Brand new Chart: Being grateful

November 28, 2020

By Ekta R. Garg

Although 2020 has felt like one really long weekend, we’ve actually managed to turn this Thanksgiving break into a long weekend that feels…well, like a vacation.

**For the first time ever, I didn’t cook the entire Thanksgiving dinner all by myself. Fourteen’s mashed potatoes, pecan pie, and cornbread muffins hit sweet spots for me (literally and figuratively.) I think these were easily my favorite items this year. And it was fun to share the kitchen space with her, both of us moving around one another with ease as we each focused on different elements. We spent quite a bit of time ribbing one another about our individual dishes but had the satisfaction of watching the entire family enjoy our efforts at the end.

**We’ve found a show we can binge as a family that everyone loves. When it first premiered in 2018, I was the sole fan of “New Amsterdam.” My husband and I watched “The Blacklist” for a while; it included Ryan Eggold in the cast, and Eggold is the star of “New Amsterdam.” However, I was intrigued by the medical show mostly because of NBC’s decision to include veteran Bollywood actor Anupam Kher in the cast. I started watching the show for him but fell in love with the entire premise and, especially, the fact that it’s a mostly clean show. We’re not spending all of our time watching people bed hop and/or moan and whine about their relationships.

One day Fourteen and Twelve came into our room as I caught up on the latest episode and some ironing, and they parked on our bed to watch with me. Since then the entire family has gotten into the show, and thanks to Peacock (NBC’s streaming service) we get to see all the adventures of Dr. Max Goodwin and Co. from the beginning. At the rate we’re going, we’ll be all caught up by the end of the weekend…just in time to agonize about when the show will return in 2021 (production stalled due to COVID.)

**Schedules are laid back. Fourteen had a take-home math exam that she finished up earlier in the week, but other than that we’ve all been operating on a much more relaxed timeline. School will be back in session in less than 48 hours, but it feels like the holiday season has actually begun and that has me thinking about yummy meals for Christmas break and trying to go into stealth mode as I order presents and hide them.

**The agenda for today and tomorrow is to set up the Christmas tree and all of our decorations, one of the most normal things we’ll do this year. We won’t be traveling for the holidays; for the first time in years we won’t see extended family in person. But we’re not thinking about all that today. Today the biggest decisions will be what ornaments go where on our lovely tree and whether we want to be brave and set up a second tree this year.

For the first time in a long time, moments of true normalcy have descended on us in this Thanksgiving break. We’ve laughed; we’ve squabbled. We’ve teased one another and shared with one another. The pandemic is still a major issue, and we’re reminded of that often but the bursts of every-day moments are refreshing.

There’s no telling what next year’s Thanksgiving will look like. We’ve talked with family members about getting together and making all of 2020 fade like a nightmare. But in all honesty, this year’s Thanksgiving break has had its perks too. And for that I’m truly grateful.

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