When I was very young, my family used to go out for Thanksgiving dinner. I remember getting dressed up and heading off to the same restaurant every year where we would meet the entire family for what seemed like the longest dinner ever.
That changed at some point and we started to host Thanksgiving and Christmas Day dinner at our house. (I think it was after my grandfather, our family patriarch, passed away.) We still got dressed up a little and the dinner seemed to last forever, but the atmosphere was much more comfortable. The kids got to run around more, could watch TV or a movie, play with toys and games, and not worry about disrupting other people. Adults could relax in the kitchen or living room with a drink or a smoke (at the time it was okay to smoke in our house, but only in the kitchen), could have louder discussions, relax by the fire, and wander about the house looking a decorations or the latest addition to my father’s gun collection.
There was always more prep work leading up to the holiday meals – cleaning the house from top to bottom, decorating every room, polishing the silver, stocking the refrigerator and cabinets with a ridiculous amount of treats and snacks, and making sure every pet in the house was groomed as if they were going to a show. Despite at least three days worth of work before a holiday, I always enjoyed the holiday at home over the holiday at a restaurant. We got to spend more quality time with each other, the house was filled with the smells of cooked onion, celery and roasted turkey, voices and laughter echoed all over, leftovers boxed up for guests to take home or stacked in the refrigerator, and Christmas music coming from the radio in the kitchen (even on Thanksgiving).
So, tell me what you prefer, holidays at home or holidays out. What does your family do for Thanksgiving? Is there a particular restaurant or person’s house you go to each year?