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Thanksgiving memories and traditions


As the holidays inch closer and closer, I find myself feeling conflicted. I always loved the last six weeks of the year. Thanksgiving and Christmas are times of love and celebration, regardless of who you are. Everyone just seems to be a little bit happier.

Since the year I was born, I’ve spent Thanksgiving night surrounded by love, laughter, music and the largest smorgasbord of southern comfort food one could imagine. I’d start with brunch at my Grandma Carole and Charlie’s house, followed by lunch at my Grandma and Grandpa Dame’s and dinner at my Papa Bob’s. Some years, I swear my Papa Bob and Brenda hosted upwards of 100 guests in his cozy home off Route 66.

I realize how lucky I was to spend decades of Thanksgivings at different grandparents houses along with so much of my dear family. However, finding that holiday happiness hasn’t proven easy since all three of grandpa’s have passed away.

What really gets me going is the thought of so many people who will be spending the holidays completely alone. I hate the idea of a lonely holiday season and I feel lonely, even though I still have many family and friends to spend it with. What about those who have nowhere to go?

My Papa used to invite them in. I think he did that in the spirit of giving… and I think we should all be a little bit more like him this holiday season. Share your food, your home, your faith, and your smiles with others and share them freely. Love one another and love them hard. You never know just how badly someone may need it.

Something that makes me feel a little less lonely is looking through photos and videos from past Thanksgiving Days. Since the holidays are going to be so much different for my family this year, maybe it’s a good time to start some new traditions. I think it’s a wonderful time to think back on memories of the times spent with the loved ones that have gone before us. But also the perfect time something that we can look forward to for Thanksgivings to come.

In my office, we started a new tradition of our own this week. Each of us brought in a different dish on Tuesday and shared a Mexican style lunch ahead of the holiday. It’s truly special to work with such a great group of human beings and I’m eternally thankful for the camaraderie we share as coworkers.

I am deeply and truly thankful for the wonderful friends and family God has placed in my life. I’m thankful for the technology that allows us to share moments with loved ones, and the memories those provide for years to come. I may not get to sing alongside my Papa this year or sneak a marshmallow off the sweet potatoes with my Grandpa Dame’s sly support, but I’ll never forget the sounds of their voices or the depth of their hearts.

I can’t wait to see my family. I have my tripod and camera ready.

Let’s make some memories.


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