Yesterday my family and I shared a wonderful Thanksgiving meal together. Except there was no roasting turkey in the oven, no mashing of the potatoes, and no football. In fact, our meal didn’t even involve a dining room table -- at least, not our dining room table.
All we had to do was make a reservation: we went out to eat. And we sat at Mimi’s table.
Sacrilegious as it may seem to not roast our own turkey or mash or our potatoes, the truth is my family and I really enjoy going out for Thanksgiving dinner. We’ve done so the last few years, and it’s been great. The food and atmosphere is just as good as anything we could create ourselves, and we’re without the stresses of cooking and cleaning until we’re ready to keel over from tiredness. The first year or two that we did this, I felt somewhat self-conscious that we were turning our backs on tradition, but now it doesn’t phase me one bit. As it turns out, there’re a lot of people who think like us. Every year there seems to be more and more people making the same reservation, and every year they seem just as content with their meal as we are. Sure, you can’t go for seconds and it’d be rather unsightly to drift off into a food coma in a booth, but what we do have is more than enough food to fill our tummies and our souls. My immediate family is quite small but we’re very close to one another, so what maters most to us is not where we’re spending Thanksgiving but who we’re spending it with. Being able to take pictures with my sisters whom I don’t get to see all that often means more than the fact we took them outside in the restaurant parking lot. In the end, what really matters is that we’re together for Thanksgiving, and there’s something to be said for keeping a tradition of our own.