Thanksgiving was by far my least favorite holiday as a child. It was simply the one to get through after Halloween before Christmas. There were no gifts. There was mostly just pies for dessert, so nothing special. And the highlight of the day was sitting around a table talking for hours. Nothing too exciting for a kid who just wanted to open presents and play.

However, as I have gotten older I've realized more and more just how much I love Thanksgiving. It has honestly become one of my favorite holidays. Moving from the bottom of my list to the top is a pretty good improvement if you ask me.

Beyond just growing to really, really, really look forward to the insane meal that Thanksgiving is (especially now that I'm away from mom's food for such long periods of time at school), I have begun to truly cherish all that Thanksgiving means.

Thanksgiving now means home, family, and comfort. It's the day where family comes together and picks up right where they left off, while passing the mashed potatoes of course. It means football on TV, good conversation, and tons of laughter. It's a chance to take a breath, look around, and realize how freaking lucky I am.

It's a day of the year obligated to being grateful for all that you have whether it be family, friends, love, education, future opportunities, or even something as simple as the dog sitting under the dinner table. Whatever it may be, Thanksgiving means being thankful... Especially during a time when it seems like there is never a minute to take a step back and observe how great life is.

As a child, being under one roof with your family doesn't seem like much. Sometimes it even feels like a given. Holidays often become more of an obligation than an event. But now, being under the same roof as my family sounds like heaven. Of course it's all part of life, but we have all gone on to grow up and follow our own paths. Even if we don't see each other less, it sure feels like it as we are all so busy with whatever we do day in and day out.

Thanksgiving has become one of my favorite holidays because it is such a rare treat to have all of my loved in the same room as we eat great food, have even better conversations, and make the best memories. Of course this holiday has always been this way, but I think that this realization only comes with time.

Thanksgiving, quite like cranberry sauce, is an acquired taste. You don't know how much you love it until you've grown up and realized how special it really is.