Years go by, children grow, have children of their own and -- even lives of their own. Change seems to creep into the best of plans. Thanksgiving used to be an easily arranged family event. The arrival of children-in-law, and then amazing grandchildren, also brought many other new families into our lives. And, can you believe this, these new families even want to see their children at Thanksgiving? How odd! Every other year one family to visit and the next year the other. Does that really work? Sure it does in many ways. But the pattern never really seems to work to keep all the kids together the same year. Oh, what to do, what to do?
In 2007 we invited all of our children to a Sunday-before-Thanksgiving Thanksgiving brunch. We served a non-traditional buffet meal with yummy deserts. Everyone brought something to the party. It was the first time in several years that all of our eleven grandchildren were at the same party. Everyone loved it!! It was a wonderful, warm, casual, fun-filled afternoon that was enjoyed by all.
When 'real' Thanksgiving arrived each of our kids went to spend time at whatever other plans they had made for that traditional Thursday celebration. We, my husband and I, had already left for a vacation for two. As art museum lovers we planned a short driving to trip to museums in St. Louis, Kansas City, and Des Moines, Iowa. We relaxed, saw the lighting of the Christmas decorations in Kansas City before driving on to Des Moines. An unexpected treat happened there. We visited with our grandson, Alex, and his, then, girlfriend and were invited to Kasia's parents home for coffee and dessert. We knew how wonderful her parents had been during Alex' many visits to their home so looked forward to meeting them -- we did not know till some weeks later that we were meeting Alex' future in-laws. It was a wonderful evening AND a really short trip. So went our first year of new traditions.
Enter November, 2008. Yep, we did it again. Didn't have everyone but almost. Still fun. Still good time. And, yes, we took another short trip as the kids went on doing their own thing as well. More on that second trip another time. But our new Thanksgiving tradition is here to stay.