Most years by the day before Thanksgiving, our house is already filled to the brim. Every spare corner is packed with overnight bags, laptops, air mattresses, and makeshift dog beds. I always take the day off in order to prep the food, shuttle kids, and futilely attempt to clean the house. Buying the house we grew up in also meant becoming the de facto home base for every holiday.
This year is so very different in every way. There are no stampedes of kids and dogs piling into the house, no angsty teenagers pretending they don't think their aunts and uncles are cool, and no bottomless mimosas during morning prep. For the first time, I will be cooking dinner alone (a tiny 12-pounder you could barely even call a turkey). No one is here to mess up the house. I am completely prepared, and I have no idea what to do with myself.
This morning Kyle and I ate breakfast (alone) and drank our coffee (in total silence). It was strange and sad, but also kind of lovely. This year the holidays may not have the usual energy and excitement, but we are starting to see how this can be a time for rest for our family. We are tired.
Holidays are fun, but they are rarely relaxing for us. This year will be the first year that is not filled with parties, travelling, or crowds of people in the house. Instead we are enjoying the quiet moments. The lazy day before Thanksgiving with nothing really left to do. Reading books in a clean house that is miraculously staying clean. The extra space in the fridge, and no sisters drinking all the good wine.
It's a beautiful moment in time, a sort of dormancy or hibernation for us. It's quiet and it's melancholic and it just might be exactly what we need.
Flowers from the ever talented and lovely Sally and Bob at the Flower Barn in Northville