Tomorrow kicks off the holiday season. Some would argue it started around Halloween. Meh, if you say so. I know plenty of people who already have up the Christmas tree and have been blasting Christmas music for nearly a month. To each his own. I’m a bit of a purist. The tree won’t go up until after the bird has been eaten but that’s not what I wanted to talk about. I want to talk about traditions, family and coming together for Thanksgiving.
I grew up in one town my entire life. My mother, her siblings and my Granny all lived in that same town. There was no over the river and through the woods for us. It was a 20-minute drive to the white trash side of town. Everyone in the family dutifully got together but most of the adults just acted like assholes. The funny thing is I didn’t see it that way until I got old enough to realize what was going on. My kid self thought it was pretty cool. I got to see family I rarely got to see. I got to eat exotic food (jello ring) and my cousins and I got to pretty much do whatever we wanted without adult supervision. It was pretty rad. It wasn’t until I was about 13 that I realized it was kind of awful. The food sucked. My Granny was not a good cook. Her dressing (aka stuffing for everyone not from the South) was green because she used so much sage. The turkey was as dry as the Grizzwald’s turkey. The ham was just gross. About the only thing edible was the butt rolls. Yes, I said butt rolls. What are butt rolls you ask? You need only look at the picture I have attached to this post to answer that question. Most people call them heat and serve but it’s their distinct ridged pattern on top that let to my family calling them butt rolls. Yes, I realize there are technically three humps and a butt only has two humps. That’s not the point. For some reason, someone in our family thought they looked like a butt and they were forever called butt rolls from that moment on. Anyway… the adults argued endlessly and there was a lot of awkwardness that went over my head until I was much older. But, the kid’s table, that was a fun time. Actually, our table was a blanket on the floor. I can remember all of us kids sitting there on the blanket barely eating anything but butt rolls and watching tv. Ahh, traditions.
As I got older, that tradition faded away and every Thanksgiving someone would scramble to put it on. Even after I got married to the man with the most normal family in the universe Thanksgiving could sometimes be troublesome. Who will host, who can come, do we really have to listen to Cousin Eddie’s bratty ass kid again this year? Okay, so there isn’t a Cousin Eddie but I can think of several bratty ass kids in the family over the years. You get my point.
In recent years, I have abandoned all this crazy have decided to go the non traditional route. One year we went hiking in the desert and had turkey tv dinners for our Thanksgiving feast. This year we are going out to eat at a Brazilian steakhouse. You know one of those places where the waitstaff walks around with meat on a sword and carve it off onto your plate. Yet, even though we are having fun and enjoying family time like we should, I can’t help but wonder what Thanksgiving will look like in 20 years when my children are adults. They haven’t really known very many Thanksgivings where ALL the family get together. Will my kids want to spend one of the holidays with us? I hope so. Will they want the traditional turkey and dressing and butt rolls and 10,000 deserts? In some ways, I hope so because I sort of miss cooking the feast in other ways I say let’s just do something fun but together. I hope I’m instilling family time and traditions with them even though we don’t always spend it with extended family. Most of all, I just hope the kids will want us to be apart of their celebrations as I will always want to be part of theirs.
Photo credit: I pulled this photo off the internet but it probably belongs to the Sunbeam Bread Company. I can still remember the delicious smells of the Sunbeam affiliate bakery in Nashville when I was a little kid. No copyright infringement intended. I’m not making any money from my weekly drabbles. I just needed my readers to know what I meant by butt rolls. Happy Thanksgiving, y’all.