Thanksgiving is always special in our family. There's nothing special about the place. It's a tiny town in southwestern Oklahoma. There's nothing special about the house, it's tight with all of us. The food is delicious (to us), but nothing gourmet. It is special because it's the one time of year all the family gathers together.
(Just the grandkids, spouses, grands)
When a family with six kids matures, there's no way all the grandkids, spouses, and great-grands can all be somewhere at the same time. But we had 58 this year at Thanksgiving, which is a great number. At the request of Grandmother, made long ago in the 1980's, Thanksgiving would be her thing and she didn't care when any other holiday happened. So most try really hard to be at Thanksgiving. That request has turned out pretty well.
What also makes it special is that over the years, we've made some fine traditions. Wednesday night is the All-Church Singing, each song led by a different person in the audience. This year the youngest songleader was 4 years old! Wednesday night singing is followed by delicious party foods and games at Grandmother's house. Thanksgiving morning is the Turkey Trot, a run down the road to the cemetery and back (about a 5 K). There is an actual trophy! After the Thanksgiving meal and some relaxing, we head two blocks away to another relative's house to do the Pumpkin Bash! It's kind of like pumpkin baseball, only messier. :0 Afterwards, lots of dominoes and card games go throughout the night. The children are entranced with all the wonderful old toys that Grandmother has and just seem to roll with the crazy schedule of the day.
I've been reading a book called The Power of Moments, by Chip and Dan Heath. Thanks, Sugarhill for the recommendation. I realized our Thanksgiving is a great example of creating defining moments for many in our family.
So thankful for Christian family and the desire to keep family commitments strong! Read the book and look for ways you can do this if you don't have it right now. Future generations will thank you!