With Thanksgiving approaching this Thursday, I though a look into my Thanksgiving traditions might be in order.
Thanksgiving at my house has always been about family and tradition. Not very surprising as this is the holiday for families. But during my childhood it was THE one day my family could be together.
I am an only child and when I was growing up my dad tried to work as much as he could, especially holidays, so he could get double time. Every Christmas I had to wake up at the crack of dawn and go open my presents because he always worked on Christmas and had to be at work at 7am. So in order for him to see me discover what Santa had brought, I had to get up early. And then he was gone for most of Christmas Day.
Thanksgiving, however, was completely different. As far back as I remember my father was always off on Thanksgiving Day. I’d wake up and sit in front of the television and watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade with my dad while my mother finished the preparations for the feast. My dad always had a garden in the summer and fall and Thanksgiving dinner saw all that bounty on the table: butter beans, potato salad, squash, snaps (non-southerners call them green beans), sweet potatoes, and my father’s famous collard greens. We also had turkey of course, and my grandmother’s dressing that was made in cakes rather than loose. And a pumpkin pie. We used a linen tablecloth and napkins, special goblets and a set of dishes all only used for Thanksgiving dinner. It was served on the stroke of 12 o’clock noon in the dining room, also only used on this one day of the year. It was the only day of the year when you could be sure all three of us would eat together.
Things change. My parents are gone, I have a family of my own, we moved an hour away from my childhood home. However, this Thursday we will travel back to central Virginia to be with family who have come from all parts of the country. But we will gather around several tables, we will laugh and talk because we haven’t seen each other in a year, and we’ll have that special food. I proudly carry on the tradition of my father’s collards. 🙂
The more things change, the more they stay the same. Especially at Thanksgiving at my house.
Safe travels and have a Happy Thanksgiving!