I’m getting Thanksgiving back, I just hope it’s not too late

When my husband and I first got married, we had it all worked out. My family back east had a lot of Christmas traditions, his down in southern California was big on Thanksgiving. So we’d spend alternate Christmases visiting my family, Thanksgivings on the stay-home-for-Christmas years with his. And each year we’d end up celebrating one of those two major holidays at home.

It all went smoothly for quite a while. Then, for some reason, I forget why, maybe his mother’s knee surgery, we went off the schedule and did Thanksgiving with his family two years in a row. It made sense at the time. Then one more year in a row, so we could get back to alternating with the Christmas trips. Then I had an injury and was out of commission for Thanksgiving, so he took the kids to San Diego for the fourth year in a row. Then another year heading south, since I didn’t go the previous year, and suddenly, it’s been six Thanksgivings since I cooked the turkey.

This, I realize as I invite friends and plan the menu and shop, means that my kids have no memory of Thanksgiving at home, as my littlest confirmed when he asked what night we’d go see the Christmas lights at the Del Mar race track. This worries me. The alternate Christmases worked out just fine, our kids have Christmas traditions
back east (a favorite involves making decorated Christmas chocolates
with their little cousins) and Christmas traditions at home (like
caroling on Christmas tree lane). But somewhere along the way I lost
Thanksgiving. In the short run, it’s not a big deal. But with my oldest
child college shopping right now, the days when my kids leave the house
seem to be coming awfully quick, and I want them to have Thanksgiving
memories that will draw them back here year after year. Here, not San
Diego, because San Diego Thanksgivings, by the time my kids are married
and have kids, are not likely to be an option. And I wonder if it’s
already too late, and Christmas will have to be enough.

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