It's my observation that family traditions are often guided by the oldest and youngest members of a family. With the "oldest" members of this family dispersed every Thanksgiving (both Kyle's and my parents find other things to do), and the youngest being, well, young ... and needy ... and picky about food ... it seems that tradition has gone by the wayside around here. Mostly.
If you find my Thanksgiving post from last year, you'll see that I spent an entire day single handedly cooking a fine Thanksgiving feast for my family of five. Only Kyle and I ate it. The effort was so wasted, and so under appreciated, that I decided this year to ditch all of it. So after a peanut butter sandwich and spaghettios lunch for all, I plan on slicing into our pre-cooked Christmas ham, making a few mashed potatoes and maybe some green beans (fresh, not a casserole), and warming up a few Dean & Deluca rolls for dinner tonight. The kids won't know the difference, and I will not have knocked myself out for nothing.
I did hold to one personal tradition, however, and that was to make my Great Aunt Sis' spaghetti sauce. Every Thanksgiving week, I pick a day to make the sauce, and then later turn it into lasagna. Tuesday of this week I slow cooked the sauce all afternoon, and yesterday I put in a half day's work at the office and spent the remainder of the afternoon lovingly preparing lasagna in my long-departed Great Aunt's honor. I was in heaven upon my first forkful (I put $20 worth of Gruyere cheese in there, so it better have been good!) and was quickly transported to more carefree days from my youth (if just for a brief moment). The kids, of course, ate none of it, but I didn't care - that's just more for me to eat. I trust that some day their taste buds will mature and they'll enjoy the lasagna too.
And now, Kyle and Claire are installing the Christmas tree (photos to be posted later), and I'm recovering from a horrid night with Molly. For reasons still unexplained, she had me up for five hours in the middle of the night last night. I am decidedly not thankful for that.
I am, however, thankful for my three little girls.