Holiday Hangover

I don’t mean an alcohol-induced hangover. I mean a hosted Thanksgiving and spent several weeks planning, shopping, and prepping and now it’s the day after and I’m EXHAUSTED hangover.

I never hosted the family Thanksgiving before, so this was really exciting for me. I love this house so much and knew from the moment we first saw it that it would be a wonderful setting for many family gatherings. And it was about as perfect as it could be.

I never cooked a whole turkey before, but it came out great with minimal fuss (no brining or basting needed). I also made the gravy, cranberry sauce, and macaroni & cheese. My mom brought stuff. My aunt brought stuff. It was all very good.

The weather was gorgeous — unseasonably warm. A great opportunity for everyone to meander around the yard. My older brother, who is visiting from Los Angeles, counted 25 bird species during his exploration of our property. I don’t keep a checklist, but maybe I should. I have noted a lot more variety here than at our previous house.

We were also able to enjoy some time on the screened-in porch shortly before everyone headed for home. And then the clean-up started after everyone left. SO MANY DISHES. (And we don’t have a garbage disposal, which makes things extra fun.)

Today was a very low-key day. I can’t stand Black Friday, so you will never find me out with the crowds on this day. I don’t like shopping on normal days, let alone a day like Black Friday.

The autumn decorations came down this morning, except for the pumpkins on the front porch. I’ll grab the wheelbarrow tomorrow and haul those to the backyard to smash with a sledgehammer and leave near the compost bin for the critters. (Not going to toss them into the woods because I don’t need a pumpkin patch growing there next year.)

The Christmas decorations started going up today. This is our first real Christmas in this house. We started moving in last year on December 23 and had an extremely minimal Christmas last year, as we were still mostly living at the previous house. The year before that, we put our dog, Reece, to sleep on December 23 and weren’t in a celebratory mood when Christmas came around. We have a lot to make up for this year.

Hoping to get the tree up tomorrow and/or Sunday. But of course the big priority tomorrow is watching the biggest football game of the year — that is, my beloved Buckeyes playing our archenemies from up north.

And now, if you’ll excuse me, there’s some apple tart à la mode calling my name.

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