Monday, November 19, 2007

Traditions

Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. I love getting together with family in a relaxed, cozy atmosphere where we can just enjoy each other's company and of course, a great meal. My mother's family has always spent Thanksgiving together. Long before I was born, Mom's family (in New Hampshire) would gather the entire family together to celebrate Thanksgiving -- there were so many relatives that they would hold the celebration at the church, which was large enough to accommodate everyone. I believe the last one of those Thanksgivings was either the year before, or the year after, I was born.

But, growing up I remember traveling by plane or by car to spend every Thanksgiving in New Hampshire (except the year my cousin Matt was born! We went to my aunt's in Connecticut) at my grandparents' house. I loved those Thanksgivings -- my Nana's wonderful cooking, all of the relatives crammed into the dining room and kitchen, hearing stories from "the good ol' days", and playing with my cousins. I was always SO excited to go to New Hampshire for Thanksgiving, and most of the family came out and stayed at my grandparents' house, so no one was on a schedule -- we just had Weds. night to Sun. morning to spend time with each other. That is still one of my favorite things -- having the whole family together in one place for a long weekend, whether it's my mother's family or my husband's family -- the more the merrier!

We've carried on that tradition for Thanksgiving, losing some of our guests -- my grandparents both passed away, my cousin Todd moved to Florida -- and we've moved from NH to Connecticut, back to NH when my aunt and uncle built at place up there. Life gets busy and it's hard to keep those traditions going, but we do our best! My husband's job makes it difficult to get away at Thanksgiving, so last year Mom's family came out to our house, which was great! My cousin even came up from Florida and brought a new addition -- his fiancee (now wife)! This year we had to stay home again, but we are celebrating with my brother-in-law and his family from Long Island -- this will be the first Thanksgiving that we have spent with my husband's family in at least 14 years! We are very excited to have them come out for the long weekend, and my daughter is already beside herself with excitement about having her cousins here to play all weekend!

Times change, but there is something so warm and comforting about familiar traditions -- even if you have to adapt them a little along the way. We are unable to spend Thanksgiving with our New England relatives, but we're happy to share some of our traditions with our Long Island relatives this year!

2 comments:

Teamcarbone said...

Thanksgiving was never a big deal at my house growing up due to the fact that my brother and sister (older) usually spent the Thanksgiving holiday with there In Laws. Since I was engaged I joined in on the traveling and would spend the holiday with my hubby's family and have been doing so for over 20 years! I look forward to it each year. Driving for 3 hours is always a drag but the reward of a yummy turkey dinner is worth every minute. I look forward to teaching my LO about this wonderful tradition.

I'm happy that you won't be alone again this year and I'm sure it will be a fun weekend to be had by all.

Deanna said...

Sounds like you have some nice traditions that your little girl will love growing up with!

Actually, we weren't alone last year, the New Englanders came out and stayed at our house, which was a lot of fun! But we had a really great time with my brother-in-law and his family!