Thanksgiving open thread

How are you celebrating Thanksgiving?  Traditional or unconventional?  Large or cozy gathering?  What’s on the menu?  Who’s working this long weekend?

What else is on your mind?


62 thoughts on “Thanksgiving open thread

  1. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I’m grateful for so many things, including this wonderful totebag group!

    I thought Maureen Dowd’s column about family superseding politics was interesting. She has a conservative brother who coached Kavanaugh at Georgetown Prep. Her other brother, also conservative, died while their relations were not the best. I can relate to all this.

  2. It’s just the two of us hanging out today, though I may make a Tday dinner for us two over the weekend. The girlfriend had said she’d like to do Thanksgiving (they aren’t American, and recently moved here), so I’d thought of having her and perhaps her family over, but then the kids found out I’d read my son’s phone and everything blew up. She’s apparently strongly considering breaking up. If that’s all it takes, then I think she was more into having a boyfriend and the attendant benefits than she was into him, so he’s dodged a bullet. Of course, that’s not how it feels to him right now—he’s quite angry with me.

  3. DW has told our kids many times that they shouldn’t have an expectation of privacy from her WRT their phones and computers.

    The computers are primarily for school, and the phones are primarily for our convenience in keeping in touch with them, and allowing them to use the bus app so we didn’t have to drive them everywhere.

    She left it up to them to figure out how/if to let their friends know that their mom might be reading their communication.

  4. Finn, that’s what I’ve always told my son too. I don’t think it mattered to him before. As he says in relation to the govt or service providers monitoring your communication “if you don’t have anything to hide, you don’t need to worry about it”.

  5. Happy Thanksgiving, Totebag!

    We are home from the extended family celebration and watching The Godfather with some good bourbon.

    Highlights this year included some vicious ping pong games, a Bears win, my win in the family puzzle challenge, and scrumptious apple pie dessert. Lowlights include a family member who was recently told she is in need of an organ transplant and a preschool aged niece who came down with a stomach bug on Thanksgiving. (Hoping the handwashing & Hans sanitizer holds out. )

  6. Happy Thanksgiving! We had a very successful dinner in our new kitchen. Took a risk using the temp probe in the new oven (a Bosch) and the bird was perfectly cooked. A typical Lions loss, just a few political comments, and wonderful conversation around the table. Now I’m exhausted, watching college basketball, and thinking about what time I should get up in the morning for a run. I definitely overate.

  7. Happy Thanksgiving! Quiet-ish day here. After dinner DD and I went to Best Buy and the Kate Spade outlet. Got a few things at the first place (Apple accessories on sale) but couldn’t wait out the line at the second. We did get a few things at J Crew. The Tory Burch outlet must have had 120+ people waiting in line to get inside the store. Seemed crazy to me. It was pleasant weather, so felt good to be walking around, but I was happy to head back home.

    I have started multiple projects, and still need to knock out some continuing education. I feel like I’m going to head back to work feeling just as overly busy as I felt before the break.

  8. Happy Black Friday!

    My one quest was successful! I got a dozen (limit per person) of the $0.99 6″ (normal size) poinsettias Home Depot was selling. When I got there the greeters said they were sold out, but they had plenty for back in lumber where the had cart after cart of different poinsettias.

    So much nicer than the 1qt ones Lowes was selling for $0.50.

    No crowd; being Home Depot helped, as did it being 10 degrees (F) when I got there an hour ago.

    Everyone else is still sleeping. I hope to get everything in the kitchen that was left out to dry overnight away before anyone comes downstairs.

    T-day was mostly relaxed; just us 5. Everyone cooked part of the dinner, we watched 3 football games that all went the way we wanted them to, played some euchre. DS3 went upstairs around 730pm and crashed for the night. Just like when he was little. All the food came out well; plenty of leftovers.

    Today, we need to get the boughs hung outside all the windows and the lights in them for Christmas. Yeah, technically not till Dec 1st, but I have help and it’s supposed to warm to the 30s later, so I want to get it done. And stack the firewood that’s being dumped on the driveway sometime today.

  9. I understand about the phones but if I were a teenager, I sure wouldn’t have wanted my parents reading what I say to friends. In the old days, I had a pen pal, a boy and my mother was afraid we were carrying on a romance. She wanted to open my letters and I had strictly forbidden her from doing so. She confided to my brother who told me. There was nothing going on. Both of us liked to write and since he was from a different part of the country, I got to know about the life and culture there. Our letters continued till college. Years later he found me on Facebook. He is a professor of English in the home country, quite popular with his students who address him as “sir”.

