And most importantly a day with family,yours, his, others or just a small gathering of friends.
I hope each of us stopped for just a moment and said Thanks for the things we have or are hoping for and even thanks that we made it through some rough spots.
Now , on to the important stuff.
Once home from my sister's and the dishes are done, pets feed and children and husband asleep, my favorite Thanksgiving tradition begins.
I make some hot tea, good black Russian tea.
I write out my list of those I need to buy gifts.
I begin my journey through the Black Friday Ads. Cutting coupons, noting Early Bird Specials and Doorbusters prices.
I gather coupons I received in the mail.
I then go to my computer and print out a legible and highly organized list.
Color coded and highlighted.
I go to bed a midnight, get up at 3am, leave my house at 3:30am, stop by the BP for a large cup of extra caffeine, extra sugar, extra creamer to go. I arrive at my niece(and great friend)'s house at 4am, she is ready and waiting and similarly armed.
The mall opens at 5am. We are parked and walking in at 4:40.
My adrenaline is pumping, palms sweaty , eyes sharpened for the hunt and body poised for the kill.
Our prey-Sony Handycam, NintendoDS, Disney Store before 10am HotDeals etc.etc.
My husband thinks I am crazy.Every year when I do this he thinks I am crazy
But to me it is more than the good deals. It is female bonding, no kids or husbands allowed.
This First Official Shopping Event is the Christmas Flare shooting off in the sky, giving me the go ahead to start Decking the Halls, singing the carols , decorating the tree and putting up outside lights.
It is the reading of the Christmas Story to my children and setting up the Nativity scene.
Polar Express at the IMAX and writing letters to Santa. The counting down of the Advent calendar and hanging our stockings we bought in Russia.
Oh and do not leave out.
The annual Christmas Photo for our cards.
The huffing and puffing, the knashing of the teeth, the kids crying and pouting and Dad remarking one too many times, "I am sure that one was good" or 'Is this worth it?" or "Why do we go through this every year" to "That's it just use one even if its bad"?
To which Mom(me) repeats, "Stand There, Not There, Hold This, Smile, Don't Smile too much,Be Still, Sit/No Stand ,Just Look at Me, That Didn't work, Not too Bad, Just One More,Just One More, Just One More..Now lets go Outside and get some.....
Thank God for Digital Camera's and the delete Button. I know you are saying why not just take them to a studio and get a Professional one made.
It started with my parents and their parents.
Then growing up my Dad did this each year with us or rather, to us. The pictures are sweet, funny and embarrassing now to look at and hold great memories.
So that is why I am now torturing my innocent family with this tradition.
Next Saturday is the day, I'll let you know how it goes.
I love this time of year and now that I am a parent,my children make it ever so much more magical.Seeing it through their eyes each year makes me feel like a starry eyed child again.
Believing in Santa and the miracle of Jesus birth. Melding the two together into a blessed and family event filled with love and laughter. Anticipation and Joy.
Wishes and lists, surprises and presents.
Silent Nights and Sleigh Bells.
Sugar Plums and Sugar Cookies.
I got home at 3pm, tired and sated, gas tank empty and shopping bags filled.
Mission accomplished. List checked off.
Christmas 2006 has officially begun for the Freeman Family of Four
This year Daddy Claus will be happy to hear that Santa is not bringing anything that needs to be assembled or battery operated.
Now if I can just untangle the lights for the tree.