Saturday, 17 November 2012

Thanksgiving, Black Friday and College Football

Thanksgiving, Black Friday, College Football, Psycho Family Members and food.... lots and lots of food.

- By Cindi

So it begins.  The utter craziness that takes place this time every year in the United States:  The Holiday Season is about to begin in full force.  This doesn't officially start (of course) until Thanksgiving Day but people are preparing now... as I type this.  Me?  I've done my food shopping already.  Of course, I've probably forgotten something as that happens every year and at the last minute I have no doubt that I will be bribing an 18-year-old boy to fight the crowds in the grocery store to get whatever it is that I forgot.  It happens every year.  It's a tradition.  He expects it.  Make an offer of take-out pizza and the kid will do anything asked.  Trust me, I've eaten a lot of pizza over the past year.  

I will begin my baking at a ridiculously early hour on Wednesday and this will continue on and off until Thursday afternoon.  I live in Mobile, Alabama.  It's what we do.  We start early because we have to start early.  No store-bought food on our table on Thanksgiving.  I would lose my southern card.  Seriously.  We are taught from an early age that it's just not done.  We don't do stuffing in the south.  We do dressing.  This means a lot of baking and chopping the day before so it can be thrown together in a rush and thrown in the oven a couple of hours before time to serve it the next day.  I also make a damn good pumpkin pie so those are done on Wednesday as well, along with various other dishes that my family can not live without.

On Thursday I will rush around preparing something to take to the inlaws that I will be told is not prepared properly (even if I am the one who created the recipe... ) then my husband, sons and I will spend a bit of time there and then rush home to make preparations for my own family's gathering that will take place at my sister's place.  They love my food there.  Really.  There will be no complaints. :)

But I must not forget what the holiday is for.  Whether you are a religious or spiritual person (as I am) or not everyone has things they are thankful for.  What I am thankful for...  my wonderful husband of almost 27 years, my 3 amazing sons who believe that their mother is the greatest mom in the world.  I am thankful I wake up every morning able to see to read my books, to be able to hug my (grown) children and to be able to snuggle up to my husband at night.  I am thankful that I have a roof over my head and food to eat.  I am thankful for my friends.  I am thankful for the 42 years that I was able to spend with my sister before we lost her.  I am just thankful.

Then comes Black Friday........... 

This day was created in hell.  Seriously.  Those who aren't familiar with this day.... suffice it to say that it is the one day out of the year when all the crazies come out to the malls and the shopping centers and fight each other for something that could be purchased online... without the violence.  Being the youngest child in my family, I was always the one forced selected to do the Black Friday shopping for my mother and older sisters.  It was traumatic.  It was a disaster.  I should need therapy.   Last year, I was forced to go to Wal-Mart on Black Friday.  Why?  Because the Alabama vs. Auburn game was that weekend and we had no snacks (you can't watch football without the proper snacks!)  I fought the crowds.  My toes got stepped on.  I got shoved.  But  I left the store with a brand new Kindle Fire in my hand (not on sale) so it was worth the hell I went through to buy it (even if it was not on my original shopping list).  Did I mention that my Kindle Fire is my best friend?  It is.  I love it.  I can't imagine life without it.  

All of this leads up to......... wait for it...........

The Alabama vs. Auburn college football game that takes place this year on Saturday, November 24, 2012.  

You northern folks and those who live outside of the United States are saying "Huh? What's the big deal about a college football game?"

(..... if you asked that question down here you would get that look... you know the one.. .the one that says you've obviously just arrived from another planet....)

In my neck of the woods (lower Alabama) we do not watch college football.  We live college football. The University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa) and Auburn University are both in the state of Alabama so this is an intense rivalry... one of the biggest (in any sport) in the U.S.  Those who know me know that I plan my life in the fall around my Alabama Crimson Tide football team.  Weddings are scheduled around college football season.  Vacations are planned around college football season.  But the Alabama/Auburn game?  This is the one we fans (of both sides) wait for.  It doesn't matter the records or stats of each team when they meet each year for what is known as the Iron Bowl.  It doesn't matter the predictions or projections.  What matters is that nothing else that has occurred during the season counts to the die hard fans.... only this game does.  Families are mixed on loyalties.  Friendships are strained.  Many coaches have lost their positions as a result of the Iron Bowl's final score... regardless of their previous record with the team.   In my house it will be my husband and me watching this game as we kick the above-mentioned 18-year-old out of the house (he broke his mama's heart when he became a fan of the other guys).  The hubby will burn cook something on the grill and I will make pitchers of margaritas.  We will yell at the referees and players as if they can actually hear us.  We will enjoy this time because it's a tradition in my house and in the houses of many others.  When it's over?  We will (hopefully) be picking on our Auburn kid who dared go against his parents' wishes.  

For those who celebrate Thanksgiving, I wish you a happy day with your family and friends.  Be thankful for those you have as you never know what each day may bring.  I thank my maker every day of my life for the time I had with my sister before we lost her.  Thanksgiving should be about family.  I wish you all the best during this holiday season.  If you fight the crowds on Black Friday, I hope you get what you are looking for without injury.  If you watch college football?

Roll Tide!



  1. ROLL TIDE!! There is a traitor in your midst, lol. This is a great read for people, like me, that do not live in America. If I wanted in on the Thanskgiving expereice it would be in the South. No Black Firday sales for me. We have Boxing Day Sales here and I stay far, far away from the people who are even crazier than I am, lol

  2. I also meant to say great blog!! I feel like I'm getting ready for Thanksgiving along with you.

    1. Thanks. :) There are actually 3 traitors (all of my boys) but the youngest is the only one who chose THAT team to support. He broke my heart. :(

      This week will definitely be an experience.. as it is every year. It has already started. I've already gotten a call with a "suggestion" to change a recipe that has been in the family for years... Uh, no. The funny thing is the person who made the suggestion is the one who taught me how to make this stuff to begin with. Oh, the joys of the holidays with my family.. hehe

      If you are ever in the states during Thanksgiving, I promise you'd never be the same after spending it with my family. (Of course I'd probably lose a friend too so that might not be a good idea.. lol)

      I won't be leaving my house on Black Friday. Never again. What you see on TV is the way it is in some places. Total nightmare.

    2. Nah, you wouldn't lose a friend, your extended family would be in shock, lol. I'm coing over fo Thanksgiving now :) :)

    3. Come on! :) I like your family more than some of my extended family anyway... hehe

  3. Have Tide played yet? Who is winning, who has won?

    1. It ended a few minutes ago. The Tide officially destroyed the Auburn Tigers 49 to 0. They should have just stayed home.. :)

      (The youngest was smart enough to leave the house before game time... lol)

    2. Oh, and I forgot to say...

      Roll Damn Tide! ;)

    3. As predicted, the Auburn coach lost his job today. Sure, it was probably going to happen anyway as he's had a bad year but I'm sure this game was used as the final straw (he took his team to win a national championship 2 years ago).

    4. Our coach got the chop this year after winning coach of the year 2 seasons before. Good money in coaching, poor job security.

    5. Nobody's job is secure in sports these days regardless of their records and stats. This guy, however, had a HORRIBLE season but he's still a good coach. I don't think anyone was surprised that he got fired. Of course now the school will be paying out millions in a buy-out.