Last night our house seemed eerily, unacceptably quiet. There was only one car parked in front, and only two children running around inside. For the past five days, the husband and I had hosted two of my three siblings and their families. The cousins, ranging in age from 3 to 12, had so much fun they were rarely visible -- just an audible mass of laughter and energy. It made me sad that we can only manage to ALL get together once a year or so.
This was our first Thanksgiving as hosts, and despite some initial stress at the lack of formal dinnerware and seating, we learned to mellow out and enjoy the chaos of a lovingly full house. In fact, thanks to my industrious sister-in-law, who made four side dishes, my amazing husband who made the turkey, my brother-in-law who cooked the ham after fashioning a smoker out of two ceramic planters, and my sister, I only contributed one dish to my own Thanksgiving: buttermilk mashed potatoes. Score! My brother bought wine and beer, and can clean a kitchen faster than a Merry Maid on speed, so he got out of cooking.
One of my favorite memories of the holiday was getting this picture of all the cousins (minus their baby cousin Isabella, who was visiting her mom's side of the family in Miami) on my staircase. Abuela (that's grandmother in Spanish to those of you uninitiated in the language, or "Dora" and "Diego") had bought all the kids matching sweaters specifically so she could take a picture with and of all the grandkids. It was heartwarming to see them all gather on the stairs and to think that the next time we all reunite, there should be at least two more little people in the photo.
So to win my second holiday giveaway: "The Santa Clause 3 -- The Escape Clause," leave a comment with a favorite memory about this Thanksgiving. Even if you don't want the DVD, I'd love to hear about what made your holiday special this year.