Home for the Holidays

It’s great to get to go home and spend time with your family when you are away at school. I am so thankful that I now live close enough to be able to do so. My freshman year of college I went to school in Philadelphia, which is definitely not very close to Illinois, and was not able to make it home for those in between holidays like Thanksgiving and Easter.

That year, I spent Thanksgiving with my friend and her family, and it was wonderful, but just not the same. It was a very different experience, but they couldn’t have been nicer or more welcoming, so I got pretty lucky.

This Thanksgiving was pretty different for me, too. My grandmother is currently in a nursing home so for the first time, my family didn’t have a big Thanksgiving dinner at her house. At a sort of loss, my mom and I made Thanksgiving for my small family (talk about lots of leftovers, I could feed all of Hanover for a week or so). Not only was it the first year we didn’t celebrate at my grandma’s but it was also the first Thanksgiving where I have been home that my little sister wasn’t here. She spent the holiday in sunny Alabama with two of my aunts.

While I was home I got to eat a lot of great food, cook even more good food and visit with my family (and my cats, too!). But I was also brave enough to hit the stores on Black Friday. My best friend and I went to Champaign, Ill., and did our damage there. Really I was just focused on grabbing Christmas gifts, and I stuck to that fairly well.

I only bought one item for myself, a one-dollar scarf from Old Navy. The stores were not as crazy as we expected them to be, but we were not the dedicated shoppers who started at 9:30 p.m. Thanksgiving evening, either. We didn’t hit the road until 6 a.m., at which point most people were crawling home to bed. It was nicer that way, though, the stores were less crowded, lines were shorter and we all still got what we wanted for the most part.

The rest of my holiday went by in a blur. I spent Saturday lounging, doing homework and enjoying an Indiana Jones movie marathon on t.v. Now I am doing a little homework, packing up my car, and will be back at Hanover before I know it!

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