The first time I sat down to Thanksgiving dinner with my in-laws, I had made the incorrect assumption that their celebration would be the same as my family’s.
I expected Turkey. And pumpkin pie. And football. Well, there was football. But no turkey!
Hubby's family has a wonderfully diverse and sophisticated palette, and that year there was a plethora of other fantastic foods to choose from. (It was delicious!)
But as the day drew on, I realized that it wasnt just the absence of the turkey that was affecting me.
In my family at every Thanksgiving dinner, we would go around the table and say one thing we were thankful for.
Truthfully, up until that first Thanksgiving away from my family, I had rolled my eyes in dread each time it was my turn. Stopping and giving thanks was the last thing I wanted to do when I had a gorgeous golden brown turkey glistening before me.
But the absence of it that day made forced me to see just how much I had appreciated that simple yet significant tradition.
The next time we were able to celebrate Thanksgiving at the in-laws found me with a new sense of confidence! I wanted to introduce my new family to my traditions. As we all sat around the table, getting ready to eat, I announced, “I thought it would be fun if we could go around the table and say something we are thankful for!”
My heart was pounding out my chest and I was grinning from ear to ear.
As I nervously made eye contact with my in-laws, I realized I was being met with stoic and even confused expressions. My soft spoken and humble in-laws were not as excited about my family traditions as I was. And even though they graciously obliged me that year, it was never brought up again.
Planning out our Thanksgiving this year it occurred to me that there was a way to incorporate my beloved tradition of giving thanks and still honor the gentle humbleness of my husband’s family.
I made “thankful” cookies.
The idea is simple… I place out a tray of blank cookies, and every family member can write one thing they are thankful for on their cookie. People can do this throughout the afternoon in their own time.
They can do it anonymously or sign their name.
The nice thing about these cookies is that it’s a win-win. Even if people don’t want to participate, we still have a lovely treat to munch on through our weekend!
So what family traditions do you have at Thanksgiving?