November 16th, 2012 by Behaven Kids
Thanksgiving is just around the corner. It’s hard to believe that it’s almost here! It’s an interesting time for my family and extended family. In the past we have always gotten together with my mom’s parents and siblings, but over the years as family changes and dynamics change, our rituals have changed. Along with that change comes some discord amongst family members.
My immediate family, meaning my husband and kids, changed our Thanksgiving tradition a few years ago. My husband has very few holidays off of work and Thanksgiving is one of them. I feel that it is unfair to him to spend part of his one day off traveling and spending his time with extended family that we aren’t super close with. We’ve started our own tradition in that we make a dinner ourselves at home with our kids. We invite friends or co-workers that have nowhere else to go over to our home. We enjoy a relaxing day in our own home, wearing comfy clothes, watching football, taking naps, and doing whatever else we want. There are no errands to run, no honey-do lists to complete, just a free day pass at home, spending the day together.
Now I know that there are members of our family that don’t completely understand and don’t agree with how we spend our Thanksgiving holiday. I know our grandparents are aging and we won’t have many opportunities for a significant number of holidays together. But, I also know I make other attempts throughout the year to spend quality time with them instead of with a large mass of people.
My mom made the comment the other day that she believes that Thanksgiving traditional large-family gatherings were made for families that live far apart. That way when they get together for the holiday there is more of an aura of excitement for spending time together and the perception of the holiday gathering is different than for those of us who see our family members often and outside of holidays.
I’m always curious to hear about other people’s holiday traditions. We see all of the movies and t.v. shows that sensationalize what family gatherings are like. I’m always curious to know if anyone truly has those types of holiday gatherings. We used to play card games when we go to my grandparents and sometimes we still do, but the younger generations don’t learn to play cards the way the older generations have done. My grandfather and I used to play basketball, softball, beanbag and all sorts of sports activities at holiday events, but now that he’s 86 years old, we just aren’t able to do that as much anymore. My dad’s parents were deaf and let’s just say our holidays with them were quiet! We played Uno or Skipbo but that was about it. Our extended family on my parent’s side is really very small. My husband’s extended family is overwhelmingly large. There are more cousins and second and third cousins that you can count on all of your fingers and toes. So when there is a holiday gathering like Thanksgiving, for me as an outsider, it has always felt like a gathering with a lot of strangers where we are polite and exchange courteous but not in-depth conversations.
I’m curious to know what will you be doing for this thanksgiving holiday? What are some of your favorite thanksgiving traditions that you do with your family?