Sunday, November 24, 2019

Traditions for all the family

Thanksgiving. One of those holidays that in reality did not happen in November. Nope, it happened in October. Sort of like Christ being born in August, yet we celebrate in December. Traditions. Hm. Someone started them that we did not know. They changed over generations. I am thinking we can make them even better.

New ways of thinking about Thanksgiving are not wrong. No, they open up creative thinking, allowing it to be more than just a bird and family meal. We do not need to fall into the usual roles played by our parents and grandparents. They were a product of their times. 

When I grew up, we had the same routine every year. I watched the parade every Thanksgiving morning, while Mom cooked and Dad saw to the chores. Eventually, the Johnson's trickled in with the same dishes they made every year. The women ate on the card table in the living room, and the men chowed down at the kitchen table. After the meal, leftovers were taken to the garage where it was cool. Yep, dinner would be waiting to be warmed up once more later in the day. Next the men gathered around the TV to watch football, while the women worked on a puzzle. There you have it. Our Thanksgiving tradition.

Well, times change. We learn more about family and the importance of showing our feelings. We find new recipes. We add other activities. We include all the family in creating a thankful day. My son actually does all the cooking. We all pitch into the kitty for the food. He began taking this all on when one of the people who were furnishing a main dish became ill and could not attend. So now we are covered.....unless the cook gets sick!

For me Thanksgiving should include all the family for the day. I mean, I am most thankful for my family, so why not make it a family day? Helping the children with ideas for place cards and centerpieces for the table can be great fun. Allowing them to come up with their own ideas is even better. I do not believe in the kids' table. What better way to learn about family and past than dining with the adults. Watch the parade with the kids. Get involved. Laugh and ooh/ahh together. Play games after dinner with the kids. The football viewers can actually take a turn and watch the game. They can drink beer and talk during it, so spending time with the kids can happen as well. Let the kids be part of the cleanup process. If you start them early, they will love the responsibility and interacting with aunts, uncles and all the rest. Be thankful that you have those little ones. Interact. Show the teenagers what it means to be included.

Donate money or time to charity. Give someone else something for which to be thankful. Invite someone who will be alone to join your feast. Don't focus on Black Friday. Be thankful for what you have on Thanksgiving Day.

Yes, traditions can change. They can be even more memorable. Happy Thanksgiving, my friends.

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