What Thanksgiving Means to Me
Thanksgiving is a day filled with the sound of a crackling fire and the smell of a turkey roasting in the oven. The day is definitely all about food — the turkey, the yams, the creamed onions, the butternut squash soup, the stuffing … and of course the pies. However, to me it is a holiday that is very focused on family.
Growing up, our entire family would drive up to Cape Cod and spend the holiday weekend together with my grandparents. My cousin and I would help my mom, aunt and grandmother prepare dinner, while the boys did … well, I’m not really sure what they did.
Then we would all get dressed up for dinner. My great-aunt and uncle and cousins would come over and we would all squeeze around the dining room table, clad with handmade turkey place cards, of course.
After lots of stuffing, turkey and yams, my brother, cousins and I would put on a “play” for the rest of the family … costumes and all. Since I was the youngest, I was never the lead, but since I looked up to my brother and cousins so much, I would take any part they’d give me.
After our fantastic production, we would all retire to the living room to play a friendly game of Trivial Pursuit. Sometimes the games would go on for hours, and sometimes tempers would turn up. But it was always a wonderful time … even though I rarely knew the answers.
Then around 10 p.m., my uncle would find his way back into the kitchen to make a little turkey sandwich and we would all somehow sneak a little more into our already stuffed bellies.
If I close my eyes, I can almost smell the way the old Cape Cod house filled with the delicious aromas, and better yet I can almost envision myself sitting by the fire, my father’s hand on my shoulder. It seems it was a more simple time, possibly because I was still a child, or more possibly because I allowed the warmth of the holiday to fill my heart.