My Family’s Tradition of Thankfulness


Everyone should have family traditions. Every year on thanksgiving my family of 10 goes around the table and one person at a time we say something that we are thankful for. Of course, when there is other guest at the table, we encourage them to join in as well even if it isn’t typical for their family to do the same as we do. 

Ever since I was a little girl, I always remember saying I was thankful to have my family together and being able to have so much food on our table and of course I was thankful for other things but was always thankful to have my family together every year.

Having a family of 10 it was hard to go a holiday without someone being upset or running upstairs crying, especially on Thanksgiving. Sometimes we disagreed about whose turn it was to split the wish bone from the turkey (may be another family tradition), who got to sit in what seat, or who got to sit next to whom. Usually over who got to sit next to mom or dad. But, at the end of the day, when it was time to eat, we kept the tradition going of saying what we were thankful for, upset or not. It lifted holiday spirits. 

My family of 10 ended up turning into a family of 9 one year and thanksgiving was hard. It was hard to see past all the bad that had happened to us and losing a family member, caused our minds to be clouded. To come up with something were thankful for was difficult when so many things we were not thankful for had happened.

A chair became empty of a person and became filled with sadness. Yet, the food still arrived at the table, our family still sat together, even with our clouded minds my parents continued our tradition of making sure we said something we were thankful for. 

We had just moved to Louisiana a few short months after the death of my brother. Thanksgiving was the first holiday to come around after this had happened. Were we ready for the change? Definitely not.

I remember sitting at the table, the weather was different and warm, unlike Ohio. My dad cooked in the kitchen all day while the rest of the family watched TV or played basketball outside on our mini basketball court. Once everything was finished being cooked and brought to the table, we all sat down. I could feel the emotions fill the air, and I was curious as to what my parents would do with our typical family tradition. As we all filled out plates I heard my father say, “Before we eat let’s all say something we are thankful for,” and so we did.

We all were forced to come up with something we were thankful for despite the fact that we were missing an important person at our table and the holiday didn’t feel the same anymore, but we did it anyway. Sharing something we were thankful for and keeping our family tradition going brought positive thoughts into something that seemed like a now not so exciting holiday. The holiday spirits were lifted, and we still continue with the tradition. 

This is why family traditions are important: Even in your family’s hardest moments, they still keep everyone together.

About Kara Martin

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