Thanksgiving is a wonderful day for so many reasons but for a long time it was my least favorite holiday. It is the day when lots of unresolved family issues have a way of bubbling to the surface. For a long time, I associated this day with family quarrels. Until one year I spent it alone with my high-school boyfriend. We had steak. Hands down, that was the best Thanksgiving ever. That handsome young buck is now my husband.
Years later a new tradition began. My friend Alex would always come into town the day before Thanksgiving. It would be the one day of the year that we’d go out, catch up and have a few drinks together. For those few years Thanksgiving was synonymous with hangover.
One year we had our pre-Thanksgiving festivities at home. My aunt came over with my family and our friends. It was our mission to make pies for the next day. I don’t know if it was the new Kitchen-Aid mixer or the flow of the merlot, but we couldn’t stop. We were preparing dessert for a crew of 16, yet we ended up with 19 pies. That’s a lot O’ pie.
My uncle and my husband were not quite entertained by the fact that our alcohol fueled baking spree did produce a bounty of dessert… and a kickin’ hangover. It was a quiet dinner that year.
As we got older and children entered the picture, my friend Alex and I saw each other less and our Wednesday before Thanksgiving activities stopped. I haven’t cooked a holiday meal in a few years.
I don’t hate this holiday anymore. As I snuggled up on couch this morning, watching the Macy’s parade with my husband and my son, I realized that this holiday isn’t all bad. It is just like everything in life – it is what you make of it. Although it will be different each year, some things will remain the same. Thanksgiving means taking the time to spend with those that you love and considering what you are truly grateful for. Even if what you are truly grateful for is aspirin and alka seltzer.