Family time is the key to Thanksgiving

Published 11:55 am Wednesday, November 21, 2018

No sleigh bells ringing, only the hum of the engine of a car or a plane.

No woods, no horse, no white and drifting snow — only houses in subdivisions, apartments and condos in the city and slushy brown miles of concrete.

Even grandma herself isn’t a kindly old lady with silver-hair in a bun, wire-rimmed glasses, floral print cotton house dresses and thick cotton stockings. In fact, except for a few more wrinkles and a bit slower step, there’s very little difference in grandma and mom.

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Many grandmothers are still in the workforce and work on Thanksgiving day.

Those who have retired are often not even home for the holidays. They’re off enjoying some well-earned relaxation on a beach or in a foreign city.

Many have downsized to spaces too small to accommodate a large family for Thanksgiving dinner.

Why, some wacky grannies have even sold their home and have hit the road in an RV.

Of course, for many grandmothers, it is simply not financially feasible to cook for the entire family. A fixed budget often forces grandma to choose between nutritional meals or vital medications and health care.

When adult children grouse about having to take time away from their busy lives to visit their parents for the holidays, it becomes apparent in their demeanor when they arrive at their destination. Grandchildren walk through the door with thumbs flying on handheld video games, cell phones and tablets. They must be forced to lay aside their electronic babysitters long enough to eat the meal that’s been lovingly prepared for them.

Arguments ensue between parents and children and make the experience one grandmother will be hesitant to repeat the following year.

It’s time to go back to basics. It’s time to remember that Thanksgiving isn’t about a turkey dinner with all the trimmings. It’s about tradition and family and being grateful just to come together.

It doesn’t matter if you meet at a restaurant for burgers for an hour or so. It’s OK to just huddle together even in a small apartment and watch TV with a bowl of popcorn.

It’s OK to allow grandma to pass the torch and come to your house.

The key words are family and together.

Grandparents don’t feel as though you’ve failed to meet your obligations if you can’t host the holiday festivities.

Children and grandchildren, it doesn’t matter whether your family get-together is on the national holiday or if it’s another day.

The important thing is when you’re with family, be there. Be there physically and mentally.

Enjoy the time, so others will enjoy it also. Make memories and make traditions your children will remember fondly when they look back at photos and videos as adults.

Don’t wait for a holiday to roll around. Spend time with family soon and often.