Friday, October 23, 2009

This Turkey's Got Nothin'...

I do not live by my family. I have 1 sister who lives about an hour away. Every year for Thanksgiving that sister goes to her in-laws in another state. My parents who are in yet another state, always go back to Indiana to visit family there. The man formerly known as my husband does not have family here either, so for more than a decade we have always been on our own for Thanksgiving.

It wasn't THAT big of a deal to me. I was working a night shift and though I enjoy a nice turkey dinner, I really don't care for leftover turkey. (gasp!) I know... Turkey Blasphemy, right? Everyone always tells me, "That's the BEST part!"

Well, anyway... what we have pretty much always done since living here in Utah is GO.OUT.TO.EAT on Thanksgiving. (Double Gasp!) I know... Double Blasphemy, right? We would mostly hit a buffet, since they would serve Turkey with all the fixings, and the best part was I could sleep in, not cook and NO TURKEY LEFTOVERS. However, I will say that not having leftover pie for breakfast the next morning is sad.

Once we went to a Chinese Restaurant for Thanksgiving, and though we didn't have anyone come and sing, "Fa-Ra-Ra-Ra-Ra" we did order the duck. Mmm...Tasty! After our Thanksgiving Dinner (at lunch time) we'd always go to the movies as a family. This quickly became our tradition every year and my kids grew to look forward to Thanksgiving.

Well whenever I would tell someone how we spent our Thanksgiving, they would always give me **that look**. The "Oh... that's so sad" look. I don't know why, really. We LOVED our Turkey Day Traditions.

Plus, growing up, my dad almost always traveled on Thanksgiving. Many times, my mom would take all 7 of us kids to Chicago (3 hr drive), and we'd go to the museums cuz Thursdays were their FREE DAYS!!! And yes, they were open on Turkey Day. Well, after a few years of doing that, when my dad WAS in town, we still did that. I remember a few times going to Chicago on Thanksgiving Day and eating in Chinatown afterwards for our own "Fa-Ra-Ra-Ra-Ra Thanksgiving Duck". Yumm!

Anyway... back to the post... Last year was my children's first Thanksgiving Holiday in a "divorced parent" situation. They spent the holiday with their Dad. Big-D's family was kind enough to invite me to their dinner, so problem solved. Everyone had someplace to go.

This year, however, is a different story. It is **MY** turn to have Thanksgiving with the kids. Though I could justify perhaps setting the money aside and going to the movies that day, there is no way I can afford to take all four of us (no more kiddie prices) to a buffet for Thanksgiving Dinner. On a Special Holiday like this, the buffet prices are more, and **at best** it would be around $50ish plus tax and tip. On top of that would be the cost of the movie - about $25, and then the question would be if I allowed them to have any movie treats? So, we could very well be close to $100 for the day. Not terrible, but for a Po' Woman like me... yikes! I have started to make a list of grocery items to buy if I was going to do a homemade Thanksgiving Dinner... and by the time I buy the Turkey, the makings for stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, candied yams, salad, rolls, and of course the pies, I am still close to $100, and that doesn't even include the movie! Of course, the trade is I would have the leftovers and probably not have to cook the next day or two (tho I'd probably eat peanut butter).

I remember once growing up, when we were Po'... we ate deli sandwiches and had a game day. I know I could do something like that with my kids, and I know that it'd be ok... **sigh** But I just feel bad about the whole not-going-to-see-a-new-movie thing and breaking our Tradition.

Of course, I guess I could outlaw any hot water or electricity usage starting now, and only eat canned soup, and then maybe I could justify shelling that kind of dough out! hahaha!

Anyway... anyone got any ideas for me???


Deborah said...

Maybe give the kids an option--eat out or go to a movie but not both. Do sandwiches and a movie (no snacks), or restaurant and game day, or either restaurant or sandwiches (depending on the budget) and the dollar theater (maybe even with limited snacks if you did sandwiches). Or rent--borrow from a friend, even!--a recent-release DVD that you didn't see in the theater and make your own popcorn. Seeing the movie at home could even allow smart-aleck comments and throwing popcorn at the screen, if that's up your alley :) Depending on what you choose, it could still be a splurge, but less of one, while also preserving the feel of the tradition. Maybe by preserving the feel of the tradition, you don't have to preserve the tradition in its original form.

debilyn said...

