Our table is set. It is a mish-mash of elements, all stemming around tradition. The dishes belonged to my Auntie Twila who died of cancer several years ago. The silver and stemware came from my mother-in-law from antique stores around New England. The crocheted tablecloth also came from New England, but draping it over a solid colored tablecloth comes from years of watching my mother drape the one her mother made for each and every holiday or special family meal.
The food will also be a mish-mash of traditions. Although turkey will be served this year, as it is every year, this is our first from a local farm in North Carolina. There will be mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, stuffing (made two ways...in the turkey and out), sweet potatoes and squash. A side dish made from a recipe from my great-great-great aunt will be served as well. Afterwards some of us will enjoy pumpkin pie, while others may have a slice of apple.
The football game is on while kids run around outside playing football. Appetizers are on the counter as we await the large dinner that takes longer to prepare and make then it does to eat. Toasts will be made and thanks will be given and tonight everyone will go to bed fed, warm and knowing another family tradition has been celebrated.
Ritual and tradition are important for anyone, especially our little ones. I learned what I know from my family as they learned from family before them. My children will pick up pieces of our traditions and hopefully pass them along to their own families. Elements and pieces of each of us will be carried on in some way.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.