A few years ago, I had a nightmare holiday season consisting of constantly cooking amazing meals for people who showed up late or not at all.  There was family infighting and drama which eclipsed the Thanksgiving we ate out of a convenience store as the worst holiday ever.  I’m a Scandinavian Minnesotan.  When faced with drama, we turn our cheek, and cross it off our list.  This was a traumatic thing for me, because I recall the holidays as being an amazing time.  I loved spending time with my cousins and my grand parents.  We may have replaced the groaning Scandinavian smorgasbord with family style passing, but at Christmas there were always three or four proteins (butter fried chicken, swedish meatballs, swedish sausage, and lutefisk), several side dishes, condiments like pickled herring, lefse, and a cookie plate that had to have contained a dozen varieties).  Thanksgiving was my Mother’s specialty.  Somehow, she managed to make turkey gravy taste good, and her pumpkin pie (from the Festal can recipe) was to die for.

I recall these holidays with no small amount of sadness, because I simply do not have the ability to recreate that for my family that I inherited from my husband.  Their values traditions were so well entrenched when I met them. There’s nothing wrong with the way they celebrate.  It’s just that I mourn the passing of my family.  Better that I go with the flow than recreate my childhood for a generation that doesn’t quite get it.

So, I crossed the holidays off my list.  Still, it would be mean (in the small-minded sense) to experience the holidays without any family.  Tom and I have reached a compromise that has worked for the last several years.  I agree to go along with whatever holiday plans his family makes graciously, and he will graciously agree to travel over one of the two major holidays.

This year, we are going to Las Vegas for Thanksgiving.  This will be my eighth (ninth?) trip there, so my travel choices will be dictated less by guidebook “must-do’s”, and more by my current passions and interests.   I’ve been trying out a few new planning resources for this trip, and I hope to tell you how they worked.

We do have a trip to Disney World planned for December, but we’ll be home for Christmas.   Our real problem here will be finding a time to put the tree up.  I’m aiming for December 3rd, but I know Tom has plans for that day.  Hmmm….

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