I say check at your local grocery stores and see what they offer in the way of pre-made Thanksgiving dinners - we had to do that last year because our oven was totally out of commission. It'll probably be somewhere around $50, and you'll have the benefit of NOT having to do any real cooking.
The movie thing is tough, since movie theater prices are so expensive. Maybe splurge on treats, then let them each pick a movie they want to watch and just have an all day movie marathon at home. Stay in your pjs all day, eat Thanksgiving food, snack, and watch movies... they might love it :)

Alice in Wonderland said...

I have to agree with the other comments on this one. Make up your own picnic and just go out for the day, or rent a D.V.D, and just slob at home! At least you can be thankful that you are all together, and make a tradition out of that!
Isn't it odd how Traditional Days get started in the first place?
Here in England, we just have Easter, Halloween and Christmas, with the usual Summer Carnival thrown in!

Susie said...

I like Deborah's idea. Movie or eat not...but not both:-)

okeydokeyifine said...

thanks for the walk down memory lane. Just have sandwiches and go to the movies. NO treats at the movies, get cheap candy from wally world and eat that after the movie at home while you are playing games... you're welcome.

Ruthykins said...

well, you know i'm all for cooking at home or going to a traditional meal at a restaurant(chinese). i think renting dvd's is the way to go. no buying expensive candy at the theater, you'll have turkey/chinese leftovers. i don't use red box myself, but they have recently released movies and they are a dollar a night. each kid picks a movie and you've spent 3 dollars instead of 25. also, you could ask for their input. i know it sounds crazy, but you could mention to them that you haven't decided what to do. maybe one of them will tell their friends and one of those friends will invite you to dine with them. you may just have to make one dish to take. or you could talk to your neighbors. see if any of them need four extra people.
you're welcome!
(i stole that from nursemom) tee hee hee

kissypoohporter said...

Also...find a friend! people are always in a giving mood this time of year...ask your friends if you can come to their thanksgiving. then all you have to do is bring a side or something.

plus at a friend's house there's probably games and what not.

then if you really want a movie, rent or go to the dollar theatre. a movie is a movie! that's always been my opinion!

i'd say come down to my place, but i still don't know what we're doing...but if you're interested let me know...and i'll speed up our decision! you are always welcome here!!!

Puphigirl said...

Are you fishing for an invite? You could travel with us to Wyoming.

If you go movie route, check out the dollar theatre.

I remember going to Chicago, but not specifically that it was during Thanksgiving. I do however remember going to the gas station to get the Turkey lunchmeat to make sandwiches, that was the Thanksgiving we painted the basement.

Betty said...

I hope you find a solution that works for you! It´s great to have traditions, but I think the main thing is being together! I remember last Christmas without my kids, it was awful! I would rather eat sandwiches and be with them!

Tulsi said...

You could try a different cuisine. My Aunt's family did a mexican meal one year instead of turkey. Don't they get Turkey at school lunch sometime before the Holiday? And rent movies or borrow some from a friend. This year all of Steve's family go to the church set a side for all of the people. Next year it's just us and I'll have to figure out what to do. Other than my brother is coming up (first time in my nearly 24 years of marriage) the day after for Thanksgiving dinner so I still have to cook. I forgot about that until just now.

Tulsi said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Two Blessings From Above said...

There are so many great ideas above. I hope it turns out to be one of the best Thanksgivings you have ever had!

RhondaLue said...

I wanna know what "deleted comment" dude said! LOL

You should get an invite to a neighbors/friends house for the FOOD...and go to the movie.

We have a tradition of going to a first run movie on thanksgiving too. The 11 o'clock showing is EMPTY! We practically have the theater all to ourselves! But you got me thinking.

Ya know, cuz I don't think ahead like you but now I am. We have eight of us...EIGHT tickets to buy. ugh. I think I have three movie passes still but gosh. we don't have it. BUT it's OUR TRADITION! I'll think on this for a while.

Oh, and have you thought about buying one of those $4.99 rotisseire (sp?)chickens instead of a great big turkey? cheaper and no turkey leftovers!

Jill_ums said...

Actually, Thanksgiving fixings can be bought quite cheaply if you watch the grocery store ads. A can of cranberries for 50 cents, a box of stuffing for a dollar, a turkey for 5 bucks, etc. You don't have to spend a lot of money to make a great meal. All stores will have the traditional Thanksgiving foods on sale the two weeks leading up to the holiday. Don't despair yet. :)