Holidays are for family, however you define it.

Thanksgiving! Turkey! Family! Pie! Eating until the tryptophan sets in then loafing on the couch watching reruns or football, and just enjoying each other company. Seeing how much whipped cream you can put on your pie before grandma gives you that look of “you’re ruining the pie.”

Somehow, I managed to completely forget last year’s Thanksgiving. I remember the year before that’s because it was just me and the cats. I made a cornish game hen instead of a turkey, but didn’t skimp on the rest. Also, having a whole pie to yourself is awesome. However, last year I went home. Mom and I had a simple Thanksgiving together. We made squash soup, roasted root veggies, and a small turkey breast. Oh, and I made my first pumpkin pie.

This year, well, I’m still in Chicago. I went home a couple weeks ago for the twin’s baby shower and making two trips in one month is hard, especially with Christmas and the twin’s birth coming up in December. (Or, at least, that’s when we’re assuming the twins might come. Due date is actually in January, but the doctor only gave her a few more weeks.) Regardless, I’m still here.

Later tonight I’ll head over to spend the evening with some of my Mucca family, but other than that it’s going to be a quiet day.

At first I was sort of upset. I spend so much time alone anyway right now because of the whole unemployment thing, spending a holiday alone wasn’t appealing. Also, I love cooking Thanksgiving-style meals, but wasn’t sure I wanted to go through the effort just for myself. I’ve got a tiny kitchen and that thing’s a pain when you try to do anything too elaborate.

But I’ve got my Muccas tonight, and we’ll have a great time and I’ll still get my turkey. (And hopefully pie!)

Holidays as an adult are definitely different. Not necessarily in big ways, but at least for me, they definitely signify the importance of family — blood related or not. In my family, I’m the one who moved away. When I was little, it was my aunt and uncle — my mom’s siblings — who were the ones who moved away, both to California, though different towns. I rarely saw them as a kid, at least not until my aunt moved back to Indiana… but still, my uncle and his family stayed there and he’s still someone I’m not close to. Chicago isn’t terribly far away, as most of my family is in Indiana, but it can feel like I’m across the country. I have no easy means of getting home. So I miss a lot of the small things. And with two more nieces on the way, it’s really hitting hard.

For me, holidays are homecomings. They’re about family, the people important to you. Each of us find our own ways of celebrating these relationships. For some it’s Friendsgiving, for others it’s traveling to numerous houses so they can make sure they spend a little time either everyone. I still haven’t found my tradition yet. But I’m very grateful for the opportunities I have to go home and be with my family. And I’m also very thankful for my friends, the people who’ve become a family to me. I’m blessed to have them all in my life.