24 November 2006

Traa-di-shon! Tradition!

Yeah, I guess it’s been a while since I posted. Well, in case you didn’t catch it in the comments in Thursday’s post, my boyfriend and I broke up. So I’ve been trying to avoid doing too much thinking, which means a decrease in blog posts. Don’t worry, I’m feeling much better thanks to my amazing roommates, and of course there’s no cure for break-up blues like the holidays, so I’m back.

So about the holidays: I highly doubt if anyone could find a more tradition-bound family than mine at this time of year. Almost all of my mom’s siblings’ families live within an hour drive of my grandmother’s house in East Millcreek, so we get together a lot during the holidays. (More than usual—the extended family gets together at least twice a month as it is. I miss them when I’m stuck in Provo.) And the 30-40 of us can sure have a lot of fun. Who needs friends when you have family? Anyway, as a result of spending massive amounts of time together, traditions just seem to spring out of nowhere. Almost every single day of this season has its own special traditions.

The day before Thanksgiving is officially known as Pie Day in the Miller family. We fill the kitchen of my grandmother’s house with enough estrogen to scare away men for miles around. Large amounts of Chinese food are consumed as the pies are prepared for Thanksgiving and a Christmas movie plays in the background. This year we only needed sixteen pie crusts, a record low, I think. There was one year we made over 30 pies. In order to chill all the pie dough, we had to empty out the ice cube maker in the freezer. An unsuspecting uncle wandered in looking for a glass of water and ended up with a glass full of pie crust—in the Miller family, we have pie crust on tap!

Then Thanksgiving itself: we usually cook a couple turkeys in several different ways. My uncle Dennis, when he was alive, would always deep-fry a turkey. Holy cow is that good stuff! This year we had a brined turkey in addition to the normal roasted version. We usually have about 40 pounds of mashed potatoes—can’t risk running out. Lots of homemade rolls and cranberry sauce. But my favorite traditional food is rainbow jello. I made it this year—it takes about 3 hours—and it was really good.

After dinner, we laze around for a few hours. There’s usually a Christmas craft project—candy advent calendars this year—and football on the TV. Everyone continues snitching food, grazing as their stomachs settle down. In a few hours, we’ll clear everything off and set out the pies. Once we’ve all had pie, we officially open the Christmas season by singing along to “Sleigh Ride” by the Osmonds—not “Jingle Bells/Sleigh Ride,” the real “Sleigh Ride.” You can’t get it on CD. We had to get it transferred from the record. :D Anyway, we all sing at the top of our lungs, doing the air guitar and sliding up to high falsetto parts. It’s great! That song means Christmas and family in my mind. When I’m feeling homesick, I’ll turn it on, be it December or July. Then we draw names for the Christmas gift exchange.

My dad and I always do Black Friday shopping together. The last few hours of Thanksgiving day are spent perusing the newspaper ads, planning our attack strategy. This year we were up at 3:30 AM, outside Circuit City at 4, inside at 5, and out at 5:30. We did pretty well: I got a 1 GB SD memory card for $3, a 1 GB flash drive for $4, and a 7 megapixel digital camera for $130. We managed to also hit Target ($4 DVDs, newer releases too), FYE (the new Media Play—I picked up some new headphones and got to talk to a really interesting lady in the line. She works for the railroad.), and RC Willey (Marisa—we have a new DVD player! How much do you love me?). All in all, it was a pretty good year for the bargain hunters. To me, it’s like a game to plan the best strategy for dodging the crowds in the stores and to guess which items will go first. Yeah, it’s a little materialistic and, oh, insane, but then again, it’s way fun and I save a bunch of money.

The holidays are sort of a weird time for me. Usually, I value my alone time a lot. I'm quite "solitary as an oyster." (You better know where that's from.) But during Christmas, I can't get enough of people. I just want to be around them. We don't necessarily have to do anything; it's enough just to be. To quote a Christmas classic: "I’m crowded, but at least I’m loved."


Marisa said...

I love you a ton!!!! Yay for Liz!!!

bawb said...

Daaaang. 40 pounds of mashed potatoes? What a wonderful thought.

Katherine said...

Yeah, ya'll are crazy. But I always knew that.

And ditto what bawb said. I LOVE potatoes. A long-standing family rule: no one's allowed to pass me the potato dish until everyone else has taken some.

alishka babushka said...

have you bought new shoes yet? that's the best cure after a break up. as you know me and my bf broke up too, and the next day i went and bought new shoes, and man, life never was better. :D

Liz Muir said...

Good plan! I do need some new shoes, and as an intellectual, I tend to forget to take the time to actually buy them. Yea!