The early morning on Thanksgiving is quiet.
The table has been set since last night.
I place a ‘cracker’ on each plate, a tradition begun after friends created ‘Thanksgiving’ for us when we were in Australia (and, since their big family meal was on Christmas, and they had crackers around the table then, it made sense to have them at Thanksgiving too*. Worked for us!).
So the crackers are set.
John asks if I want coffee (and I say, ‘duh.’)
The television goes on, and the voices of the Today Show hosts and guests create the background noise as the puttering in the kitchen begins.
Turkeys are brought up from the downstairs fridge to ‘rest’ on the countertops (apparently they need to collect themselves before heading into the tropical oven environment).
Heaps of potatoes stare at me with wondering eyes.
Celery and onions and squash and bread and cranberries and pies, all cozy, and nestled in the pantry, await their time to shine.
Suddenly, I hear music.
The mention of Broadway from the direction of the television in the other room.
And someone begins to countdown.
And drums beat and I look over…
A ribbon is cut on a street in New York City.
And what spills forth is a combination of cheers and marching bands, and floats and balloons as big as a house.
And I’ll soon see Snoopy…
And Spiderman, Pikachu, and I so hope I see Underdog and Bullwinkle and oh if Horton the Elephant shows up I’ll just die!
And then, of course, the big to-do.
They’ll pan the faces of the little kids in the crowds of thousands.
Excitement and wonder will set their eyes aglow.
And Santa and his reindeer will make their way along the route.
And he will smile, and wave, and ho and ho and ho.
And some of the children will make eye contact with him and they will know…
They will just know…
With all their hearts…
That he will be visiting their house…
In just a few weeks!
And a rushed intake of breath will fill their little bodies with the magic of the season.
Because today it all begins.
Whatever it means to you, however you celebrate it in your hearts.
Happy Thanksgiving. <3
Thanks for readin’.
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*‘crackers’ are those decorative paper popper things you can see on each plate in the photo above. If you’ve ever wondered, you hold each end and pull and it makes a great pop (we do a hand over hand thing around the table and pull (keeping the one that ends up in our right hands). Inside is a colorful crown (that you must wear!), a terrible – and I mean terrible joke (that you must read!), and a little prize. I highly recommend this tradition, whether you are on your own, with just a friend, or a whole heap-y crowd.