Every Christmasy comedy seems to include a sequence where the hero/ine charges madly through an airport/through a mall to find a toy just before closing/some other madcap antics. Picture it and you’ll hear Tchaikovsky’s “Trepak” in your head. This is the closest I’ve ever come to that experience.

I woke at 4:45 Wednesday so I could quit work early and get on the road to outrun a nor’easter. By afternoon we were out in the snow- without our ZipCard. Amber kept a stream of Christmas tunes coming out of the stereo while I napped. Our trip took about six hours.

We joined our friends Jon, Jesse, Zack and Johanna at the home of Johanna’s parents. While we gathered in front of the TV, Jo and her father retired to the kitchen and their game-planning process probably outstripped the work of the Thanksgiving Day football coaches. Amber and I slept HARD, and soon after we woke every surface in the house was holding snacks, dips, sides and drinks. Jo’s grandmothers joined us and we powered through the most filling meal I’ve had since I don’t know when. I was wowed by the cranberry relish, the macaroni, the stuffing, and ugh, I feel full just typing this.

This was my first Thanksgiving without my parents in 10 years, but it’s really my first one with my new family. This time next year we’ll be married, and in the Thanksgivings to come I see high chairs popping up around the table one by one…

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