The Importance of Thanksgiving Traditions

With Turkey Day coming up in 3 short days, it's important to remember what we have to be thankful for, and I think that ought to include a reflection on the importance of the traditions we have come to adopt through previous years and what they mean to us. More than just the delicious food that we serve ourselves seconds of (and sometimes, even thirds!), it is the family, friends, love, warmth, and comfort of the season that makes this time so precious and meaningful. Each year leaves you with cherished memories that are relived again and again through storytelling, and it's of the many ways that you and your loved ones can form truly unbreakable bonds. Whatever you have to look forward to, I hope it contributes to a well-needed time of rest, relaxation, TLC, and lots of love from family friends that we could all use a little more of.

In my family, it has become a tradition for many, many years to head up to Canton, Michigan, where we spend the holiday with my dad's side of the family-- with aunts, uncles, and cousins hailing from D.C. and of course, my own family from Chicago. There is so much about this time with family that I have come to look forward to each year, and no matter what antics go down, they are ones to remember! The infectious laughter, time spent with my cousins, and such a vibrant blend of personalities coming together make for a really wonderful time together! Everyone takes such a big interest in what is happening in everyone's lives, and this just makes me and others feel so incredibly connected and together, even amidst factors like distance across states and how often we get to see each other during the year.

On Thanksgiving Day, we all get in cars and drive an hour and a half to Rochester Hills, Michigan, where my Aunt Carra makes the best appetizers and a truly delicious feast. The second I walk into their home, I instantly feel a comforting, cozy atmosphere that just screams fall and family. It serves as such a nice break from the chaos of school and believe me when I say I'll be soaking up all the comforting, home-y, good vibes this Thanksgiving has to offer. My favorite appetizers? Cocktail shrimp (with the sauce, of course!) and meatballs cooked in a DELECTABLE ketchup and grape jelly sauce. They're so good, I can't be blamed going back for thirds.

All these things, and so much more, are what make those precious few days together so enjoyable, because it's all done with family. This can be biological, or, in some cases, a chosen family, filled with a mix of close friends and others who have made it apparent that they want to be a part of your life and the good times that come with it. There is no right or wrong way to define this term, and as long as there is love abundant, I would say you've done something right.

Overall, be thankful for the crazy memories you create over the years, the places you come back to again and again that always feel welcoming, and the four f's that make any time together amazing: Food, Faith, Family, and Fun! I hope that anyone reading this has themselves a blessing-filled holiday with your loved ones and that you find the time to reflect on the wonderful things you have been granted in your lifetime, while celebrating with delicious comfort food made by loving hands and hearts. Happy Thanksgiving!

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