Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A Different Home for the Holidays

This Thanksgiving was the first holiday I spent away from my family.  I had avoided the "now that we're married..." holiday talk for as long as possible, but this year I had no choice but to succumb to the splitting plan.  

Luckily for us, Christmas isn't really an issue -- my family does a big Christmas Eve feast, and his does the whole Christmas morning thing, so we just fly from SF --> OC early on the 25th.  But Thanksgiving is problematic.  It's only one night, one indivisible meal.  There's no time for a flight, even a short 90-minute one.  And I'm an only child. 

Plus, it goes without saying, my family is THE BEST at Thanksgiving (if I do say so myself).

{the fam, Thanksgiving 2011}

Last year was the first time Brian had Thanksgiving with my family. He gladly ate spanikopita in place of green bean casserole, he didn't complain a bit about missing his family (although I'm sure he did), and was happy to be there with mine.

This year, I owed him the same.  But I worried I wouldn't be able to do it.  I worried that I'd complain, or I'd be grumpy or sad or resent him for making me miss out on one of my favorite family days.  I thought about it, read about it, self-analyzed, tried to prep for an emotional meltdown.

And now I can tell you, the truth is it was totally fine.  Better than fine -- it was really really nice.  When we got in the car headed to Santa Barbara, I was just grateful.  Grateful to have Brian by my side, and grateful that I had a new family who was willing to add me to their table, include me in their traditions, and invite me into their holiday.  I realized that it wasn't about me (surprise!).  It was about them.  It was about making sure they knew that I was happy and thankful to have them in my life, and to have them welcome me into theirs.

And so it was a rite of passage of sorts, and it was important that I was there, for them, for me, for us.  A very happy Thanksgiving!  (A couple pictures here if you want to see.)

P.S.  We also started a little mini-Pearson-fam Thanksgiving tradition, just the two of us -- we ran our first turkey trot!  (I know, I know, everyone's doing it these days -- but it was funnnn I swear.)  It was a 4-miler in Santa Barbara, and we've made a pact to do it again next year in the Bay Area, no excuses!

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