Until about ten years ago, I loved Thanksgiving. I told everyone it was my favorite holiday, and it was. And then, something happened. Maybe I got burned out on all of the cooking (and I never did it all, my mom and brother are the true chefs in our family), the clean up and the stress.
Participating in the preparation of a gigantic meal, and the associated cleaning, ironing, decorating and so on, became stressful for me. At heart, I’m an outdoor girl and on a day off with my family, I am more likely to enjoy a run, a bike ride, a hike or yes, a great day of skiing. Cooking? That’s ancillary to my idea of a perfect holiday.
Recognizing that I was turning into the Thanksgiving Grinch, my husband agreed to my idea that we run away and have Thanksgiving at the Grand Canyon. That was six years ago. We’ve returned every other year since then. This year is our off-year and instead of celebrating with a long, strenuous hike at the Grand Canyon, we are in Sedona, Arizona enjoying the beauty, the clear weather and the incredible biking, hiking and red rock vistas. Not only is Sedona perfect for vigorous family fun, but it is also perfect for relaxing, for sitting, reading and contemplating the beauty of the landscape.
While I miss my family at home and I do miss the togetherness afforded by big family holidays, I don’t miss the work. Like the Grinch Who Stole Christmas who discovered that Christmas can come without packages, bags, ribbons and tags, Thanksgiving for me can come without ironing, recipes and doing dishes.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the packages, bags, ribbons and tags just as much as I love the traditional Thanksgiving meal. But what I’ve grown to realize is that ultimately, it’s the spirit that makes the holiday. And spirit…we have plenty of!
Signing off from my personal Who-Ville,
The Brave Ski Mom
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