October 12, 2010 § 3 Comments
They say that if you repeat something for three consecutive years, it qualifies as a tradition.
My Aunt Verna reminded me this year that it was my seventh consecutive Thanksgiving with them since 2004. I think that more than qualifies my visits out near Swift Current, Saskatchewan as tradition.
For a while now I’ve been trying to find my place in an ever shifting family scene. Wherever I can find a constant, I cling to it. As it turns out, Thanksgiving with my dad’s family is a big one.
No major holiday is ever complete without a full spread of food. From salads, to the main course, and then onto desserts, a Peters’ table is always full and a Peters’ stomach often left bursting at the seams. Thanksgiving is no exception. A turkey big enough to feed a dozen or more people and still leave leftovers, followed up with ham, mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, carrots, at least five different kinds of salads and finished with six different kinds of pies (chocolate, banana cream, pumpkin, coconut, apple and lemon meringue), yes sir, nobody at that table leaves hungry.
We always spend a large part of Saturday preparing all of the food for Sunday’s big dinner. Vegetables are chopped, salads are made, fresh buns make their way out of the oven.
Saturday evening, my cousins and I spend making turkey hats. We started out with just newspaper hats that we painted one year and called Thanksgiving Hats. We’re now on our fifth generation hat and each year we expand on the concept. One year we even had real feathers.
A large part of the weekend is also dedicated to kittens. Being that we’re out in the country, there are a few farm cats around and there are always at least a few kittens for us to track down and play with. It’s a wonder I haven’t come home with any yet.
When Monday morning rolls around and it’s time to think about heading home, I get in line with my cousins for a share in the leftovers first. We take turns dishing out what’s left of the food into containers to feed us in the coming days. I even bring my own tupperware.
Tradition gives us something to anchor ourselves to, and another piece of life that we can begin to identify with. For that, and for the people who are a part of my traditions, I am thankful. Because each piece becomes a building block in my life, both to build from and to build toward.
What traditions do you look forward to? And how do they help shape your life?