I know it may seem silly to go to all that trouble for just the five of us, but we have always had traditional Thanksgiving dinners no matter where we were. If we weren't going somewhere to be with family, which has happened more than not, I have always cooked a big dinner to have traditional Thanksgiving for just us. I want to carry on family traditions with my kids even if we don't have the large extended family to celebrate with during the holiday's.
Growing up, we had a large extended family that spent time together at my Grandma's house. My grandma was one of seven children and all but one married and had kids, so there were lots of uncles and aunts and cousins running around. It was a great way to grow up. I have such wonderful memories of family get togethers.
I hate so much that my children don't have those times to enjoy. Since my brother was killed over 15 years ago, and had no children, and my grandparents have passed away, there are only my parents left on my side. Yes, there are many extended family members, but times have changed and we are all scattered over the country, and lets be honest, we aren't close like we once were. Times have changed and each of us has our own nuclear families that we are involved with, and we rarely make time for others. I think that is just a symptom of larger social changes and issues that is shared by many in our country. We have become much more isolated from each other and are much more self centered than we once were.
Due to our moving around so much through the years, we haven't made strong social connections with people around us. We have in the past made family with friends, and there are some that we still stay in touch with, but we live so far apart that getting together is not always possible.
Many times we allow relationships to grow cold because we are so caught up in our day to day life--kind of "out of sight--out of mind". It is hard work to maintain relationships with people who aren't part of our daily routines. But so many times it is worth the effort. However, I find that it is a two way street. Unfortunately, both parties must see the need and desire the relationship. I find in my life, many times, because I am the one without siblings, I have tended to "need" the relationships more than the other person, who may have siblings, and other family. I am not saying this to elicit pity from anyone. I am just stating facts. If your life is full of other relationships, you may not "need" more. But for those of us who do not have that close family connections; those of us who don't have siblings, or who are not close to siblings due to other circumstances; we may need that connection more than others. It has to be a two-way need, or desire for the relationship to be maintained.
With all of that said, I have tried to maintain family traditions even if it were just our small family that Andrew and I have created. We believe in going all out to create those strong family traditions in our family so that the kids will grow up with memories of their own.
Tomorrow's menu is as follows:
Homemade cornbread dressings
Sweet potato casserole
We also plan to spend the next few days just relaxing and enjoying our time together. God has blessed us and life is good. We have so many things to be thankful for this year. I hope to spend time recalling God's blessings in our lives and give Him glory for everything. I hope in your busy schedule of preparations for Thanksgiving you will take time to enjoy the goodness of God in your life. That you will be grateful for those people God has brought into your life and let them know how special they are to you.
God bless each of you and may you have a blessed and happy Thanksgiving season.
Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful until to him, and bless his name.
None is more impoverished than the one who has no gratitude. Gratitude is a currency that we can mint for ourselves, and spend without fear of bankruptcy.
~Fred De Witt Van Amburgh~
Families are like fudge... mostly sweet with a few nuts.
I think people that have a brother or sister don't realize how lucky they are. Sure, they fight a lot, but to know that there's always somebody there, somebody that's family.
Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.
Nothing purchased can come close to the renewed sense of gratitude for having family and friends.
And for a little humor in it all:
May your stuffing be tasty
May your turkey plump,
May your potatoes and gravy
Have nary a lump.
May your yams be delicious
And your pies take the prize,
And may your Thanksgiving dinner
Stay off your thighs!