Monday, November 21, 2011

Home for the Holidays

In a little over 48 hours from now, I will be sitting in an airport terminal waiting to board a plane home to Denver. This will be my first Thanksgiving with my family in three years, and, needless to say, I am ecstatic!!

Don't get me wrong, I have enjoyed my last few Thanksgivings here in Chicago, but there is just something about being home for the holidays. It was difficult the first year that I decided not to go back to Denver, but I accepted that I would probably have holidays away from my family in the future, so it was a good way to prepare. I knew I would encounter different traditions, mannerisms, activities and even food, since everyone has their own versions of Thanksgiving dishes. Some of the food I liked more than others (not a fan of the jello molds, but the raisin-filled stuffing and pumpkin pie cheesecake certainly were tasty) and I have never been one to take part in Black Friday shopping until I met my old boyfriend's family. It was all an eye opening experience, but that has come to an end. Now, it is time to venture back, because there really is no place like home. (I know, but Dorothy totally knew what she was talking about.)

I cannot wait to do all the things I love to do with my family on Thanksgiving--bake fresh bread from scratch, watch/play football all day, help prepare all the food (though I usally focus on the cranberries and potatoes), chat for hours at the table after dinner and then sleep off our food comas late into Friday morning (no Black Friday shopping for us). Just the thought of getting to spend this time with my family is making me feel incredibly nostalgic and slightly emotional--though I must keep it together, seeing as I am at work.

This year, I will be changing things up slightly by doing a four-mile Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning with my friends. Though I have never done it before, I believe it will be a good tradition to adopt, since it means I can eat even more at dinner. Another event I am looking forward to is my best friend's 25th birthday, which is Friday. It's also her golden birthday, so we're getting decked out in our finest glittery, gold outfits and hitting the town.

Who knows what the rest of the weekend will hold, but I am sure I'll love every second of it.

I totally enourage people to see the world and experience other cultures, especially their holiday traditions, but there is something about going home. It will be a truly special time for my family, mostly because it will be the first time in three years that we are all together. And that means a lot, particularly for my grandpa, who has been struggling with his health this year. In all honesty, I think I am most excited to see him. Because if this past year has taught me anything, it's that family is the most important thing in your life. They are there for you no matter what, your constant support system. And since I'm so far away from mine, these are the moments I really cherish.

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