Here we are, on the verge of my very favorite holiday. No, not Christmas, silly. I love Thanksgiving. Like a lot. Part of it could be because I was born on thanksgiving, but mostly I love it because it is a holiday all about family (and food, I guess).
Thanksgiving has changed a lot over the years. When I was younger, we would gather with the whole extended family (second and third cousins included ) in my Nanny and Pawpaws basement. We would get up on Thanksgiving and watch most of the parade then head to Nanny’s in time to see Santa at the end. My Nanny would make the turkey, ham, and most of the side dishes. My Aunt Gigi would make fried chicken, chicken and dumplings, and duplicate a lot of the side dishes. My family, we were always responsible for the ice. It’s not that my mom can’t cook. It’s that she doesn’t use as much salt as the rest of the family does 🙂 We would all move food from the upstairs kitchen to the downstairs kitchen. More recently, it had become my job to get serving utensils and arrange the food. Mom would make the punch. Finally, everyone (over 30 family members total) would gather in a circle and hold hands to pray. That was Pawpaw’s job. We would eat and laugh. After that, my mom and older cousins would lay out a black friday game plan. My Pawpaw and uncle’s would “watch the game” I would usually read or hang out. If it was warm enough, we might go outside for a gator ride.
Recently, we have been gathering in smaller groups as each individual family grows. One year, my brother and sister-in-law were living in the top floor of the house in Huntington. Sammi thought it would be a good idea for us to host Thanksgiving with her parent’s and my family in attendance. That year I made the turkey and most of the sides. My mom brought the ice 🙂 We served dinner off of the pool table because I didn’t have any other surface big enough to hold the food. After dinner, we played Just Dance. Sammi’s grandma stole the show with her dance!
Our Thanksgiving will once again look different this year. That used to bother me. I thought it wouldn’t feel the same if we changed from our normal routine. Now I realize what made all of those times so special: family. With no pressure to pick the perfect gift or show off new possessions, Thanksgiving is really a time to relax and enjoy the people God gave you to call family.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Now, go be glutinous and only feel guilty about it 2 hours later.