I have been thinking about Thanksgiving lately - trying to figure out exactly what we will be doing on that day. And I can't help but remember my favorite Thanksgiving.
It was the one I spent with family, but not my biological family.
It was my first year living in Arizona. I lived by myself. The majority of my family lived in Illinois or Iowa. I did have family friends that lived about three hours away - these people have known me since I was born and had been good friends with my parents when they all lived in the same area. Anyhoo, they invited me to come stay with them that weekend, and it was the best Thanksgiving ever.
Holidays were somewhat rough for me at times being a "divorced kid." I really don't know how to explain it, but if you are one, you probably understand a little bit.
And that Thanksgiving there was no drama, no sadness, no being annoyed.
There was food and time outside playing games (because the weather is lovely in November in the southwest) and conversation and love. And lots of people. I think half of the people there were not related to the host family. There was me, the Turkey Day orphan :), people from their church, people from their kids' work, an international student, and their actual family and extended family. Thanksgiving didn't just revolve around the food, it revolved around hospitality. We didn't wake up Friday morning to partake in the consummerism/commercialism like a lot of Americans. At some point that day someone came over to teach us how to make homemade tamales. And we made a ton of them. I felt welcome and not like an outsider at all, and I wondered if all of their holidays were like this.
I think probably so. Because this family is the real deal. And it doesn't matter how long it has been since I have seen or talked to them, they still treat me like family. They would probably treat anyone like family. That is just how they are.
I wish I was headed to Arizona at the end of the month.
(Note: This is not to say I have never enjoyed a family Thanksgiving. But Thanksgiving 2003 was by far my favorite.)