Dear Sunday Letter friends,
Ready or not, here we go headfirst into the holidays. December is busy for my family not only because of Christmas, but also because we have lots of family birthdays this month. Really, the whole month is a celebration.
I’ve missed a few Sunday Letters lately. Last weekend, we were in Denver for a quick visit with our kids. (I’ve gotten pretty good at leaving my computer at home when I travel. Yay me.) This Sunday Letter almost didn’t happen because I watched so much football yesterday, I had a hard time taking a break to write.
Speaking of football—did you see the Alabama | Auburn game? Oh my gracious! I bet Nick Saban blew a neck vein afterward…
I’m living in a time of new traditions. Maybe you are too?
With my grown children living in Austin and Denver—one married, the other in a relationship—holidays have begun to look wildly different. I never imagined not watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade together, not sitting down to eat the Thanksgiving feast with Kelsey and Tate at the table, not seeing my kids on Thanksgiving at all. But that’s where we live now.
I’m not sure I’ll see them at Christmas. Ugh!!!!
I tell myself that change is healthy and exciting. And for the most part, I believe it. After all, everyone is happy and thriving. Their lives have expanded to include in-laws and other family, friendsgivings, and work responsibilities. And that’s a great thing. It’s what we hope for them, right?
The realization is that we, as parents, are no longer in charge. Maybe we never were.
Even though Kelsey and Tate weren’t home for Thanksgiving, some things stayed the same.
We enjoyed a big meal with my sister and her kids, and Momma and my sister-in-law (who took this pic while John was busy carving the turkey).
We all ate too much.
Everyone left needing a nap.
Some even took one.
Broccoli Cauliflower Gratin
In the spirit of new traditions, we switched up our broccoli casserole this year upgrading our normal Cheese Whiz version to the Pioneer Woman’s Broccoli-Cauliflower Casserole.
I failed to take a picture of the final version, but in true Pioneer Woman fashion, she provides us with a gazillion photos on her website if you like a step-by-step visual. I will admit, our final version didn’t look as pretty as her final version, maybe because we substituted parmesan cheese for Monterey Jack. Or maybe because she’s The Pioneer Woman and we are, well, just us. Who knows?
But again, It.Was.Muy.Delicious.
And it still is.
Leftovers…ahhh… Who loves Thanksgiving leftovers?
I do! (But I’m ready for Mexican food.)
Greenish Black Friday
My plan was to ignore Black Friday and celebrate Green Friday instead. Have you heard of Green Friday? Started last year by REI, the company has begun closing on Black Friday in an effort to encourage people to #OptOutside and enjoy nature. (And by the way, REI still pays its employees that day.)
I love everything about this.
John and I participated in Green Friday by walking 2.5 miles in the cold drizzle. We didn’t go on an official hike because => cold drizzle. Instead, we walked along Dickson Street and around the Fayetteville Square while taking in the Christmas decorations.
Several stores were open early for Black Friday, but we stayed outside.
We bought nothing.
The old courthouse is decked out with holiday greenery.
You don’t have to be strolling along Fifth Avenue to enjoy beautiful Christmas window displays. Each year since moving to Fayetteville, I look forward to the holiday window at French Metro Antiques.
Window shopping is a great way to get into the Christmas spirit.
I must confess I wasn’t 100% successful in my effort to avoid Black Friday. Later, when my niece and sister invited me to go along with them to a couple of stores (which included Barnes & Noble), I said yes! Since there was no mall involved, it was a fun, quick outing. And, I knocked a few small things off my list.
Really, it’s hard to do anything cold turkey.
Turkey Pot Pie
In the world of leftovers, my favorite way to use Thanksgiving leftovers is to make turkey pot pies and freeze them for later. Saturday after Thanksgiving is one of my favorite days of the year, because that’s when I make my pot pies while watching football. For whatever reason, the entire day always feels like an easy breezy freebie to me.
We couldn’t have had better weather yesterday! Sunshine. Warmish temps. A little breezy, but we opened the back door and it felt spring-like. (Today is quite the opposite.)
I do believe it was perfect pot pie-making weather.
Later this winter on a cold, snowy day, I’ll bake it, and we’ll be thankful again for our Thanksgiving turkey of 2019.
If you missed my pot pie recipe and would like it, click HERE.
Things Momma Says
I know what it feels like to have a wooden leg.
Sunday Letter readers—
1. What was your favorite part of this year’s Thanksgiving?
2. What’s your favorite way to use leftovers?
3. Do you have any tips for getting through the holidays when you can’t be with your children? I think I may need them.
Grace Grits and Gardening
Farm. Food. Garden. Life.