My family is big on tradition. No, to say big is an understatement. My family is huge on tradition.
From eating dinner together every Sunday night, to traveling to our lake house every winter and summer as a family, we take these things very seriously. And for as long as I can remember, Thanksgiving is no different.
Much like in Maggine Simone’s article, “Traditionally, I Never Liked Traditions,” my dad has always opened our house to friends and family for Thanksgiving. We host every year, because my dad has a particular way he likes things to be done. The stuffing for example–has to be made by him, and it has to be done exactly to his liking. And the carving of the turkey cannot be done by anyone else, or the Thanksgiving holiday is just not the same. My mom and I make batches of pumpkin muffins, and my brother is in charge of the cranberry sauce. We all have our specific jobs to help get dinner on the table.
Putting the cranberry sauce, pumpkin muffins, turkey, gravy, and pumpkin pie aside though, our Thanksgiving tradition is more about our friends and our family than anything else. In her article, “Aint No Turkey Like Michigan Turkey,” Kate Schmier says it perfectly: “Thanksgiving has little to do with the actual meal. It’s about home. It’s about family.” And that’s why Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays to celebrate each year. We never fail to come together, to bring friends from down the street and family from across the country to celebrate together. Because that’s what Thanksgiving is all about.
This year, we broke out of our tradition a little bit and didn’t host it at our house. My dad, an avid Michigan Football fan, made an exception so we could be at the Michigan vs. Ohio State Game. But, in respect for the Thanksgiving tradition of being with family, my parents, brothers and sisters, and nephews all celebrated Thanksgiving together on Thursday, followed by the drive up to Ann Arbor on Friday as a family.
Even when our plans for Thanksgiving change, we stick with our family and the people we care about most.