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The 35-year-old tradition lives on

November 28, 2011 - Kristy MacKaben
Here's an excerpt from my little cousin Scott's Facebook post on Saturday: "Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday EVER. Love spending time with family." Little Scott (I call him that to differentiate from my hubby Scott) is 18---the age where spending time with family is not so cool. So, his Facebook post meant a lot. The thing is my sister and I always felt the same way about Thanksgiving when we were kids, teenagers and adults. Growing up Thanksgiving was our big family celebration. Every aunt, uncle and cousin came, and of course my Grandad (who died when I was 7) and my Grandma (who died 6 years ago). It was a huge group of us eating, playing games and just catching up on life. The tradition started 35 years ago and we all met at Grandma's house in Cumberland. Since Grandma died, Thanksgiving has changed quite a bit. With most of the cousins scattered across the country, not as many families make it anymore. My aunts and uncles usually try to spend the holiday with their kids who are living different places, so that means a lot less people make it out to Cumberland. (My parents now live in my Grandma's old house.) Now it's a core group of 20, which consists of my family, parents, sister, and my uncle's family. Sometimes my aunt and some of her kids make it too. At first my sister and I were devastated that the Thanksgiving tradition was dying, but we have learned that life goes on and traditions change. We still love Thanksgiving and we know we're making memories for the younger crew: my cousin's children and our own children. This year a highlight was a rousing game of round-robin ping-pong that had everyone laughing and breathless. In years past we used to eat at a restaurant on Thanksgiving. About three years ago we convinced my mom to host a traditional turkey dinner at home. This homemade meal, which my sister and I usually help cook and clean up, has grown into a wonderful celebration. Though times have changed, we are still getting together and we have no intention of letting it die.


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