Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A Month of Thanks - November 26 - Traditions

I love traditions. So much in fact, that I have to remind myself that it is okay to branch out and try something new or go a different direction. We have (aghast) even considered traveling over certain holidays. That would mean we would be out of town and not participating in our traditional this and that. Oh my, we are getting bold. And sometimes we start new traditions. Like our annual (unless, like last year, Arctic temperatures, necessarily change plans) Christmas tree hunting trip to the mountains.

Maybe a part of my love of traditions is that it connects us to the past and the future. In the old days, we always decorated the Christmas tree after Thanksgiving dinner. We watched a Christmas movie the same evening. The dad and the kids put up the tree and lights. The mom and the kids added ornaments and made it pretty. We each had our part to play.

Thanksgiving dinner has traditionally been at my house. For years. This year we are going to my sister's home. The stress is off of me and onto her. It will be lovely. But I do bemoan the fact of no leftovers in our fridge. How do people survive without Thanksgiving leftovers?

We have the usual - turkey (prepared a variety of ways), relish trays, mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potatoes with marshmallows, corn, green beans (this year I am making green bean casserole), pumpkin pie and a few other desserts. Oh, and olives. Black olives. Cans of black olives. In memory of the little boy who could consume an entire can by himself. That boy is now grown and still loves olives.

Thanksgiving is a holiday where we overeat the traditional menu items. But within the menu items, flexibility is allowed in preparation style and recipe. But we always get together. Family members that are around are invited and expected. It's just what we do. And we love it.

Today, November 25, I am thankful for traditions.

For traditions make our family remember times together over the years. And traditions lead us forward to embrace times together in the future.

Until the next time.

Traditions keep us going.

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