A New Thanksgiving

When I looked at my calendar this morning, I realized that Thanksgiving is a mere 10 days away. For most of us, that is a reason to celebrate, especially if you are a kid who gets the holiday off from school. I am not going to get into the political correctness of the holiday, because we all know the conflicting historical views. I am only looking at Thanksgiving as a family gathering, a time to be together and celebrate life. And in my family, that is what is most important.

Ever since my wedding, I have spent Thanksgiving with my husband’s family. That adds up to 18 years over which we get together and share traditions (not to mention all the celebrations they had before I joined). My mother-in-law has prepared essentially the same meal every year, roast turkey, stuffing, twice baked potatoes, gravy, marinated brocolli, white onions and sweet potatoes. The appetizers and desserts change from year to year, put there always has to be a pumpkin pie. Not only is the food part of the tradition, but there is often a chess match and a long walk while we digest. My children started our most fun tradition, though, the annual art show. Between appetizers and dinner, every family member presents a piece of art and gives a presentation. It started out very simply, but it’ s been recurring for almost 10 years and has become quite sophisticated. (I may have to write a whole post on this sometime)

Anyway, back to this year’s celebration…

Over the last two years, we have lost two family members and the only ones who have not relocated are my own family. My mother-in-law now lives in a lovely apartment in Boston, which is the perfect size for her but not for a lot of people staying over. With all of the changes she has been through, I think she finally felt ready to hand over the reigns of hosting Thanksgiving to me. I am happy to have this honor, but at the same time I know it is a big responsibility.

The biggest challenge will be planning a new menu. Of course we will have turkey and stuffing with gravy. My husband has already said he will take care of that. My daughter wants to make the twice baked potatoes. So now I am in charge of some different side dishes and desserts. I have already ordered oysters and am incorporating a cheese fondue into the appetizers. It is fun to try new things and I think everyone will be up for it, as long as I don’t get too carried away.

We’ll still be able to talk a nice walk, play a game of chess and hold our art show. Some traditions just don’t change.

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