We’ve been a part of each other’s lives for 31 years, so I think we can dispense with the flirting and teasing and gentle suggestions of affection. I’m going to come right out and say it: I love you.
“Me?” you might ask. “But what about Chanukah and the Fourth of July?”
And it’s true: I love those holidays, too. But I love you the most, and here’s why.
You are the one holiday out of the year where I get to spend all afternoon and evening with my entire family — biological and otherwise — and remind myself how lucky I am to have all of these people in my life. This year, my mom is hosting 33 of us at her house. Do you hear that? Thirty-three for a sit-down dinner, all because of you. If this were a birthday party or a lesser celebration, the group probably would have splintered into two smaller groups. But the family insists on being together on Thanksgiving, even as the so-called kids marry and have kids of their own.
And then there’s the food. Sure, the Fourth of July has barbecue, and Chanukah has latkes, but you offer a panoply of delicious foods, all at the same table: turkey and stuffing and sweet potatoes and mashed potatoes and gravy and cranberry sauce and PIES. See that photo below? My cousin took that last year, right before we had dessert. She called it “pie-sanity.” I call it heaven. Either way, you were the inspiration.
But it isn’t just about the food. Okay, so it’s a lot about the food, but it’s also about my dad’s toasts and my mom’s last-minute scramble as she gets all of the food on the table. It’s about my cousins lapsing into a food coma in the basement after dinner and my dad playing piano in the living room while people relax on the couch. It’s about me being ten years old and helping my mom pour the filling into the banana cream pie the night before your arrival, and then watching It’s a Wonderful Life together in the family room and realizing my life was pretty wonderful, too.
More than anything, I love you because I love tradition. Over the years, we’ve lost a few members, and we’ve gained a few, too, and the various dishes on the table have evolved. But no matter what changes in all of our lives, no matter where we’re living and what we’re doing, we all know where we’ll be on the fourth Thursday in November. And that’s a tradition for which I’m truly thankful.
With deepest affection,
Okay, now that I’ve confessed my love for Thanksgiving, it’s your turn! What’s *your* favorite holiday?
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