Well this was our second year in what I call our “transition season”, that is the empty nest! With one daughter in Savannah and working retail and the other daughter close by but whose in-laws and extended family are many; Robby and I decided to veer from our usual Thanksgiving day lunch and try something different.
Since our youngest wasn’t going to able to visit at all, and our oldest often feeling the pressure on Thanksgiving day to visit multiple family members with the grandchildren, I offered to have our meal on Wednesday night. This way our daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren could have a much less stressful day. Now before you think me too sweet, Robby and I would also be able to go to our cabin for the whole holiday!!! Win Win for everyone.
As it turned out, this was a great idea and worked well for everyone. I had all day Wednesday to prepare for dinner and it was nice not having to worry about getting a turkey in the oven at 5:00a.m. (HAHAHA) My daughter and grandchildren came over a little early so they could play with my puppies and all their toys. We even had time to have a group Face Time chat with our daughter in Savannah. Her nieces just loved getting to talk to her on video and she still felt included even though not in person. We even took a family pic with her in the video!!!
I wouldn’t necessarily say that I love change, but I am always open to what works best for our family. Celebrating Thanksgiving should be easy and joyful, not stressful and rigid as to a particular day or tradition. Robby and I realize that how we celebrate will likely evolve again as we will eventually add more in-laws into the mix. Adult children will move around and establish their own traditions. The important thing for us to be able to connect with our family and do so in a way that brings joy and happiness for us all.
So what’s the take away…..
- Don’t get stuck in rigid cultural/family expectations
- The spirit of Thanksgiving is more important than a particular day
- Determine your boundaries and let loved ones know what you can and can’t accommodate
- Enjoy your family…..reconnect, laugh, relax.