I always love returning to my hometown for a holiday. Even though Thanksgiving is not as big as a celebration as Christmas is for my family, coming home was a much needed break this year. Whenever I come home for Thanksgiving, there are always a few things I look forward to:
I always look forward to seeing my family’s dogs.
I’ve grown up with dogs my entire life; my family has owned roughly nine dogs since I was a toddler. Right now, we have a Yorkshire Terrier-Poodle mix named Dixie, and we consider her the baby of the family, a Welsh Corgi mix named Abby, a Collie mix named Eli, and a Pointer Terrier mix named Gracie. I’ve missed having a fur child running around!
Making the rounds and visiting old friends is definitely a highlight.
I love how I get to see my friends grow and change from the young people we once were and to where we are now. My first stop was to go for a walk around Arbor Hills with Megan, and to meet her beau Jake. I first met Megan in middle school when I found out she had a crush on the same boy I did. We eventually outgrew that rivalry in order to become friends during our freshman year of high school. Megan now attends Vanderbilt University for grad school studying biomedical engineering. I then met up with Stephanie, Brian, and Alec; the three of us were on the yearbook staff in high school and became the four head editors our senior year. Stephanie and I were on staff together starting our freshman year, and then Brian and Alec joined the staff our junior year. Stephanie is now a high school art teacher; Brian works for a tech company as a marketer; Alec works for a lingerie company as a photographer. While most of the people I reconnected with were from my high school past, I was able to spend time with two friends whom I met during my St. Edward’s years. I first met with Felicia for breakfast at this little diner in Irving, Texas. I met Felicia when she joined the Student Government Association. I became her Big and she became my Little, and we became roommates during our senior year! Now, Felicia is attending paralegal school and is applying to different law schools. That afternoon, I met up with Anna at Sprinkles a cupcakery. I met Anna when we were both on the LeaderShape week long retreat hosted by the Student Leadership Team at St. Edward’s. Anna is now working for the Texas Gaylord in their events planning office. Reconnecting with friends is always one of the best things about being home for the holidays because I hardly get to see them!
While I love seeing my friends, of course I enjoy catching up with my family during the holidays.
I stay with my parents and grandmother (whom we refer to as Por Por), so I get plenty of family time during my visits. Por Por always wants to give me a sandwich for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. The sandwich is always turkey sandwich meat with a slide of American cheese-the kind that come in the little plastic bags! The sandwich is then warmed up in the toaster over. It's odd and a step up from the hotdog she feed me for breakfast when I was a child, but it is part of my homecoming. Thanksgiving dinner is usually at my parent’s house because Por Por doesn’t like to leave the house all that often. Thanksgiving dinner is spent with my immediate family and a few extended family: Aunt Melanie, Uncle Malcolm, and their kids Joe and Mallery. Mallery is now married to Josh, and they have three little ones that come to Thanksgiving dinner! Our usual setup is the following: turkey, ham, pumpkin bread - a secret family recipe!, canned cranberry sauce, stuffing, shrimp and pork, cooked green beans, rice, beef, sweet potatoes, and corn casserole! I always get an extra helping of cranberry sauce because it’s my favorite. It’s a feast that always has enough leftovers to last a week - this means I don’t have to worry about getting groceries for a few days!
To round out the things I love the most about visiting home for a holiday: I have time to rest.
When I am visiting my hometown, I tend to just lay around, sleep a lot, read, or just watch Netflix. I rarely do hours any of these at once. I will take a break every few days, but I generally have side projects and side clients that need TLC when I am off from my full-time graphic design job, or the part time job at the fitness studio. Being home means NONE of that. It’s basically a vacation because I am away from all of that.
The Holidays are the best, y’all.