Absolutely nothing about this title sounds dramatic or meaningful

But let me assure you, I am listening the the most dramatic and meaningful music I could find. Thanksgiving day is not necessarily the most popular holiday in my house, but whenever we find ourselves nearing "turkey day" we can't help but get excited. The planning usually starts in October, around my Mom's birthday. We go to my grandparents timeshare, play card games, eat chili, and discuss Thanksgiving. We usually end up hosting (which I enjoy) and my Grandma usually offers to make the turkey. This year was absolutely no different. Plans were set, we drove home, and lived our lives. Before we knew it, Thanksgiving snuck up on us and it was time to activate the next step - worrying about how we'll all watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade because we don't have cable. We haven't had cable for years and yet we never have a plan about this. The parade is taken very seriously in this house. It shall not be skipped, or watched casually. Commercials will be emotionally beautiful and cried over or ridiculed for being dumb - there is no in-between. We will all drink coffee and watch it in PJs while Mom finishes the food. And, slowly, we all realize that we're weird and we don't eat thanksgiving dinner, we eat thanksgiving lunch. Which is to say, dinner is served at 1pm, it's currently 11:30am, and we're all still in our PJs. So, the parade is paused, showers begin, and Mom has been ready since 9. The Parade matters.

Then, there's the dessert. My extended family is quite particular about having Costco Pecan Pie at their Thanksgiving table, and they really won't budge on that. So, I m forced to always try to choose a show-stopping dessert that will ensure they get full on first because it's so amazing and Costco is mushy nasty-ness. (I love Costco, we are a pro-Costco company, but not when it comes to competing holiday desserts.) This year, I chose to do a Ginger Orange Bundt cake with orange glaze. It tasted really good....but it was hella ugly. It didn't come out of the pan correctly, and I definitely cried about it. I won't say that I can't cook, but I have never practiced the skill and the oven scares me, so I have some hold-ups for sure. I am ever thankful that my other female relatives like cooking and dislike baking, so I can do the highly structured, really hard to mess it up as long as you have okay-ish reading comprehension, a bit like a science experiment type stuff. I make my dessert the night before thanksgiving.

Then there's the shopping for all the food - I personally love this part. I don't have much else to say other than the red Salvation Army buckets are out, the Starbucks cups are finally PWETTY, and I get to follow my mom around the store. It's great.

The day of Thanksgiving starts with the parade, as I've already stated, so don't worry about me repeating myself. I may occasionally write a paragraph like I don't know where it's going, but I can keep track of my topics once they've been written! ANYWAY! We all get cute for the living room, my grandparents usually show up when I'm still curling my hair. Meaning, I LIVE THERE and I'm still late. (it's a part of who I am at this point. I've given up.) My brother is in some form of red/burgundy sweater, and the rest of parade is played. Dinner is served, conversation is shared, dinner is served, sparkling cider is poured, and dinner is served. Eventually, we all retire to the living room for coffee and the rest of the parade. We all watch Mariah Carey's face get blocked by an umbrella handle and realize, as a group, that poor man's career is over. Usually, we play some card games, but not this year. This year was much more conversational. And while I wouldn't prefer that every year, it was quite lovely.

Relatives head home, with their nasty pecan pies in hand, and we all put our PJs back on. We finished out our thanksgiving day this year with The Chronicles of Narnia - The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe.

That was the Turkeys.

Does anyone actually know what Traipsing means, or is my Dad just a Lexiphile?

Haha, gave you something to Google, and it's not even the word I questioned! Neener-Neener-Neenerrrr.

Sorry, I'm not sure why I'm such a sassy mood right now, but, here we are. You still get to look that word up. I will not explain it for you.

Anywhoozle, the Traipsing! This traipsing refers to two things - the journey to find our Christmas tree, and the journey we embarked on for Black Friday.

Since I have more pictures of the Christmas Tree hunt, I'll talk about Black Friday first.

