stories about memories

i’m thankful for thanksgiving.

most people don’t know this since i love christmas so much and go crazy about it all year round like a little kid, but thanksgiving is actually my favorite holiday.
while giving people gifts and getting some myself makes me happy, getting excited about all the great things i already have makes me even happier. but that’s not the biggest reason why i like this day so much.
i don’t like change, and thanksgiving never changes in my house. it’s the most comfortably familiar day of the year.
while i’m always aware that i have the weirdest family in the world, our thanksgiving traditions are the best proof of it that i know of.

this is how our day goes down, every year, and it’s been this way my entire life. some new things get added sometimes, but the old things never get thrown out.

I.  the parade.
     A. i run through the house yelling and waking everyone up like it’s christmas. i’ve done this since i could talk and i did it today even though i’m 21 and old and stuff.
     B. dad tries to convince us that there’s no point in cutting on the tv until about 9:10, because that happens in the first ten minutes is al roker and matt lauer talking about how cold it is and some random people getting interviewed. but we remind him of the one time that we took that advice and missed the garfield balloon because of it, and i freak out about possibly missing the ribbon cutting, and in the end the tv always goes on at 8:58.
     C. we eat waffles for breakfast while making fun of all the corny broadway acts
     D. we comment that there are more commercials than the year before
     E. i make the pumpkin pie, and mom hovers and makes sure that i focus because i keep walking away to look at the parade.
     F. we have the same conversations about each float and balloon as if we’ve never mentioned these things before. my favorites:
          1. me: it’s so sad there’s no garfield balloon anymore.
              scott: THERE’S NO GARFIELD?
              me: no, there hasn’t been for years, and you’ve acted surprised every year.
          2. me: reckon those big balloons could hold [however much i weigh that year]? cuz wouldn’t that be the coolest thing ever to hijack one and ride on top of it?
          3. scott: why is there still a ronald mcdonald float?? i thought he died!
              me: um no. but he scares me. they shouldn’t have him in there just because of the creepy factor.
          4. our surprise at there still being a sonic the hedgehog balloon(because one year there wasn’t, so we thought it was too 90s and they’d axed it for good)
     G. the skype date with susan.
          1. we all take turns sitting by the computer narrating the parade for her, but she goes to bed before the end since she’s 13 hours ahead of us.
     H. the stuffing.
          ever since we were kids we’ve always helped my mom make the stuffing by tearing the bread into pieces for her. we’d fight over who did more slices and daniel would keep telling mom i wasn’t making mine small enough(actually he still does that).
II. the national dog show.
     A. dad and daniel complain and ask if we really need to watch it, me and mom say yes of course, and scott settles it by pointing out that “the spirit of thanksgiving is listening to linda squeal every five minutes for 2 hours. we’re watching it.”
     B. everyone pretends to be annoyed but still ends up having enough fun laughing at me.
III. snunch.
     this is a tradition that i’m positive is unique to our family, even though it’s a very smart idea. see, since we have such a big dinner and we eat it earlier than usual, we don’t want to spoil that by eating a real lunch. so snack+lunch=snunch. our obnoxious word for crackers and cheese, chips and dip, etc.
     A. the olive count.
          1. this tradition started about ten years ago when my dad was looking at the serving size on the label, and it said there were 55 olives in the jar. well we all looked at it and thought there had to be more than that. so we got a piece of paper and every time someone took an olive we’d tally it up and when we finished the jar there turned out to be about 70.
          2. now it’s become a thing we do every year. and every year my mom asks if we really need to do it since we’ve proved the label wrong and know full well that there’s gonna be more than they say.
     B. remembering other thanksgivings.
          1. at some point we always end up talking about other years. some get brought up that we’ve never mentioned before, and some stories end up getting told every year.      
IV. miracle on 34th street.
     A. by the time this comes on(after the dog show), the food is all cooking so my mom is actually able to sit down. not only is this movie the perfect thanksgiving-to-christmas transition, it’s also her favorite holiday movie, so half the fun of watching it is seeing how happy it makers her.
     B. this is the only movie that my mom has memorized. so for once, it’s her, not me, that everyone is complaining about saying every word as the actors say them. though they get less annoyed with her than they do me. =]

and that’s how it goes down every single year. my family isn’t one to make purposeful traditions, but we do the same things the same way every year because they just happen. and my orange self likes it better that way.
so on this day to be thankful, i’m thankful for the day in itself, because of all the fun moments that repeat themselves on it.

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