It’s currently 6:45 in the morning on Saturday, December 3rd. I just put the turkey in the smoker, and my wife is busy making a pumpkin cheesecake. We have a Butter Braid pastry from one of our daughter’s school’s fundraisers that we’re going to make for breakfast. We’re going to do what we normally do on holidays and eat a small snack-type lunch around noon. We have to save room for the real meal which should be ready sometime around 4:00. Since we like to smoke our turkey, there will be a few nontraditional items like BBQ sauce and baked beans, but there will be plenty of the normal items like stuffing and pie. It’s going to be an awesome Thanksgiving.
You’re probably asking yourself, “Why are these people celebrating a holiday 9 days later than the rest of America?” We weren’t thrown off by the Mayan calendar. We’re not in some sort of weird cult that celebrates everything late. We weren’t waiting until the huge turkey sales after Thanksgiving.
The answer is actually incredibly normal and a fairly regular occurrence for military families. My mother (who lives with us) was out of town last week on family business back in North Dakota. She’s home now, and we’re going to celebrate it. We’re very excited because my younger brother and his wife are also going to be coming over (they’re bringing the booze). My brother is also in the Navy, and we have been stationed on opposite coasts for most of our careers. We’re both in San Diego now, and if I remember correctly, this will be the first time in 13 years that we’ve all been together for Thanksgiving.
Celebrating holidays on weird dates is something that my wife and I have done quite a few times in the past. We’ve celebrated birthdays early and late, and I think we’ve celebrated Valentine’s Day in just about every month but February. Unfortunately, we aren’t able to pull the ships in, so families can spend holidays together. The Navy can’t simply fly people home for birthdays. Therefore, my family likes to celebrate the big holidays whenever we are together. While I was home this year, my mother was not, and since moving in with us a few months ago, she has become as big a part of this family as anyone else. Therefore, we wanted to wait for her to get back.
The bottom line is that it’s not the date on the calendar that makes the holiday, it’s the family and friends that are sitting around the table.