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PUMPKIN PIE, FAMILY GATHERINGS, AND A FOUR-DAY WEEKEND Why Thanksgiving Is One of the Most Relaxing Times of the Year
Who doesn’t like pumpkin pie? This was the question I was asking myself, eyeing the pie I’d brought to my sister’s yearly Thanksgiving gathering, which sat on the counter with only a single slice missing — the one I’d eaten. Throughout the meal, and long after it, the pie sat untouched. Every once in a while, I’d notice it and wonder how it was possible that my entire family didn’t like the classic fall treat. But it was true. Later in the evening, my sister pointed at the pie. “You know nobody here likes pumpkin, right?” she said, laughing.
I will admit, though, that the food takes center stage. My sister and my brother- in-law are fantastic cooks, so everything they bring to the table is completely delicious. From the stuffing to the cranberries to the mashed potatoes, everything comes out perfectly. Unlike most people, the turkey doesn’t matter all that much to me. After all, you can get turkey any time of the year, but how often do you get homemade stuffing? Or, for that matter, pumpkin pie? The preparations and the feast usually only take a few hours, and then we all go our separate ways. But it’s one of those gatherings that I’m grateful to even have the opportunity to be part of. The rest of the four-day weekend is for relaxing and unwinding. I’ll amble around the house and check out a football game or two. I’ll go on a walk in the cool air to get some exercise, or maybe read a book, welcoming the rare, complete mental break the holiday gives me. And then, almost always, I’ll make it out to the movie theater to see whatever big film has come out for the holidays, and maybe bring the kids along. It all adds up to one of the most carefree long weekends of the year. Oh, and you know I’m breaking out that pumpkin pie again this year. Thanksgiving just wouldn’t be the same without it. –Chris Milkie
Obviously, I’d had no idea. But, as I was leaving and packing up my share of the leftovers, I realized that this wasn’t exactly a problem. I wasn’t about to complain about having a whole pie all to myself for the next couple weeks. Still, it’s those kinds of things that weird you out a little around your family, and that make you wonder how you grew up in a clan that’s so different from yourself. I’d tell you that hanging with my family is my least favorite part of Thanksgiving — which I’m sure would be met with a resounding “me too!” from some of my readers — but, of course, that’s not really true. It’s always a good time to get together with my siblings at my sister’s place down in Kenosha, and hang out for a few hours and catch up, even if they somehow dislike the best dessert of the season.
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