Thanksgiving was a family tradition at our house in Alabama that I thought would never change. But, I was mistaken.
As a kid, I took for granted every Thanksgiving that came along. Every year was the same: We’d gather at my grandparent’s house that evening. We’d eat a feast of turkey, ham, chicken & dressing, sweet potato casserole, green beans, etc. Afterward, my cousins and I would wander outside for a game of tag, hide-and-seek, catch or whatever fun we could find. The men would lay claim to a spot on the couch or a recliner near the TV to watch football games while the women would chat and clean up. Before everyone left, the grandkids would draw names for Christmas gifts.
During my teenage/college years, we were allowed to invite our boyfriends for Thanksgiving dinner. Everything else was pretty much the same. Eat, play games, watch TV, clean up; pretty much a routine for years.
Then, in November 2007, we celebrated Thanksgiving differently. It was the first “family” holiday after my grandpa had passed away in June. My immediate family decided to take my grandmother away during that week. We traveled to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee (one of our favorite family getaways). I don’t remember much from that trip.
Every year since then, Thanksgiving has been different: My sister and brother-in-law, who lived in Florida at the time, had my niece Maeleigh (following 3 years later with my nephew, Jase). My younger cousins started inviting their significant others to Thanksgiving meals. I moved away, got married and now have a family of my own. This will be the second Thanksgiving in a row that I’ve missed with my family in Alabama.
Traditions change. Families change. Things change. Be thankful not only on Thanksgiving, but also for every day in which you’re living.