Friday, November 25, 2005


Other than the fact that my entire family, including me, is disgustingly sick with nasty head colds, our Thanksgiving went quite well and was a lot of fun!

One question, though. What do normal people do for Thanksgiving? I really have no idea. Maybe my Thanksgiving experiences are not all that out of the ordinary, but something tells me they are.

It's not that we completely diverge from the traditional celebration at first. I've always started my Thanksgiving Day by watching the parade on TV, after which we always go to some parental house (mine, his, whoever's) to do the feast thing-- turkey, dressing, gravy, sweet potato souffle, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, etc. There is family prayer, and a little catching up if we're with family we don't see very often.

Now, this is where my experiences might start to veer off the path of normalcy.

For most years, I have celebrated Thanksgiving with my parents. Up until last year, they were the ones to whom we lived the closest. My mom, stepdad, and those siblings are all entertainer types. We spent one Thanksgiving Day at Old Town in Orlando making a music video at one of those lip sync video-maker places. Most other Thanksgivings at their home have been spent with one of the siblings showing off the most recently acquired sideshow act paraphernalia. One Thanksgiving involved flaming devil sticks and firebreathing, and at another, somebody made a rabbit turn into a dove. I always assumed it was because my mom's family was so showbiz that holidays were bizarre.

This year, we're closer to my dad, who is listed in the dictionary under the listing for "hard-working, pickup-truck-driving, hard-playing country boy." I figured, hey-- a plain old southern family. This ought to give me some better idea of what normal people do at Thanksgiving.

After careful consideration, I think I still haven't experienced a normal Thanksgiving. Here are some of the events of yesterday's family time together, which start out innocently enough and then get progressively weirder:

1) We enjoyed a fabulous Thanksgiving meal together. The food was wonderful, and I received many compliments on my green bean casserole (I remembered to take this one out of the oven on time, unlike last time). As a side note, homemade whole cranberry sauce is goooooooood.

2) The kids went onto the front porch to battle with toy lightsabers. Having just bought Episode 3 on DVD, our family is still in a Star Wars frenzy.

3) The kids and my 14 year old brother Brave Eagle went into the back yard to play in the five foot deep hole he had been digging over the past few months. I jumped in once, just to make sure it was safe, and was slightly alarmed to find that I was knee-deep in leaves and who knows what else. I quickly jumped back out to save the Emus my sister (who tries, bless her heart, to keep me in style) gave me for my birthday.

4) My brother then showed me the balloon animal kit he bought himself the other day.

5) Finally, we took our mutant balloon creations into the front yard, pinned them to a tree with a pocketknife, broke out a ninja throwing star, and had a little target practice in the front yard. If you think I'm making this up, you can see video here. There is audio, but don't turn your volume up too loud, because some of my easily-excitable hollers are just a wee little bit ear-piercing.

6) Just before leaving, my brother found some grubs in the backyard. Being much less squeamish about wanton destruction of living things than I am (and apparently much less squeamish about food in general), he proceeded to eat two of them. Alive. Nasty. I actually have that on video, too, but decided to spare you the disgusting freak show.

So, what do you think? Do I need to keep looking a bit more for a normal Thanksgiving, or is everyone's family this weird?

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