I have a whole lot to be thankful for. I have been given an in-numerous amount of blessings in my weird life. I was raised in a house where we were taught to count our blessings, not just around the holidays but all year long. But especially on Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving in our house usually involved going to some church breakfast that morning, followed by the big turkey meal that afternoon. My mom would fix the traditional turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, macaroni and cheese (mac and cheese is my love language, you guys) and ambrosia salad along with those damn delicious Ukrops White House rolls that I still crave all the time to this day.
When we would sit down and at each of our plates would be our Hallmark Christmas ornament for that year. Each of us had our own series that my parents added to each year. My dad would always make us go around the table and share what we were thankful for. Some people shared heart-felt sentimental things with all “the feels” and then there was me who would come up with something sarcastic or funny because being vulnerable and sappy has never really been my thing… and also I’ve always kind of been an asshole. Sorry, mom and dad.
Looking back I should have sucked it up and told everyone how much I appreciated my life and each of their part in it. The first 18 years of my life we all lived under the same roof in the same state and had every single Thanksgiving together. I never understood how much I would miss that later in life.
After we ate we made a big deal out of putting up the Christmas tree. Some years we had multiple trees. With five people in our house over the years we had more ornaments than space on the tree. It was always fun to pull them out individually and reminisce about that year or the meaning behind each one. We all had our collections, mine was Barbie for some reason that I still don’t know. And now I have all 30+ of them in my attic ready to be placed on my own Christmas tree since my mom imparted my ornaments to me when I got married.
My parents would put on Christmas music and we’d watch Christmas movies and sort of transition from one holiday to the next all in one day. We’d stuff ourselves with left overs and my dad and I would map out our Black Friday plans. This was back when Black Friday actually happened on Friday.
I loved studying each sales flyer from the newspaper because the internet hadn’t yet taken over our lives. I would circle things I wanted to buy and then list out each item on a piece of yellow legal pad paper. Then we’d set our alarms for an extra early morning. We never really went crazy shopping. I think we might have bought a computer one time and that’s probably the biggest purchase we ever brought home. It was always more about the adventure. Afterwards we would come home and get back to decorating that tree.
The last few years I haven’t been home for Thanksgiving. It’s a lot more difficult to coordinate work schedules and travel time. We definitely need to hurry up and get Kardashian rich so we can start flying everywhere instead of driving. I have even hosted Thanksgiving before with our other side of the family but it’s never quite the same, for me anyway. Now that my kids are getting older I feel more sentimental about these holidays. I am less inclined to be sassy (well, to your face). So when it’s my turn this year to share what I’m thankful for I’ll be sure to tell my family how thankful I am for them… and also for emojis, google glass, and the domino’s pizza tracker.
After all, some traditions are worth keeping.