  10. That’s a nice story, Louise!

    I wanted some damn privacy from my parents too, but all interactions took place either in person or on unrecorded phone lines, so there was no possibility of any bad behavior surfacing later and destroying our lives.

  11. Happy Black Friday!

    We had good Friendsgiving as usual. Since it’s always potluck style, there was a ton of food. We provided the bird, sauce, gravy and stuffing. There were a ton of apps and deserts and food for kids who typically don’t eat turkey. I ate good food but not so much that it will make me feel guilty.

    We ran out last evening to buy an iPad for kid, strictly for home use. I know that some of kids friends bring iPad and phones to school at age 6 years.

    Right now I am corralling all the coupons we get, especially from Macy’s and Lord
    And Taylor. Will go shopping for clothes for me and DH.

  12. That’s a great deal on poinsettias Fred. I might check it out later. Would be nice to have one at home for next month.

    I am conflicted about giving privacy, but being vigilant about a kid that age. Knowing how I am towards my own little kid, I most probably will be thoroughly checking everything. The truck is to do so without alienating or pissing off the said kid.

  13. We had a relaxing Thanksgiving. Just the four of us plus my dad and DH’s brother.

    I think I’m going to take the plunge and buy an Instant Pot. It’s on sale for $60 on Amazon. A friend recommended a good Indian cookbook for the instant pot and several of the recipes look tasty. DH loves Indian food as well as beef stew so I’m thinking he’ll appreciate this purchase :-)

  14. We had a perfect Thanksgiving. We didn’t host dinner, so I didn’t have to set up our house, and the day was the right amount of fun food prep, festivity, and relaxing. I spent the whole day with that internal glow feeling so thankful and appreciative of my little family. 9 people total for dinner and my least favorite relative canceled at the last minute with his entire family. My parents were disappointed but I was secretly thrilled. (Probably a special place in hell for me but I don’t care!) Tar Heel game didn’t go our way but one of our freshman had an amazing game so that was fun to watch. The boys were polite and charming and made me proud in front of extended family. All in all good.

    DH and I are doing major Black Friday shopping from our computers at the moment, getting a huge chunk of the list knocked out and not even having to leave our cozy house.

  15. This was our first holiday with just the four of us, and it was glorious…if somewhat guilt-inducing. We played some games – both board and the Nintendo switch that came home with DS1.

    Last night, DS2 was out with a friend for a while whose parents have moved away and because of his work schedule, he was here alone. DS2, who professes to hate all Thanksgiving food save mashed potatoes, meekly asked if I could make up a plate of leftovers for said friend. I loaded him up with it all plus pie, and my son seemed to appreciate that much more than he had initially.

    Today, dishwasher is unloaded and countertops are cleaned. Laundry is going. DH and DS1 just left for a college football game and DS2 is asleep. I am sitting down and going to catch up on my DVR. This is also glorious, just completely different than yesterday.

  16. Most “experts” recommend that you start to give your kids more technology privacy as they transition to HS. I agree that our old paper diaries are not the same because they can’t be compared to a phone.

    Even though we pay for phones, we should to try to give our kids some privacy. We give driving lessons for a car. There isn’t a drivers ed for technology, but we should coach our kids about best practices. I understand that a phone can be harmful, so keep coaching as they start new phases of their lives. For example, have a friend with four older kids and she has a no texting rule about breakups. She has a bunch of guidelines like this that she tries to share with her kids.

  17. We are already home from shopping because DD wanted some stuff at Target and Sephora. The sales were awesome, and it was not too crowded yet. I bought most items on line, but she likes to go in person to choose some of her gifts for her friends.

    For those of you that were waiting for Athleta – they have their 20% of this weekend. I also got a bunch of stuff that my nephew wanted from Dicks because most of the store is 25% off.

  18. I did some Black Friday online shopping today, but only for myself! Got a pair of shearling-lined FitFlop brand slippers from Zappos, and some of those Soma undies that a few of you recommended last week. Both were 30% off with free shipping, so yay!

    I’m generally very Totebaggy when it comes to shopping, and as such I will get as many gifts as possible from the independent merchants in our town. There are a lot of nice stores, so that shouldn’t be too hard. DD likes to go shopping with me, so we’ll probably go downtown tomorrow for Small Business Saturday. I’ll return on a later day to get stuff that I don’t want her to see.

