I hate to admit this, but I don’t remember a lot of Thanksgiving holidays from my childhood. So much of our attention was placed on Christmas that my limited memory space holds Christmas memories and not a lot of Thanksgiving memories. I know we celebrated it, and I know we ate turkey and dressing. I am sure we enjoyed the day with extended families to include grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. We have a lot of cousins, so I am SURE we shared a special meal with them. Maybe someday, I should go dig up some pictures to help me recollect my Thanksgiving holidays as a child.
After I got married, once again, the focus was on Christmas. We didn’t have a lot of money as a young couple, so we could only fly home for one of the two holidays. Christmas was a no-brainer. All of our extra money would be saved for what we considered, the bigger holiday. 24 Thanksgivings as a married person, and I have never spent a single one with my biological family. Now, don’t get me wrong; I am not complaining. We make up for it at Christmas, and I have had a lot of other wonderful Thanksgiving holidays. For example, when we were stationed at Lejeune, I remember taking the long weekend to go to Ashville. If you haven’t been there, it is a wonderful place. The Biltmore is there, and I hear great things about it. Interestingly enough, I have been to Ashville a few times, and I have never been, but I have seen pictures, and it is spectacular. (Since I have never been, the picture is from https://oakhillonlovelane.com/blog/2020/10/guide-biltmore-estate-asheville-nc)
Another Camp Lejeune Thanksgiving holiday weekend took us to Gatlinburg, TN. Nick would be deploying before Christmas, so his family met us in Tennessee. We had a lot of fun in that quirky little city. One year, Nick and I got to go to his family’s place in Sterling, thanks to the non-profit Show of Support. They flew us from Virginia Beach to Midland, Texas, and from there, we could make the short drive to Sterling. That was a special treat. Then in 2016, we made the drive from California back to his family’s place. Although I haven’t spent any Thanksgiving holidays with my biological family, I’ve gotten the opportunity to spend a few special ones with my family by marriage, and each one has been tons of fun.
Last year was one of my favorite Thanksgivings. We had been somewhat trapped on Okinawa because of Covid, and we were able to fly to Hawaii, meet Nick’s family there, and we had a blast. We didn’t have turkey and dressing, and no one complained. This will always be a treasured memory.
5 FUN FACTS ABOUT THANKSGIVING:
In 1621, the Plymouth colonists and the Wampanoag shared an autumn harvest feast that is acknowledged today as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations in the colonies. Thanksgiving 2022 – Tradition, Origins & Meaning – HISTORY
The Lions and Cowboys have become as much a part of Thanksgiving as turkeys and Pilgrims. The Cowboys have gone 31-22-1 on Thanksgiving since starting its holiday tradition in 1966. Every NFL team’s record in Thanksgiving games – NBC Sports Boston The only two years they haven’t played on Thanksgiving since that year was in 1975 and 1977. NFL Thanksgiving: Why do the Lions and Cowboys play on Thanksgiving Day? | Marca
President Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a national holiday in 1863. Thanksgiving facts and history to entertain and inform your guests (indystar.com)
If you like Thanksgiving Day parades, this fun fact may interest you. Gimbels department store hosted a Thanksgiving Day parade in Philadelphia in 1920, four years before Macy’s held their first. 55 Best Thanksgiving Trivia Questions – Fun Facts About Thanksgiving (today.com)
Since food is a “thing” on Thanksgiving, I thought this was interesting. Americans consume more than 45 million turkeys on Thanksgiving. An average American may consume 4,500 calories and 229 grams of fat on Thanksgiving Day, and Americans purchase about 250 million pounds of potatoes as well as 77 million pounds of ham during Thanksgiving week. 59 Interesting Facts About Thanksgiving – The Fact File
BACK TO GRATITUDE:
Now, let’s get to my favorite part about Thanksgiving. It is ALL ABOUT GRATITUDE. Wherever you are, whether you are with your family or not, whether you like the food or not, one thing that this day can do for us: it can remind us to take some time to be grateful.
I have had a few gratitude practices. One year, I did 100 Days of Happiness and took a picture of something every day. Pictures included ice-cream, snacks, sunrises, flowers, my husband, friends, and thinking back on that time, I think there were A LOT of food pictures. (Either that was the easiest thing to document, or I really like food. I think it was both.) Other times, I would write down 3 things I am grateful for every night before bed. It is a wonderful way to highlight positivity in your life right before you go to sleep. There was another period in my life where I would write Thankful Thursday thank you notes. I love stationary, so this was a fun one. Whatever you do to tap into your gratitude, do you. Find something that works for you, and remember the things in your life that are good. Even if you only do it on this special holiday, take a moment to think of 3 things you are grateful for. Tapping into gratitude will CHANGE YOUR LIFE.
Thanksgiving looks and feels different for my little family every year. Some years we travel. Some years we stay home and save money. Some years we have turkey and dressing. Other years we find other types of food. However, every year, I’m reminded of all of my blessings, and this year I know that I am abundantly blessed.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.