Being retired has many perks if you take advantage of them. I’ve had a few years experience with this now, so I think I may have gained some wisdom. One key is to let go of some old traditions and embrace new ones with gusto.
Thanksgiving is about family. Whether they are about memories of past family times together or about spending time with friends, it’s all about being thankful and humble for all that we have been given. We were all raised with family traditions at Thanksgiving that seem ‘sacred’ to the way the holiday should be spent. But this year amongst the joys of new babies and the sadness of loved ones passing, the busyness of trying to sell the business and retire, and gather 20 family members in one locale, the task was just too big and unrealistic. You see, the reality is, grown children have other families and the need to make their own traditions. The younger crowd has begun racing in a Turkey Trot before the massive amounts of food to be consumed. Little ‘C’ ran/walked (maybe some stroller time?) and got her own medal. You go girl!
Even as grandparents we have to learn to share…and for me that is as hard to accept as it is for a three-year old with a favorite toy! But this year we managed to gather all but 4 of the clan! Pretty good considering one couple lives in Illinois! And, it was all rather unexpected. Dan and I had planned to celebrate with my sister Beth, as everyone else had other plans. Talk about Thanksgiving Thankfulness!
First off, I let go of the traditional sit down dinner with the family china and preparing enough food to feed two other families. I was to plan a ‘low key’ holiday meal. I have to say, some family members were skeptical I could do this. Next, I ditched the extensive bowls and plates of appetizers. Guests were to come at 1 pm and we would eat a supper at 2 pm. Finally, since there was no sit down dinner where we could share what we were thankful for the past year, I came up with a new idea. Instead, everyone filled out a tiny card with what they were thankful for and we placed them in little acorn place setting cardholders and put them around the serving counter. Festive looking!
This Alternative Thanksgiving may just become a new tradition. Babies crawled and played, football was watched while eating, and turkey sandwiches with all the fixings became the main meal. Everyone was spread out eating wherever they felt most comfortable. Beer flowed, wine tasted, water guzzled, and sparkling cider bottles were emptied. The only tradition we could not do without was Aunt Beth’s Pumpkin Pie (s). Four pies were just right!
We thank God for all our family and friends. We give thanks for all that He has provided for us and ask for opportunities to serve those less fortunate. Dan and I are especially grateful for our newest granddaughter. What a joy she is and we look forward to seeing who she becomes. The two little girls are the bright spot in our lives! Blessing to you all.