  19. “The truck is to do so without alienating or pissing off the said kid.”

    Very true, and this is not the way I intended this to go at all! I’m not in favor of parents reading kids media unless there is cause for concern, and I was concerned about some behavior, and worried more when he was uncharacteristically closed around me. Having read what I did, I hoped to engage him in conversation about limits, boundaries and behavior. Unfortunately, he came across an email I had written asking someone for advice/to be a sounding board as I decided what I am comfortable with him doing at this age and strategized how I’d communicate that to him convincingly.

    Diaries would be a much closer analogy than letters, unless the young lovers were meeting up in between letters.

    An interesting issue he says she raised is that it isn’t only his correspondence I read—it’s also hers. So although he is who I’m concerned about, her privacy was invaded. I hadn’t thought of that before, because I haven’t thought much about reading his phone, because we usually discuss things, and neither of us thought he was anywhere close to having a girlfriend.

  20. @ SSM, my shopping list so far looks like this –
    Dad – 2 new knives from WS
    Sister – Vest from Athleta
    DS 1 – beats wireless headphones (on major sale at Best Buy and bonus points for our cc)
    DS 2 – New microphone that hooks up to a music program he has so he can record himself on guitar
    Both boys – throw blankets from LL Bean
    DH – books and new luggage
    Nephew – hotwheels and carrying case

    Tons of good deals out there and am pleased with what I’ve found so far.

    Still looking for ideas for another sister and brother, and my mom. And stocking stuffers for boys and DH.

  21. Also need ideas for my middle school aged nieces. No idea what the cool gift is for girls these days.

  22. Sherpa blankets are for teen girls? Oops!! I like them so much, have been trying to decide if I should get one or me. Here I go against gender and age rules again

  23. We ended up at Home Depot today buying a new artificial tree as the old one didn’t really survive year #6 in the garage. This one is actually much nicer anyway.

    Also did a Costco run when they opened. It was not bad. At all. Picked up a couple bottles of special release beer (Bourbon County Stout) and a pair of Sonos speakers along with the usual groceries. They were out of poinsettias though.

    I am loving the speakers already, and realizing that Amazon Prime has pretty much any music we could ever want. Amazing! Two Totebag recommendations there. FM radio setup was also a breeze so no loss of my beloved WXRT. Will pick up another pair of speakers later for the bedrooms. (One for DS for Christmas.)

  24. I also ordered a few things from Athleta for myself. I’d been waiting for Black Friday since they so rarely have sales.

    Maybe I will check out Soma as well.

  25. Ivy – we listen to XRT every morning on Alexia. And we have a good chuckle on the traffic updates. Don’t miss that traffic one bit!

    I just got back from Target where I picked up a few items, but not really any huge savings. I was mainly going for the spend $50, get 20% off coupon. I was thinking of going to the mall for some clothes shopping for me, but the parking lot looked insane when I drove by, so I just went home instead. I guess I’m not motivated to save money.

  26. Weds we hosted the Thanksgiving meal in SB. Thurs we all drove to SD. We stopped on the way to visit DH’s 94 year old aunt – she is living on the Dementia floor and I think she knew us. Today we started with soccer at the Surf Cup and tonight we’re celebrating my Dad’s birthday a couple of weeks early due to an NC soccer tournament. I`ve enjoyed puttering around with my parents doing errands and getting ready for tonight. Costco was the most uncrowded that I’ve seen it. Tomorrow we drive home via Riverside and visit my MIL & SIL. Sunday we get to relax. Monday I go to my first appointment to see if we are going to have his and hers c-pap machines.

  27. We had 5 adults and 3 kids under 5 for dinner. We made homemade ravioli and had Oreo cheesecake for dessert.

    Today I went to a baby shower. DH watched the boys. Who were surprisingly good considering yesterday was tough.

    And the boys let me put Def Leppard shirts on them today. Makes me happy.

    Tomorrow is small business Saturday so we’ll go to a small town near us and out to lunch.

    Happy weekend everyone! Thank you for being in my world for the last decade or so!

  28. You all are much more ambitious about shopping. I’d love a dozen poinsettias to decorate my home but no way am I driving out to Home Depot on Black Friday. I bought my usual 3 for $9 4″ poinsettias at my local grocery store and called it a day.

