There is nothing like spending time with family, especially on Thanksgiving. It's always been my favorite holiday to gather together. There is nothing on the agenda except good food and memorable times spent talking, laughing and enjoying each other's company.
Thanksgiving was always celebrated at home, first as a young child on the farm with my paternal grandparents then throughout my adolescence and young adulthood; gathered at the large, round table in Mom and Dad's dining room. The atmosphere was always warm, cozy and inviting and there was almost always an extra guest at our table; a neighbor who had no place to go, an older widow in our community, or one of our many friends. Like every other day of the year, our home was open and welcoming. As each year passed, our family grew; weddings brought us new brothers and sisters, soon followed by little nieces, nephews, and my own children.
Now we, the next generation, are taking our turn to host this special celebration. This year my oldest sister invited everyone into her home; parents, siblings, children, in-laws, friends. After a wonderful meal a word search was passed around as we raced through to determine a winner, followed by a few rounds of BINGO. Dollar items were scattered on the table in the breakfast nook for the winners and we played until each child had had his or her turn in picking something out.
There were many laughs, new faces, and much joy as we shared this warm and special day. Cameras flashed everywhere as the moments were captured and family pictures were taken for Christmas cards. And though I'm always thankful for tangible proof that it was indeed, a glorious day, the true memories are those that I'll carry inside; treasured keepsakes of a day filled with love.