Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Let the holiday preperations begin

Well, today is definitely the beginning of the Thanksgiving holiday around our house. My wife is having the local MOM's club over for their potluck (I'm not sure I'm completely safe in my home office with all those kids running around), and we're starting to pull out extra tables and chairs for our festivities on Thursday, and for us - our primary day is Friday.

We have our primary day as Friday because my wife has a very large family (7 brothers and sisters) - the youngest who is 20, so many already have spouses and children. They have 'other halves' with families as well, so about 8 years ago, instead of having the headache of negotiating each year as to which side of the family got Thursday, or having to eat two meals in one day, my wife and I started hosting Thanksgiving on Friday. In our town (Riverside, CA) we are fortunate enough to have a large 'Mission' style hotel called the "Mission Inn" which is about 80 years old and is well known for hosting many US Presidents looking to escape to the West Coast during the 20's and 30's. During the holidays, it gets all decked out, and the local Main Street which is adjacent is closed down, and ice rinks are setup, carriages tour you thru the locally decorated neighborhoods; it's quite the spectacle. So, as I was saying, we eat on Friday and then head down to the Mission Inn, which has their official City lighting ceremony around 6pm. The Mayor and Santa Clause turn out, there are caroling groups, the ice rink is open, and there are lots of vendors with cider, hot chocolate, and the entire holiday season really gets an official send off. It's really nice to have the 5 block walk down to the festivities and then to walk around with the kids. The little ones (in the years where there are little ones) really like to meet Santa. The older folks drag us over to the Convention center where there is a Christmas tree decorating contest (yuck) - sometimes I get out of that one, and sometimes not.

The holidays are definitely my favorite time of year. There can be an air of stress and distress, but I try to keep in mind the 'spirit' of the holiday and that it's about family and especially the memories we're making for the kids, and that seems to help me keep it all in perspective. Try to enjoy every moment, you won't regret it.

Happy Holidays everyone.

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