Like most things in our family, Thanksgiving was not celebrated in the traditional sense. In the week leading up to Thanksgiving day we slowly baked, fried, stirred and cooked enough side dishes and finger foods to feed a small army of hobbits.
Then bright and early on Thanksgiving morning we ate a simple breakfast and drank endless amounts of coffee. Our parents were firm believers in the powers of coffee. We never changed out of our pajamas and we played games, read books, discussed the next big topic or walked down our lazy country road.
At eleven o’clock rolled around and we headed to Cracker Barrel to eat our “traditional” Thanksgiving meal. While our traditions weren’t normal for most people, they were ours. I can still taste the sweet potato casserole and turkey served up by a waitress with 3 stars embroidered in yellow on her brown apron. In the afternoon we slept off our Turkey coma and played games into the evening.
My husbands traditions are very different than mine. His father’s side of the family gathers together for four whole days of merriment. The festivities start Wednesday evening and don’t end until Sunday afternoon. There is food, and puzzles, and talking, and sleeping on bean bags in the corners. The younger kids play games in the barn, the teens go bowling and watch movies. There is line dancing, and karaoke, and the traditional Thanksgiving day football game.
Traditions are beautiful in the fact that they usually carry sweet memories with them. It doesn’t matter whether you have a quiet stay-at-home Thanksgiving like our family or spend it catching up with loved ones you haven’t see all year. They are your reminders of what you have done in the past and stories are swapped about how and why the tradition was started in the beginning. Whatever your traditions are this year, hold your loved ones close. Reminisce about the things you are doing. Carry on the stories of your family before you. Open your heart to new traditions and allow the old and new to blend making for a beautiful experience shaped by the past and presence.
What are some of y’alls holiday traditions?