>> thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is one of my two favorite holidays. There's something special about the tradition of 20+ people all gathered together, eating elbow-to-elbow at tablecloth-clad card tables in Nanny's little house. There's laughter, lots of catching up, a spirit of gratitude in the air, and, of course, pie. Fine, I'll say it: it's really all about the pie.

As usual, our Thanksgiving festivities were divided between two different days. We spent the actual day with my in-laws, but something out of the ordinary for us was that my sister and niece Molly got to come along too since my brother-in-law worked all day. I was a proud auntie getting to introduce Molly to everyone, and my sister just fit right in.

Big family gatherings weren't something I grew up with, so marrying into such traditions has been a blessing. I know for sure that I want my future kids to know what it's like to regularly visit extended family and celebrate holidays together.

 On Friday, a few of us siblings got together for what I'm referring to as "sibs-giving" at my sister's house. We enjoyed another full spread of traditional Thanksgiving food and took turns holding my sweet niece. We missed celebrating with my brother and his family as well as with my parents this year, but the holiday was still full of special memories and blessings.

Now I'm flipping the switch in my mind from Thanksgiving to Christmas. Tomorrow I plan on dragging out the tree and decking the halls. According to Facebook, most people have already decorated for Christmas -- like, weeks ago -- but I'm pretty set in my tradition of holding off until the weekend after Thanksgiving.

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