A Different Kind of Thanksgiving Day this Year

Thursday will be a different kind of Thanksgiving Day for most of us in the United States. It is traditionally a holiday filled with tradition, overeating, and relatives. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this year we’ve been advised not to get together with people who don’t live in our household.

The passage of time has changed my Thanksgivings. I have no particular memories of Thanksgiving celebrations when I was young. When I was in elementary school, I learned about the pilgrims and how the American Indians shared their food with the European settlers. They gave thanks for surviving through the year.

I didn’t have living grandparents, so I have no memories of going “over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house we go,” but I sang the song with my classmates anyway. That song comes to mind every Thanksgiving.

Photo Credit: Alison Marras on unsplash.com

My mother didn’t like cooking a turkey, so we usually had chicken. The school I attended had an annual turkey dinner as the major fundraiser of the year on the day before Thanksgiving, so that was when we got to eat turkey and dressing.

When I was a teenager, my older brother and his wife lived out-of-state. They came home for Thanksgiving, and my sister and I gradually persuaded our mother to cook a turkey. My brother dictated that Thanksgiving Day was the perfect day for us to rake leaves. It didn’t matter how cold it was, it was on his list and he was here, so that’s what we did. It sort of turned Thanksgiving into a day to be dreaded instead of one to be looked forward to with great anticipation.

Then, there was the Thanksgiving my father was in the hospital for tests and that Saturday received his multiple myeloma diagnosis. The next day I had to head back to college. I didn’t know if he’d still be alive when I came home for Christmas. It was a bleak winter.

After my parents’ deaths, Thanksgiving took on a whole new look. Instead of our brother and his family coming here from out-of-state, my sister and I traveled to Georgia for the weekend. After one trip in grid-locked traffic on Interstate 85 that doubled our normal driving time, we decided to just stay in North Carolina for future Thanksgivings. It took us several years to find our new Thanksgiving tradition.

Several friends and relatives invited us to join them for their traditional 40-50 person Thanksgiving get togethers. I’m afraid we insulted some of them when we declined their invitations. We appreciated their efforts to include us, but we prefer a quiet day.

We discovered the all-you-can-eat Thanksgiving meal at a buffet restaurant. This was much easier and less stressful than cooking a turkey and all the go-with-its for two people. We’d found our new Thanksgiving tradition! It lasted two years.

This year, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there are no all-you-can-it buffets. We are left to our own devices. Do we remember how to cook a turkey? Do we remember how to make cornbread dressing? And what about the giblet gravy? That was tricky even during the best of times.

Photo Credit: Priscilla Du Preez on unsplash.com

Thursday my sister and I will sit down to a meal together and give thanks to God for all the many blessings He has bestowed on us all our lives. Like the early settlers in Massachusetts, we are thankful we’ve survived the year. We are more fortunate in material things such as food and shelter than most people in the world. We are blessed to live where we live and have all that we have. We are fortunate to have family living near and far away. We have friends. We live in peace and quiet. What else could anyone want?

Until my next blog post

I hope you have a good book to read, or a good book to write.

I hope you have enjoyable creative time.

I hope you have a nice day on Thursday, even if you live in another country and don’t celebrate Thanksgiving Day.

We can all be thankful that a Covid-19 vaccine will eventually be available and this pandemic will come to an end someday.

Janet

14 thoughts on “A Different Kind of Thanksgiving Day this Year

  1. Our Thanksgiving will look different this year as well. We usually celebrate with my parents and brothers. Because we’re trying to keep everyone safe and do our part to lessen the load on our medical folks, we’re doing as the CDC has requested and staying home. I’m still making the traditional Thanksgiving meal as it’s my husband’s favorite meal of all time. I hope you and your sister enjoy your Thanksgiving celebration!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you, Terri. I hope most people will do the prudent thing and follow the CDC guidelines. It will make future Thanksgivings even more special. Enjoy the day with your husband.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I do remember family dinners with grandparents and other family members. Our family will not be getting together this year and yes it’s disappointing, but we’re going to at least do a ZOOM call.
    Hope you and your sister have a peaceful and enjoyable Thanksgiving Day.
    Take care!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I enjoyed reading about how your observance of Thanksgiving has changed over the years. We won’t be having a family get-together either. We are having over a friend who is separated from her husband and her son is in CO. We didn’t want her to be alone on Thanksgiving. Happy Thanksgiving, Janet!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Janet, I love that you express how these joyous times aren’t always joyous for some//many. For us in the UK, Christmas is that time of high expectation, frantic preparation and often, secret dread and (guilty) disappointment. We pretend we are excited because it looks ungrateful/unspiritual if we’re not, and we don’t want to put a “downer” on other people’s party spirits. But in our thanksgiving and in our celebrations we could remember those for whom these times are excruciatingly painful, stressful and highly triggering of the ghosts of Christmas’ past. Blessings to you.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you for sharing that, Dawn. You make an excellent point. As all our holidays become increasingly commercialized, I think we all feel added pressure to put up a good front and appear to be happy and excited. We feel the pressure of society and we inflict unnecessary pressure on ourselves to make each Christmas bigger and better than ever. The true meaning of Christmas and other holidays gets lost in the expectations of creating a perfect time. It is far from perfect for many people.

    Liked by 1 person

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