Most people celebrate Thanksgiving with one turkey--we were fortunate enough to have three.
John's sister Sue and her family wrapped up a two-week visit in the area a few days before Thanksgiving and the girls and I headed to the park so they could play with their cousin Lucy one more time before she returned to Washington.
The following day John's older sister Terri arrived with one of her sons and the rest of her family trickled in throughout the week, and Jeff's daughter Syd came home from college in New York. It was an especially giant gathering of 19 at Dora and Jim's place so one of the first orders of business was getting a photo of all of the cousins together. With Sue and her two little girls now gone we had 8 of 10 grandchildren assembled plus Dora and Jim's grand-nephews Jacob and Brayden.
It was also necessary to get a photo in before the girls ditched their outfits for the princess costumes that they play dress up with every time they are at grandma's house.
So despite the princesses running around it was a pretty typical Thanksgiving, with too much good food before we even got to the dinner, and football on TV, and the little cousins ignoring the football in favor of their video games,
and the big cousins mostly ignoring the football in favor of wrestling on the couch with uncle Jeff.
Pretty much everyone pitched in with some part of the dinner, with Terri and her daughter Laura being head chef and head sous chef. But since Syd is a major potato connoisseur, she was assigned that job:
Then after dinner, Tim got out his laptop and nearly instantly found it and him the object of some interest by a little cousin:
And more cousins joined him, who directed him to a game website and were each yelling commands at him and over each other in order to play the games:
And then he got even more attention:
Erin announced to us the next day that she wanted a laptop too.
Thanksgiving night I contemplated getting up unworldly super early in order to do that infamous crazy black friday christmas shopping thing, which is something I have never attempted, or even considered attempting, before. Then I talked myself out of it and went to bed but I woke up the next morning at 3:45 and couldn't get back to sleep, so I headed out and was at the largest local mall while it was still pitch black at 5am. Hundreds of other people had beat me there, many of whom were already leaving the mall with huge bundles in their arms by 5, and rest were apparently on line at Starbucks . That line was at least 50 people long. Now, the one thing I know for certain about Starbucks is that the service is not fast. Oh, and the coffee is waaaaaaay over-rated and overpriced. I guess that's three things. Anyway, it takes at least 10 minutes to get an order with a line of only 4 or 5 people. That line I saw was easily 60-90 minutes long. Why would anyone bother getting up and coming here at 5 am just to stand in line for coffee for an hour? Bizarre. Even more bizarre were the people who already had their orders, but were casually sitting inside at tables chatting away, like this was a leisurely weekend outing.
So I headed to my chosen destination, Macys, and without a plan or a shopping list I started looking for presents and trying to find some new jeans on sale for me. Having found both, I went to the dressing room, which was empty and quiet except for the BLASTING LOUD ENOUGH TO WAKE THE DEAD rap music that some genius at Macys corporate must have decided that those of us who are interested in buying jeans would enjoy. Rap is annoying enough at a reasonable hour of the day-- I can now say for certain that at 5:14am it becomes exponentially more annoying.
And as I stood there yawning I thought about where I was, and what time it was, and what I was doing, and what I was being forced to listen to, and I kind of wondered at exactly which point in my life my normally reasonable judgment abandoned me and led me here.
The next morning John and I did a bit of furniture browsing and shopping together which led me back to the same mall, among other places. It was really, really empty on saturday morning, which made it the perfect time to take the girls to visit Santa. There are several windows in the roof and throught those windows you can see the reindeers' antlers if you look carefully: