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FAMILY, CHAOS, AND SWEET POTATO SOUFFLE BRINGING OLD AND NEW TRADITIONS TOGETHER
As millions of people around the country start preparing for a great holiday filled with gratitude, family time, and delicious turkey, I figured it would be a great time to reflect on all the fantastic Thanksgiving memories I’ve cultivated with my own family. Some people dread big holiday celebrations in rooms filled to the brim with people, noise, and chaos, but to me, that’s what Thanksgiving is all about. For as long as I can remember, my family and I would load up in our car and drive to my mom’s brother’s house outside of Philadelphia on the last Thursday in November. When we’d arrive, the house would already be full of aunts, uncles, and cousins, all of whom looked forward to this day just as much as I did. As a kid, I especially looked forward to spending the day roughhousing with my cousins, who were near the same age as me. We would scarf down our Thanksgiving meal and spend the entirety of the day outside banging basketballs against the side of the house and tackling each other in the mud. If we didn’t walk away from
the holiday with a full stomach and a handful of bumps and bruises, it wasn’t a real Thanksgiving. While hanging out with my cousins was always my favorite aspect of Thanksgiving, my mom’s sweet potato souffle was definitely a close second. It was one of those dishes that came to symbolize Thanksgiving for the whole family, and we begged her to make it every year. I can’t say that it was the healthiest option, but that seems to be the case with all the best dishes. “SOME PEOPLE DREAD BIG HOLIDAY CELEBRATIONS IN ROOMS FILLED TO THE BRIM WITH PEOPLE, NOISE, AND CHAOS, BUT TO ME, THAT’S WHAT THANKSGIVING IS ALL ABOUT.” Although I’ve had the opportunity to participate in the same great Thanksgiving tradition for as long as I can remember, I am excited to try out a different tradition for the first time this year. My girlfriend Bridgette and I have been together for four years, and, while she joined me and my family for Thanksgiving last year, this year, we will be celebrating the holiday with her
parents in their home in Wilmington, NC. Her parents spent the last 25 years of their lives in Ramsey, NJ, so when they moved to Wilmington — which is only two hours away from us — we couldn’t pass up an opportunity to help them host their first Thanksgiving feast in their new home. While nothing can replace the memories you make during the holidays as a kid, one of the best parts of adulthood is finding a way to amalgamate past traditions with new ones. In this way, I’m so thankful to Bridgette and her parents for bringing me in on their own family traditions. They have been so warm and welcoming and have always made me feel like I’m part of the family. And that’s what the holidays are really about after all. While the outdoor games and the tasty food are definite perks, the best part of Thanksgiving genuinely is being with family.
From my family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving!
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