Thanksgiving Scrooge
November 25, 2021

Family traditions are a HUGE deal to me.  Especially during the holiday season.  I always seized the opportunity to give my kids what was given to me and have followed the example that was set for me their entire lives.  I’ve added my flare to them, but we have done things in much the same way as they were done during my childhood.  Tradition says there are certain things that MUST be done, and in years past I was guilty of taking the fun out of a few things because my determination to follow the rules of tradition outweighed being present in the festivities. 

I wonder how much I missed while wearing an apron preparing multiple dishes and barking orders from the kitchen to the kids, who clearly were NOT taking this day seriously.  How many precious moments were lost?  The food was good, but it was just food.  They would have been more impressed with a Happy Meal and trip to the park.  That’s what they would have been thankful for. 

Don’t get me wrong.  Some of our traditions were priceless.  Heading outside to play football or softball with my siblings and their children was some of the best fun we had, and I still laugh thinking about the shenanigans.  Those games were epic and loud and rowdy and full of laughter!  They represented the true meaning of being together, and I miss them.  These days those games would pretty much guarantee that a member of the varsity team would be benched with an injury that would more than likely require a chiropractor.  I’m ok with leaving that one in the past because I have no desire to use a walker. 

We’ve had two Holiday seasons since Hagen went Home, and I’ve kept each and every tradition that he knew.  But on this third joyful season, I’m shaking things up a bit. I’ve realized it isn’t about the traditions.  It isn’t about what generations before me did, although I do love the nostalgia and memories that they represent.  It’s about the time together.  I don’t want to spend that precious time sticking to a to-do list.  I do that every day of the year!   I want to be present.  I want to enjoy every single moment of the reason I am so thankful. 

This Thanksgiving there is no to-do list.   We will eat, but there will be no turkey with all the fixings.  Instead, I’ll be preparing what was requested, and I’ll be in my pjs while I prepare it, because I’m not dressing up either.  Weston is with his dad so it’s just me, Tyler and Declan and she is more excited about potato soup, pjs and movies all day than a turkey.  And so am I.  Declan doesn’t care either way, and the traditions he grows up with will be much different than the ones his dad knew.  

We’re doing something new this year, and we may do something completely different next year.  And that’s ok.  This is way more fun and it’s already easier to not miss Hagen as much.  It’s also easier to not miss my daddy and grandma who were so vital in making those traditions mean so much.  There will be no empty plate because we’re using bowls and we’re not eating at the table.   There will be no reminders or triggers that open a door to times past, or a yearning for the way things were. 

This is OUR Thanksgiving and it’s about us. 

I may have become the Thanksgiving Scrooge, if there is such a thing, but I still love tradition.  I’m just thinking it’s time to start some new ones.

I pray whatever your traditions for this day are that you are overwhelmed by love.   Happy Thanksgiving!

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