Saturday, November 26, 2016

A Vegetarian Thanksgiving

Ah glorious Thanksgiving.  A day of food, family, football and tofu? Yeah, you guessed it. We're vegetarians, and let me tell you, nothing makes a person more uncomfortable than a vegetarian on Thanksgiving.  Some assume we don't celebrate the holiday at all, as if we're some strange hippie cult that hide out in our VW vans, eating tofu straight off the block, or we're holding signs of slaughtered turkeys and protesting in front of Foster Farms or something.  Well, never fear, I'm here to break those stereotypes and set the record straight.  Our holiday experiences are much like yours, they just happen to be meat free.

I still have to make a massive trip to the store and spend a small fortune on a meal that I will slave over for hours, while my family devours in two minutes and then begins to whine over wanting pumpkin pie.  Our Thanksgiving meal is pretty traditional and consists of mashed potatoes, green beans, corn, Hawaiian rolls, stuffing (homemade so I can use vegetable broth), deviled eggs and our vegetarian roast.  In some ways we actually have it worse than non vegetarians because turkey substitutes cost a lot of money and they are teeny tiny. Apparently the people who make these substitutes assume we have the appetite of a toddler because I had to buy two separate roasts this year for a whopping $30 at Whole Foods. Most grocery stores offer deep discounts on turkeys or hams during the holiday, some even offering them for free if you spend a certain amount. Not only do I spend the same amount as non vegetarians, but there are rarely ever any deals for vegetarian roasts, and the only way you're getting a free roast is if you're hauling one out of the store in your coat pocket and I do not recommend that as Thanksgiving in jail would not be much fun (or maybe it would be depending on your family....who am I to judge?)

Our turkey replacements...not too scary, right?
The holiday roast before it went in the oven...
this one is my favorite
Every other year we host Thanksgiving dinner for my husband's sister's family, but this year it was just us so that meant I could relax and breathe a little easier as I didn't have to worry about getting dinner out by a certain time, blowing up air mattresses or cleaning toilets for company. Instead I woke up, drank my coffee (thank you Starbucks for being open), watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade with the kids and then got the distinct pleasure of listening to my husband scream at the television while his favorite football team lost. Thank you Redskins for ruining my holiday experience, you bastards! Of course I had to make an impromptu trip to the store because I was unaware that my kids ate all of the eggs last week and my twelve year old started pitching a fit over Thanksgiving being ruined if we didn't have deviled eggs, which is totally ironic since she scoops the tops off of them anyways and only eats the egg whites.  Nothing says Happy Thanksgiving like standing in an express line with nine hundred thousand other people who also forgot something.

The boys watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade this year 
because they wanted to see the Diary of a Wimpy Kid float
 My husband watching the Redskins...
or more like yelling at the Redskins
Safeway selfie...
one simply cannot go holiday shopping and not forget something
The best part of my Thanksgiving was cooking the entire meal by myself. Yes, I could've made my kids help, and I probably should have, but that would've included blood, sweat and tears and the kids wouldn't of been very well behaved either.  I wasn't exactly up for my kids arguing over who got to dump the milk into the mashed potatoes. Instead I kicked everyone out of my kitchen and got to work, threatening anyone who dared to cross into my threshold. The only one who got a free pass was our eight month old, Seanie Mac, because every so often he'd wander in on his baby walker and run over my foot, but he's a baby so I didn't mind so much. The other kids, along with my husband got the "If you come into my kitchen one more time, I'm sneezing on the pies."

By the time I got everything out onto the table, dished up the kids' plates and sat down, I realized that I wasn't hungry at all because I had already eaten an entire meal while cooking.  Of course that didn't stop me from stuffing my face like the little piggy that could and then waddling back to my bedroom while I held my muffin top and moaned in agony.  I had just enough time to pop some Tums before the kids started coming into my bedroom one by one while they whined, "Mooooom, when are we going to eat the pies?"

 Me trying to get a good pic of the kids before dessert...
 this is exactly why we don't do professional pics!!
Despite having a good day with my loving family, I have to say my favorite part of Thanksgiving would be breaking out the wine after the kids finally passed out from their imitation turkey comas.  After all, wine is made from grapes and grapes are fruit, therefore wine is totally vegetarian you know.

We drink our wine in martini glasses because we're classy like that....or more like all of our wine glasses got broken and you gotta do what you gotta do (classier than drinking them out of Spongebob mugs...no we've never done that...okay yes we have)
On a serious note, I did want to thank everyone again for all of the love and support you've given our family. We are still sorting through mail (I think we're almost done), and we will be putting a video/slideshow together as a way to show our appreciation.  The outpouring of support still humbles me and brings me to tears. I'm not just saying that either. I literally tear up every single time I help Mahlon open and read his birthday cards.
Thank you again from the bottom of our hearts! I seriously wish we could send an individual thank you to each and every one of you, but we had absolutely no idea we were going to receive the amount of mail and packages we did. We literally received tens of thousands of cards and letters from all over the world! Mahlon will be keeping some of the gifts, but the rest will be going to a local charity (we will be including this in our video footage), as there is no possible way we can keep it all. Plus, part of what makes Mahlon so special is his kind and generous heart and he really wants to spread the love so I hope that those who sent gifts will feel comfort in knowing their generous gifts are going to make a child happy this Christmas (ack, and I'm crying again). He is opening every single letter, card, and package, so even those items he isn't keeping, he has been so excited to get to open up the boxes and envelopes to see what's inside, so we deeply appreciate every single thing that has been received.

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