Although it’s the day before Thanksgiving, I figure I would give people a glimpse into some of my favorite memories with this special day. They all are about family moments that have stuck with me through the years.
The most recent Thanksgiving I remember would be the one where my oldest daughter’s siblings and their adoptive parents came over to our apartment to have dinner with us. The three of them probably hadn’t had a dinner like this in a few years, and it’s always good to have siblings who are growing up spend time together around the holidays. We had plenty of turkey, pie and laughter as they played board games and video games together. We feel very fortunate that all of her siblings live within a close area, so that they still get the chance to watch their relationships grow in their youth.
The first Thanksgiving I had over my in-laws house in 1999 would also be a memorable one. It put new meaning to the word ‘anything goes’ in terms of conversation. I got the chance to sample a unique fruit salad that tastes better chilled than when served warm, and my sister-in-law spent a good chunk of time discussing the recent OJ Simpson crime scene photos she got the chance to look at in one of her college classes. I think I said to myself at least 15 times during the course of the hours of food and card games, “this would never happen in my household.” This helped me understand more the uniqueness of family chemistry and how important it is to listen, share, learn and love.
I remember a Thanksgiving as well over my aunt and uncle’s house where my grandparents would also be involved. We got the chance to watch National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation before serving the turkey and trimmings, and I think out of all the Chevy Chase movies in the series, this one would be my favorite. The movie hit home the trials and tribulations of dealing with extended family over the holidays. How much Clark Griswold wanted to make a great holiday with all of the light display and just couldn’t get things to work out exactly as he wanted.
Usually during these dinners we would spend time talking about our favorite moments growing up, we would take a look into each other’s lives and my family never made my brother and I feel like we couldn’t participate in these conversations.
So if today is a day of travel that you fear due to the amount of traffic, take a moment to close your eyes and realize why we celebrate this day. It’s a time for caring and sharing. It’s a time to step outside of your comfort zone and get back into the family mode- even if you’ve had a difficult year. Remember that we only have a finite amount of days in our lives- and I think we can take a few during the year and appreciate where we’ve come from and where we will be going in the future.
And if for some reason you can’t spend the day with your loved ones, make the most of the family that’s around you- with your friends or even with the people in your community. Maybe you can deliver meals to the elderly who can’t get out of their homes. Maybe volunteer to set up tables or serve meals at your local shelter. Be sure to be around people and express gratitude for the life that you have. Let the warmth from your heart radiate to others in your circle. I’m grateful for your time, your energy, your kind thoughts and the feedback to make this blog continue to thrive.