Friday, December 2, 2011

Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving is one of my most favorite holidays of the year.   I love everything about the holiday- the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade, the delicious food, autumn weather, and most importantly, being with the people I love.

I come from a fairly large family so every Thanksgiving and Christmas is a full house, and I wouldn't want it any other way.  When I was younger, my house sometimes felt like it was always having parties because my cousins were staying with us or we would always be gathering at each other's houses eating and hanging out for multiple days.   They were the best and even now still one long party. 

Especially with my siblings growing older, my brother living in Cincinnati and my sister in her 2nd year of college, it is rare for all three of us to be home in Michigan all at once.  Before I came home, my mom said to me that soon these holidays will get harder and harder to have everyone together.   At first I was in denial and thought she was just being her sentimental self (which is where I get my side) but after I did more thinking about it, she was entirely right.   Soon my siblings will have their own families and we will only get to see each other for one of the two main holidays and not both.   Even now I find that hard to grasp but I know it will be true down the road.

This year's Thanksgiving was fantastic.   I had my aunt and uncle in town from the east coast, was able to see cousins that we rarely get to see and my great aunt who is 74 and still kicking!   

One of my families Thanksgiving traditions is having a euchre tournament.   My family happens to be very competitive so our games tend to be full of heckling, smack talk, and table talk.   While the games are intense, my Dad likes to take a break in between rounds for everyone to do a family shot of Goldschläger.  Yes  Goldschläger.   We take this shot every Thanksgiving and Christmas (Christmas tends to have more than one shot because we say Merry Christmas in German when we cheers).   Nonetheless, this happens to be one of my favorite parts about my family.   We make each other laugh, tell lots of jokes, share stories and are not afraid of getting competitive with one another.   Our holidays are always full and I wouldn't want it any other way.   

One thing that I look forward to is having my boyfriend join me one day at the Thanksgiving table with my family.   I can't wait for him to see how my holidays have made me who I am and what it is like being a part of a big family.   

Every family has their traditions and things that make them special.   I know that I will carry on some of the family traditions I have grown up having since that is what life is all about.   To celebrate our family and our traditions, my mom and her sister decided over a year ago that we would make a family cook book with recipes from family members from my mom's side of the family.  The recipes that went into this book were recipes that have been handed down from my great great grandmothers all the way to my cousins.   This family cook book will be a family treasure and is what helps make traditions carry onto future generations.

I have so much to be thankful for and the thing I give thanks to everyday is for my family.  I am so fortunate to have such loving people in my lives.   What did you give thanks to this Thanksgiving?

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