Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A New(lywed) Spin on Thanksgiving

This will be the first Thanksgiving in 25 years that I have not spent with my family. I'm sad. And, I'm excited. Can you be both?

I knew this was coming. When you get married, you have two sets of parents, both who want to see you over the holidays. You and your spouse are the chew toy that two lock-jawed pit bulls are fighting over. Well, not really, our parents are more like harmless Lab puppies lazily playing with a toy, with one happily giving up when he rolls over and discovers an equally interesting dust bunny.

Both our parents invited us to Thanksgiving festivities. We tried thinking of a way to see both, and make both family celebrations work -- I was not quite ready to give up on the idea of seeing my parents on Thanksgiving, as I had for my entire life. But, after realizing that the amount of driving and time wasted in the car just didn't make sense, we decided to visit the Haynes family, since the Sullivans are coming to visit our house for Christmas. My parents lovingly understood, bellied up, and started playing with the other dust bunny, my sister.

So, we are headed today to Eldorado for my first Thanksgiving with Tanner's family and our first real holiday as a married couple (no offense, Halloween and Veteran's Day). Like I said, I'll be missing my family, but I am also very excited and looking forward to my first experience as a "real" Haynes at a real Haynes family holiday get together. I'm not just the girlfriend tagging along, I'm a real part of the family. I think it will make the fact that I'm a married woman seem even more real (I know, this should have sunken in by now). The food will be different, the traditions, the house, the faces I see, but I know the feeling will be the same as the one I've always felt: warmth, love, thankfulness, and happiness. And Tanner and I have a LOT to be thankful for -- each other, our new marriage which has changed and blessed our lives, and the loving and selfless families we've each been adopted into.

For you married folks, I'd love to hear how you handled holidays as newlyweds, and what the experience was like for you. I know this is going to be the first of many wonderful Thanksgiving with the Haynes. I'm looking forward to the new experience, and willing to take with it all it brings -- the happiness and the longing. I think it will make me appreciate my new AND old family more than I have before.


  1. Calling your sister a "dust bunny" and your parents "Labradors" huh? Interesting metaphors...I like. I will definitely try to the spinach casserole soon. I did miss the sweet potato casserole and beautiful pumpkin pie you made last year. I hope they make a comeback one day.

  2. We have it pretty good. Megan's family always celebrates on the day of (until I stole their youngest, they always had 3 single daughters that never missed) and my family would celebrate Thanksgiving in January if that's when we could come. The nice thing about holidays, birthdays, etc. is it makes you schedule visits. Megan staked out Easter as our annual hosting day - you should stake your claim to one and make the Sullivans and Haynes do the travelling!

  3. We will be hosting my parents at our house for Christmas... not so much because I staked a wanted claim, but because Tanner is on call, and can't leave. I would have liked a little extra time to get in the hang of things here. Now I'm in a mad rush to buy a dining room table before we end up having 6 people sitting on the floor!

  4. Great blog! The pillow post cracked me up. My husband and I dated for 4 1/2 years before we got married, so we had lots of holiday practice. But once we got married we went to festivities as a unit (not 1 going to 1 event, while the other goes to another). We haven't lived near our parents since we got married, so our usual deal is to stay at home for Thanksgiving (and invite anyone who wants to come) and then go to our parents' for Xmas. They only live 45 minutes apart, but it's still hard to go back and forth. Last year we decided we were going to SLEEP at one house the whole trip, which helped us feel less stressed. Our families are very accommodating (rearranging events so we can come), so that helps. This year we have a baby (!), so we're going to take it even easier!

  5. Well, my husband goes to the deer lease with his family every Thanksgiving. We have had 4 Thanksgivings and each one I have gotten to spend with my family but not with him...



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