The weather has been getting colder, the shops have already put up the Christmas decorations, and my mom has done her Christmas shopping (she likes to do it in October and earlier). The Holidays are funny for me. In general - I'm a big fan of the holidays. I love the lights, the food, the jolliness of it all. November through December - those were my months.
Anyways - so Thanksgiving is first. I normally spend Thanksgiving with my mom and my sister - and we make way too much food. Sometimes we invite other people who are without family but will be in the area. But I think this year it'll be just us. So I suggested to my sister that instead of doing a formal dinner - that maybe we try something like a Tapas dinner. She seems on-board, now we just need to convince mom. It's not really a hard thing to do - we haven't really had a traditional Thanksgiving dinner in years.
Not even the last Thanksgiving when we were a whole family with my dad (fyi- he's not dead, he's just not part of the family anymore). That was at the end of my first year in DC and I couldn't get the time to fly down to Houston, so everyone came up to me. My mom had flown to Durham and driven up with my sister (who was in her first year at NC State for grad school). My dad had decided to drive up from Houston and stop at some friends in Florida on the way up. Little weird that he didn't want to come up with my mom and wasn't leaving with her - but I let it go at the time. When they got there, the heat in my house wasn't working and it was wicked cold. It had been all last winter too. I don't know why I didn't think about asking the landlord about it - but I didn't. So my dad had to play Mr. Fix-It, and insisting on trying to find an open heating and AC store to buy new parts and to get someone to come fix it when he couldn't (on Thanksgiving). I'm freaking out that everybody is going to freeze and if the meal I had planned for the next day, salmon glazed a honey + other stuff glaze that I had come up with that year that was really yummy. Mom had informed me she couldn't eat turkey at all (hence the salmon). So I'm trying to stay cool while my dad is being all Mr. Fix it and my sister is super stressed (her stress level has gone down since my parents divorce) and my mom just did school work. I got the food under control on Thanksgiving when my dad (who has run out of things to fix, or maybe run out of things he could fix until the hardware stores open the next day) decides that the fish is not cooking right. So he decides to take control of the oven, next thing I know, my dad has thrown the lock on the oven door and turned on the freaking cleaning cycle. Now you can turn off the cleaning cycle at any time, but the lock won't open until the cleaning cycle fully completes. That means that the fish would stay locked in the oven for 2 hours at super hot temparatures - and all we would have to eat would be mash potatos. So dad gets out the tools and forces the oven door open so we can get the fish out. Never mind that the door would never fully close ever again. This is why I won't let my dad cook in my apartment now.
Anyways - it was quite stressful at the time, but now we laugh at the whole saga. But it just kind of hit me (as it probably does every year) that that was the last holiday meal we had as a family. It's kind of sad, but a relief at the same time.