November 19, 2019   5:36pm
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The thing about family traditions

The thing about family traditions


Thanksgiving reminds me how I wish I’d established more family traditions when my son was growing up.

In our home the holiday was treated in such an offhanded way.  None of us particularly liked turkey or the trimmings; our families were far away; most of our NY friends were on planes to other places; and, my husband — an “alien” (from South Africa) — was without sentiment about Thankgiving’s conventions. (Excuses, excuses.)

Growing-up, my parents treated Thanksgiving as a major celebration. There was our annual open-house and a table laden with goodies; people flowed in and out for hours — a celebration of friends and foods. Funny thing is, I don’t recall if I really enjoyed it … I just remember that this was an occasion (unlike Passover/Christmas which I was absolutely gaga about).

When I ask friends about their experiences, they either wax on poetically about warmth and joy or, if their parents are divorced, speak with dread about the minefield to come.

Thinking about it … it’s not really Thanksgiving per se. It’s the desire to have my family share fond memories that grow year-after-year. It’s that emotional pull — the one that pushes everyone to make the effort to be together.

Actually … now that I think even more about it — the associated guilt must be what I’m after. My husband, child and I did have a holiday tradition — we went away as a family whenever time was allotted off from school.

Now that my son is a grown-up, he still wants to go away … but without us!  (How perfectly healthy and normal!)

Holidays make me feel wistful.

Harriett

PS:  Hope you had a happy Thanksgiving!

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