I'm not sure how it began, but over the past few years my family has developed a tradition of moving the traditional Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. I think it sprung originally from my brother's angst at trying to find a way to make it to two Thanksgiving dinners on the same day - one at our mom's house, and the other with his fiance's family - but honestly, I can't remember. It's possible that I just couldn't deal with the thought of battling holiday traffic on the NJ Turnpike and demanded we rearrange the calendar.
I know that a lot of people would have trouble celebrating Thanksgiving on any date other than the "real" one, but I think moving the holidays is a stroke of sheer genius. There's no seven-hour backup at the Delaware bridge toll. There are no hurt feelings over missed holiday visits. And I get to celebrate the holidays with my family AND spend the long holiday weekends at home with my Tivo.
The first instance I can remember of us moving a holiday to suit our needs was Christmas of 2001. I'd just returned from my semester abroad in Spain and my mom had booked us a family vacation to Hawaii. The only catch: we were flying on Christmas Day. Now, it's pretty hard to be upset about going to Hawaii in December, but we all felt a little bit sad about "missing" Christmas while we were stuck on a 12-hour flight. That is, until my mom declared that we wouldn't be missing Christmas after all - we'd just be celebrating it a day late, on December 26th. In Honolulu.
That was an emergency solution, but it's worked out so well that we've now started scheduling our own dates for Thanksgiving and Christmas whether there's a conflict or not. We usually keep it pretty close to the real holiday (except for the time my mom moved her birthday from February to June so we could go hiking in Mohonk for her "birthday"). This year, the weekend before Thanksgiving seemed like a logical date to hold our own personal Turkey Day... until I remembered that, uh, I sort of already had plans on November 21st. So... Thanksgiving is tomorrow for the OPH clan! I've spent the week baking pies, and tomorrow we'll make what will hopefully be a short and traffic-free drive to my brother's house in NJ for a true holiday feast. I can't wait. At best, the holiday lovers among us get to celebrate Thanksgiving twice. And at worst, those of us who are lacking a bit in the holiday spirit department will get to enjoy a four-day weekend at the end of November at home with nothing to do but watch an ungodly amount of television. Win-win, if you ask me.