Thanksgiving Traditions

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving. I know I’m not alone in loving the holidays, and Thanksgiving just makes my heart melt with gratitude, as it provides me with a reason to pause and ponder the things I’m grateful for. I love that we have a day set aside where most people get extra days off from work, and make the effort to get together with their loved ones for a meal, or even a weekend.

My kids have been busy coloring paper turkeys, pilgrims, and Native Americans this week. We’re learning about charity, generosity, and kindness, because that’s what I think the Indians gave to the hungry settlers all those years ago. We’ve decorated the house in fall decor, complete with a beautiful wreath from Costco, glittery pumpkins I glittered a few years ago, ribbons, fall flowers and porcelain turkeys. Pinterest proved once again to be a great resource for little activities. My girls really liked coloring a tree and writing what they were thankful for on leaves to glue to the tree. It was fun for me to see what they think about.

I was lucky, in that I had parents and a brother to come home to. My maternal grandmother lived on our property when I was growing up, in her own little home. She was always there, making her traditional holiday fare for our celebrations. We had big family get-togethers with cousins and aunts and uncles that we loved but didn’t get to see very often, lots of special party food, fancy napkins and dishes, and I always got to wear a dress. It was a really special thing for me. I loved it. And I know that not everyone is so lucky. I hope those individuals are able to find comfort in the companionship of friends that become family. We all deserve to be welcome at a celebration.

Tonight, my kids will be tucked into their beds while my husband and I work on pies, tidying up the house, and planning our day.

For some reason, we always watched the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade when I was a kid. The busy-ness of getting ready with the parade on in the background was so wonderful. Now, my little family unit and I live without tv, so I asked my husband to download last year’s parade from youtube to watch this year. We did the same thing last year, and everyone loved it. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for us tomorrow.


Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

I love recreating the traditions for my own children that have been passed down for generations. It’s as though somehow, those cherished loved ones live on through those traditions, even though they aren’t with us anymore. I can’t help but think of those who worked hard in the kitchens on holidays past. My grandmother in the 1950s. Her mother in the 1910’s. I know they made the same roll recipe that my mother made in the 1990’s and I will make tomorrow. One hundred years and it’s my turn. I get to carry on our traditions. And it brings me so much joy.

Isn’t it funny, how each of us is just a link in the chain of humanity? I’m somewhere in the middle. My work will be worth something to my children, eventually. And they will be able to choose for themselves which traditions to carry forward. I just marvel at the thought. It often seems as though my efforts don’t matter. But they will continue on for generations, if my posterity finds a reason to carry it on. The decisions we make, the decisions our ancestors made…they matter to our children, to our posterity. I just think that’s really cool.

Happy Thanksgiving.