Now, we couldn’t very well post on American Thanksgiving without having thanksgiving be the theme, could we? Didn’t think so. This week for Remember the Time, show us thankfulness.
This is a ready-made week, the kind where you know what to expect and what you should write about. We can sit back and be thankful that the occasion of Thanksgiving is (at least, in theory) uncomplicating the act of living. For this reason, I like holidays; they are the calendar’s version of Cool Whip. Just spoon it out and you’ve got a day that would have been ordinary had you not added a little magic.
Thanksgiving is special to me not because of the meal (although that meal is pretty fantastic) but because it gives me the opportunity to just be happy for the sake of happiness. It’s uncomplicated because I don’t have a lot tied to it. This, however, presents a quandary to me as I try to create traditions for my own little family. In the quest to make a beautiful, sepia-tinted life for us, I’m probably at a severe disadvantage because I don’t run to Pinterest. Instead, I draw on my own memories of the way my family did things when I was growing up. As I approach Thanksgivings past with the Cinemascope lens of nostalgia, I have to admit that I don’t remember much. Despite all the pomp and circumstance of casseroles and turkeys and French braided hair, my brain can’t think of a single Thanksgiving memory that stands out.
Poor Thanksgiving. It’s not Halloween and it’s not Christmas. It’s like those pilgrims were celebrating for nothing. I’m not helping either. Our Christmas tree has been up for over a week.
My lack of remembrance doesn’t mean that I don’t have a lot to be thankful for. I’m thankful for the nature of memories and impressions. I may not distinctly recall the cornucopia of sidedishes laid out on my grandparents’ buffet, but as an adult I can now appreciate the amount of work the adults in our family put into creating a day that was meaningful for us all even if we weren’t sure how. I think that’s how parenting is a lot of the time. You read your kid a bajillion books, take them on a million random outings, and do all sorts of holiday-themed activities in the hopes that maybe 20% of it will stick and that your child will remember something fondly.
I know that the faint glimmer of those Thanksgivings past are there and that they mean something to me, though, because when B and I celebrated our first Thanksgiving together in Chicago in 2005, I found myself completely fixated on recreating my mother’s horseradish carrot dish. Out of left field came this fervent need to get the recipe of a side I had never particularly loved as a kid. And it couldn’t be just any recipe I found on the Internet; it had to be my mom’s. What had once been a compulsory dish I passed with indifference became the one and only non-poultry item I had to have on my first Thanksgiving out on my own.
As a child, you blindly cast your net out into the sea of traditions and holiday warmth. As an adult, you bring it back in and find some strange things caught in it. In my case, it was horseradish carrots. What is it for you?
This Thanksgiving, I’m sitting back and luxuriating in the fact that there is an invisible line that connects all those forgotten holidays to the ones I haven’t even experienced yet. I’m looking at pictures of myself as a child sitting at the Thanksgiving table. I don’t remember those meals well at all, but as I look at myself, I see a familiar face: the one of my own daughter.
Link up with us! Here’s how to do it:
1. Write your post. Remember, it can be ANYTHING about Thanksgiving. We always want you to take liberties with these prompts! They are never hard and fast. Interpret them as you will; we love seeing how they can be explored. Just try to stick with the whole “back in the day” vibe ;D
2. Grab the badge and place it at the bottom of your post.
3. Add your link below and come back to see all the other great posts your blogging pals have written! Comment on them and tweet and share your favorites using the hashtag #RTTbloghop. The link-up closes at midnight EST next Wednesday, so get your link in before then.