Saturday, November 6, 2010

A Thanksgiving Anniversary

By Robin Kaye

I made the mistake of getting married on Thanksgiving weekend. Well, the marriage wasn’t a mistake, but marrying that weekend definitely was. You see, when you marry the Saturday after Thanksgiving, every few years your anniversary lands on Thanksgiving Day. This is one of those years. The last thing I want to do on our 21st wedding anniversary is spend quality time with a turkey—and no, not the one I married.

I want to be someplace romantic and beautiful with my husband. Since it is a national holiday, I’ll include the rest of the family in our little celebration, but I adamantly refuse to spend time with my hand up a turkey’s gut. I won’t do dishes and I most certainly will not shop, bake, and cook for 8-10 hours on my anniversary. It’s just not happening.

Luckily, I’ve found a solution. Last year, I was on a hard deadline and decided that if I was taking a day off, I wanted to relax. Cooking Thanksgiving dinner for the family is a lot of things but definitely not relaxing. I heard that Longwood Gardens was having a Thanksgiving Buffet and the lucky few who attended would be the first to experience that year’s Christmas decorations. It was perfect, well, except for the fact that my youngest daughter took full advantage of the desert bar. I knew seating her near my husband was a mistake. Unfortunately he failed to notice the five pumpkin pie tarts and the half dozen shot-glass sized crème brûlée she scarffed down. As we walked around the gardens after our feast waiting for the light to fade so that we could experience the lighted outdoor decorations, my youngest felt a little sick to say the least, so our adventure was cut short.

This year, I made the executive decision to eat at the 1906, the lovely restaurant in Longwood, thus celebrating our 21st wedding anniversary in style and ensuring that my youngest won’t have a desert buffet to devour. We have late reservations so we can go early, walk around the conservatory, take in the inside decorations, and then after dinner, walk around the grounds so we can ooh and ah over the incredible light show on the way out.

Here are some pictures of last year’s decorations.

I know that as soon as I get home, the kids will probably want to set up our very own Christmas decorations. I think I’ll let them. Now that we finally have the turret/living room of our 100 year-old Victorian finally remodeled, I can’t wait to see our seven-foot Christmas tree decked out and standing in front of the five windows that make up the turret. I’m left to wonder when you decorate for Christmas? Do you get an early start as I hope to? Are you a Christmas Eve decorator or something in between?


  1. Happy Anniversary in advance, Robin, and this sounds delightful!!! LOL on your previous, though the most of it sounded terrific. Enjoy!

  2. Hi Terry~

    Yeah, we missed most of the lights and half the decorations because my youngest decided to do her Wilbur imitation. The pictures are from when we went back after she recovered. This year, she's sitting next to me.

    I'm really looking forward to Thanksgiving. It's nice to have everyone in the family together and unplugged for an entire day, we get that so rarely now that Twinkle Toes lives away from home. We only see her one day a week if we're lucky. Sigh, she moved out a year ago and she's turning 15 next month. I feel like I'm missing so much.

  3. I'll actually be all alone for Thanksgiving, Robin, although my daughter and her boyfriend and I are celebrating the weekend before so I get to enjoy Thanksgiving early. I asked if she just wanted to go out since it wasn't even Thanksgiving and I'll have a book signing that afternoon, but she wants a real feast like we always do. And I'm thrilled. She's making the turkey and I'm bringing the dessert!!! Cherish the memories--they're sooo important!

  4. LOVED the post and the gorgeous pictures ... and the nicknames for your kids! LOL My daughter, who will be 39 this year, was born on Thanksgiving morning and this year it falls on her birthday so we're doing double celebration. She's ordered a German Chocolate cake! Terry, you can come join my zoo for Thanksgiving ... there should be about thirty people here so it will be very noisy!

  5. Robin,

    You're the first person I've ever known with a Thanksgiving anniversary. A friend has a birthday on the twenty-ninth, giving her the same problem but in reverse.

