Saturday, December 1, 2007

Our New Thanksgiving

This year, we decided to begin to break away from the toxic traditions and behaviors from our past and begin to establish our own family tradition that is more in line with our values. We value togetherness, love and gratitude. We value health and happiness.

We were very afraid to simply say to our families, "We are not coming to the Thanksgiving gorge this year, because ____________." We also realized that it would be futile to say, "We are coming, but we will only participate in our way." We have tried that in the past with no good results.

So, in lieu of brutal honesty, we chose escape. We planned a small trip to Madison, to a Holiday Inn that has a small indoor waterpark called Crawdaddy Cove.

Our children, particularly our oldest, were a little skeptical. The night before we left, he spent quite some time crying and listing all of his fears about how horrible the trip would be and how upset he was that he was going to miss out on turkey and Cartoon Network at Papa and Grandma's. However, as you see, he revised his opinion and all the children had a great time.

For our Thanksgiving dinner, I prepared a surprise plate. It LOOKS like an ordinary salad, right?

But this surprise was hiding beneath. The children enjoyed uncovering the design and eating "special occasion food" such as raisins, figs, and raw peanuts.

After dinner, we read three special Thanksgiving stories, all humorous and with the theme of sparing the turkey. I read A Turkey for Thanksgiving, by Eve Bunting, illustrated by Diane DeGroat.

Our son read A Plump and Perky Turkey, by Teresa Bateman and illustrated by Jeff Shelley.

My husband read 'Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving, by Dav Pilkey.

I will rate the whole experience as a qualified success. My husband and I had a bit of trouble relaxing and enjoying ourselves, preoccupied with many major decisions and changes facing our family soon.

Crawdaddy Cove was just o.k. The chlorine was overpowering and our five year-old got sick from it.

Next year, our Thanksgiving trip will hopefully be an utterly joyous occasion that will take place somewhere with fresh water and sunshine.


Anonymous said...

I have just been catching up on your blog. I have been going through similar raw struggles. I love what you and your family did for Thanksgiving and I bet next year will be better. Even though you are really down on your self I really like the pic of you in the bed with the children!
Keep on blogging and keep on striving to make yourself happy. I am with there with you!

Courtney said...

Your kids are too cute! I am glad you did your own thing this year, even if it wasn't all that wonderful--you asserted what you and your family believe in, so next year it will be even easier to do the same and have an even better Thanksgiving getaway. And you were so close by--just in Madison! You should have let me know...Madison and Minneapolis are not that far apart!


Banana Island said...

You guys look so cute and cuddly and HAPPY! Marjorie, sometimes we just have to make ourselves happy and ignore our circumstances, doubts, and apprehensions. You are all adorable!

Regardless of any negatives in your life, these years when your children are young really are some of the best years you will ever experience, don't miss a second of them.

Much Love!
Connie :)

Greenmama said...

Thanks so much my dear friends.

Connie, I really needed that reminder! I am blessed with such wonderful children and I don't stop and enjoy them enough.

Courtney, we are only a little over an hour from Madison. So, actually, we are pretty close, I guess. There is no excuse why we shouldn't hang out some time, and I would LOVE to. In fact, you have a standing invitation.

Fruitloop, I'm sorry to hear you're struggling. I know we can do it! Thanks for visiting me.


luba said...

Courtney, I am also in Minneapolis.

Sarah said...

I love how you've set a new tradition. Given the changes my family has made this year, I'm trying to establish some new ones as well. We enjoyed "A Turkey for Thanksgiving" (I checked it out at the local library after your PoH post). My 7 yr old read it several times over.


Sarah said...

That sounds like such a great tradition in a making! I wish we could do stuff like that but it's just not feasible for us right now. Plus thankfully both our families are pretty tolerant of our decisions. I do look forward to the day where we can jsut take off for T-day and Xmases and just do our own fun stuff (hopefully in a warm tropical place) though!