It’s almost a tradition now. I added a new favorite a couple of years ago, sweet potato casserole made with pecans from our tree.

Everything goes pretty smoothly and everyone is fat and happy Then once that is all over it’s decorating time. We head to the attic to retrieve all the Christmas decorations and off we go. I have it all sorted into tubs and over the years those tubs have gotten pretty heavy, but they are filled with over 25 years of memories. After they are extricated from the attic the real work starts.

My daughter was born the day after Thanksgiving, so in addition to Thanksgiving Day, we always had a “kid party” Saturday afternoon and an “adult party” Saturday night (any excuse to throw a party). Decorating had to happen on Friday or it would wait until the following weekend. Most of the time I would get it done, but sometimes when the family was flying in or we had some other plans for Friday the tubs would just sit there until I could get to them. Anyone who knows me will understand that this caused me a lot of stress and my OCD would kick in something fierce! I hate chores just hanging out there “un-done.”

When I was a kid no one decorated on Thanksgiving, it was its own separate holiday. It didn’t mix with Christmas much, they weren’t really even friends. Then more and more retail took over our lives and malls and stores proclaimed Black Friday to be the start of the Christmas season. People went along and there was a gradual shift to Christmas month instead of Christmas day so everyone gets the decorations out on that long Thanksgiving weekend and dresses up their homes for the holidays. At the risk of sounding like a grinch, I like a short reprieve between the holidays. A little break to refocus works for me. Not that I begrudge anyone their holiday traditions, but it seems to me the longer the season, the more we spend,  the more we want, and so on.  Anyway….I’m getting a bit off track.

Where am I going with this? What decorating and design tips will I impart? Apparently none. This was not what this post was going to be about 3 weeks ago. I was going to add photos of all the decorations around our house and our neighborhood, but in this crazy year things change quickly and I am struggling along with everyone else. So much so, that after waiting too long to get our tree, I was left with only a couple of choices. It was the toilet paper fiasco all over again.

I grabbed the last 6 ft tree at Lowe’s which would look tiny in our foyer and grudgingly went home to decorate, albeit with a little sadness. The photo below is the product of my procrastination, once again making lemonade out of lemons, once again just trying to make the best of a difficult situation.

So what is this rambling post all about? I guess I just want to say Merry Christmas. Cherish each moment with your loved ones, don’t rush to move onto the next thing. Savor the food along with the friends, at least the ones you can see during this time, whether it’s through Zoom, Facetime, or social distancing. Show compassion for everyone, not just the people you agree with, you don’t know their struggles. Many of us are just putting on a brave face and pushing through this, so be kind. That’s what I have learned through all this. And a little Christmas tree can be put on a table…

Nancy Bradley photo

Nancy bradley

I consult, design, and remodel spaces that reflect the homeowner’s lifestyle and budget by getting the cost question out of the way and really listening to what my client wants and how much they have set aside for their project.