Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and it’s gotten me thinking about holiday traditions.
Growing up, the tradition in my family was a big holiday dinner at my parent’s house. Most of our family would come over so there would be at least a dozen people. My mom would prepare the turkey and a few sides. Everyone else would bring a side or desert, usually the same ever year. Each year I would wake up and peel potatoes while watching the Detroit Thanksgiving Day Parade. Finding comfort in the old, familiar floats and balloons. Marveling at that years new additions.
By afternoon, most of the family had arrived and we’d visit before sitting down for dinner. Once the plates were cleared everyone would visit some more, taking pauses for desert. As the night darkened, everyone would trickle home while we boxed up food and said our farewells.
When I began working in theatre a new tradition started. Tech for the holiday show always fell during Thanksgiving week. Rather than take the day off, when almost everyone was too far from home to travel back for the day, we had a short tech day and then celebrated at the theater. Everyone brought a dish. The lobby filled with food and people. We observed the holiday and then continued tech the next morning. Leftovers from the meal fed us during breaks.
This year, we are hosting Thanksgiving. Ryan’s family is visiting. Our tiny fridge is almost overflowing. Tomorrow our tiny apartment will be filled with the smell of roasting turkey, pumpkin pie, apple sauce, all the scents of the holiday.
My Thanksgiving traditions have changed over the years. They will continue to change. But one thing has stayed the same. Every year I get to spend it with family. Growing up it was my actual family. When I first moved to Virginia, it was with my theater family. Now I’m spending it with new family. And that is what I’m thankful for. I am thankful I am and have been luck enough to find people I can call friends and family where ever I am.