Thursday, November 15, 2012

Thanksgiving Festivities

Thanksgiving...T-7 DAYS

So my favorite holiday is just around the corner!!  One week away!! I can't wait!  I love Thanksgiving because it is the unofficial kick-off to the best season...CHRISTMAS!!  The Kitley's have many holiday traditions centered around Turkey Day!

My little brother will return Saturday from college for his fall break so that's exciting.  Whenever Dylan comes home we usually go out to eat A LOT because he's never really home.  

Okay so on to traditions!

Wednesday before Thanksgiving:

One of my oldest best friends and I get together for "Cheap College Kid Day"!  First we meet up at 9 am (again this should indicate how much I loooooove hanging out with her because I don't wake up early for annnnyboddy.) and we go to the diner for "Cheap College Kid Breakfast".  That's not the official title but it's $2.95 for pancakes so it really is for Cheap College Kids!  Then, we're off to Shop Rite to acquire the accouterments for the best chocolate chip cookies.  My friend is an expert chocolate chip cookie baker.  I excel at brownies not cookies.  Her cookies literally make the world better.  When you eat them you just are instantly happy.  It's like rainbows+sunshine+happiness in cookie form.  BEST!!  We bake cookies for two reasons.  Ourselves and our FAVORITE teacher!  Our favorite teacher literally changed our lives.  She was so dedicated and so invested in her students that she literally would do anything for us.  LOVED HER.  I always felt like the girl version of Cory Matthews because she was my Mr. Feeny.  She lived next door to me and taught me for so many years.  She and I have heart to hearts over the hedges and talk about life, books, relationships...everything!  She was our ACE teacher (Advanced Classes for Education) from grades 3 (4 for me)-8.  A special privilege afforded to the middle school ACE students was that you got to stay after school on the half-day Wednesday before Thanksgiving.  We got to eat pizza, snacks, and paint the windows of the classroom with Winter Scenes!  These winter scenes were soooo cool because we got to paint depictions of classic holiday activities.  One window would have a skating scene, one would have a "holiday tree" (gotta love public school and their ability to crush Christmasness), one would have sledders, and one would have a log cabin.  Every year since we graduated 8th grade (2005) we have returned to help paint the windows!  This will be our 10th year!!  We are college seniors and we still relish in decorating windows!  So we join in the fun and paint windows and wear Santa hats and listen to Christmas jams (they can't kill the spirit that much because as Buddy taught us...The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear!)  After we've painted the windows (a tradition that I fully plan on continuing when I teach) til our little hearts are content we say our goodbyes and head out to look at model houses.  Model houses have been something that our favorite teacher took us to visit when we were younger.  On the drive over to the model houses, the three of us cooked up a "story" about how we were studying architecture and therefore needed the floor plans of all the houses.  I'm sure the sales reps saw right through our story but we didn't care we thought it was awesome!  We thought we were super slick and supercool!  

This Thanksgiving Wednesday we will probably celebrate my parents anniversary with dinner.  We can't celebrate on the 17th because all four of us having different schedules.  After dinner we will watch  A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. 

     Thursday is the BIG DAY!!  I love Thanksgiving because it is just the four of us.  My parents, Dylan, and me.  It's just a nice intimate and relaxing day for our family.  When I was in high school I always had to cheer on Thanksgiving Day and it caused a lot of stress for our family.  Deb would have to get up early to put the turkey in the oven and do all the prep stuff.  I was also sad because I used to miss the Philadelphia Parade.  But NOW I  get to see the parade in all it's ginormous turkey, Cecily Tynan, high school marching band glory!  I am pumped!  You should know that my Deb owns Thanksgiving.  My Deb is seriously the best cook.  Yes my Deb is my mom but as I always say, everyone has a mom but not everyone has a Deb.  So while we're watching the parade, Deb always makes Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls...every year.  We NEVER eat them besides Christmas Day and Thanksgiving.  I mean they take literally no effort to make yet we never buy them.  I've talked to a few of my friends about this subject and they ALL have the same tradition:  you only get Cinnamon Rolls on Thanksgiving and other time lol.  
      After we munch our Cinnamon Rolls and Santa rolls on by, Dylan and I start watching every Thanksgiving themed episode of FRIENDS.  FRIENDS is our family's favorite show.  Dylan and I watch all 8 (yes 2 season do not have episodes) and laugh ourselves silly.  We started this tradition because Deb DOESN'T like helpers in her kitchen.  She pretends like she does but we "help" by setting the table and staying out of her way.  #bestideaever!  Yes Dylan, my dad, and I have the collective helping skills of a 4 year old.  You better believe that we rock setting that table though!  We combine staying out of the way and constantly praise our Deb.  This has seemed to work thus far-so why stop now?  So around 4 we all sit down to eat.  Before dinner we all say Grace and then say what we're thankful for.  It seems cheesy but it really is good to verbally say what you're thankful for and thank God and all the people sitting around the table for everything they have done for you.  So now it's time to EAT DEVOUR dinner.  Deb makes the whole dinner from scratch.  She makes 2 different types of mashed potatoes (fully mashed and lumpy (for me!)), 2 different kinds of stuffings (my Mom-Mom's recipe) one with turkey sausage (for me) and regular sausage for them.  Then we have turkey, cranberry sauce (another thing we suspiciously only eat on Thanksgiving) broccoli, rolls, and then 2 pies for dessert.  We have pumpkin with whipped cream and Deb's famous apple pie.  This apple pie is bubbling with deliciousness.  The pie is jammed full of apples and cinnamon, sugar, brown sugar, and butter.  It's fantastic.  After dinner we all watch Elf.  

    After Elf, I power nap because Black Friday is my 3rd favorite holiday!!  It is time to revamp my energy!  I take Black Friday very seriously.  Since I am not a toy-obsessed parent or buying any electronics (although I fully intend to one day be those women) I usually just stock up on teacher clothes.  However, you have to have a contingency plan.  I go to the mall a week before Thanksgiving and try on all the things I want to buy.  This allows me the opportunity to know what my sizes are before the mayhem sets in.  Then at midnight on Thanksgiving I can run into LOFT and buy buy buy!  Believe you me, size 4 women get pretty testy and competitive when black pants are on sale.  I also get a feel for how the store is laid out and where all the good stuff is.  Black Friday is something I take very seriously.  I wear the same outfit every year.  Why do I do this?  The answer is two-fold.  One luck.  Two it is comfortable and warm and I don't have to wear a big puffy coat.  I hate shopping in a coat because it takes up too much room, you get too hot, and it is uncomfortable.  So I wear jeans, Uggs, and a black turtleneck with a white puffy vest.  Hair in a ponytail is essential because it helps keep you competitive.  You can lose valuable time (therefore clothes) by having to push your hair out of your face.  So armed with my snacks (usually cereal), coupons, and passion for shopping and head out to the mall.  I get so excited because I don't know what I will find.  I shop from 12-3am then come home, sleep til 10-11 then go back out.  Target is a place that I will hit up around 11:30 the next day because the crowd is gone, yet the sales are still going on.  I have collected many Sex and The City DVDs this way!  Then I go home and have Thanksgiving Dinner part II!  I love love love Thanksgiving leftovers.  

So now all I can do is just sit and wait for a week.  I can't wait but I know that I have so many fun Thanksgiving things to do!

So there are our traditions!  They may seem silly but we love them and we can't wait to continue them for many many many years to come!



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