A Hooten Family Thanksgiving

I woke up this morning, and the air seemed sweeter, my alarm seemed not quite as piercing, and class seemed slightly more tolerable than usual. What is it you ask that has me in such a chipper mood? Thanksgiving break is only ONE day away; it is so close that I can almost smell the freedom. Oh to be home for an entire week. No deadlines, no class, no practice, no dorm room. Just home.

Thanksgiving is always a wonderful time at my house. Thanksgiving is also the day we start listening to Christmas music. Not that I haven't already started listening to Christmas music; it will now just be more socially acceptable.

In case you were wondering, here is a look into a "Hooten Family Thanksgiving:" 
(I have also included some of my random food pictures which I hope will give some of you an incentive to read.)

Sis and Bro and I always gets up on the morning of Thanksgiving and watches the Thanksgiving day parade. Daddy and Mama are already up, because our family is responsible for the turkey, which must be started in the wee hours of the morning. Then, about 12:00 or so, we all slowly meander over to my grandma's house to eat. We walk in, quickly greeted by several relatives while some of the uncles are loudly snoring dozed off in the living room.
Then it is off to the kitchen to see grandma. She is working busily, yet ever so calmly, in the kitchen preparing all of the last minute dishes. Stirring the gravy, setting the tables, slicing the cranberry sauce (what is Thanksgiving without that deep red gelatinous substance glaring at you from its fancy crystal dish?), getting the dressing out of the oven, and greeting all of the grandchildren as they chaotically file into the kitchen two by two. 

My brother and sister and I wander back into the den and make small talk with all of the Aunts and Uncles to the low hum of the infamous dog show on the television. Then, what we have all been waiting for, Grandma yells from the kitchen, "It's Ready!"

We all filter into the living room and form an ever-expanding circle and thank God for his many blessing and protection over our family within the last year. It is really a beautiful thing.

Then it is time to eat! Some sit down and wait for the line to dwindle, and some eagerly get in line, hoping to get the corner piece of grandma's cornbread. The line eventually slows, and everyone sits down and enjoys a wonderful time of food and family. The ladies socialize and comment on all of the latest hairstyles and clothes debuted at Grandma's Thanksgiving dinner. We converse about all the food and swap recipes while the men just grunt contentedly and wander back into the kitchen for seconds thirds. 

After everyone is absolutely stuffed with turkey and various casseroles and stuffing and pecan pie, the men slowly make their way into the den and fall asleep. The ladies, however, stay in the kitchen and clean up all of the dishes, and bag the leftovers.

Then it is into the den for everyone! We all calmly chat while all of the little cousins go outside and play with their latest toy that Nana bought them. For the next hour, we browse all of Grandma's Thanksgiving adds and catalogs and speak of ambitious Black Friday intentions.

Then it is time to get Grandma ready for Christmas. It is a tradition that has been passed down from my aunts and now to my sister and me. (Yes, me is grammatically correct.)
We walk out back to the big storage shed/warehouse and drag out all of grandma's decorations. They have been the same ever since I can remember, and I wouldn't expect any less. We get out the tree and the garland, all of the ornaments and bows, the candles that go in the window, and the little porcelain Christmas town that sits on Grandma's window seat.

Up all of the Christmas decorations go, and by now, the Walton family Christmas is normally playing on Hallmark. The aunts always supervise to see that the job is done above-par--another tradition that I look forward to upholding myself, and there is always a frantic search for the missing box of [insert whatever is missing this year here], but it is eventually found.
By this time, most of the men have awoken from their turkey-induced slumbers and all rode to so-and-so's house to look at his new tractor/vehicle purchase.

Christmas at Liberty

After the decorations are hung, the ladies sit back down and talk for a little while. I normally talk to Jacob, one of my cousins that loves to bake, as we assess all of the dishes that were brought for lunch and talk about the latest recipe finds and fails that we have experienced. Then everyone sort of slowly and quietly disperses back to their own houses (which are all no more than a half of a mile apart).

And that, my dear friends, is what a Hooten Family Thanksgiving looks like.

La Torta de Queso.

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