2017-12-03 / Family

The holiday between the holidays

By JANINE TALBOT
Columnist

Our Christmas village sits in the bay window of our living room, lights glowing inside ceramic homes positioned near the ice skating rink that rounds out a miniature community. Angels are displayed randomly around our house and the table that normally holds an array of photos, trophies, and trinkets has been taken up with festive candle holders, musical carousels, and Miss Piggy all dolled up in her party dress.

We started our decorating early this year – two days after Thanksgiving, to be precise. That’s why you will spot lights hanging in front of our home soon there will be all sorts of inflatable displays in our front yard – penguins, snowmen, polar bears and whatever we add on this year. The lightest displays were not set up for another few days because Sunday’s winds would have carried the penguins back to their homeland – Walmart.

Usually this flurry of decorating activity doesn’t happen until much closer to the 25th of December in our home. We’re often searching for the perfect tree about two weeks prior to Christmas. Once found and brought home (Second Born considers the hunt for the perfect tree her favorite sport), our newly cut prize sits in the garage for up to a week before Spouse hauls it into the house. In the past we’ve spent a whole weekend decorating the tree and setting up displays, but this year we have a different focus.

Thanksmas.

That’s right, Thanksmas - a made-up holiday between Thanksgiving and Christmas that happens to be the only time our family will be together this holiday season. First Born and The Groom have arrived this weekend to join us, so it has to look like the real thing. For our gang and for this weekend, it is the real thing, even though the real thing is two holidays wrangled into one.

Because the Love Couple was inundated with turkeys around Thanksgiving, we’ll refrain from breaking out a bird for our celebratory Thanksmas meal. I don’t care if we have takeout, as long as we have it together. While we have the opportunity to remember just how much we all have, I plan on dragging the thankfulness out of everyone at dinner.

As for the Christmas aspect, Spouse joked that it was too unseasonably warm for him to be hanging lights outside. He is usually climbing the ladder in front of our house and cursing non-working bulbs when temps have dropped down to single digits, forcing him to climb back down the ladder and seek warmth inside the house between each string of lights. In order for it to be more challenging, he waited until temps dropped several degrees on Sunday to begin the lighting routine. Luckily, it went smoother than usual and his fingers didn’t freeze off.

It’s not easy to commemorate special occasions when family is scattered across the country – not that it’s a breeze when you’re just next door. I remember running with Spouse between our respective childhood homes trying to please both sets of parents and family by appearing in time for dinner and opening gifts. It was insane, aggravating, and exhausting, and we never really got to relax at either household. At least with our oldest and her hubby being a flight away, it means that our time together is a priority when they come to Maine or when we’re in Atlanta. We make the most of those times, and in this case, that means making up a holiday.

I’m hoping for a Thanksmas game night, a Thanksmas drive to see some lights, and a Thanksmas dinner where we can raise a toast to our little family. It will also be a great opportunity to grab a family photo for our Thanksmas cards.

Made up holidays can happen any day of the year – The Seventh of July, New February Eighth’s Day – whenever you get to spend time with the ones you love. So, let me say Happy Thanksmas to all, and to all a good night… or maybe it’s afternoon.

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