Wednesday, November 6, 2013

My Personal Tradition

Thanksgiving in the United States falls on the fourth Thursday of every November. Families often get together and share their own traditions; whatever that might be. Many families travel for long distances to spend time with their loved ones. And it is usually all about the feast.

I cannot recall a single Thanksgiving before I was in middle-school. Isn't that strange? Maybe it is because we went to Grandma's house (she always lived near) every Sunday for a big meal. When we were at Sunday dinner, at Grandma's, it was like Thanksgiving. Usually there were a lot of family there. Cousins to play with. Or fight with. Or plot with. So I just don't have a Thanksgiving memory until I was much older.

When we stopped going to Grandma's house (after she moved away; then passed away) my mom would have the big meal at our house. And sometimes my Aunt and cousins would come. But most of the time it was just us. By us, I mean our family of 7. Sometimes 8, if the step-sister showed up. And that is a lot of family right there. Our meal was usually cooked and set up buffet and we just grabbed the food, ate too much, and that was it. Not memorable in any way.

Later, after the five of us had our own homes, then mom stopped having Thanksgiving. We took turns having it in our homes. Some of us liked that better than others. Some found it to be a necessary challenge. I always loved having the meal at my house. Sometimes this would be the only time I saw any of my brothers and sister that entire year (and we lived in the same town, or near). I don't think anyone ever knew how much I loved Thanksgiving. How much I wanted to be a part of that big family.  How much my dreams and thoughts existed just for those few hours, that one day, every year.

And then one day..it stopped. They decided it was just too hard. Too many of us to try to cram into houses that were too small. Too many other places  they had to be. On the same day. I assume it wasn't as important to them as it was to me. I can remember that day very clearly. The day THEY decided that we would stop having Thanksgiving together. I am sure my husband and sons remember that day as well. I took it very hard. Sometimes I still think about it.

But, that is where my own tradition began. I had Thanksgiving at my house every year. And whomever wanted to come were invited. We would combine both my family and Richard's family. And once again we were in the business of loving Thanksgiving. Eventually  my siblings even begin to come again with their families. And it was my favorite day of the year........until this year. There will not be a family get-together this year. But Richard, the kids, and I will celebrate. And it will be a day of Thanks!

Today is day 6 of my 30 Days of Thanksgiving. You can find all of my other posts listed here. If you want to join in and tell me about your traditions I will be sure to visit you too. 

10 comments:

  1. I'm sorry that you will not be able to have a big gathering this Thanksgiving and I hope you enjoy your time with your children and grandchildren. Maybe a new tradition can begin. Perhaps a family movie night or game night. Sometimes a smaller group can be even more fun.

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    1. I am thinking that I might just do that! You are right a smaller group might be just as nice.

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  2. Thanksgiving was pretty big at my mother's house when we were growing up… but not as big as Passover… some years there were more than twenty of us at three tables! For the last few years, my husband and daughters have been celebrating with friends here in NH… my extended family is still mostly all in PA, my husbands in OH. Our friends have a big family like mine, growing up… it is chaotic and wonderful!

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    1. Big family gatherings are the best!

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  3. I can relate to this. Thanksgiving and Christmas were always great family events ... fun, food and family. Then mom moved into Assisted Living and could climb steps any more and so she couldn't come to any of the traditional celebrations. Suddenly I didn't want to participate in them either. And for me it now involves spending time on the roads ... going to spend time with mom - and then maybe going somewhere else. Sometimes just going home but no big celebration.

    Now these holidays for me are something to "get through." I am always thankful when they are over. Maybe some day there will be young children in our family again and maybe we can recapture the wonder of these events through them.

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    1. Hey come have Thanksgiving with us! Wouldn't that be a hoot?

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  4. I've always been a bit envious of hubby's Thanksgiving memories -- surrounded by lots of aunts, uncles and cousins in the Midwest. My own Thanksgivings "celebrations" usually involved driving to Colorado for the long weekend and eating Nice restaurants where turkey (or ham, for that matter) WASN'T on the menu! I can still hear my daddy's voice going, "This year I think I'm going to be thankful for crab legs." Needless to say, when Tom and I got together in 2004 we had some lively debates how to observe Thanksgiving! (To this day, I still don't like turkey or ham!) However and with whomever you celebrate .... I hope there's lots of lovely memories to be made at your table!

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    1. Oh I HAVE to have turkey AND ham on Thanksgiving.

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  5. I think that is a great tradition. I am glad your siblings started coming back around. I am sorry you don't get to have your tradition this year. I know that you will still make it happy though with the people you love at the table.

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