How One Holiday Tradition Returned
The Holidays bring about good and bad memories of past holiday seasons. I have a girlfriend Nancy who newly divorced is having her first Thanksgiving without the kids this year. It's tough; there is no denying it. Thanksgiving will be different for her; but that doesn't mean it'll be bad. We've talked about my first Thanksgiving without my daughter and new traditions I put in place when celebrating as a single person. For me, service work was a blessing.
Life events happen and our treasured holiday traditions from our youth typically change overtime as our lives change. There will be traditions that will stand the test of time; for me, that is my mother's creamed onions. Some will change like the canned cranberry of my youth was dropped once I came across an incredible cranberry sauce recipe. This one is a reminder that change can be good!
There will also be traditions that will be dropped for whatever reason. For me it was the holiday jigsaw puzzle. On Thanksgiving Day with the bird in the oven, out would come a Jigsaw puzzle that all the family would start huddling around to work on. Conversation would flow and hoorays would be heard as that one difficult puzzle piece was found and put into its place.
When I got married, my husband's family didn't get into jigsaw puzzles. If I pulled the box out it would sit untouched. It saddened me a bit; since it was a much enjoyed part of the holidays of my youth. After a couple of holidays of trying to get his family interested, I just dropped the tradition.
Once divorce, I dusted off the holiday tradition of jigsaw puzzle which my daughter and I typically do for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. We love it!
This year my parents flew into town and with Grand Dude's family we numbered twelve on Thanksgiving Day. I decided it was time to introduce to his family my tradition and bought a new jigsaw puzzle. The puzzle sat pretty much untouched for the first hour or so and then Grand Dude's eldest daughter started working on it; soon her girls where joining in and soon there wasn't room for anyone else to be at the puzzle.
As I was working in the kitchen, I could glimpse out to the living room and see the concentration of folks as they worked on the puzzle. Conversation was flowing as people shared with what was going on in their lives or memories of Thanksgivings gone by. Occasionally you would hear the celebration of someone who found that elusive puzzle piece.
After dinner, people started drifting back to the puzzle determined to finish up one area before they headed home. For me and my parents, it was a memorable evening for it took us back about 30-40 years. The people have changed; but the conversation hasn't. People shared how grateful they were for the blessing in their life with their loved ones. For me, that is what Thanksgiving is all about.
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