The dishes have all been cleared, the last of the food put away. As I reflect on the day’s events I realized that this Thanksgiving was a Thanksgiving like no other. I grew up pretty much in a silo, as we were a small family with not too many aunts, uncles, and cousins, at least not that I was aware of. As a result, we did not have to share our holidays with in-laws or a host of relatives and friends, and quite frankly we enjoyed the intimacy of our small family.
Fast forward to Thanksgiving, 2016. My daughter is now married to someone I adore and love to spend time with. Her family is equally engaging, warm and fun to be around. Although both families have recently spent time together breaking bread on Thanksgiving, hmmmmm……..I just wasn’t so sure.
We are a family of traditions and Thanksgiving dinner is no exception. We always have the requisite turkey, stuffing, macaroni and cheese, candied yams and collard greens. I thought this year might be different as my daughter and her wife Kelly, were hosting the festivities. Kelly recruited the master chef, her mother, to assist. Bear in mind that Kelly and her family are from Trinidad, so Thanksgiving is an acquired holiday. In order to lighten the girls’ load it was decided that everyone should bring a dish, so at least I knew the collard greens and spinach lasagna were a guarantee!
Kelly’s mother arrived at their house early Thanksgiving morning and from that moment on it was all hands on deck! By the time we arrived, with our dishes in tow, the apartment was transformed into a festive culinary cornucopia of delectable dishes, each one more amazing than the next. The amount of food was staggering. In addition to the requisite aforementioned delights, cheese and crackers, tuna and chicken puffs, ribs, fried rice, macaroni salad, spinach lasagna, pumpkin and apple pies and a rainbow sprinkled cake graced the table. As we edged away from the meal, almost too stuffed to move, we divided into game playing teams. The next few hours were filled with raucous laughter, boundless energy and the most competitive spirits imaginable. It was truly a memorable time.
Whether we like it or not, the only thing we can be sure of is change. A new addition to the family by either birth or marriage is typically a celebration of love. Factor in the in-laws that often accompany the new addition and one can only hope for a smooth transition.
As I reflect on the true meaning of Thanksgiving I realize we “nailed” it. Being surrounded by loving family, and framily, as my daughter likes to say, is the true gift of Thanksgiving and it’s a gift that’s priceless.