Traditions are so very important to me, and this time of year is ripe with them.
Wikipedia describes traditions as, “A tradition is a belief or behavior passed down within a group or society with symbolic meaning or special significance with origins in the past.” For me, traditions are an activity, or an event that happens year after year, with the ones you love.
Growing up, my mom and dad ensured our lives were enriched with lovely memories. Almost every year, when the holidays would roll around, I knew what to expect, Thanksgiving at my maternal grandmother’s (and eventually my Aunt’s) house, Christmas Eve was a huge Polish celebration of Wiglia meal (the “W” makes a “V” sound) celebrated at my paternal grandparent’s house, and then Christmas morning was at my own home.
Every year, we could count on these holidays being the same. I’d look forward to, and countdown the days, minutes and seconds until Santa would come to Christmas Eve dinner. I can remember sitting on the couch in my parent’s old home, singing songs on Christmas morning, trying to wake my parents up so we could open our gifts. Just sitting here writing this post, these memories are eliciting such a warm, fuzzy feeling deep inside. I want to give the same magnificent gift to Emmett, that my parents have given to me. It is because of this, that my holidays will be a bit different, this year. More on that in another post, let’s talk Thanksgiving.
I’m really fortunate because my mom now celebrates her Thanksgiving at her house on either the Friday or Saturday after the actual day. This allows us to make the trip to my in-laws in Syracuse, since this is their big holiday, without missing any celebrations with my family. Our celebration at my in-law’s is a very typical Thanksgiving meal. We spend time together as a family, catching up and filling each other in on what has been going on in our lives and theirs. It’s amazing the things that can change and occur with just a few miles distance between us. We Facetime pretty frequently, but there is nothing better then actual one on one time together.
This was Emmett’s second Thanksgiving, and he thoroughly seemed to enjoy himself. He got to bop around a new house, and explore all the that were technically “no nos.” He was all over the place, almost like he was showing off, but I feel like he’s too young to understand that yet (maybe not?). Either way, he was adorable with his grandparents. Once he got used to them, he kept running up to both of them and saying “hi” or just checking-in on them. It was so sweet!
We had a delicious meal, turkey, sweet potatoes, squash, cranberry sauce, dressing and apple sauce. Everything was delicious (my mother-in-law is a fantastic cook)! Emmett enjoyed the homemade cranberry sauce and apple sauce best, but did try some of the squash and turkey too. For dessert, he got a couple spoonfuls of vanilla ice cream, he was particularly fond of the dessert.
Seamus’ cousin was there with his wife and daughter. The baby just had her first birthday on the 24th of November and she is as cute as could be. Emmett and her were kind of iffy of each other and then Emmett made it worse by throwing his water bottle at her. Oy! He’s totally a troublemaker, I literally sat there and watched him stare at her for a second, trying decide if he should throw the bottle or not. I didn’t think he’d actually do it, so I let him go and then BAM, he threw it. Poor girl! She was okay, though, just a few tears.
We had a wonderful time there, but we’re very lucky, that wasn’t our last Thanksgiving holiday of the year. We had my parents and family to celebrate with on Saturday. More great family time and more good food! We got there early so that Emmett could spend some time with some second cousins that hadn’t seen him since Christmas the previous year. He was in great spirits, getting into everything and playing with all of my moms toys, and of course taunting the dogs. My mom has a dog, and so does my sister, they had both closed into the sun porch, but Emmett kept going over to the windowed door and barking at them. It was adorable, but I really felt bad for the pups.
Dinner was delicious! My brother and his girlfriend also joined us, it was good to see them because we don’t see them often enough. We all updated each other on all that was going on in our lives and what we’d missed. Before we knew it, the meal was over and we were cleaning the table for dessert, which was pumpkin pie, apple crisp pie and peanut butter pie (slightly non-traditional). Yummy stuff!
As our second Thanksgiving came to a close, I continually amazed at what a wonderful family Emmett is surrounded by, on both sides. I’m so happy that I can give Emmett these traditions, things that as he grows, he’ll look forward to every year. Some of my best memories are of the times when I was excitedly waiting for one of our holiday celebrations to begin.