I was asked a couple weeks ago what my favorite holiday tradition is. I thought hard about it, too hard, really. I called my mom and asked her what she was doing, I called my dad, and then I called my sister, the resounding reply was, “Um, ah, not sure yet.”
Oh, that’s right, my parents are divorced and have created their own blended families and I’m, well, I’m 28 years old and not married myself. I’ve been out of the country for five years, what do I expect? To walk into some neatly wrapped traditions?
Yeah, I guess I did.
Instead, this Thanksgiving, I find myself with plans in three different households in less than 48 hours. Now that makes much more sense to me when you consider the hustle and bustle of real life and not the smiling faces of TV commercial families and their perfect holiday spreads.
Is this the norm for unmarried 20-somethings? I would suspect that maybe it is. After all, we grew up in an era when the divorce rate was above 50% and lots of us are just returning to our roots after “traveling while we were young.”
I am sure we can all agree that when we are kids we didn’t appreciate our traditions enough. We took them for granted as our parents looked on at our ungrateful faces and sighed, “Oh they are making memories…”
It’s true. As I searched long and hard for my “favorite holiday tradition” I thought back on the old ones: football on TV, crafting napkin holders, and an overflowing table. But I realized that, since college, Thanksgiving has been less about tradition and more about family. Again, it’s not where you go or what you do that matters, it’s who you are with and I am lucky to be able to want to (let alone be able to) spend time with all of my family, no matter how many places I have to go to get it done.
Traditions are often only recognized as customs but they are also beliefs that are passed down from generation to generation and I am proud to be a part of my family’s belief in thankfulness, togetherness, and gratefulness.