A few years ago, we started combing thanksgiving and Christmas together. Since January 2012, we have lived nearly 900 miles from Kentucky. Out of necessity and to save on shipping, we started combing the two holidays.
It makes it a little more difficult this way, because we usually procrastinate buying Christmas presents. But we usually hustle up and pull it together. The biggest perk for doing this is letting my parents see Ty and Claire open their gifts. Ty gives great reactions to getting gifts. But that’s not even close to the best part!!
Let me share some highlights of our very merry thanksgivmas! Food! My mom is a cooking machine and she is a southern cook! Butter, seasonings, flavor and more all add up to happy tastebuds, expanded waste lines, and a general feeling of being lethargic from over-eating. But boy howdy, it’s so amazing. (This is not a dig at Amy’s cooking, for she has been commissioned to not plump me up!) Another highlight is time with my extended and adopted family! It’s just much nicer to get to spend time with people in person instead of phone calls or texts. So I’m cherishing every minute I can with them. I could do more visiting if I didn’t have to sleep! Last night was one of the coolest moments I’ve had as an uncle (and I’ve had some good ones.) First, I took my kids, nieces, and nephew on a after dark tour of my great grand fathers woods after dark. We had flashlights and lanterns as we made our way through the quiet woods that is over grown and wild. Coyotes howled in the distance and a mountain lion had been spotted only a few miles away. It was the perfect combination of adventure and exploring that make great memories. Later that night, I took my sixteen year old nephew out for a backroad cruise. It was a moment of male bonding as well as timely advice that only an uncle can give. It has been a joy to see this young man grow up and hear his stories. I was so grateful for our relationship and hopefully he let my talk soak in! He’s a good kid and a lot of fun!
The last highlight is spending time with family! It’s good for my heart to work on equipment with dad and sit and drink coffee with mom as she belly laughs from my wild, crazy stories. I also get to see my 86 year old granny! I still call her once a week and have done so since I left back in 2012. I know that her time on earth is short, so I want to soak up the moments we share together.
As I reflect on these times in Kentucky, I see how fortunate I was to grow up here. My adventures were many, my stories are full and there is a memory around every curve on these twisty roads. That makes for a very merry thanksgivmas!
Grace and peace to you as you spend time with loved ones or you reflect on the memories of those already gone!