I know it's cliché, and that this holiday represents a false truth of our country's past, but I like to recognize the day as a way to give thanks. Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays, more so than Christmas even, since my family celebrates both. The day always felt more family oriented than the gift swapping Christmas, and that's why I prefer it.
Most years my family always hosted, and often times the Christmas tree - my family has a synthetic tree - was set up. The turkey would have been on low the entire night, so when I'd wake up the whole house would smell like turkey. In anticipation for the guests, you could probably find me watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade, or helping with last minute tidying around the already immaculate house.
It always felt special, due in most part to my mom who without fail always worked so hard to make the holiday meaningful. My sister, brother-in-law, aunts, uncles, and cousins would always be on the list of guests that would circle through the house throughout the day. Since my niece and nephew were born it has been a family dinner/lunch without fail every year, and since I went off to college, those moments mean even more.
Whoever else was on the list of guests that didn't arrive for dinner were often times there for the "second round" of turkey sandwiches and my cousin's favorite macaroni salad. I have had some of the best laughs during this gatherings, and am grateful even more so today that I have had the privilege of experiencing them.
Some years the snow would make for an extra special day, I remember a few years ago my house had no power, but the ovens worked and the fridge was just cool enough to keep the food. I remember helping shovel at one of my best friend's houses laughing and enjoying the New England weather the evening before that Thanksgiving. So many memories surround the day year after year, and while some are not always pleasant, I will never let the negative outweigh the positive.
This time of year makes me think of my sister with her little boy and girl, and how happy it makes me to see how happy she is. This time of year makes me think about my uncle and cousins and the many laughs we share when we are preparing our sandwiches. This time of year makes me think of my mom and all of the tradition she has maintained, especially since I went away to school. This time of year makes me think of my friends, who through the years have always remained close and I know will because time and distance mean nothing when you know each other the way we do.
I wish I could say thank you in a way that will allow my family and friends to understand their worth to me, but words can never be enough for what I need to say. I will just go home this Thanksgiving and gather more memories, hoping they know that this is my favorite holiday because of them.