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Committed: The Ties that Bond

with Angella Dykstra

I'm a mom of three, a professional accountant, and an amateur photographer and writer. I am not a marriage expert. But my husband and I take "Til death do us part" seriously, and here I'll be sharing how we keep our marriage strong while we both do that insane work-life juggle.

Check out my Work It, Mom! profile and my blog, Dutch Blitz.

Enjoying Thanksgiving Dinner When You’re Away From Your Family

Categories: cooking, holidays

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Thanksgiving dinner is a very good, very awesome thing. The only thing to compare it to is Christmas dinner which is also a very good, very awesome thing. There are copious amounts of food, young cousins running around and adults sipping wine while talking about everything from sports to shopping.

But what do you do if that gaggle of extended family isn’t around to contribute to the happy chaos that is Thanksgiving dinner?

My parents and siblings (I have eight siblings; we all share the same Dad) are far-flung across the country and we rarely see each other face-to-face. The costs are prohibitive and it’s simply not feasible to meet up for Thanksgiving.

My husband’s parents aren’t close by and his sister and her husband live four hours away. Thanksgiving is a hard time for either of us to travel, work-wise, so we make an effort to get together over the Christmas break. My husband’s brother and his wife (My running partner, and one of my best friends) live in the same town we do, but so do her parents. We have to take turns with them on Christmas day, but Thanksgiving weekend usually works out. Usually. This year, they were traveling abroad, so they were not available for Thanksgiving dinner.

We did what we have done every Thanksgiving and Christmas for the past few years: We invited other families who couldn’t be with their extended families to join us.

The first year that it wasn’t “our turn” to have the inlaws over for dinner on Christmas Day, we made plans to have the big dinner on December 26th. Christmas Day without Christmas dinner was awful. I cannot remember what we had for dinner, but it tasted like sadness and disappointment. We vowed to never miss a big meal again, even if it was just the five of us.

We invite other families over to join us and it’s been some of the best dinners we’ve ever had. There are people in our lives who we love and respect, but it’s so hard to find time to be together. Sitting at a table and sharing food and stories is exactly what family is about, whether you are blood related or not.

How do you celebrate Thanksgiving?

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