Next week is Thanksgiving (already!) While some view Thanksgiving as the gateway to nonstop seasonal stress, I am excited the kickoff to the holiday season is here. For me it means a five-week opportunity to reflect on how lucky I am to have my family and friends.This year my Thanksgiving cooking will be for a relatively small group — one of my husband’s sisters and his brother will join us, and with any luck, our son. I’m so sad my daughter won’t be able to make the trip north from Miami, but oh do I so understand how difficult (and expensive!) it is to travel for this particular holiday.
I’ll be thinking of my own brother and sister (and their families) and am thankful for all of them making the effort to get together twice a year. A few years back we all agreed that the demands on our time during the holidays made it impractical for all of us to be together then. We decided that in the “off-season” of February or March and once in the summer we would assemble and celebrate nothing other than each other. It is really wonderful to see everyone without the additional scheduling issues of the holidays.
In the last years of my parents’ lives, we tried hard to have at least some of my extended family gather to share the holiday with them. The photo below (with my parents, husband, kids, and my sister’s family) was my Dad’s last Thanksgiving, and I know how much he loved seeing family!
I remember, years ago, one of my nieces was in Germany for a college semester abroad. At Thanksgiving we made her a video (a lot more effort than it is now!) and also gave my sister wrapped presents for her to send to my niece for Christmas arrival. She said it was awesome to feel a “little bit of home” while so far away.
I’m interested to learn from my readers if they acknowledge and interact with family members who can’t be with them for the holidays. And if you do, how? Do you call or text? Do you send a card or gift of some kind? Are your interactions holiday-specific? (For example, a call on Thanksgiving and a call plus mailed gift on Christmas).
Please let me know your traditions around connecting with those you can’t be with for a holiday — I’m always looking for good ideas.
Since I’m taking next Thursday off, I’ll close now with a sincere Happy Thanksgiving to you all. I wish you a day of heartfelt connection — whether in-person or from afar — to those you care about.
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