I know many are going through some challenging financial times these days. Hell, making a trip to the supermarket is no picnic for me either. In the past two years my grocery bill has increased drastically. And as a diabetic who lives alone, believe me, I purchase the same boring food every week, so it’s not like I’m buying more. Thanks Joe!
But that aside, remember it’s not the food on the table that makes Thanksgiving, it’s the people around the table. Family is what makes this holiday so special.
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. As I’ve written in a previous blog, I love the true meaning of Christmas, but it has become too commercialized for me. Thanksgiving is about family, and I was fortunate to grow up in a very loving family. Thanksgiving always brought out the best of that love via a host of family traditions.
The heart of Thanksgiving and our family was always my mother. While my dad worked his ass off to provide for our family, it was my mother’s efforts and presence that made the day so special.
As a young boy, many people surrounded our Thanksgiving table. In addition to my parents and baby brother, my grandparents (dad’s mom and dad), a couple of aunts and a cousin were always present. However, after my grandfather passed away (with whom I was close) and my grandmother moved to California with my aunt, Thanksgiving became just the four of us. But, nonetheless, my mother made the day incredibly special. While her cooking was second to none, it was the love in her heart that made our family close – and the holiday became even more special as the years passed.
When my dad passed away in the late 90s, the holidays were never quite the same for me. Despite my mother’s attempt to maintain our family traditions, which she did, especially for her new grandchildren (my brother’s kids), it was difficult for me without my father. And when my mother passed away a few years later…wow! I was lost for a few years.
However, as the years have passed, I’ve been fortunate and thankful for my brother and sister-in-law who have maintained many of our family traditions. Watching my nephew and niece grow year-by-year, and now having the blessing of three, beautiful great nieces, our Thanksgiving traditions are alive and well.
So, I look forward to yet another Thanksgiving. And as we raise our glasses to those around the table, we’ll also give thanks to those who made our traditions possible. And while many of those we loved may not be with us physically, they are forever in our hearts.
To my nephew and niece…please remember one of my favorite quotes; “Traditions are stories that families write together…keep writing our tradition.”