Thanksgiving Weekend: A Crossover Guide


Our traditional Thanksgiving always begins with the Macy’s Parade and the appearance of Santa Claus at the end of the parade kicks off the holiday season in a big way. My mother would take one glance at Santa and say, “It’s all downhill from here.” No matter how much preparation had been done, no matter how detailed the plans and contingency plans, once Santa arrives in Herald Square sometime around noon, it is full steam ahead. There is no turning back.

By Friday evening, the house has been striped of all Thanksgiving and the boxes are put away in the garage. The entire garage has been re-arranged to bring all of Christmas to the front and everything else behind it. The entire house has be cleaned and dusted and vacuumed. There are leftovers for dinner and then a quick drive to see who got their lights up and the outside decorated.

Saturday, weather permitting, the outside decorations go up and all the boxes are brought in the house. With every string of lights, the electrical load is tested and we move on. I have spent some very cold, frigid days up on a ladder plugging in strings of lights with the holiday music playing in the garage. The strings would have been tagged and tested several weeks before. The wreaths, bows, Yule log and front porch decorations would be done by mid-afternoon. Now we are awaiting darkness for the full lighting effect. The inside of the windows aren’t quite done but those additions will happen soon enough. Finally the clock has struck the magic hour and . . . voila! Time for more leftovers and to move the boxes, already unpacked, back out to the garage. Maybe time for a quick drive around the neighborhood to catch a glimpse of the progress and then the effect of driving up on our own – sometimes stunning.

Sunday is catch up on the outside, if not able to finish on Saturday, and then unpack, unpack, move boxes, unpack, move boxes, unpack, and then unpack some more. If you know where the decoration traditionally goes, and you are able to install it & plug it in, all the better. The goal of Sunday is to have the big living room tree assembled and the lights on it. It is seven feet tall and takes over 1000 lights. The must be woven into the branches so no wires are visible. This is a very time consuming process. Assembling the tree with lights usually takes several hours and is the very last thing to get done on this long weekend. My patience is worn thin – very thin. I demand something beyond leftovers – no more turkey or stuffing or pie. Usually I get a nice roast with potatoes and carrots. It is the only thing to keep me going. If I get the tree more than half way done by dinner then we are on track and all the preparation has been worth it. Final goal: as much plugged in as possible and no blown fuses. As much unpacked and as many boxes out as possible – with room to work in the house and garage if possible. If my sanity is still intact, so much the better, but that doesn’t happen very often. If I am still able to walk and talk at the same time, so much the better, but that doesn’t happen very often.

