Thanksgiving is my absolute, hands-down, favorite holiday of the year. Let me count the ways:

      1. It encompasses all of the warm fuzziness concerning family and friends like Christmas, without commercial merchandise (I should add that we don’t watch football or care much about Black Friday in my parents’ household, so for the entire day we are unplugged and don’t see advertisements at all!)

      2. The weather is usually perfect in Texas (cool but not cold, sunny but not overbearing, open-window weather — my favorite kind of weather)

      3. It’s in November, my birth month, so I eat pumpkin pie in extended celebration of my birthday.

      I tell Walt that Thanksgiving will always be at my parents’ house. There is no deviating from that. Christmas, New Year’s, Fourth of July —  he can pick where we celebrate those holidays; as long as we are at my parents’ house the fourth Thursday in November, I will be a happy clam. Thanksgiving at my parents’ is the only way I know how to do Thanksgiving. I can’t imagine it any other way.

      We do it up right. My dad’s cousin and her husband drive in from Galveston and bring the turkey, homemade stuffing, cranberry sauce with real cranberries and orange zest (yes!), and yams. My mother and I fix the green beans, green bean casserole (indeed, two dishes with green beans!), rolls, wild rice, punch, and pumpkin pies. Our family friends Aki and daughters Nadia and Marica show up with House of Pies cheesecake and German chocolate cake, and homemade salad, and we put out our good china and feast.

      We all nap off the turkey a bit and eat our pies and cakes, with second or third or fourth helpings of cold turkey or bread, while watching movies and talking amongst ourselves. Some years we pull out Scrabble and play a few games. It’s a day of relaxation and closeness with friends and family, and it’s so cozy being next to everyone, feeling so full of food and love and contentment.

      Photos and captions after the jump!

      My camera got passed around a lot — my father (the photographer) took a few, and Walt (after I set the settings for him) shot several too. Here are a few snaps from our Thanksgiving break in Houston. Most of these are shot with a D700 and a 35mm f/2 lens.

      thanksgiving turkey houston
      Unwrapping this year's bird
      preparing thanksgiving dinner houston
      Kitchen preparations!
      sister smiling
      My sister smiling (Dad took this)
      thanksgiving loungers
      Keen observers will notice that Michael is wearing an ELISSA shirt... whereas Walt wears an Austin Beerworks Fire Eagle tee.
      thanksgiving plate houston
      My delicious plate heaped with yams, wild rice, roll, stuffing, turkey, and cranberry sauce
      hair over face
      I'm shy
      thanksgiving turkey slices
      Sliced turkey!
      thick-rimmed glasses boy
      Walter and his geek glasses
      thanksgiving dinner
      We eat dinner at 1 pm
      ginger man houston with matt
      Hanging out at the Ginger Man in Houston with my friend Matt! I like the pretzels there.
      walt in coat in austin
      Back in Austin, Walt gets excited about cold weather
      asos coat and fat cat
      Me with my fat cat Scout and new ASOS coat (and birthday dress!)

      When we got back to Austin, Walt and I went out to dinner with his parents as a belated two-year anniversary/my birthday/Thanksgiving celebration.

      I am so thankful that I do what I do, that I am surrounded by wonderful people, and that I love all of my family —  new and old.

       

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      COMMENTS

      I agree, Thanksgiving is pretty much the bees knees. :) Lovely post, looks and sounds like a fun family gathering.

      Totally love this personal post (and all the pictures of you)!!! :) Super cute coat + tights + dress. WIN! :)

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