According to Urban Dictionary.com, "Thanks-mas," can be defined as "The celebration of Thanksgiving and Christmas with family that will not be able to be together at Christmas" ("Urban Dictionary," n.d.). Over the past several years, my family has attempted several new traditions such as secret santa to three mini-christmases, all positive in their own respect, but all mediocre in attempts, as it requires more planning and traveling. Thanks-mas was our latest and newest family tradition, brought on by the fact that my siblings and I have grown older, as both my brothers got jobs, got married, and moved out of the Pennsylvania state boarder. This makes holidays every tricky and complicated to plan, since my brothers usually visit their spouses families during the Christmas season. Christmas use to be my favorite holiday growing up, but due our life circumstances and the inevitable aging progress, Thanksgiving has quickly became my new favorite holiday.
The holiday season is always an exciting time in our household, but at the same time, it brings a lot of stress, especially this year as we decided to complete two holidays in a mere 12 hours. I do love my family, but I can only last so long within out my own personal space and down time. Nonetheless, what I came to love about Thanksgiving is when my brother pulls out a new and wacky game for us to play such as Werewolf or this years new addition We didn't playtest this at all!, however, quite random this game is, the point of the game is to win. This game got my whole family laughing and helped break away any awkward silences that were there before the game began. The only game that was missing from our normal family traditions this year was Scrabble, but I was more than okay with its outcome, as this is one of my least favorite games. Nonetheless, I end up playing Scrabble because it is the only game Grandma brings with her every holiday and I don't want to offend her by not joining in.
Photo Credit: My Father
Photo Credit: My Father
Another thing, I look forward to during every Thanksgiving is the green bean casserole and mash potatoes as those are my two favorite side dishes during the meal. However, it is never a family thanksgiving with out some Penn State Creamery ice cream and pumpkin pie. My favorite flavor of creamery ice cream is Alumni Swirl. What was unique about Thanksgiving this year was having the opening of presents at 7:00 p.m.(adding the -mas to our celebration) when most if not all my extended family had left leaving my parents, my brothers, my sister-in-laws, my grandma (my mom's mom), and my aunt (my mom's sister). This was an amazing time, but at the same time it reminded me that come December 25th, my brothers wouldn't be around, which is something, I'm still getting use to. This tradition out of all the ones attempted during these past few years was the most successful, spite how draining it was to prepare. Also the fact that it constantly reminded me of how far my siblings are from 'home'. Nonetheless, I think this tradition is going to be a new normal in my household. I just need to remember that this should be a time where I live in the moment and give thanks for all the blessings I have in my life, such as my family, my dog, Max (a black cocker spaniel), shelter, food, and freedom, just to name a few of the thousands of blessings I have been given in my 20-something years of living.