Friday, November 26, 2004

A Decidedly Different Thanksgiving

For the first time in a very long time, we didn't go anywhere for Thanksgiving. Normally, we would go over to my grandmother's house. When we get there, we would either watch some TV or play some games before we sat down to eat Thanksgiving dinner. One of us would say grace, then we would get our food and sit and eat. After a while, Dad would go to his relatives' house to visit their Thanksgiving feast. Some years I'd go and some years I wouldn't. Later that night, we would finally go home after being at Grandmother's house for hours. We'd be full but tired.

This year's Thanksgiving was tinged by our financial problems. It seems like my mom and my aunts have been trying to "take turns" doing Thanksgiving dinner over the past few years. A couple of years ago, we all went over to my Aunt Barbara and Uncle Bayne's and had dinner there. Although I don't know the whole story (and I didn't really want to ask), I think it was supposed to be my mom's year to "do Thanksgiving dinner." However, we didn't have the money to pull something like that off this year. With us not doing didn't end up happening as it usually does. We didn't see Grandmother or Auntee. That made most of us depressed.

However, that's not to say that we had a miserable Thanksgiving. In fact, the way it worked out made all of us thankful for our friends and relatives. My mom's longtime friend Regina wasn't going to cook at first, but decided to cook once she found out about our plight. She sent turkey, macaroni and cheese, dressing, broccoli, cranberry sauce, and a sweet potato pie. While Rhonda also stopped by with some of the chocolate cake she made. We ended up having a Thanksgiving dinner after all. The food was delicious and we got to spend it at home. None of us dressed up...we were all in lounge clothes. It was relaxed and comfortable. Samone and I even did our Thanksgiving tradition of playing games. We played a couple of board games (Sorry!, Easy Money, and Outburst) after we ate. My dad went to his relative's house as usual, and he stayed without worrying about getting back to work because he was off.

Throughout Thanksgiving, there were other little things to be thankful for. For example, I wanted to be up and watch the parades this year. The past couple of years, I'd sleep in and miss them. This year, I was up to watch the parades...because I got little sleep. I dozed off early the night before and I woke up in the middle of the night. I never got back to sleep. I did get some rest after the parades went off, though. Also, my cousin Phillip e-mailed me on Wednesday. This is the same cousin whose wedding I went to back in September. He was notorious (even before the wedding) for not calling or contacting family that often. We wouldn't hear from him for months at a time and we would see him even less. So, it was nice that we got an e-mail from him.

So, this Thanksgiving wasn't the best or the worst...things were just different this time around. I'm still looking forward to the Christmas season. The past few years have been lean and this one looks to be no exception. However, when things don't turn out exactly as you'd like during the holidays, it makes you focus on what is more important. While I may miss some traditions, I think it's more important that my family has been able to observe another Thanksgiving. And even if Christmas is light on presents...I'll turn 24 the day before!

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