Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Best Non-Traditional Thanksgiving Break Ever

Phil and I didn’t do anything that we normally do for Thanksgiving this year. Typically we fly home, drive all over the east coast to visit family and friends, stuff our faces with yummy food, watch lots of football, only to return back to Houston exhausted on Monday morning; but not this year. For starters it was just us two in Houston. Since it was just us, we decided that there was no point in me making a huge dinner. We prayed about it and decided that we should give of ourselves on Thanksgiving. So we got up early and went downtown to the George R. Brown Convention center for the City Wide Club’s 31st annual Superfeast. This event serves 35,000-40,000 homeless and less fortunate people by cooking and serving Thanksgiving dinner, providing free health and dental care, clothes and blankets, food to go, and organizations with employee opportunities. Phil and I worked from 7:30am until about 1pm. We know that we are so blessed and found it a true joy to give of ourselves on Thanksgiving. If you ever get the opportunity to participate in this organization or any other, I would strongly recommend it. After working in the morning, we were invited over to have dinner with our friends from smallgroup. The Elam’s truly put on a delicious meal and it was great to spend the afternoon with them. Thanks Stephanie and Brandon!

If you know me at all you know that I work very long hours during the week and only want to sleep past 7am on the weekends. For the past few weeks I haven’t been able to do that so my only goal for Black Friday was to sleep late. My goal was accomplished :-) I was so asleep that when Phil went to work and I didn’t even hear him leave. But by the time he got back I had already started tearing into our boxes of Christmas decorations. Despite not wanting to go shopping on Friday (I just don’t participate in the shopping traditions of Black Friday), Phil talked me into venturing out into the shopping world, but he honored my request to wait until after 12:30pm. I have to say that it wasn’t that bad; I don’t know what I have been scared about all this time. We went to a couple malls just to look at the sales and purchase gifts for each other. I finished my Christmas shopping in September so we didn’t have to worry about getting a bunch of gifts and could just enjoy the time together. We had been looking for new bed linens for a few months and came across a great deal. Here is our new bedroom set:
After shopping I had a very special date planned for my hubby. Generally he takes me out to dinner, but I decided to take him out. I made reservations at McCormick and Schmick’s Seafood Restaurant downtown We had wanted to try this place out but new it was only for a special occasions; it was totally worth the wait. After we enjoyed our dinner we went shopping at the downtown Macy’s for our “special ornament”. This is a Hawley Christmas tradition. We go shopping downtown to pick out an ornament together for the year. This is the first ornament to go on our tree. This year we got a beautiful porcelain heart with gold trim and the year written in gold in the center.

After doing some work on Saturday morning, we went and purchased our tree. When we started decorating it was pretty neat to realize that this was our third Christmas tree together and the second one at this house. As we were decorating we were remembering what we had done in previous years and realized that we have started establishing quite a few of our own traditions. I love that! Phil was still shocked that I knew every single Christmas song word for word on the Christmas radio station and that I knew where each ornament came from and when I received it. Since my memory is so poor, I think I shock myself too. After we decorated the Christmas tree, I noticed that there were already 2 presents for me under the tree. Isn’t my husband amazing?!

Getting our tree and putting it on top of the car:

For lunch we went to Chinatown. Now I have been to Chinatown in New York and was expecting something similar….I could not have been more wrong! Everything in the Houston Chinatown was in Chinese….maybe this is common sense, but I had no idea! If we could identify the colors or something, then we could make out what the business was. For example, there was a bank in red and yellow with a horse and carriage on the sign; this was a Wells Fargo. But seriously every business was like that, so you can imagine how trying it was to find a place to eat. I think the next time my sister is in Houston we will take her there since she speaks and reads Chinese and just got back from a month in China. Hopefully she can help direct us around. After lunch we went home and Phil finished stringing lights. At one point he came in from outside and told me, “I never thought I’d sweat while stringing lights”. To be honest, I couldn’t agree more with him. Here are some of our decorations:

Sometimes you have to mess up to clean-up.

Dining room (tree, table, buffet, windows, & breakfast bar):

Our nativity scene in the solariumLiving room (closet in the foyer, mantle where we put red lights to pretend that it's cold enough for a fire, end tables and coffee table)

We had a very non-traditional Thanksgiving break in some ways, but in other ways it was very traditional. We still spent the weekend giving thanks with the one that we love. For a few more weeks it’s back to “reality” until we can go home and spend Christmas on the east coast with our families. We hope that your holiday weekend was just as wonderful as ours was. Have a great week!

xoxo Darby

1 comment :

Morgan said...

love the red lights in the fireplace! such a cute idea!

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