My first Thanksgiving with husband happened in 2004. I wasn’t bad at cooking but this was our first Thanksgiving as a married couple and we were hosting it! We were having his whole family over and I had to rock it! I remember spending days watching the Food Network, going through recipes, and when I finally got it all together, I spent 17 hours cooking. Husband was proud of his wife’s cooking skills! What at the time we didn’t realize, was that was the beginning of our Thanksgiving traditions.
For our second Thanksgiving, I sewed the table runner and the placemats, made place card holders and decorated the table for Thanksgiving. We wanted everybody to feel special and enjoy both dinner and company. For this Thanksgiving, I made adjustments to my recipes, got a lot more organized, my cooking got so much better and my turkey was to die for!
Then we moved from California to Texas, and our guests this time were our neighbor friends and my family. It was a different feeling but still, everything else was done and decorated just like the year before, and of course everyone was full and happy. So continuing our tradition in our new home was a great, and the year after this one was also a success.
However, the next couple years would be the beginning of the changes. I started nursing school and got pregnant at the same time, so hosting and entertaining with a baby while in nursing school just didn’t quite happen. Thanksgiving 2012 was just a simple dinner just husband and I with the kid, and right before the end of the year, husband passed away.
So the end of this December will mark the 6th year of our party of two. I attempted to cook for a few friends of mine once, but it seems like I lost the touch. I followed the same recipes, but nothing came out right. I tried again about 3 years ago, but it was just a huge waste of money because everything didn’t taste good at all. Last year we went to the grocery store, and I just bought me a little bit of everything, put my whole Thanksgiving dinner on a plate, popped it in the microwave and ate it while the kid ate mac and cheese. We did enjoy the warm Hawaiian rolls together!
For the last few years we have been invited to our adoptive family’s Thanksgiving dinner for this year, and this is our chance to spend time with family. We still were by ourselves on Thanksgiving night, but it’s not like the kid quite understood the importance of the date itself. However, now that he’s older and that he understands a lot more, I do look forward to hosting or cooking my whole Thanksgiving dinner again, not this year though. Maybe for our adoptive family or friends next year, maybe with the man we have been praying for to come and complete our little family.
Meanwhile the kid and I already started writing down the things we are most thankful for. We are making a list and we will share with y’all next week. We also started decorating the turkeys in disguise and it was fun at times, we are both hard-headed, and we had some ‘differences of opinion’. All four turkeys looked awesome at the end though, and both school and daycare were happy with our turkeys in disguise. Hopefully next year we will add a few more crafts to make our Thanksgiving more special and meaningful.
So for the next year, the kid and I will make reservations at a fancy place in advance and have our very own Thanksgiving dinner. We want to continue writing down our reasons to be thankful for, this time on paper leaves and then put them up on our ‘Thanksgiving tree’. Since we don’t have table linens passed down to us, we’ll use my table linens and my recipes for our future Thanksgivings, and that will be our tradition from now on.
I believe traditions are an important part of every family’s foundation, and when they’re passed on from one generation to another, everybody gets a sense of belonging, they know what to expect and what to look forward next year. Every year new memories will be made and they will be remembered the next year and the one after. The main thing is that it is a time of the year when we all come together, enjoy our company and delicious food, and we talk and we laugh. That is a lot to be thankful for.
This year the kid and I are starting a new tradition though. We are getting the kid’s Nerf guns and we will battle and chase each other all around the house until we get tired of it. This will be our fun new Thanksgiving tradition 😉