    Yesterday was a day of relaxing and running the dishwasher multiple times after hosting a group for TG. I was unusually tired. Old age maybe? When I sat down to read in the afternoon I almost felt asleep.

    Here’s a basic question. Is there any one source for TV listings, like the old TV Guide? My online guide doesn’t easily show more than 24 hours’ worth. If I want to see a whole week’s worth I have to select it day by day and then scroll down channel by channel. I was told I have to go to the specific website such as HBO to check out upcoming episodes.

  29. July, I find zap2it dot com gets pretty close to being a useful online TV guide.

  30. Rocky, that site actually seems better than what my cable company provides. But I think I’m asking for too much, considering that there are so many channel options. Not like the old days when all the options fit neatly on one page.

    Now I’m thinking I may venture out for a quick local shopping trip tomorrow morning, before the crowds get too bad.

  31. I have been binge-watching season 3 of the Great British Bake-Off. And went on a trail run so that way I didn’t feel too slothful about sitting on the couch most of the day. Today I’m going to drag DS out on a run in the morning. In the afternoon, we will drive about an hour to visit MIL who is recovering from a bad car accident. She had surgery Tuesday and it sounds like she’s having a hard time recovering from the anesthesia – very cranky, refusing to take her pain meds which of course makes her crankier. I am saving the season finale for GBBO for when we get back home from visiting MIL.

    We saw DD (home from college) on Thanksgiving; really didn’t see her at all yesterday; and will get to visit with her today on the drive to/from MIL unless she is glued to her phone the whole trip. DD goes back to school Sunday – but then will be back home for winter break in about 2 weeks.

  32. July, try Also try your cable co’s website. With DirecTV, I can see the full listings there.

  33. We left for T-giving at 11 on Thursday morning. It was about a 3 hr drive so we arrived in time for DH and I to make the brussels sprouts and green beans and otherwise help with dinner, etc. The kids were thrilled to see their cousins. I am never thrilled about dairy free Thanksgiving, sigh (I am making stuffing with BUTTER probably tomorrow, LOL). The kids stayed up late with us watching Jumanji. Friday morning we went to see Wreck It Ralph 2 with all the kids (my BIL and SIL had to work part of the day), which was fun since they were surprisingly well-behaved. We hung out at my in-laws’ in the afternoon and had early hibachi dinner, then DH and #2 went to a hockey game with DH’s brother and I took all of the girls ice skating. We came back today to go to the kids’ skating practice, then we came home and left again immediately to go get the tree. It is sitting in a bucket of water outside until next week – I don’t want it to turn into a stick again like it did last year!

    Tomorrow I will make pecan pie (we couldn’t have that either bc of nut allergies) and put up the rest of the decorations, except probably all of the outdoor lights since it’s going to rain.

  34. Happy Thanksgiving, all.

    We had a lovely celebration with our kids, each of whom invited a friend or bf, and our dog sitter who’s a doctoral student in town and seems to be becoming part of the family. Can’t say my dinner turned out spectacularly but everyone had a good time anyway, and it’s all quite yummy as leftovers.

    Have also gotten together with close friends, and have been out walking a lot with the dogs in either super cold or crazily warm weather — odd weekend for weather here.

    This is the first year in a long time I haven’t done a ton of online shopping. Maybe this afternoon. We did get some GoRuck things for me, DS and DH online.

    We needed a new mailbox so went to Home Depot last night. Saw the poinsettias and thought of Fred — and picked up a bunch for home, my office and the offices of a few colleagues.

    Lemon – we went to Bronner’s on Wednesday. (For others, it claims to be the world’s largest Christmas store). Pretty disappointing— it’s 99% cheap ornaments. We did find some really nice carved Santa’s and snowmen and a nativity scene so bought some nice things. We decided to step up our decorating in this new house.

    DH isn’t feeling great today and has to travel this week, so I am likely going to end up driving my youngest step back to college so he can rest — about a 5 hour round trip. I’ve been driving home a lot to see my parents and that’s 5 hours each way, so this will be a breeze. French lessons, podcasts and Hamilton to keep me company.

  35. We did our usual Thanksgiving, and got home in time to watch Death OfStalin (seriously funny, smart movie – great antidote to costume drama historical movies). On Friday, the boys went and hung out with the HS kids home from their colleges, and we went with DD to a huge fencing tournament. Saturday we went to the Met and saw the Delacroix exhibit, then to the Met Breuer to see a show on political conspiracy art, and then we went to the Christmas village in Bryant park, had hot chocolates, and watched the skaters

  36. DH is driving oldest kid back to college so he can haul his big snowboots with him. I would love to go, but I have grading to do, and have to get a project ready to hand out tomorrow. I also am fighting a cold, yuck.

