Holidays have always been important in my life. I can remember every Christmas and Thanksgiving since I was real young. Each memory holds a special place in my heart as well as every one in the future also. Thanksgiving has also been my favorite holiday since I love to eat and somehow it always brought my family together. It wasn?t until recently my holidays changed forever.
I was raised in family that felt that holidays were meant to be special and spent with the ones you love. When I was a little girl my thanksgiving day would start bright and early. I?d wake up to hear the sound of my Dad putting the turkey in the oven. He almost acted like an alarm clock because I would be up following around my dad. After preparing the turkey we?d make cappuccino and watch the parades on TV.
Later on, everyone else would get up and we?d finish the rest of the dinner preparations. Every Holiday I would be in the Kitchen trying to attempt to help but I always just did a good job of getting in the way. After being scolded I would retire to my room and pout until my other family and cousins would arrive. I have three younger boy cousins and when we got together all we could do right was raise hell. It was always a sight to see all the stress we put on everyone else, especially my Grandmother.
My Grandmother, whom we affectionately call ?MeMa?, was always the life of the party. She was always the best at driving everyone nuts. You really have to know her to understand but she was about two bricks shy of a full load. She is your classic small
town gossip, Oprah watching, hypochondriac. One lesson I have learned through out my life is that you never ask MeMa ? How are you?? She would go on for hours about her asthma or arthritis it was actually quite entertaining. I?m glad that she?s still around today because my holiday would never be the same without her in it.
A Holiday just wouldn?t be one if my older brother and I didn?t get in a fight. We hated each other when we were young and couldn?t ever speak a cordial word to each other. I remember one specific Thanksgiving when we argued over watching Football or Charlie Brown Christmas. It was a mess, there was hair and spit flying everywhere.
The actual meal was like watching a boxing fight. My Grandma would always start the fights with a nonsense rude comment and get my Aunt and Mother all riled up for a fight. As I got older and my brother reached his ? I?m a teen and I know everything stage? we?d always get blessed with some intelligent knowledge from him. The food wouldn?t start flying until my family would get into a big religion argument. My Uncle, whom is hardcore Christian; my Grandma, whom is just crazy and likes a fight, would always get into it with my Father who is Atheist. They would go on for HOURS! The conversation would immediately be silenced by my Grandfather (Pa Pa). Now my Pa Pa doesn?t say much, he really doesn?t get the chance, being around my Grandma and all. He would simply stand up from the table and say, ? ya?ll hush now, I?m tired of hearin? bout it.? It was amazing how such a little man had some much power in my family.
The best part of the day was after dinner when my Uncle would get out his banjo, my father his guitar, and My Papa would play his string base. We would all gather around with our pumpkin pie and sing Christmas songs and other classics. They all sang so well
and it was amazing how my whole family would just come together, put aside differences, and become one voice.
Now that you have a taste of my thanksgiving background and I can now fast forward to present day thanksgiving holidays. Within the past two years I have gained a person at my thanksgiving table but lost people also. Thanksgiving 1999 was spent at my father?s house with my brother and his new girlfriend, Amy. My family had been torn apart from my parent?s divorce. I can admit that it wasn?t a bad thanksgiving but it was a quiet one. All through out the years a prayed for a normal thanksgiving instead of my usual dysfunctional one, the irony: I had finally gotten my normal holiday and I didn?t like it. The hardest fact to swallow was that my Mom was all alone at her place and didn?t have a Thanksgiving dinner.
Thanksgiving 2000 was the most depressing Holiday I?ve ever had. I had two options: To go have dinner with my Father, and his new girlfriend whom I did not like, in the Lake of the Ozarks or stay home with my Mother. Mind you that at this point my Father and I?s relationship was not a healthy one. I, in turn, decided to stay home and spend thanksgiving with my Mom and her family. My brother and Amy decided to go to my Father?s house. It was my first thanksgiving without my brother and Father.
Not only had our table gotten smaller from them but also my Aunt and cousins decided to go to my Uncle?s family for thanksgiving. This year my Mom cooked for a table of five: MeMa, Pa Pa, Uncle Michael, Mom and myself. Even with my Grandmother there things were oddly quiet and strange. My grandfather, who had suffered a stroke almost a year earlier, was even quieter and almost pitiful.
Things were so different this year that it was scary to me. I didn?t wake up with my Father and have cappuccino or have a brother around to fight with or even have my cousins around to raise a ruckus with. The harsh change was a hard concept to accept. This year everyone even left earlier than usually and there were no songs sang. It was at that time that I realized things were never going to be the same and all I can do now is cherish the memories.
Despite the recent changes in my home life I have learned that change does come and when it does you just have to make the best of it. I will always have my precious memories of thanksgiving, that won?t ever change. I know now that I have to make the best out of what I have left and be thankful for that. I know that this attitude will help me tackle the hardships of Christmas time this year. Maybe it?s time that my family and I make new traditions for our newly formed family.