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THE MAGIC OF THANKSGIVING FOOTBALL, FOOD, AND FAMILY
Well, it certainly is feeling and looking a lot more like fall. I’m sure many of our readers are making plans for the holidays — whether that means visiting with family here in Illinois or traveling farther afield. I, for one, can’t wait for the turkey, stuffing, and “day- after” sandwiches that come with Thanksgiving. Like a lot of couples, Emilie and I alternate whose family we visit for each holiday. Last November, we hosted Emilie’s family for Thanksgiving. So this year, we’ll head to my aunt’s house for the big feast. While dinners with my side of the family usually feature a lot of food and even more people, they’ve become really laid-back in recent years. When I was young, my grandma used to have us all over to her house for Thanksgiving. The kitchen was too small to seat everyone, so she would break out the card tables and turn her living room into a makeshift banquet hall. Was it crowded and chaotic?
“WHILE WE AREN’T ALL CRAMMED AROUND CARD TABLES ANYMORE, THESE FAMILY GATHERINGS HAVE STILL RETAINED THEIR MAGIC.” These days, things don’t feel as crowded. Relatives have moved, cousins have grown up and tend to spend the holidays with their own families, and my aunt’s house has a lot more room than Sure. But with great food, family, and football on the TV, what’s not to like? Grandma’s. But we still have the same great food and same strong familial bonds. You can bet we’ll watch the Bears versus Lions game that morning too. Don’t get me wrong — Ulmer Thanksgivings are still pretty large. My sons’ favorite parts of the turkey are the drumsticks, and
when we celebrate Thanksgiving with Emilie’s family, they normally go uncontested. But Zach and Nathan will have to act pretty quickly if they want to snag a large drumstick for themselves this year. While we aren’t all crammed around card tables anymore, these family gatherings have still retained their magic. Even when your loved ones live close to home, it’s great to have a day dedicated to breaking bread together and enjoying each other’s company. It’s rare that we get an opportunity to slow down and appreciate our loved ones. Our family has had some health scares this year, which makes it all the more important to treasure our time together, and there’s no time like the holidays to take stock of what’s changed over the past year and reflect on the impact our relatives have had on us. So, whether your family is big or small, near or far, I hope you have a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving. –Mike Ulmer
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