Today was my 53rd Thanksgiving. I was thinking about that today. 53 Thanksgivings. I am very thankful, for many things, but I had never really looked at the numbers. Of those 53 Thanksgivings, 49 of them were spent with the same family members. I have hosted 11 Thanksgiving Dinners. The most I have had at my dinner table was 22, the least was 3. Over the years people have come and gone from our Thanksgiving table. Some because they moved away, and some because we moved away. The door has always been open for anyone who wants to join our family. We had our traditional fare, turkey, cranberries, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, rolls, green bean casserole, and more desserts than we can count. Did you know that Campbells soup company developed green bean casserole in 1955? There will be an estimated 30,000,000 households serving it today. The ultimate comfort food.
The history books say that the first Thanksgiving was celebrated in 1621, in Plymouth Mass. The guests included the 53 remaining pilgrims and Wampanoag Indians. It really wasn't called Thanksgiving then, it was the Harvest Celebration. It also was not a yearly event. It was an on and off kind of celebration depending on the Harvest. In 1863 President Abe Lincoln declared the 3rd Thursday of November Thanksgiving, and made it an annual, national holiday. He wanted the nation to have a day to be thankful. Well Abe, I know I am. I am thankful that members of my family still get together on this day. I am thankful that I still have my parents and brother and his family here. I am thankful that my husband and son have become a part of this tradition. It's not the turkey, dressing, green bean casserole or even the desserts. It's the stories that are told. The laughter that is heard. It's seeing our oldest generation and realizing that I will be that person sooner, rather than later. It's seeing the youngest sitting in a high chair with mashed potatoes all over their face. It's the kid's table. It's the stories. The fabric of our memories is made with the telling of family stories and the tradition of making that journey. I have had 53 Thanksgivings. I am very thankful.