Thanksgiving is a traditional celebration of thanks, for food, for family, for community, that dates back to the first Thanksgiving in Massachusetts. For many families, the day is celebrated pretty much the same every year.
My own experience isn't traditional. I moved far away from home for college and have spent at least half of my Thanksgivings at friends' houses, or working the holiday for various newspapers. Every Thanksgiving was a little different.
I've had traditional Italian Thanksgiving meals in Michigan, with five or six separate courses, all ending with anisette. And southern-style Thanksgivings in Athens, GA, and in Atlanta and Jacksonville, FL, complete with okra, greens, cornbread stuffing and pecan pie. I learned to cook in my 20s, so brought some of these dishes back to New England with me when I came back home. (not the okra)
For a long time, my mother hosted the dinner on the Cape, then in Rhode Island. Then it switched to my sister in Providence. More recently, my sister-in-law in Narragansett, has taken over the hosting, with a larger table for extended family members. We all bring something to share, meal than it has been in the past, which I like. My sister-in-law is Swedish, so her culture now figures in to the dinner.
What are your traditions at Thanksgiving? Are they like my family's, changing through the years, or is it a dinner at the grandparents every year? And what makes the traditon? Please share your traditons.