Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Thanksgiving Traditions?

Justin came home for Thanksgiving Week. It's comforting how quickly family life can fall into routine again. Our home had adjusted to one less son, and then when he returned home, he just melted into that Justin-sized hole left in his absence. We didn't feel that void, life gets busy, life goes on, but when he returns everything just fits together as if he never left. In many ways the same son that I knew a year ago, in many ways also showing a sense of maturity and reality-adjustment that only perspective and reflection can give... not too much maturity though.

On one of his first nights back home, Benjamin asked Justin, "Why do you have Cameron's face?" That's an astoundingly perceptive question for his 3-year old little brain. I have occasionally noticed a shared trait between the two but I have never thought they looked alike, despite the comments of many others. I guess since Cameron has just sprouted up and changed so much physically lately, I can see it a lot more.

My sophomores read the short story "Everyday Use," by Alice Walker. The pre-writing activity is writing about a family tradition. The students often struggle over this and say that they don't have any family traditions. So, I tell them to just think about something they always do for the holidays. This, of course, causes me to stress and worry if our small little family has any traditions and would my boys be ones to struggle over responding to this prompt. I imagine they would.

Our Thanksgiving morning traditionally begins with the boys running the Turkey Trot 5K with the YMCA. This year, they actually walked down there themselves, food donations in tote, and ran. So, I can't really say that's much of a "family" tradition. Second to that, I would say we traditionally watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Except this year, I gave myself permission to admit that I just find the whole thing irritating. Is it a parade or is it a collection of musical melodies? And do we really need commentators identifying the overly-inflated socially iconic balloons harnessed down and drug along "Fifty Shades" style? No, this year I didn't need that, and just skipped the whole thing.

Does Black Friday shopping count as a family tradition? It probably shouldn't since it is the epitome of why I dread the "holiday season." If it could though, we could check that one on the Thanksgiving traditions list. We didn't get crazy about it, didn't head out until after 10 in the morning. Of course with the (much debated) beginning of "Black Friday" specials on Thanksgiving Day, it doesn't seem there were the normal early morning hour crowds and craziness.

We did a little bit of this...
And a whole lot of this...
Getting the boys new phones was first on the agenda of the day. However, it became the greater part of the entire day. After spending nearly two hours waiting in the Verizon store, we were (thankfully) told by our Associate that the phones we were looking at were $200 cheaper at Best Buy that day. The really sad part of the whole "adventure" was the phones we were getting were the most decent of the nondata-required models, and thus not at all the ones anyone else wanted, but yet the ones that consumed our day in wait. Case in point, when we arrived to Best Buy, there were only two models in stock. Over two hours later when we made it to the front of the line (which was not that long and should not have taken two hours), there were still two models in-stock. Of course with both boys having phones requiring duct tape to hold them together, speaker phones to call anyone, and advanced cryptology skills to decipher the texts, I was approaching the modern-aged definition of neglect, and they needed to be allowed to just die... the phones, not the boys.

After a bit of shopping, post phone-buying-marathon, we did go see "Catching Fire." Come to think of it, the last time we did Black Friday shopping, it was to stand in line over 3 hours to buy I-pod Touches after going to see the late showing of one of the "Twilight" movies.

So, I guess the best summary of our Thanksgiving traditions is prolonged shopping to buy mildly outdated technology coupled with Hollywood's raping of young adult literature?

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