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Thanksgiving; My Last Favorite Holiday

Posted by on Nov 26, 2009

As a kid, I used to enjoy holidays mainly because it meant we had days off from school. By the age of 13, there was only one holiday that I actually cared about anymore.

That holiday was Thanksgiving. I cared about it even more than Christmas because it was the only time of the year that my mother would make her cornbread dressing. Actually, as a kid, it was also the only time of the year we would have turkey, but turkey didn’t mean as much without the dressing.

Why not Christmas? Sure, on Christmas you get all sorts of gifts, but when you think about it, you’re always getting gifts. You get gifts for your birthday. And, being an only child, your parents are always giving you stuff here and there. Actually, I think most kids probably get gifts, or other things during the year, and don’t think about it as anything special. I have always thought that the stuff I got was pretty special because I figured my parents didn’t ever really have to give me anything. So, Christmas was never really anything all that special; and no, I’m not religious either.

So, it was always Thanksgiving for me. The family would get together, and, odd enough, it was often the only meal of the year that all of us would sit at the same table for dinner. How strange is that? All of us have always had our own TV’s, and most of the time we watched different shows, so we rarely shared meals with each other either.

The last Thanksgiving all of us shared with each other, my dad knew he was really sick and probably wouldn’t make another one. It was my dad, mother, grandmother, wife, and myself. I wasn’t feeling all that thankful because I felt like I knew what was coming also; lung cancer, diabetes and renal failure doesn’t give one many chances for a full recovery. My mother really went all out for the meal, and for one day, Dad didn’t worry about sticking to this strict died they’d put him on. We had a blast on that day, and forgot everything for a few hours.

After that, things were never the same. I brought my mother and grandmother to my house a couple of years. Mom made her dressing only one more time. One of those years, Mom went on a trip out of town with some group, and my grandmother stayed with us, but we didn’t do anything overly special.

Now, Thanksgiving doesn’t mean as much to me anymore, and, since it was the last holiday I cared about, it means that I have no more holidays that I care about at all. I see it as a special day whenever I see my mother or grandmother, which means I don’t need one day to call a special day. Mom has stated she’s never making the cornbread dressing again, so I’ll never have that in my life again, as I never learned how to make it.

Last year we had food from Cracker Barrel, which was okay. This year we had food from Boston Market, much tastier. It’s easy food to eat and heat up, and it seems that’s the way we’ll be going from this point on. The day either my mother or grandmother aren’t here anymore, if they go before me (and that’s not guaranteed), nothing else will change because my wife and I know we can get food elsewhere, since we don’t know how to cook a real Thanksgiving meal either.

What we will miss is the opportunity to sit and have a meal with Mom or my grandmother; that will be sad for sure. But it won’t have to be Thanksgiving anymore.

So, I’m thankful for every day from this point on; but Thanksgiving itself… I wish everyone else a happy one, and of course I wish happiness on you every other day of the year also.

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9 Comments »

Happy thanks giving to you mitch ๐Ÿ™‚

During my couple of years stay in your part of the world, I had once witnessed the making of this special dressed turkey and it was fun… It was actually tasty ๐Ÿ˜›
.-= Ajith Edasseryยดs last blog ..KPMRS.com โ€“ Keyword Position Monitoring Report Service =-.

November 27th, 2009 | 4:53 AM
Mitch:

Hi Ajith,

Yup, some of them can be really tasty. There’s something neat about cooking a big ol’ turkey, that’s for sure. And with the right dressing, it can be even more wonderful.

November 27th, 2009 | 5:06 PM
John Dilbeck:

Good morning, Mitch.

I understand, at least partly, about how you feel about all this.

Yesterday was a sad/happy day for me. My parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles are gone and I’ll never again enjoy that feeling of a real holiday as I enjoyed it as a child.

My brother and his family are in Georgia and my daughter is spending a week in Gatlinburg with her family.

So, I spent the day alone, but not lonely. I had all the memories of the holiday with people I loved and I’m looking forward to many more as the weird old granddude.

As you said, any day you can spend with your Mom or Grandmother is a special day and that’s something for which to be grateful.

I think all of us have something that we can be thankful for just about every day of the year.

All the best,

JD

November 27th, 2009 | 6:29 AM
Mitch:

Hi John,

I spent Thanksgiving by myself twice in my life, and man, I really felt totally alone on both of those days. I think that’s another reason why I’m ready to give up believing any holiday is better than any other day; I’d rather not feel anything like that again.

November 27th, 2009 | 5:10 PM
John Dilbeck:

Good evening, Mitch.

I can understand why you would think that way, but I have to wonder if you’re not “throwing the baby out with the bathwater.”

I can’t speak for you, and wouldn’t if I could, but – for myself – I’d rather risk a few days that were pretty bad in order to celebrate more special days with people I love.

At one time, I felt much as you describe and didn’t really think that holidays were all that special.

Now, I have a different view and look for ways to celebrate how special my friends and family are to me.

I’ve even started sending out birthday cards and that’s something I didn’t do for many years.

Still, each of us has to make our own decisions.

All the best,

JD

November 28th, 2009 | 10:24 PM
Mitch:

Hi John,

I don’t go that route. For me, I’d rather minimize any possibilities of mental anguish as much as I can. Why put myself through something like that which can be avoided? In a way, it’s kind of like your thoughts about whether or not you want to continue with affiliate marketing. Are you going to get the return out of it you used to? I know I’m not, so I’m not even going there. Instead, I’d rather enjoy all the other days I get to spend with my family, and if I spend holiday time with them, it’s just that, time with the family, which is special enough.

November 28th, 2009 | 10:49 PM
Mitch:

Oh yeah? lol If your Mom isn’t from Louisiana, then it’s just stuffing! ๐Ÿ˜‰

November 28th, 2009 | 8:52 AM
Tim Manni:

Interesting comments all around. First off, I always enjoy hearing opinions and observations from those in other cultures about the traditions we’re so used to, thanks Ajith.

While we should do it everyday (though we don’t), Thanksgiving is important to stop and really ponder all the things we have to be thankful for. I’d hate to hear that holidays begin to lose their meaning as we get older, for I feel reliving childhood memories and traditions through a meal is a wonderful thing, even though some family members may no longer be with us.

JD makes a good point, whether it’s family or friends, spending time with loved ones is what’s most important.

I’m all for keeping the holiday memories alive, whether you’re by yourself, with friends, or family.

Lastly Mitch, learning that dressing recipe could keep those priceless memories with you your entire life. It would be time well spent.

Happy belated Thanksgiving to everyone,
Tim

November 30th, 2009 | 11:26 AM
Mitch:

Hi Tim,

Thanks for your input. You know, my mother is the only one who knows her dressing recipe; my grandmother never made it, and I’m not even sure where Mom learned it. It’s a long process, and I’m just not the guy to learn it, unfortunately. The same goes for her strawberry cake; it’s a recipe that’s just going to be lost forever. I think that’s the kind of thing that happens with families, but most people don’t think about it. If it’s just boys, we’re not going to learn, nor remember, that stuff.

As for the rest, you’re probably right, as John probably is also. I usually tend not to like holidays to begin with, which is why this one had always meant something else for me. But I’m someone who does a lot of reflecting throughout the year, doing things like my 34 questions here and there. That’s enough reflecting for me. ๐Ÿ˜‰

November 30th, 2009 | 7:49 PM