Tomorrow, I will go to my sister-in-law’s house for Thanksgiving, and it will doubtless be wonderful. I married a great guy, and his family is just as awesome as he is. BabyGMR will run around with her cousins, who she is starting to be more interested in as she gets a little older, us grownups will try to get some of the feast in our own stomachs as we chase our sugar-hyped children around, trying to get them to eat something besides marshmallow-laden sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie, and a great time will be had by all.
On Friday, there’s another tradition that stays about as far away from Black Friday as you can get. I pack up my car with my husband– my Turtle, as I call him– and sister and BabyGMR and a second batch of food, and we drive up to Josh and Drea’s for Friendsgiving.
Friendsgiving: because we’re not done being thankful yet. Also, there are video games to play.
This tradition is over a decade old for my friends and I. We plop a theme on the feast, and some of them have been pretty great. There’s been Indian Thanksgiving (amazing spice rub on the turkey that year), Pub Thanksgiving (potato skins, tempura green beans, and pub-worthy turkey sandwiches), Polynesian Thanksgiving (sadly, my pineapple fried rice flopped, I didn’t have a wok and I should have made it in more batches, but Drea made a ham glaze so good we vowed it could save anything, including my gloppy rice. And cure cancer.), Lazy Thanksgiving (we bought everything out of the freezer section or ordered trays from the Costco deli. It was surprisingly delicious), and more.
This year it’s South American inspired fare. I hear the turkey’s getting a beautiful brine/marinade bath, spatchcocked, and grilled. I’m making mashed potatoes a la Papas Huacainas, a Peruvian dish with a yellow pepper-cheese sauce and a garnish of hard boiled eggs and olives. I’ll try to do you justice in my adaptation, Peru! I got a proper jar of aji amarillo paste and everything. Check out The Cartographers Guild Facebook page on Friendsgiving Eve, I’m sure you’ll see drool-worthy pictures.
Traditionally, this has also been a LAN party weekend for us. Now that there are small children around again (Drea’s are almost grown, but my BabyGMR has a long way to go!), that’s less likely for a couple of years, I think, but we’re still getting together most of the weekend to play video games anyway. Thanks in advance to my Turtle for taking the lion’s share of baby duty this weekend. ❤
I have a lot to be thankful for. I love having a day with my husband’s family, a family that’s showered me with acceptance and affection, and I love having a whole other day for my best friends. They say friends are the family you choose, and mine certainly are. They’ve been there for me . . . well, pretty much my whole life. Friendsgiving is the day we celebrate that, and each other.
Also, we celebrate the things that bring us together, which are, among other things, video games and tabletop role-playing. You’re going to get a little extra streaming this weekend, courtesy of one of the very best holidays of the year! The schedule’s up on our Twitch page, and there might be a little unscheduled zaniness too, if the mood strikes.
Sometimes, when something or someone is special enough, you have to make the time to nurture and appreciate it. So declare a holiday. A bit short notice for this year, OK, but there’s nothing stopping you from jumping on the bandwagon next year! Or just call your friends, grab some leftovers . . . have an impromptu BBQ! I love Friendsgiving, and I hope you and your friends take some time this season to appreciate each other.
And I know it’s a busy time of year, but . . . try not to neglect your gaming?
(I found the cornucopia graphic here: http://www.pocketgamer.biz/comment-and-opinion/62340/leadbolt-on-thanksgiving/. Credit where credit is due!)