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While Thanksgiving is reserved for family bonding (and occasional bickering) time, “Friendsgiving” is an equally important tradition my wife and I have with a group of our close friends. We’ll convene in an 1880s barn on the Friday after Turkey Day, where everyone presents their unique spin on a turkey pot pie using leftovers from the day prior (the proverbial “kitchen sink” recipe). Absent any of the usual stressors that come with family get-togethers, we all share some laughs, a fair amount of wine, and swap war stories from our past year.
My family and I run in the annual Turkey Trot. We’re all competitive and typically we make sure to really earn that Thanksgiving meal, but when the weather is conducive we bring the dogs and keep it casual. One year I took it too casually and made the mistake of taking a Mimosa from the water station at Mile 2.
This year will force us to uphold the tradition via a virtual run. My dad has set the bar quite high for the rest of us this year; he went a bit stir crazy in quarantine and ran a marathon by himself the other day.
#1 The kids create an Amazing Race competition with teams comprised of one adult and one child. In many years the competition lasts more than an hour, with no excuses for pulled hamstrings or bathroom breaks. It’s full out from the word “go”.
A new tradition my husband and I started once we had our own family was visiting a Christmas tree farm in Half Moon Bay on the Friday post-Thanksgiving. Growing up in Florida tree farms did not exist, so having access to that now is a really neat experience (the views, the crisp air, the jolliness), especially with the kids. The irony is most times we don’t end up with a tree from this farm. We come back to the city, find a tent set up similar to the ones in Florida and buy it there. Why the madness? The proceeds for purchases at the city spot go to a meaningful organization.
I’m afraid mine might be too Tennessee to publish:
#1 We’ve got a large family due to my grandma and her sister marrying my grandpa and his brother (strong start!). A whole mess of folks due to that “genetically brothers/sisters” but technically cousins thing.
#2 Early mornin’ deer hunt, with the little ones. This usually gets made into sausage.
#3 Food & Uncle/Reverend Mark’s home-brewed beer. Everyone brings a dish. The green jello pudding that’s somehow a vegetable is my personal fav. Uncle Mark was the Chaplin at Vandy forever and his prayers are comically long but great. His beer quantities are comically small but delicious. We have to sneak into a side room to drink.
#4 Taking my 101-year-old grandma out to the honky-tonks to end the day.
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