There’s nothing like Thanksgiving. Food, family, and best of all – it’s officially socially acceptable to be blaring holiday songs and decorating your house with Christmas flair (though, as many of you know, I have been listening to the tunes for quite some time!)
On Thanksgiving Eve, Tall Dad and I shared a great laugh about how different the holidays have been in each decade in our lives.
In our elementary years we just went wherever our parents told us. We were dressed up in holiday outfits, helped make simple appetizers, and couldn’t wait to play with our other young family and friends at the kids table.
Holidays were easy.
Then we became teenagers, and our whole focus was on the long weekend we would have out of school. We might go to a friends house Thanksgiving Eve, stay up late, and possibly catch up with friends who had already gone off to college.
The holidays itself could have had mixed reactions at this age, depending upon how our relationship with our parents was at that moment.
Often we left the mandatory holiday festivities around dessert time to go see the friends or boyfriend we were with a mere ten hours ago. We stayed up late *again* ate Thanksgiving sandwiches and watched Home Alone
Then, came our twenties. These were my least favorite in regards to mandatory holiday activities. The obligatory “go out to our hometown pub and catch up with people I never really spoke to
” night commences. We grit our teeth, took a shot, and repeated the same phrase over and over all night long.
“Where you are living or going to school?”
“What you are studying or doing for a job?”
“Are you still dating so and so – oh sorry, you were a great couple…”
and any exciting tidbit of information we could possibly come up with to share with a person we may or may not have cared about.
My favorite part about this night was that I already knew answers to said questions because of Facebook – but we would all ask them anyway.
Then in our later twenties, we might have celebrated the holidays with a significant other’s family. Carefully juggling schedules without hurting parents’ feelings, we would roam the state – brunch here, dinner there, desserts there. Being on our best behavior, we were the epitome of beauty and grace.
We answered the same questions we had in years past, but this time with more confidence and less whiskey on our breath. We wanted to impress the family, for we thought that this person might be “the one,” and wanted them to love us.
Fortunately enough, the family loved us, but the bloke or gal wasn’t the one.
More twenties holidays were spent single, with our family and then at friends houses. Questions about where we lived and what we did for work were now mingled with “where’s that significant other I met last holiday.” Awkwardness ensues, and we over ate, drank too much, and vowed to spend 24 hours straight at the gym the next day.
Then came our thirties.
The thirties have been a mix of good times and bad.
First, the bad times.
This is the age where traditions start to change, either due to family death, divorce, or people just growing apart. Some people skip the holidays all together for a while during the grieving process.
We are also at an age where we get to see the entire family hierarchy, and deal with drama as adults ourselves. We are no longer sheltered by sitting at the kids table, or running off to a local pub. We can either grin and bear it, or upset people by creating our own traditions. It’s a fine line, for sure, and we still haven’t mastered it.
But these are good years as well, because we are more confident in who we are. We go to our hometown pub if we truly want to.
Or, if you’re like me, you choose instead to curl up in your pajamas, make a pie, invite your best friends over and watch a movie or The Walking Dead.
The holiday itself is still a juggling act of houses – your own, your parents, maybe your significant other’s parents, and often good friends’.
But a certain calmness often comes in your thirties, or at least it has for me.
I don’t feel the need to impress anyone anymore. I also make sure to spend the precious little time I have off from work with loved ones. And if I’m forced into situations where I need to see people I don’t care for, I don’t waste my breath. I focus on those that build me up to be a better person. To those who bring me joy.
To those I am thankful for.
I still may eat my weight in mashed potatoes. But they were darn good potatoes. I also walked by the Boston Sports Club yesterday, and saw all of the people repenting for thier Thanksgiving sins. For a moment I thought I may join.
Then I remembered I was on my way to the market to get more hunmus.
Tall Dad and I talked about how Thankful we were to have our tiny family. We discussed how our holidays have changed so much, and how they will continue to in future years.
We talked about making our own Thanksgiving traditions, and hosting it eventually at our own *new* home.
I hope you and yours had a most lovely Thanksgiving- no matter what decade you are in!
And for the record, you were hoping to see me this past weekend and ask me the questions – we bought a home in Rhode Island, I work in a local movie production company, and also direct two choruses.
Now commence listening to as much holiday music as you can handle! I highly recommend the group Pentatonix – and their new album “That’s Christmas To Me“
Does anyone else have a love/hate relationship with holidays?
Hope you’re all having a merry season!