    It's only every so many years that the natal day falls on Thanksgiving, but no matter. When she was a child, every Thanksgiving, her mother brought out a cake with candles, the family sang Happy Birthday, and that was all the birthday celebration she ever got.

    Longwood sounds fabulous--and delicious. A lovely way to celebrate and to be grateful for your blessings.

    As for Christmas decorations, I've become a minimalist since moving to my tiny townhouse. A wreath on the door, an arrangement of greenery in the living room to make the house smell like Christmas, and I'm done.

  6. Great post! I haven't heard of Longwood, but the pictures were so pretty I just checked out the website. Happy Anniversary in advance. I hope you enjoy both your turkeys.

  7. Terry~ You're welcome to join us, I'm sure I can get a table for 6 instead of five. Come on down to Maryland.

    Carolyn- Happy birthday to your daughter. I'm not a fan of German Chocolate Cake, but I do love a noisy crowd!

    MM - Stephen and I wanted to get married Oct. 10, but my mother's best friend's daughter was getting married the same day and she told me if I wanted her to come to my wedding, I had to change the date--hence the Thanksgiving Weekend.

    Anita - Thanks for the good wishes. Longwood is just sooo amazing. I've been going there since I was a kid, it was my escape from campus when I was in college, and I have nothing but wonderful memories there. We have annual passes so we'll jump in the car with the kids, bring a picnic and spend the day just the five of us. Even my 17-year-old son loves it. I can't wait to have Twinkle Toes home for a few days.

  8. Hi Robin
    Love the pics. That place is so beautiful.

    Having dual celebrations can be great or not.

    We got married on my birthday which is the end of July. It fell on a long weekend & we picked it as well because people coming from out of town would have an extra day to recoup. Well you never heard such bitching (from some on his side - we didn't have a cottage growing up) that "I" ruined their long weekend.

    Hubby's birthday is on Christmas Eve - neither were his choice LOL.
    The family is going to be together anyway and I make sure there is no green or red icing anywhere near hi birthday cake so it's a separate celebration.

    Personally I like dual celebrations. My niece's birthday is the day before mine & to save my mom two trips to our end of the city, we've been having it together for years now.

    Just think, on Thanksgiving Day, you can be thankful that you ended up with the right person.

    Our Thanksgiving is in October here in Canada, so we have plenty of time to get ready for Christmas. We usually take time off work & then we're in the mood to decorate.

    Ciao Bella & talk to you soon.

  9. Hi Mary!

    It's so great to hear from you! Thanks for coming by. I got a lot of bitching for a Thanksgiving weekend wedding--I just blamed it on my mother. We had everyone from out of state too and we were married in Florida. I thought people would enjoy getting away from the cold--I was wrong. It was crazy and wonderful at the same time. I just don't like having to cook on my anniversary.

    Caio, Bella! It was great to see you :)

    LOL about your DH's birthday cake.

  10. Magnificent photos!! I just adore holiday decorations. :)

  11. Thanks, Catherine! I love the decorations too.

  12. My anniversary falls on Mother's Day now and then, so I understand something of what you're feeling, Robin. Lovely pictures!

  13. GORGEOUS decorations! We're always out of town at Christmas, so sad to say, I don't decorate. I do love to look at other peoples decorations. And getting married around Thanksgiving gives you a great excuse not to have to cook a huge meal. Sounds like a great plan to me!

  14. I always decorate before my family comes for Thanksgiving, Robin. But not sure I'll manage it this year. Loved the pics!

  15. Happy Anniversary! Those decorations are fabulous. We are early xmas decorators at my house. We get our tree the day after Thanksgiving and decorate it that weekend. Enjoy :)

  16. Hi you do not know us but I loved your post. :) We were also married on Saturday November 24th 1972 the Saturday after Thanksgiving I appreciated your comments and how you handle it. We will be married 39 years on Thanksgiving this year :) Shairi and Gary Edwards Portland,Oregon