My Mom and Dad didn’t come to us this year because they were here last weekend for my Dover Symphony concert (thanks for coming, Mom and Dad). They were only staying until Monday, though, and considering how busy, sick, and exhausted we’ve been over the past few weeks, we weren’t really interested in making the Thanksgiving trek of eternal traffic to visit them in New Jersey. Since our dear friend Sybil (aka, Scott, my brother-in-law) and his wife (hi, Beth!) have hosted the Scheir side of the family for about the past 10 years or so, we figured they’d have their hands full and didn’t invite ourselves along. Nor did we invite any of them here. Ultimately, Craig and I decided that we’d be spending Thanksgiving here at home, with the kids, alone.
We were so excited when my sister hit on the money idea of the decade: Chinese food. Chinatown Buffet (the one by Toys ‘R Us and TJ Maxx), she said, would be open on Thanksgiving Day. Crazy? Crazy enough to really work, I thought, especially since it seemed silly to make a turkey dinner with all the trimmings for 4 people, especially when 1 is a vegetarian. I trial ballooned the idea on Facebook and got all the affirmation I was looking for. My favorite response was from Connie, our pastor’s wife, who called me and said, “It’s so nice that you’re making memories for the children. Just think, someday they’ll say, ‘Remember that time Mom went crazy and we had Chinese food for Thanksgiving?'”
Amen, sister. Pass the chopsticks.
So, 4 hours after a lovely breakfast of cranberry sauce, spoonbread, and eggy/cheesy biscuits, off we trekked to the Chinatown Buffet. And it was aweSOME!!! Sushi! Noodles! Egg rolls! Brownies! Happy service! Happier customers! And no darn dishes to boot–gosh, am I thankful!!
I’m especially thankful that we could be upfront and honest with the rest of the family about our temporary tradition transition. Come to find out that when Craig called his Mom, she said that Scott and family made a tradition departure of their own, going instead to his sister-in-law’s for the day (which, in case you’re reading, is perfectly A-OK by me, Scott), leaving Aunt Kay, Aunt Bebble, and Mom and Dad Scheir on their own for dinner (again, different, but perfectly OK). So it was a low-key change of pace for everybody this year–and the Chinese option was a fun conversation piece.
Would we do it again? I don’t know. But it was the right thing at the right time for a family that bit off way more than it could chew this fall. For the rest and relaxation, we are so very thankful.