Gratitude Bonus Round 7

There is one thing I will greatly miss this Thanksgiving. It’s something that has given my family a richness that can only come from years of being passed down, memories of times gone by, and a culture unique to those you call relatives.
Today I’m thankful for traditions.
My family has A LOT of traditions.
Just for Thanksgiving alone there are two full Thanksgiving dinners, an annual watching (along with a room full of snacks) of Christmas Vacation, a family-wide shopping spree (Dad’s & Grandfathers included!) on Black Friday, and a wind down from all the retail rush over drinks.

Every year at Thanksgiving my Granny cooks a feast that could feed an army, and both sides of my family get together under one roof and share an afternoon of fellowship and food.
It’s not lost on me what an incredible blessing it is to have had this experience.

Then at Christmas, between my Mom’s and my Dad’s side of the family we have a total of four events/parties/dinners, and a newly minted Christmas cocktails party started by Husband and I a few years ago.

The holidays are insane for Husband and me.

Combining two families has resulted in us running from dusk till dawn from the night of the 23rd through Christmas night.

But, I get to hear the smug laughter as my Papaw cracks a joke on my cousin, and see my Mamaw in her pretty red Christmas sweater, and smell the aroma of foods that have signified the holidays since my childhood, and relax to melodies that have been a part of every Christmas I can remember, and feel the warmth of so many bodies packed into one room just so we can all be together to share gifts or dinner or a movie…because we love each other, so much.
Traditions aren’t a given, and I’m so so thankful that my family has made such a point of keeping ours strong and thriving, and that they instilled that importance in me. 
Although I’m excited to cook my first Thanksgiving dinner, I would give it up in a heartbeat to play sous chef to my Great Grandmother as she makes her famous biscuits, or to my Granny so I could learn the time-space impossibility (seriously, it’s not possible for her to cook that much food in the time she does! It blows my mind!) that is her Thanksgiving dinner.
Please take a moment this holiday season to truly appreciate those special traditions and experiences with your family. One big sacrifice of the military is knowing that you won’t always get to be a part of them. I never would have imagined missing even a single event, but I know now more than ever how much each and every one means to me.

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