I recently spent two and a half months in Arizona where the subtle change of season is lost on me. While I live in an area usually known for its plains and long stretches of grasslands, I was hungry for the vibrant reds, bright yellows and deep golds of our neighborhoods, a precursor to the holiday of Thanksgiving.
My own extended family has developed traditions over the years: the traditional menu of roast turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes with gravy, cranberry sauce, and of course for dessert, pumpkin pie. As the years went on, older family members passed on the traditions to the younger sect, who added their own touches to the menu, to the day.
I did some research for this blog and found other traditions worthy of mention and maybe inclusion in our own celebration this year:
- Take some time for yourself before time with family.Take a walk to experience the quiet and special feel of a crisp fall morning before winter sets in and the uncertain beginning of spring is a wish away.
- Remember loved ones who have passed. Holidays can be bittersweet if beloved family members are missing from the gathering. Hold hands and take a moment to honor their memory.
- Let everyone make a toast! Have each family member raise their glass to the year, to your family, to your friends.
- Stay connected with family members far away. If you’re not close to your loved ones during Thanksgiving, do a video call before dinner for the giving–thanks portion of the day.
- Record the year’s blessings on pieces of paper to share: landing a new job, finally saving enough for a new roof, earning an A in Spanish. No item, too small for the list. Afterwards, copy the blessings into a Thanksgiving Journal to be shared for years to come.
Whatever your traditions, let me wish you a wonderful, memory-filled Thanksgiving. May you enjoy stuffing the turkey, watching the Macy’s Day Parade, and cheering over football games.
And don’t fight too hard over the wishbone!
Annalisa Russo is a published author and master storyteller based in Chicago, IL. Currently writing with The Wild Rose Press, she has just released her fifth novel: Angel Lost, Angel Found. You can read more about it and the author at annalisarusso.com. Follow Annalisa Russo on Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads.