Over the years, our Thanksgiving traditions have evolved.
As a young girl through my teens, I remember with great fondness celebrating Thanksgiving at my Aunt Edwina's. All my cousins and I had the best time playing games, listening to music, watching the parade.
Once I had a family of my own, we would travel between grandparents homes and our own. It was sometimes difficult; four little ones can be a handful to bundle up and travel from one New England state to another. But, the moments added to our memories were priceless.
As my daughters got older, we would celebrate at home with guests, filling the house with laughter and fun.
Since moving out to Western Massachusetts, our celebrations have been much quieter. Roger and I often travel to the Peace Pagoda in Leverett to meditate on how blessed we are. When we were first out here, my daughters and Roger's daughter would come with boyfriends/husbands in tow. Our tiny home was filled to overflowing with love, good food and music.
In the past four years, grandchildren have added a new twist to the old theme. Remembering the difficulties of traveling with little ones during the holidays, I have allowed my daughters the freedom to begin their own traditions without having to travel the distance to my home. Consequently, this means that we usually do not celebrate the holiday on the holiday, but sometime in the weeks after. My feeling is that it isn't about the date, it is about being together.
This year, we will have an international celebration. Roger's daughter is bringing a friend from Kenya home and two of my students from India will come, also, to share our table. Roger's Mom will be with us as we give thanks for all our blessings, but, not on Thursday, as so many others, but on Friday, as that is the day we can all be together. As I said, it is not about the date, it is about being together.
Holiday traditions...thanksgiving traditions, specifically, should not be cast in stone or iron. Rather, they should be like a gentle stream that travels through life, gentle moving and bending to conform to the terrain.
May your Day of Thanks be filled with memories and blessings that will travel with you through the year ahead.