I think Thanksgiving may be the most and least complicated holiday for me. Growing up, it was the one holiday that was about family. Family and food, yes, but family first and foremost. We often celebrated with one whole side of my adopted family, and while the chaos and noise of a huge family celebration wasn’t my favorite thing in the world (and neither was dressing up), it was tradition, and I liked that part of it.
But I haven’t been “home” for a Thanksgiving since last century, and the last one I celebrated with my family was a few weeks after my dad died. So I’m pretty disconnected from the “family” part of the holiday at this point.
In the many years since that last Thanksgiving at home, I’ve celebrated with a variety of groups of people, some small, some much bigger, usually with other people who lived far from their families and didn’t want to travel for whatever reason. I’ve also had Thanksgiving alone, and enjoyed it. I’ve been invited to celebrate with other people’s families, and occasionally accepted, but it always feels intrusive to me to go to someone else’s family holiday.
These days, I’d have to choose a family to spend the holidays with, and I’m glad I don’t have a tradition of family holidays anymore. I’m spending the day with a friend, cooking very non-traditional foods, and maybe a few more friends since I’m on the east coast and this storm has changed many people’s carefully-laid plans.
I am thankful for snow plow drivers. I am thankful for the incredible outpouring of adoptee voices this November in the #flipthescript movement. I am thankful for all of my families despite their complications. And I am thankful to be spending this holiday as I choose.