  37. Everyone’s getting ready to leave.

    DW is taking DS3 back to school, 5-6hrs, having dinner with him, and then driving to her hometown another 2hrs away. She’s going to her company’s offices there for the week and will be back late Friday. They are planning to leave in an hour…my bet is it’ll take longer than that.

    DS 1 & 2 are sticking a round to watch their team in TV at 1 then hitting the road to go back to where they need to be…DS1 for work and DS2 for classes. I’ll do some errands then, pick up some stuff I ordered online, go to the gym.

    So I get the place to myself for 5 days. I was thinking about LfB, and maybe others but specifics slip my mind, when earlier in the weekend I was happy being up for a couple of hours before everyone else, the place to myself, getting a few things done, then enjoying a cup of coffee and reading. It was perhaps one of the better parts of the weekend.

    Technically I could stay home from work tomorrow as I’ve advised everyone I am planning to take a vacation day but unless I figure out a bunch of things that will let me us the time productively outside of work, I’ll probably just go in and work a regular day.

  38. We had a good trip and visited with DH’s siblings and their families. Nephew is into brand names and DS mentioned the brands and the cost. I guess I don’t see the appeal. The branding extended to nephew wearing things he picked up from visiting big names colleges.
    I didn’t shop this weekend but will pick up s few things next weekend.

  39. I haven’t been to Bronners in years, but so disappointed that it is mostly cheap junk. Our nativity is from there (a great Christmas gift from my MIL on our first Christmas together).

    Death of Stalin is really good. I started watching it on a plane, and had to watch it over three installments. I should really watch it again, but in one sitting.

    This morning I went to a little Christmas market in the neighborhood and came home with way too many purchases. I’m a sucker for little holiday gift popups.

  40. Cyber shopping, gotta love it.

    Desigual screamed about its Black Friday sale all week, including several warnings on Sunday that it was the last chance to save 40%. Then on Monday morning, guess what? 50% off. Arg.

  41. Thanks for the TV listings suggestions. All of them are easier for me to use than our cable provider listings, which I find clunkier when trying to find a particular date. I’ve come to the conclusion that strategic TV watching takes more work than I care to do right now. My new favorite reality shows are the Alaskan frontier/homesteader programs that I found by casual channel surfing. Who knew stalking, shooting, and gutting a moose could be so entertaining?

    I did go out yesterday morning for a little clothes shopping for myself. Among other things, I found white jeans that fit. For $13! I’ve learned that Gap jean sizes are very inconsistent, even within the same style but different colors. Today I’ll cyber shop for one person on my list.

    My Balsam Hill “Charlie Brown” tree came this weekend. It took some getting used to but now I like it a lot. My H, OTOH, does not like it since he thinks the color and texture of the needles match the plastic toy soldiers he played with as a child. Very fake according to him. Our compromise is that next year we’ll get a real tree.

    I hope the nasty weather did not affect travel for anybody. SSM, I hope your MIL feels better soon. Risley, nice to see you around here!

  42. Have Totebagger Jrs. done all their college applications ? And did they already get into their favored schools ?

  43. thanks all for the good wishes for my MIL (she was in a bad car accident the week before Thanksgiving). The surgery to repair the broken bones in her neck apparently went well (no nerve damage or paralysis but they had to fuse some of her vertebrae together) – but recovering from the anesthesia has been difficult. She had the surgery 6 days ago but is still not lucid much of the time (e.g. doesn’t realize she’s in hospital, thinks she’s at home; thinks she has a dog (she doesn’t); refusing to take her meds). Yesterday there were some signs of improvement. Apparently anesthesia can trigger dementia in some elderly people – hopefully this is short-term and not permanent but it’s definitely worrisome.

  44. “Apparently anesthesia can trigger dementia in some elderly people – hopefully this is short-term and not permanent but it’s definitely worrisome.”

    SSM, it could just be disorientation that’s similar to dementia.

    My uncle similarly seemed to slip into dementia in the aftermath of back surgery. I went to visit him in the hospital and he wasn’t lucid, but the next time I saw him, several months later, he was mentally pretty much back to his old self, and a year after his surgery he was better than just before the surgery.

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