As the Thanksgiving dinner dishes are being dried and put away, the leftovers are being put in the fridge, and the turkey carcass is becoming a soup base, someone is in the garage gathering boxes to be brought into the house. To some it might be time to rest and relax on the couch and catch up on all the football scores. Others might be putting on coats and jackets for a walk around the block. Some might be going out to get those door buster bargains in retail stores for an early start on shopping. While still some other souls, such as myself, might be opening another bottle of wine, sitting down by the fire, and quietly reflecting on all the day’s activities and taking a deep breath in gratitude and prayer. Tomorrow is the day for starting Christmas and it will all be taken care of in good time. Tonight let’s just be at peace. Sorry, Mom.Thanksgiving Weekend: A Crossover GuideOur traditional Thanksgiving always begins with the Macy’s Parade and the appearance of Santa Claus at the end of the parade kicks off the holiday season in a big way. My mother would take one glance at Santa and say, “It’s all downhill from here.” No matter how much preparation had been done, no matter how detailed the plans and contingency plans, once Santa arrives in Herald Square sometime around noon, it is full steam ahead. There is no turning back.By Friday evening, the house has been striped of all Thanksgiving and the boxes are put away in the garage. The entire garage has been re-arranged to bring all of Christmas to the front and everything else behind it. The entire house has be cleaned and dusted and vacuumed. There are leftovers for dinner and then a quick drive to see who got their lights up and the outside decorated.Saturday, weather permitting, the outside decorations go up and all the boxes are brought in the house. With every string of lights, the electrical load is tested and we move on. I have spent some very cold, frigid days up on a ladder plugging in strings of lights with the holiday music playing in the garage. The strings would have been tagged and tested several weeks before. The wreaths, bows, Yule log and front porch decorations would be done by mid-afternoon. Now we are awaiting darkness for the full lighting effect. The inside of the windows aren’t quite done but those additions will happen soon enough. Finally the clock has struck the magic hour and . . . voila! Time for more leftovers and to move the boxes, already unpacked, back out to the garage. Maybe time for a quick drive around the neighborhood to catch a glimpse of the progress and then the effect of driving up on our own – sometimes stunning.Sunday is catch up on the outside, if not able to finish on Saturday, and then unpack, unpack, move boxes, unpack, move boxes, unpack, and then unpack some more. If you know where the decoration traditionally goes, and you are able to install it & plug it in, all the better. The goal of Sunday is to have the big living room tree assembled and the lights on it. It is seven feet tall and takes over 1000 lights. The must be woven into the branches so no wires are visible. This is a very time consuming process. Assembling the tree with lights usually takes several hours and is the very last thing to get done on this long weekend. My patience is worn thin – very thin. I demand something beyond leftovers – no more turkey or stuffing or pie. Usually I get a nice roast with potatoes and carrots. It is the only thing to keep me going. If I get the tree more than half way done by dinner then we are on track and all the preparation has been worth it. Final goal: as much plugged in as possible and no blown fuses. As much unpacked and as many boxes out as possible – with room to work in the house and garage if possible. If my sanity is still intact, so much the better, but that doesn’t happen very often. If I am still able to walk and talk at the same time, so much the better, but that doesn’t happen very often.As the Thanksgiving dinner dishes are being dried and put away, the leftovers are being put in the fridge, and the turkey carcass is becoming a soup base, someone is in the garage gathering boxes to be brought into the house. To some it might be time to rest and relax on the couch and catch up on all the football scores. Others might be putting on coats and jackets for a walk around the block. Some might be going out to get those door buster bargains in retail stores for an early start on shopping. While still some other souls, such as myself, might be opening another bottle of wine, sitting down by the fire, and quietly reflecting on all the day’s activities and taking a deep breath in gratitude and prayer. Tomorrow is the day for starting Christmas and it will all be taken care of in good time. Tonight let’s just be at peace. Sorry, Mom.Thanksgiving Weekend: A Crossover GuideOur traditional Thanksgiving always begins with the Macy’s Parade and the appearance of Santa Claus at the end of the parade kicks off the holiday season in a big way. My mother would take one glance at Santa and say, “It’s all downhill from here.” No matter how much preparation had been done, no matter how detailed the plans and contingency plans, once Santa arrives in Herald Square sometime around noon, it is full steam ahead. There is no turning back.By Friday evening, the house has been striped of all Thanksgiving and the boxes are put away in the garage. The entire garage has been re-arranged to bring all of Christmas to the front and everything else behind it. The entire house has be cleaned and dusted and vacuumed. There are leftovers for dinner and then a quick drive to see who got their lights up and the outside decorated.Saturday, weather permitting, the outside decorations go up and all the boxes are brought in the house. With every string of lights, the electrical load is tested and we move on. I have spent some very cold, frigid days up on a ladder plugging in strings of lights with the holiday music playing in the garage. The strings would have been tagged and tested several weeks before. The wreaths, bows, Yule log and front porch decorations would be done by mid-afternoon. Now we are awaiting darkness for the full lighting effect. The inside of the windows aren’t quite done but those additions will happen soon enough. Finally the clock has struck the magic hour and . . . voila! Time for more leftovers and to move the boxes, already unpacked, back out to the garage. Maybe time for a quick drive around the neighborhood to catch a glimpse of the progress and then the effect of driving up on our own – sometimes stunning.Sunday is catch up on the outside, if not able to finish on Saturday, and then unpack, unpack, move boxes, unpack, move boxes, unpack, and then unpack some more. If you know where the decoration traditionally goes, and you are able to install it & plug it in, all the better. The goal of Sunday is to have the big living room tree assembled and the lights on it. It is seven feet tall and takes over 1000 lights. The must be woven into the branches so no wires are visible. This is a very time consuming process. Assembling the tree with lights usually takes several hours and is the very last thing to get done on this long weekend. My patience is worn thin – very thin. I demand something beyond leftovers – no more turkey or stuffing or pie. Usually I get a nice roast with potatoes and carrots. It is the only thing to keep me going. If I get the tree more than half way done by dinner then we are on track and all the preparation has been worth it. Final goal: as much plugged in as possible and no blown fuses. As much unpacked and as many boxes out as possible – with room to work in the house and garage if possible. If my sanity is still intact, so much the better, but that doesn’t happen very often. If I am still able to walk and talk at the same time, so much the better, but that doesn’t happen very often.As the Thanksgiving dinner dishes are being dried and put away, the leftovers are being put in the fridge, and the turkey carcass is becoming a soup base, someone is in the garage gathering boxes to be brought into the house. To some it might be time to rest and relax on the couch and catch up on all the football scores. Others might be putting on coats and jackets for a walk around the block. Some might be going out to get those door buster bargains in retail stores for an early start on shopping. While still some other souls, such as myself, might be opening another bottle of wine, sitting down by the fire, and quietly reflecting on all the day’s activities and taking a deep breath in gratitude and prayer. Tomorrow is the day for starting Christmas and it will all be taken care of in good time. Tonight let’s just be at peace. Sorry, Mom.

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