THE LAST FIVE ...
Closing up shop
It may be time for a change
Entry in the air
Music of the moment
Or ... BE RANDOM!
2000-11-27 - 12:25:26
And it begins
I love how the Thanksgiving weekend has so much involved with it.
Wednesday, the day before the holiday, is filled with so much energy -- the thought of people traveling home, the congested roadways and airlines, the final preparations and shopping trips in advance of our national day for giving thanks. This year, we had my aunt, uncle and two younger cousins join us from Maine, and they brought along a 16-year-old Colombian exchange student, Juan. Juan loved visiting New York, seeing Sandy Hook and the Jersey Shore, walking along the ocean, videotaping the dinner preparations. One of Mom's cousins also flew in from California, so we had more of an extended family gathered this year.
Thanksgiving Day is generally cold, but filled with warmth nonetheless. The best Thanksgivings are blustery, with the wind whipping into the house. Football is being played at high schools across New Jersey and America, then after the games, everyone returns home to get cleaned up and then filled up. More football comes on TV, providing the background noise to many feasts. The best part of the day is spent around the table; while small groups are scattered about the house engaged in more intimate conversation, talk at the table takes on more of a discussion atmosphere. Jokes elicit resounding laugher, providing a feeling not unlike performing, entertaining the family during dinner. With our family, the table has always been a gathering place. We'll often sit and talk there when no food is involved. When it is, we'll stay long after we've cleared plates to continue with the conversation.
After the holiday, Friday and Saturday take on another feeling of excitement. Parking lots are jammed as people head into holiday shopping in earnest. Television commercials and promos begin to feature holiday themes and the college football season winds down with the last few games. Music selections on the radio, in CD players and tape decks gradually shift over to more and more holiday tunes as the spirit of the season infects more and more people.
Sunday serves as a day of transition as people prepare to head back to work and school and home. And that's when it all hits: How wonderful the weekend was, the holiday season's beginning as we sat and ate and talked and enjoyed the company of extended family, and friends who come home from across the country. There's a small feeling of sadness, the end of the long weekend, the goodbyes in the driveway and at the airport. But when everything has settled down again, when I drive home from work early in the morning on dark streets illuminated by front-yard holiday displays, I realize that it's just beginning -- that now I'll be able to enjoy the next month and the anticipation it brings.
I always seem to regress a few years when the holiday season comes around.
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