Growing up we would wake up later than normal, to smell the great aroma of food. My mother would make us breakfast and my dad was already cooking away on the turkey and other fixings. Usually my grandparents would come visit whether they surprised us that morning by hiding in our dining room, or just a couple days before — they always drove in for Colorado for the holidays. We would enjoy the family and the meal, then watch football and the parade. I remember one year, my great grandma Faye was incharge of the potatoes, she loved doing them — well this year in particular we got her a 10 pound bag of potatoes and my the time she was done peeling them — we had maybe 3 pounds left for like 8 or 9 people, so not much to go around. It was funny though. I miss grandma Faye, she was certainly a ball of fire.
Other years, we would go to the Boehle’s my paternal great grandparents, and the whole family would gather there. My aunts, grandparents would all welcome us and my cousins would all be running and playing about. We were never particularly close to this side of the family but would see them a couple times a year. There would be turkey, and my grandma Boehle’s Famous chicken and noodles, among other foods. We loved going there, although we weren’t particularly close with this side of the family there was always some excitement of going there. Maybe it was because since we didn’t see them much, the whole family was always so excited to see us. I’m not really sure.
When my parents got divorced, it was bouncing back and forth between the houses of my mom’s and my dad’s, new families were introduced once my mother remarried. Some years we would have two thanksgivings so we could share it with both sets of families. Which we never minded since it was yummy food, and it was an obligation really — you can’t NOT show up to a family Thanksgiving dinner without hearing about it later, and if your parents were like mine – you had no choice!
Once Ryan and I were together, our first Thanksgiving was celebrated together, just the two of us at Denny’s, and eating popcorn and watching movies. It was low key, and special, it was our first Thanksgiving ever! Our first Thanksgiving in Colorado we juggled my family and his for the Thanksgiving Celebration, and we went to his grandparents, the Carringers a few days later and spent the day with his large extended family. Year 3 we got so tired of juggling, we decided we would host Thanksgiving. We shared it with our families together in our home in Denver, so we didn’t have to short time with one family to spend it with the other, and no one’s feelings got hurt. Plus, we were then taking on the burden of cooking which eased the the irritations of not having us all to themselves. We had family and friends whom had no where else to go for the holidays joining us in our home. Besides stressing in the kitchen, it was wonderful, there was so much love in our home it was wonderful. Differences were set aside between the families and dishes made with love came to our table. Last year we split the holidays, lunch at Ryan’s parents and dinner with mine since we were getting married in a week and my grandparents had a new home they wanted to host the meal.
This year will be different from anything we have done together, it will be our 5th Thanksgiving, but our first was husband and wife and our first in Kansas with my family. It will be the first year we spend it with my dad, and my brother. We almost didn’t do it, it really hasn’t been feeling like Thanksgiving lately and Dad is working all day, but I insisted. So, Ryan and I will be preparing food all day, and my brother and his girlfriend will be attending, along with my Aunt Shelley. We may have others that we invited, so they don’t spend the holiday alone. Thinking about all of this has gotten me more in the spirit of Thanksgiving. The beauty of the ones I love sitting at the table, some going through life changing challenges, other expecting new little miracles soon, and for once we will be sitting there at the table with my family…My Kansas family, that is something we have never done before. I must admit… This excites me, and why shouldn’t it?
Everyone speaks of holidays and their family traditions, and a friend of ours was talking about how now that we are married maybe we will start having traditions of our own. My Thanksgivings have never really had a set ‘traditions’… ever really. I suppose I crave the Thanksgivings where we have a huge family get together that we go where we haven’t seen the others in like a year and everyone is so excited to celebrate together, a little bit at least, but not enough to lose sleep over. I think I expect traditions to start happening once we have little ones running around and the family will then want to gather to see their grandchildren/nieces or nephews, etc. I would love to say that we would be hosting it every year, but I’m not sure that will be the case. Overall, we will see what the future brings holiday wise, and just be grateful for the holiday, and those that we love sitting around our table.
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!