We’ve hosted Thanksgiving Dinner the past four years at our house, with my cousins and close friends. Grace’s baked mac ‘n’ cheese. Cornbread. Turkey. Not-turkey. Casseroles and pie. Delicious aromas all day long. Wine. Snacks. The slow accumulation of people, cooking and relaxing in our living room, our kitchen, our home. Eventually, we pull the chairs out and begin together to express thanks and eat.
What are you thankful for? We ask each other.
Simple. Slow. Strong.
We have been weaving our own traditions.
Before that, I hosted anti-Thanksgiving parties for years on this day, not wanting to celebrate the invasion and near-decimation of a people, a culture. “Who’s the illegal alien?” asks a friend’s Facebook photo this morning, an antiqued brown line drawing of a Native American with a cursive caption. Yes. Who? A question close to my heart.
This year, I decide to honor my country’s messy history with love and a fresh commitment to speaking truth.
Will you hold me to it?
I begin the morning with my partner’s family – my family now, too, over time – in Wisconsin. A morning of chit-chat among the girls, a scarf-in-progress, crochet needles clicking, cherry popovers, strong coffee, grapes. A long shower, quick trip to the store. Chili. Football on television as our youngest child wakes up across town, giddy from her sleepover with cousins.
Soon, we’ll pile into the car for a family party at Cousin Debbie’s. Warm. Cozy. Countertops full of food. The games and love and banter of family.
Messy – never all one thing or another – but full with love.
Do you celebrate Thanksgiving? What are your traditions?