I hated Thanksgiving for so many years. It was my nightmare Holiday and I was always glad when it was over. Thanksgiving is a cruel Holiday when you don’t have family left; it makes you feel like an outsider looking in.
The early years of our marriage were fine; my husband’s parents were still alive and we all celebrated Thanksgiving together, like so many families.
Later on it changed and even though I still tried to keep the Holiday tradition alive, it just wasn’t the same. I decorated the table nicely just for the two of us and we ate the Thanksgiving dinner, feeling like we were surrounded by the ghosts of the past. The empty chairs made us think about the ones we had loved and lost, it made us think about the children we couldn’t have. Thanksgiving sucked big time!
Of course we got invited. All of our friends told us to come by their houses and they welcomed us with open arms. Still, you sit there and feel like the 5th wheel no matter what.
Then there were the years, when we pretended that Thanksgiving didn’t’ mean anything to us. We tried to ignore it as much as we could, but it didn’t work very well either -actually it felt worse than our two-people-celebration.
One year we decided to go out on Thanksgiving, but most restaurants were closed and it left us standing in line at a chain-buffet place. Too many people in one place at the same time, all of them hungry, fighting for the food on the buffet. It was alright, but it wasn’t worth the money.
Someone here in Ohio introduced us to Friendsgiving a few years back and we loved the idea instantly. We were not the only ones, who didn’t have any family to celebrate Thanksgiving with, there were others.
There are the ones who have family left, but aren’t close with them. There are the ones who can’t drive or fly home, because they have to work or the don’t have the money for the trip and then there are some. who just can’t afford the big feast, because let’s be honest, a traditional Thanksgiving dinner isn’t that cheap.
Since years we have Friendsgiving in our house and give thanks surrounded by friends, neighbors and colleagues who are in a similar situation. It is so much fun and now we look forward to the Holiday we once feared so much.
The turkey is in the oven, the house is smelling good, only one more hour until there will be laughter in our dining room and cursing in our living room, because they guys just can’t help it and have to watch football.
If you don’t like the tradition you have been brought up with, make your own. Give it a try if you are in a similar situation.
Happy Friendsgiving !