Up until last year, I had never cooked a turkey before. Ever. My husband has just relocated from the UK two months earlier and I wanted to host a family dinner to bring everyone together and make him feel at home. I found an easy recipe on Pinterest the night before and voila- Thanksgiving Dinner. It was an amazing turkey, if I do say so myself.
Family traditions look different for everyone but for us, they come in the form of creating memories and experiences. For example, we’ve made it a point to travel to a new city or country every year to do things like watch a professional sports game and to have weekend brunch (this is one is more of a personal favourite for me!) This started very early in our relationship when we first started dating long distance. Having a tradition, big or small, doesn’t necessarily have to involve many people, if any at all. Although we don’t have any children yet, I didn’t want to wait until they came into the picture for us to feel like a ‘real’ family.
Over the past year we’ve found family in amazing friends and our incredible support circle. Though we live in small, a one bedroom apartment, we enjoy having these people over- packed on our four seater couch and gathered around our small dining room table. We have an air mattress on hand and a pretty comfy couch for overnight guests. We both agreed was that it would be amazing to start a tradition that we could carry on for years to come and I think it will be beautiful to share the story of where it all began, years later as we gather around a dinner table large enough to occupy all our guests. Or vacationing in our holiday home with all our friends and their own families.
Having family traditions was something that I had always valued growing up and wanted for my own family when I started one. When I was young, my parents took my sister and I to a cottage by a lake where we would stay for the weekend every Christmas. We’d go out on a boat on the lake and I would be armoured up in my life jacket. I was terrified of the water but secretly loved it deep down inside.
Looking back at it now, I understand the value of those rituals as family members have passed on and dynamics have shifted. The experiences, the connections, the memories.