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Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  Most of my fondness comes from my childhood.  I remember every year heading over to my grandparents’ place, where the rest of our extended family had gathered.  Cousins ran around while my grandma, mother and aunts got the dinner ready.  Everyone brought some dish or dessert (mostly desserts).  Around two o’clock the food would be laid out, buffet style, over kitchen counters and the isle and then took seats at one of the many tables set up throughout the house.  Yes, there was an adults’ table, and several kids’ tables.  After was more running around for the kids, football for the adults and hours devoted to seconds and thirds.  Come the evening, after board games and pinochle, the leftovers would be parceled out.  We’d all head home, stuffed and happy.

I realize that I probably have a rose-tinted view of those former Thanksgivings.  Others in my family might have different recollections of them.  One of the benefits of being an adult and deciding to make life what you want it, though, is to take that memory and use it as a template for the present.  I love the idea of four days devoted to eating, being with friends and family, and being thankful.  No matter how bad things have gotten, no matter how down I have felt, I have always managed to find things to be thankful for for those four days.  For just a moment I could rise above the current struggles and gain some high ground to survey my surroundings.

Since Stephan and I got together, we’ve added to the Thanksgiving holiday.  We call it Thanksgaming.  On the Saturday after Thanksgiving we invite friends over to help us work through leftovers and to game.  The best part of it is that our kids get to see a group of people gaming together and having fun.  They get to participate in that.  Years on I hope they both have fond memories of their own of Thanksgiving/Thanksgaming and continue the holiday in their own unique ways.

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