Thanksgiving Traditions

Does your family have a unique Thanksgiving Day tradition?

When I was growing up, we went to my grandmother's house every year for Thanksgiving. She immigrated to the United States from German through Ellis Island and her German roots remained with her in her cooking. We never had the typical American Thanksgiving meal, so I really didn't ever know what a typical meal was until I got married.

My grandmother was quite literally the best cook . . . ever. My mouth is watering now just thinking of her Thanksgiving meal. She had sausages, roast duck, creamed cabbage and the most amazing stuffing in the world. I have yet to figure out how she made it and NO ONE can tell me!! It's horrifying to me that I will quite possibly never have that stuffing ever again in my life.

The first decade of my marriage, we always went to my husband's family because he insisted . . . they insisted . . . feeling were greatly hurt if I would even suggest to travel to my birth state and spend the holiday with my extended family.

But last year, I decided that my children needed (really needed) to be surrounded with my side of the family . . . their mother, ME. My children needed to see my family traditions, they needed to be part of something else as well. It is healthy for children to see both sides of families . . .  to see other traditions and to be a part of both sides of their parents families.

Last year, we traveled to my home state and had a delicious family Thanksgiving with my brothers and their families and my wonderful aunts . .  my late father's sisters, whom I adore to the ends of the earth. We created new traditions. We laughed and reminisced and literally I smiled so much that afternoon, my face hurt. The most important thing at our table was my family.

My children were filled with joy, playing with cousins who live too, too far from us. They saw a different side of me, one they had not been exposed to as my family lives far away.  They saw their mother relaxed, laughing freely, hugging joyfully, talking without caution, enjoying time spent with her brothers . . . and I wanted that again this year.

 . . . and I got it!

What holiday traditions surrounded your table this year?

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