Would You Ever Skip Thanksgiving?

Would You Ever Skip Thanksgiving?

My Christmas tree is decked out.  The house is in full Noel mode.  It looks like we took a page out of consumer America’s book and skipped over Thanksgiving.  No turkey.  No trimmings.  No pie.  No baking.  No stuffing.  No belt loosening.  No football.  No houseful of guests.  No traveling to family.  And best of all, NO BLACK FRIDAY!  <insert sound of shoppers screaming everywhere>  Would you ever consider skipping Thanksgiving?  I am not considering it.  I’m doing it.

Why We’re Skipping Thanksgiving

We’re skipping Thanksgiving this year.  It isn’t that I’m not thankful or patriotic or anti-tradition, it’s more of a creative solution to a challenge that faces geographically separated families everywhere…like us military families.

I haven’t lived near (read: 12+hours driving or transoceanic flight) family in over eight years.  As much as I love a good road trip, Thanksgiving has always been a bit of stretch when it comes to packing up our family for holiday vacationing. Between La Grande’s school schedule and Homeskillet’s leave constraints, we’ve had to let Thanksgiving go  in order to ensure travel and vacation time for Christmas (or New Years, because ya’ll know we only get one or the other, thanks to Uncle Sam).

School has really thrown a wrench into our ability to flex our vacation time.  We’re not to stoked about pulling La Grande out of school during the school year for non-essential travel, so that means we have to plan our travel around the school calendar.

As a milfam, it is a rare treat to get all of your loved ones in one place for the holidays.

A lot of times, the go visit family vacations are wrapped up with holiday prep.  It isn’t just a normal-hang-out vacation.  It’s a help mom in the kitchen, plan parties, bake all night, festivals.  Or maybe that’s just my house.  I kid you not, Thanksgiving kicks off a month long food festival in my house.  And in my mom’s house?  Forget it.  She might as well set up a cot in the kitchen.

And, don’t get me wrong, I love the cooking and the planning and the festiveness of it all.  But it’s exhausting!  After the holidays have come and gone, I am toast.  I need a vacation from my holiday vacation.  You know what I mean?

After being home and witnessing the non-stop cook-a-thon during Thanksgiving 2011, which also happened to be our first Thanksgiving home in 8 years, Homeskillet suggested, part in jest, that we skip Thanksgiving 2012 and opt for a week-long cruise.

I internally cringed.  You just don’t mess with tradition in my parent’s house.  It’s a no-no.  I gave Homeskillet the crazy, did-you-really-just-say-that-look.

But they went for it.  For real.

Re-defining Thanksgiving Traditions

We’d been trying to convince my parents to throw caution to the wind and join us on a destination Thanksgiving vacation for several years now.  Thanksgiving, or any holiday, isn’t all about the trimmings.  It’s all about spending quality time with your family no matter where you are.

At first, my Dad really needed some convincing.  Short of calling our alternative Turkey Day plans a commie plot…he was not signing on.

Don’t be afraid to create new traditions to accommodate the ever growing, changing, needs of your family! Together is what counts…the where does not.

We explained…

  • It’s so hard aligning our schedules for big vacations with family.
  • Our family is flung across the globe.  Why not pick a destination and go at a time everybody can take time off?
  • We can have turkey any where in the world…and, honestly, we’re not huge fans of turkey.  No love lost there.
  • Wouldn’t it be nice to let mom have a break from all the cooking?  I love using mom-on-mom guilt.
  • Isn’t it great to not have to do the giant post-Thanksgiving meal clean up?

Dad just gave us angry eyes and said, “Fine.  It’s tradition to me.  And if you want to go against it, that’s on you.”  Ouch, Daddy.  Ouch.

But we planted that seed.  And it took root.  He came around to it and he’s been happily counting down to our 7-day cruise like Dick Clark counted down to New Years’ Eve.  And Mom?  Mom’s been on the cruise since we booked it in January.  And me?  I’m just glad I won’t have to talk Homeskillet out of shopping on Black Friday.

So, how about you?  Will you consider skipping Turkey Day?

Where are we going? I know you’re curious.  We’re headed out on a 7 day Western Caribbean Cruise with Norwegian Cruise lines.  And no, they’re not paying for us to go.  It’s 100% self funded…and paid for through pre-meditated savings.  Like I needed to say that. 

What are you Thanksgiving Week plans?



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  1. Andrea says:

    I love it. But girl, I’m still confused as to why your tree is up so early. Did you just not want to do it when you get back? You’ve got me mixed up – as we don’t do much for T-day, either. We stay here and go out to eat, the three of us, but we still hold off on the tree and whatnot til later in Dec. Well, maybe not the whatnot since this year Chanukah is 12-9. For real. Anyway, either way, whatever works for you is wonderful, and a family cruise? That’s something I’ve wanted to do with my own for AGES. We might have to follow suit someday. Who knows? We could wind up on the same one, and las ninas will play together happily!
    Andrea recently posted..I have to talk about underwear now.My Profile

  2. Jennifer says:

    I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this idea. And yes, I am all about skipping Thanksgiving if need be. My mother won’t let me this year though. I tried. We are doing this different though…we are taking the train cross-country.

    One of my absolute favorite things to do though is to take a trip the week before Christmas. W usually get back on the 23rd. It means that EVERYTHING has to be done before we leave. When we get back we are totally relaxed and ready to enjoy the true meaning of the season.

    Have a fabulous time!!
    Jennifer recently posted..Surgery, casts, wheelchairs, and medical bills…Oh My!My Profile

    • Oh wow!! I’ve always wanted to take the train, but it’s so expensive. How are you managing taking the train in the South? It’s so much harder to do rail down here. Our closest station is Orlando. Let me know how it goes!

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