I love Thanksgiving! There is no better holiday to celebrate both for a family get together and celebrating the American experience. It is also a time to be thankful for the many blessings, whatever they may be, in our life. One of my favorite Thanksgiving memories, perhaps my favorite was in 2000. What a time it was as the American Presidential election was being disputed, it was the end of a decade and century, and I was three years removed from a divorce that kept me from my two daughters. But not on this particular Thanksgiving.
It was a little cool that morning, cold actually but the three of us were awake and ready to experience Thanksgiving in a new place. A new town for that matter, as this would be our first family Thanksgiving together in Knoxville, Tennessee. Excited and giddy about dining out for Thanksgiving dinner for their very first time, we barely ate any breakfast and hurried to dress and get on our way. Driving to O’Charley’s, we arrived and were seated to a restaurant full of decorations and an air of excitement that added to our first “restaurant” Thanksgiving dinner.
Ordering as we did and munching on those delicious rolls singular to O’Charley’s, I watched with a smile at my two daughters gobbling up the bread and filling up before the main course arrived. Nobody cared though as it was Thanksgiving, everybody at the restaurant was in a festive, holiday mood and we had a whole day of fun and memory making ahead of us.
After dinner, we headed out to a great event that happens every Thanksgiving in Knoxville, the Fantasy of Tree’s. It is a celebration of Christmas tree making with various businesses and organizations offering up a tree for buying with all of the proceeds benefiting the East Tennessee Children’s Hospital. So many of the tree’s were just wonderfully decorated and then there were the Gingerbread houses. Just sitting there whispering and then almost yelling, “Buy Me! Then and you can snack on me later this evening.” Strolling around for an hour or so we experienced every tree there and even had a chance to sample a piece or two of the various houses.
Still excited and now thinking of both Christmas and Thanksgiving we headed out to the cinema at West Town Mall. Taking in a movie after the parade of Christmas tree’s seemed fitting so we found ourselves one of the few out to watch a movie that Thanksgiving afternoon. Letting my oldest daughter make the pick of the film to watch we sat in the back row of a mostly empty theatre and took in “The Perfect Storm.” An apt film about family, being together, staying together and there we sat enjoying each other and treasuring our time together. Plus, we kind of had the theatre to all to ourself too.
The movie ended too soon as we were all caught up in it. So, there we found ourselves walking back to the car talking about the movie, the tree’s we saw, our first “restaurant” Thanksgiving dinner and deciding on what to do for the evening. Heading back home we decided to take advantage of the indoor pool where we lived as what better way to spend the evening that splashing in a pool.
Ending the day after a round of swimming and playing in the pool we agreed that a pizza would be the best way celebrate “Turkey Day.” Munching on a pizza from Domino’s, we sat in the Living Room already reminiscing about the day and wishing we could go back and relive again.
It truly was a perfect day not only for the holiday itself but the entire day went like clockwork for making memories. Oh that every day and every holiday was like that but when they aren’t it is easy to pause, reflect, and remember that day. Which will always leave us with a smile and a knowledge that for one holiday, it was a perfect day indeed.