Thanksgiving is just around the corner so I’d like to take some time ahead of the holiday to reflect on the things in my life for which I am the most thankful. Thankful Thursday is a weekly series for the month of November.
With the holidays upon us and expecting a baby in the spring, I’ve been thinking a lot about how I grew up. Parenting styles and decisions are extremely personal but they often originate with what we know, which is our own experiences with how we were raised and the traditions of our families before us. Nick and I have created a couple of new, small traditions of our own since getting married, like purchasing a new ornament for our tree every Christmas, and now that we have a baby on the way, I’m really excited to establish our own family traditions. So this Thursday, I’m thankful for all of the wonderful traditions and practices I have to draw from as we start our family.
My family has always made a big deal out of birthdays and holidays, and I love it. We all come together, eat good food, and open gifts when the occasion calls for it. My aunt always bakes a cake or makes some kind of dessert. My uncle is almost always in charge of the gravy. My dad carves the turkey or operates the grill in the summertime. My grandmother makes coleslaw (we are from the south, afterall).
My brother and I would help my mom put up and decorate the Christmas tree. Sometimes we would go pick one out of a lot, sometimes it would come from our back yard (seriously, we lived in the woods), and one time we dug the tree up, roots and all, and then planted it after Christmas. It lived for so long after that! Due to crazy work schedules and dispersed families, we would celebrate Christmas Eve with the extended family by enjoying a feast and opening all of our presents, and then Christmas Day would be much more low key with just the four of us in my immediate family: mom, dad, brother, and me.
I’m not sure yet how we’ll navigate the holidays once the baby is born since our families live on opposite sides from the state from each other and we don’t want to deprive any grandparents of holiday time with the little one. Luckily we have some time to figure it out. But I know one thing for sure: I’m extremely thankful to be so close to my family and to have traditions that make the holidays so memorable.