One of the nice side benefits of having a kid is that we are now free, without guilt (externally-imposed from both sides of the family) to decide where and how to spend the holidays. So this year, we decided to stay put and have a low-key Thanksgiving. Just us and one guest, a very dear friend.
When I was growing up, holidays were crazy, hectic times. My mom is Queen of All Martyrs, so holidays often featured at least one dramatic scene or meltdown (and still do). Plus, the way my extended family is....well, holidays are just huge and noisy and lots of work. Fun, yes, in a way, but completely draining. And the older I get, the less I want to participate in that every single year. I find that I really prefer the smaller, more intimate, lower-key-no-drama holiday celebrations.
We decided on a simple menu, and prepped everything that needed to be prepped the night before or that morning, so that we could just pop things in the oven at various times. Turkey (for Mr. Jane), roasted chickpeas (for me), cornbread stuffing, roasted green beans, mashed sweet potatoes. Pumpkin cake and a special dessert prepared by our friend. Yum. Baby Jane had her first taste of green beans in honor of the holiday (she liked them). And we just sat around and ate and talked at a leisurely pace. (The best part was that I put Baby Jane to bed, and when I came back out, the dishes were all done! Yay!)
The low-key relaxation theme has continued into today. Mr. Jane has been installing various child-proofing things, since Baby Jane is on the verge of becoming mobile. I've been going through old magazines so that I can get rid of them, skimming through a book that needs to be returned ASAP, and organizing clothes that Baby Jane has outgrown to be handed off to other moms. We've been trading off child-caring duties so that each of us can spend time with her and also get our own stuff done. I will need to get some work done this weekend: following through on a research idea from last week's coffee shop visit, plus way too many recommendation letters. (I had hoped that my year away would mean that the students would "forget" me as a reference. No such luck.) And we'll be starting our Christmas shopping---online, of course (*hate* the shopping craziness this time of year!)---and putting up Christmas decorations. And, most importantly, hanging out with each other and watching lots of football. Ahhh.
Hope you are all having enjoyable and relaxing holiday weekends as well!