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Food for Thought: Digestion of Tradition

Joined: 11/21/2014
Posts: 1
Right after all the Halloween costumes have disappeared and right before all the Christmas toys have entered the stores, there is a short time families don't come together for presents and food. They come together for just food and family itself. This of course is the to short, unappreciated time of giving thanks: Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving, ah, yes the wonderful food and family get together sharing of all those good memories and sadness too. Thanksgiving meant something different to my family, who just so happens to own a Christmas tree farm and Thanksgiving just so happens to be opening day for Christmas trees. This makes things different but not as one would think. The idea of getting together is the same, but the way if which this is done is just altered a bit by my wonderful folks.
As a munchkin, I never really thought about how we were different. Nope, I'd just wake up like any other kid on Thanksgiving and be an excited ball of energy because I loved these kind of gatherings, food, family and more food. Plus, I loved going other the river and through the woods to grandma's house (yes we live right next to our grandma's and grandpa's house). I'd come in the door and first things first listen to my grandmother hum along to her favorite Christmas music. Enjoying that I'd slip in a chair silently and wait until grandma turn around and jump half a mile because "child you've got to stop that[sneaking up on her], you've going to give me a heart attack one of these days!" From there I listen to her hum and take in the aromas of various baking things. At the time I couldn't name the foods, I was little all I knew was that it tasted phenomenal. After the right before the dinner chaos was cleared we ate. This was at twelve of course. Our food was interrupted by Christmas tree seekers, as always. So we would all pause our meal and wait for the unlucky member of the family to go out in the cold and help the customer, this was almost always my grandfather. This would happen countless times, but hey it was the trade we chose. After family table clearing, it was out to the barn to work and that was that. In later years I appreciate so much more.
I grew, as did my family, I started to notice more and more things. Thanksgiving after Thanksgiving, and now I wake up and shower, readying for the long day ahead. This day is not bad though. I go up to my grandparents house and still scare my grandmother half to death by sneaking around, I give her a huge hug and kiss thanking her for being my number one fan, biggest role model and my most trusted companion. I fully appreciate the dim lighting of her now redone kitchen. The smells of pumpkin pie and stuffing. Turkey and gravy, green beans and cranberry sauce. The smells of these things are mouthwatering and remind me every year how greatful I am for what I have. Dinner is never uninterrupted, and I go out and help customers, knowing my family is inside waiting for me to come back and continue eating, knowing I'm saving grandpa's old legs from doing the walking. I love coming out after the meal and working along side my family members for a living. It's always lively and interesting. I learn of others that don't do things for Thanksgiving and my heart goes out to them because they don't comprehend what their missing. I hope one day everyone will have a chance to experience a holiday like this.
When time comes for me to leave this town and my family's tradition, there will be tears, and I will be sad. There is no changing that. However I will never forget how these things were and I will model mine own traditions in the face of the ones I so readily grew up in. I already cherish my memories and will always do so, knowing that the people who raised me on this idea of family, food and hard work have done it right. Happy Thanksgiving!
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