For the last few years, the deals on Black Friday have high-key sucked bruh. This year, however, it was pretty good. I got lots of people on my list checked off way faster than I wanted to. Fun Fact about Me - I HATE FINISHING ALL MY SHOPPING AT ONCE! I love to buy gifts, I love to plan gifts, I love to think about people, marinate in my ideas, and spend time deciding, and I especially love going out multiple times to see what's out there. Stupid Black Friday was so good this year, I only had like 4 things left to buy afterwards! It was a great time, though. Despite our decision to all take one car to drive to the Spokane Valley (when we live in Clayton) at 11am when we knew my brother had a shift in Deer Park at 3:30pm and had every intention of going to lots of stores, we had fun and accomplished much...even if we had to drive all the way home, drop him off, and go back into Spokane because we weren't even kinda finished shopping. lol. What are your regular stops when you go gift shopping? Are you one of those people who only goes to stores for specific things like my mom? Or are you "annoying" and "wasting our time" and enjoy going into stores just to see if they have a glimpse of an idea of a gift for someone on your list? (me)

We always hit up Macy's and Old Navy. It wouldn't be black friday without those two stores. We also usually end up in JCPenny's, Costco, and Fred Meyer. There's also an 80% chance we'll find ourselves dragging our feet to Walmart because Emma begged. (I'm really not making myself sound fun to shop with, am I? whoops) All *now* 5 of us sing ASTB* parts of Christmas Music as it plays on the Bluetooth from my phone. More family stories are shared with Gracie. We get Starbucks like 6 times, definitely eat Panda Express for Dinner, and crash on the couches when we get home. We always tell ourselves we'll be home by 5, but the car rolls into the driveway at 9 or later. Only Emma and Dad are allowed to unpack the car because I can't see what's in Mom and Dad's bags, and He can't see what's in mine, Mom isn't allowed to carry bags into the house, and Zeke has like??? A single bag??? Merchandise is carried into the bedrooms, the wrapping paper box is brought out, and the wrapping equipment is dolled out between Em and Mom. We all go to sleep knowing we have a lot of stuff to wrap, and Christmas is finally here!

*ASTB - Alto, Soprano, Tenor, Base.

The Tree!

Now, how we get our tree has changed over the years. From traipsing up on a friend's property in the mountains, to going to another friend's property that is less in the mountains, to getting it at Green Bluff - We always get a real tree.

This year was a surprisingly quick task, I mean, we found that thing in 20 minutes tops! But, it was still lovely. The sunset was just beginning, we had Rozy's coffee in our hands (except for Zeke who got a 24oz blended Lotus?), and my Mom had brought beef jerky as a snack. We enjoyed the drive up with more Christmas Music, singing, and laughter. When we pulled up, Zeke and Dad got the saw, Mom and I put on our gloves, and Gracie and I realized we were not properly dressed for the cold. There wasn't much snow on the ground, but there was enough for me to realize that wearing sneakers was a very dumb idea, and I was a very bad PNW girl.

We began our search, walking, looking, asking "Mom, what about this one?" and hearing one of like four responses

  1. No, it's too short
  2. No, it's too thin
  3. Emma, you are allergic to that type of tree. Stop suggesting it.
  4. It's balding on one side. No.

As with the Parade, we take tree hunting very seriously! Then, we find the first contender. Only once did we choose the first one we liked - Christmas Tree of 2018. This year didn't change that statistic. We marked it in our minds, I took a picture of it for memory, and we walked on. The second contender presented itself.

This was the tree. "Stop! Wait!" I said, "Before we cut it down, we gotta take a picture of all of us with it!" *Zeke groans*

Yeah, so anyway, I got my pictures.

Photo Cred - Gracie.

We cut our chosen tree down, and dragged it to the pickup location. Then, very nice men came and hauled it away with their ATV for us. We proceeded to rick our lives down the route they "didn't recommend" because while it was a straight sheet of ice, it was a shorter distance to the register and free cocoa. That was when I truly regretted the sneakers.

Zeke and I reminisced a little about past times at this farm, as we showed Gracie where da cocoa was at. Mom bought a wreathe, some epic peppermint bark, and our tree and Dad went out to meet those very nice ATV men to put the tree on our car. As we returned to the vehicle, we cranked the heat, shared some Instagram reels, and made the journey back home. This time, we had coffee, one blended lotus, and peppermint bark.

Overall, it was a short but sweet journey.

And thus, is the tale of the first bit of the Holidays! Most of what I described, with the exception of a few specifics here and there, is what those last two weeks of November always look like for us. I don't know what it will look like next year, people tend to grow up and change like that, but I do know I am ever grateful for this time around. I am grateful for our little annual traditions, and I hope we get to enjoy them for a little while longer. To the future, Hi! What's dfferent? To the past, Also Hi! Gracie was a great addition!

Until next time, my friends!



Here's a pic of the tree all decorated...