The first Monday after Thanksgiving, aka The First Day of the Longest Month of the Year. If you’re a kid, that is. M. has already said several times she wishes we could skip straight to Christmas and get this nonsense in-between holidays out of the way. I’m perfectly fine with four long weeks filled with Christmas shows, music, and beers. Anyway, I begin the month sitting on the couch, watching The Polar Express, with a seven-year-old who has been puking for roughly 19 hours next to me.[1]

As always, Thanksgiving break flew by. But our weekend was made up of two very different halves. Wednesday was gone in a flash, as the girls and I cleaned house all day, made a last-minute stop at the store and library, and otherwise prepped to host the next day. I topped the day off meeting a couple friends out for a few pre-holiday beers, including my first two Boulevard Nutcrackers of the year.

Thursday raced by, too, between the cooking and straightening and parade watching and, eventually, the eating. I made the bird and Giada’s stuffing.[2] Both turned out well, although I mistimed a bit on the bird – I had cleaned the oven the day before and forgot that it would not be cooking slowly anymore – and it was approaching dryness. But it was still good. Excellent contributions from our guests rounded out the table.

It was in the 60s here, so after dessert we met the neighbors outside for a bonfire and drinks while the kids played. They ran around like maniacs for hours.

By Friday morning the weather had changed. It was raining lightly so I headed up to our usual nursery to grab a tree. By the time I got home, it was pouring, so I timed that trip well. Tree was up and fully trimmed by dinner time, although all the outside decorations had to wait until Saturday to go up. We capped the day with the first viewing of Elf of the year. The first Bell’s Christmas Ale of the year was pretty tasty, too.

So after those three days roared by, we took the weekend proper at a much more leisurely pace. I think we watched at least 80 hours of TV, mostly sticking to holiday cookie and cake shows, with a few HGTV shows and some football sprinkled in. Saturday night we knocked out Christmas Vacation. L. got sick for the first time during the Colts game Sunday, which eliminated any chance of getting out of the house to do something. Fine by me, as I prefer to avoid all the Thanksgiving weekend mobs at shopping areas. For dinner I took our last batch of turkey and parlayed it into a pretty fantastic pot of chili. I have three different chili recipes I use each year, but this new one may retire them all.

I hope all of you had fine holiday weekends and are enjoying the dulcet sounds of Frank or Bing or Darlene this morning.

  1. Our first sick day of the year.  ↩
  2. As always, it was actually dressing, but it’s more fun to use Giada and stuffing in the same sentence.  ↩