We established a tradition that ensures we enjoy both sides of our family at Thanksgiving.
A few years ago, I began a tradition with my family of celebrating Thanksgiving two to three weeks before the actual holiday. This wasn’t an original idea, as another family that I knew also had been participating in this tradition for many years. I loved the idea. We often had trouble getting the entire family together for a holiday. A big challenge for married people is deciding which side of the family will get the pleasure of your company on the holidays. It is very common for couples to annually rotate where they spend the holidays.
The early holiday eliminates this conflict, and it allows you to set a new tradition with your family. It also has another huge benefit: when we went through the airport, two weeks before Thanksgiving, we literally walked right up to the TSA agent to go through security. There was no one in line. Air fare that would have cost two to three times as much on the Thanksgiving weekend was extremely inexpensive, and the aircraft was only 2/3 full. Travel was a breeze. We didn’t have to fight the crowds, and we didn’t have to pay a premium to go at peak time during the year.
I had arranged in advance for an actual Thanksgiving meal to be prepared at a restaurant near our hotel in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. This little town is where Sharon and I took our first romantic getaway many years ago. We eventually chose to spend our summers there when we were living mainly in Chicago. At the dinner, we had our turkey, dressing, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes and cranberries, just as if it were Thanksgiving. We told family stories, we shared memories, and we made some new ones. It was a very relaxing, enjoyable process.
Soon, the rest of my family will go off to their in-laws for a Thanksgiving holiday. They will fight the crowds, pay a little more for gas or airfare and maybe slight one side of the family because they chose the other option. I like our new tradition with my “side” of the family.
Sharon’s “side” will soon arrive at our home for another Thanksgiving and we don’t have to worry about having divided our time and attention.
At this time of year we give thanks. Sharon and I are grateful to have so many wonderful co-workers, clients, and friends in our lives. Thank you for being a part of it.