My job has me working a variable schedule from week to week, so we knew that our Thanksgiving would need to be observed on a day other than the traditional third Thursday in November this year. Really, though, why should the date of observation make a difference? Any day is a good day to sit down with family and celebrate our gratitude and appreciation. It’s arbitrary. I’m more than content to celebrate with my family tomorrow, spending the day preparing a big meal to share with my family and in-laws, eating plenty of turkey, and later tossing the carved up turkey carcass into the crock pot with a mirepoix and aromatics for an overnight simmering into rich, comforting turkey broth. I’ll be making my own gluten free biscuits (and maybe even gluten free stuffing, if I’ve managed to find a gluten free bread mix in time). I enjoy seeing how happy my family is, gathered around a table piled high with food. It’s not an everyday occurrence, but we all love having plates full of goodies and munching leftovers in the coming days.
Another tradition we’ll be observing another day is our day-after-Thanksgiving Christmas decorating. Last year we really didn’t get to enjoy that — we lived in someone else’s home. Our personal tree had broken before the move, so we made due with enjoying my in-laws’ tree. This year, we’ve got a new tree (that I’m very grateful we could afford) to decorate, and we always love snacking on meat, cheese, crackers, popcorn, and hot chocolate while we decorate together. I work the day after Thanksgiving this year, but somehow I’m off all weekend. We’ll be taking time both days to uphold our family tradition — because it’s really all about family. The holiday and date aren’t what’s important. It’s the togetherness. Anyone from any religion or tradition can find comfort and appreciation in togetherness. It doesn’t have to be blood family, either. You can enjoy togetherness with your chosen family, too. Our Internet age makes it easier for families living hundreds and thousands of miles apart to spend time together, too.
It’s all arbitrary — so spend time together regardless. The clock won’t turn backwards.