A Tradition of Thanks

My  husband  introduced a tradition several years ago that he and I continue to celebrate every Thanksgiving morning. While the turkey is roasting, also his idea, we enjoy a champagne toast.  It's really more than a toast.  It's our time to talk about whatever current events are happening among our family and friends, plans for the holiday season that begins in earnest on this day, reflecting on the past year and what we hope to accomplish in the new year ahead.  Of course, giving thanks for all that we have no matter the circumstances, and remembering loved ones passed, is a part of our champagne conversation.

I'm not sure when it began, but like cooking a turkey even when we have been invited out for Thanksgiving dinner, it has become a time-honored tradition in our household.  Thanksgiving was not a holiday that we hosted annually, and my husband said he wanted the house to 'smell like Thanksgiving'.  Thus, the bird, the stuffing and fresh cranberry sauce are prepared each year. I'm pretty sure that lots of families do this, and it's a very homey and comforting tradition. Although I suspect my husband's sense of tradition over the years has come to expect the homemade turkey pot pie that makes its way to our kitchen table at some point over the long holiday weekend each year. He is generally in charge of the turkey while I take care of the stuffing and cranberry sauce. The recipes are the same each year. I make the stuffing the same way since I did the first time, mistakes and all. It came out pretty good and my family liked it, so it became the go-to stuffing recipe. Why mess with tradition?  

What's special is that it is our time alone, amid the busy activities of the holiday. When the kids were much younger, they were nestled on the sofa marveling at the cartoon characters floating their way down the route of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, then grew into playing video games (in another room, thank goodness). Then there were years when they attended the hometown high school football game-if they were awake early enough. Even as they grew into adults and eligible to share in the libation, sometimes they would be off visiting with friends or getting ready for the day, and the champagne conversation remained one between us two.

Intermingled with roasting turkey, simmering cranberry sauce and champagne sipping, a few phone calls are made and received wishing family and friends a Happy Thanksgiving with promises to get together soon. It's all part of the tradition.

You may have noticed that this is one of the everyday ORGANiZiNG blog posts that doesn't include anything about organizing.  Sure I could have looped in a time management tip or two, strategies for planning a holiday dinner with do-ahead ideas or some other aspect of organizing, but not this time.  This bubbly tradition shared by two happens no matter what else is going on, organized, planned and prepped or not, and one that we'll look forward to for many years to come. 

We all have our own special traditions, shared with many or few, large and small, especially in celebrating the holidays. I'd love to hear about yours.

Happy Thanksgiving!

I Bought Tomato Juice

With energy-sapping heat and soaring (and searing) temperatures, summer is definitely in full swing, and thoughts easily turn to summer vacation.  What do you do differently, what habits do you create or how do you re-organize your thoughts and routines for the current season?  I bought tomato juice.

I don't know when it happened or how or why, but tomato juice became my go-to breakfast beverage of choice when on vacation.  Sure, for a mere 99 cents each, I could have this veggie concoction in my refrigerator all year long, yet it's been reserved as a special treat, to be enjoyed thoroughly only while on vacation. I know, it's sounds nuts. When I place my order for a small glass of tomato juice that first day of vacation, I (look forward to) endure the good-natured teasing, head-shaking and mock mocking from my family reminding us all that it's official - certainly we are now on vacation because Mom is drinking tomato juice.

Tomato juice is my mind's re-organization into relaxation mode, stress-free zone and Calgon-take-me-away time.  What's yours?