Thanksgiving is a little different every year, but many of us have our traditions that remain the same. For years, my family has had celebrated early Thanksgiving with Dad’s side of the extended family and Colorado Thanksgiving with Mom’s side (and whichever of us siblings who could go). Last year, Brian and I were dating and he had been looking forward to celebrating with his family in Oklahoma while I was excited to celebrate with mine in Colorado (especially since all my siblings came!). We agreed since we were dating and not married, it was more important to us to celebrate with our respective families than together.
This year was different because Brian and I planned to spend the holiday with our Oklahoma family and my two married siblings planned to visit their in-laws too. Then my Colorado grandparents moved to assisted living in Wyoming and my parents came along when I took my new husband to meet them over a long summer weekend. The family decided summer visits are nicer and easier in some ways, particularly since we have to drive further now. Suddenly, Thanksgiving was different for my parents too.
My new Oklahoma family had their traditional dinner on Thanksgiving Day and some of us played games afterward. Brian and I taught them how to play Golf (the card game) because it works for odd numbers of players and does not take long to learn. Later that weekend, we went bowling with the extended family. (From what I am told, that has not been a tradition in the past.) Most of the family did not know my opinion of bowling, though, and I think some of them felt bad for me at first because I bowl badly… very badly. In one of our two games, I scored under fifty. Nevertheless, I find bowling to be relaxing, hilarious fun because I know I am not skilled at it; there is absolutely no pressure to play well. I like the social aspect of chatting with other players while waiting for our turns and cheering when someone has a good throw. I also enjoy having no expectation of excelling, so I am never disappointed with my score.
Brian and I have only been married for six months, so we are still experiencing some of each other’s family traditions for the first time and figuring out which ones fit our family. When I was younger, I was very attached to traditions because I liked life to be consistent and familiar and comfortable. As an adult, I still enjoy some traditions but also have fun trying new ones, experiencing the way others celebrate, simply making up new traditions for our new family of two.
What are some of your holiday traditions?