An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving
Families grow and some move away causing old fashioned Thanksgiving traditions that were once held dear to wane. Much missed are relatives both near and far gathering for Thanksgiving dinner.
Poppy was telling me over dinner tonight on how he misses the times when he and his four siblings, along with their parents, aunts, uncles, and cousins too, all gathered at his grandparents’ farm for family get-togethers – not just for holidays – but throughout the year. As time passed and they and their cousins had families of their own, the closeness they had enjoyed drifted away.
The sense of extended family, which was once an integral part of a his family traditions, has been forgotten. It is a tradition that we hope to keep alive for our children and grandchildren as long as we are able. And, hopefully, they will continue this old-fashioned tradition of gathering together and staying close when we are gone. The Thanksgiving poem, The Old Fashioned Thanksgiving, expresses my husband’s sentiments about those family gatherings of his youth.
The Old Fashioned Thanksgiving, a poem
(Edgar Albert Guest, 1881-1959)
It may be I am getting old and like too much to dwell
Upon the days of bygone years, the days I loved so well;
But thinking of them now I wish somehow that I could know
A simple old fashioned Thanksgiving Day, like those of long ago,
When all the family gathered round a table richly spread,
With little Jamie at the foot and grandpa at the head,
The youngest of us all to greet the oldest with a smile,
With mother running in and out and laughing all the while.
It may be I’m old fashioned, but it seems to me today
We’re too much bent on having fun to take the time to pray;
Each little family grows up with fashions of its own;
It lives within a world itself and wants to be alone.
It has its special pleasures, its circle, too, of friends;
There are no get-together days; each one his journey wends,
Pursuing what he likes the best in his particular way,
Letting the others do the same upon Thanksgiving Day.
I like the olden way the best, when relatives were glad
To meet the way they used to do when I was but a lad;
The old home was a rendezvous for all our kith and kin,
And whether living far or near they all came trooping in
With shouts of “Hello, daddy!” as they fairly stormed the place
And made a rush for mother, who would stop to wipe her face
Upon her gingham apron before she kissed them all,
Hugging them proudly to her breast, the grownups and the small.
Then laughter rang throughout the home, and, Oh, the jokes they told;
From Boston, Frank brought new ones, but father sprang the old;
All afternoon we chatted, telling what we hoped to do,
The struggles we were making and the hardships we’d gone through;
We gathered round the fireside. How fast the hours would fly–
It seemed before we’d settled down ’twas time to say good-bye.
Those were the glad Thanksgivings, the old-time families knew
When relatives could still be friends and every heart was true.
May you and your family enjoy an old fashioned Thanksgiving Day!