Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things. – Robert Brault
Recently, my amazing grandmother messaged me and moved our family’s Thanksgiving to the Sunday after. At first, I couldn’t believe what was happening…I don’t have to go to two Thanksgivings in one day? Has the world come to an end?
It doesn’t seem like that big of a deal, but it is. I talked with people all week about their plans, and I heard, “I’m driving to Illinois, Ohio, this city and that. One day here, one day there.” And I realized her very small gesture actually meant a great deal.
After 15 years of having two Thanksgivings a day, and before that, three or four in two days, it’s so nice to know we can go to one and relax. My grandmother gets it.
As I listened to everyone explain where they were going or how many people they were hosting, I heard the truth. The holidays stress people the hell out. Is that what we really want to remember in 20 years. Is that what matters?
Families should be more flexible and understanding. After all, is it not our families who are supposed to be that way no matter what? Aren’t they the ones who are supposed to love us unconditionally and support us through life?
Don’t Have Traditions for the Sake of Having Them
Too often families gripe and moan about not celebrating on that day. “It’s not the same…but it’s Thanksgiving…,” and they whine and whine. Thanksgiving is whatever day you schedule it. The whole purpose of the holiday is to spend time with people who care about and show thanks for what we have. And yes, I believe we can do that every day of the year. Thanksgiving is just to make sure we do it.
Let’s talk about food. Not everyone eats the same thing, so why should an entire family cater to a couple of people? Shouldn’t we all compromise and find a solution? Thankfully, my family is very diverse, so we have lots of options and favorites. We try new recipes and all pitch in.
If you have more than a few people who want to see, say an average of 10 people, consider rotating who travels where, maybe change the day of the feast, or throw in the cooking towel and go to a restaurant. You don’t have to have turkey and dressing. In fact, I’m having Chinese soon. And it will be a Thanksgiving celebration because I will eat a lot of good food and enjoy even better company.
So, this year I thank my grandmother, who truly gets the spirit of the season. She made a very small decision that meant a great deal – she just wanted everyone to be able to attend and bring a dish. Consider doing the same for the people you care about – you may help stop some madness, too.