‘A Traditional Thanksgiving’

Alisa was fitting the brown paper tail of her Thanksgiving turkey into the pine cone when her mother put down the phone and said, “Your Aunt Sylvia and Uncle Ed are coming to visit. Ed has business out here for a few days.”

“That means Kristi will be coming!” Alisa ran to her mom and hugged her. Kristi was her favorite cousin. She taught her how to do French braids and how to make S’mores in the microwave. She was fantastic!

“So they’ll be here for Thanksgiving?” she asked.

“No, the weekend before Thanksgiving.”


Alisa frowned. “If it were Thanksgiving, everybody could visit with everybody!”

“I’m sorry, Alisa, I can’t change the calendar.”

“How about having Thanksgiving a week early, with turkey, dressing, pumpkin pies and everything?”

“That’s untraditional, Alisa. What would the rest of the family say? Uncle Brian is so old-fashioned, and Aunt Darlene is worse.”


“Maybe if you called them, Mom, you could get them to change their minds.”

“What? Call the whole family? I don’t have the time to convince all those people to change the date for our Thanksgiving gathering.”

“OK, Mom. I’ll call them then.”

“All right. I’ll go along with it if you can get everyone to agree. Good luck!”

Alisa called everybody the next day. Uncle George wasn’t home, so she left a message. Cousin Tammy said, “That’s great! We were wanting to see them.”

Then Alisa called Uncle Brian and Aunt Darlene. Her uncle answered the phone.

“That’s ridiculous!” he said. “It wouldn’t be a real Thanksgiving.”

“But, Uncle Brian, they couldn’t see everyone otherwise and Thanksgiving is such a great holiday!”


“No,” he barked and hung up.

That evening Alisa told her mom what happened. “You were right about Uncle Brian saying no. And he wasn’t even nice about it.”

But then the phone rang and Alisa picked it up. It was Aunt Darlene. “Alisa, your idea is wonderful. Brian didn’t talk to me first before he refused. He was just feeling grumpy. I told him President Roosevelt changed the date of Thanksgiving and we can too. We’ll be there with bells on.”

“With your famous orange pecan sweet potatoes?”

“You bet!”

Alisa smiled. “They are all coming!” Then she added, “Thanksgiving is a day of giving thanks, isn’t it, Mom?”

“It sure is.”

“Then we will all give thanks for being able to see Aunt Sylvia, Uncle Ed and Kristi after two whole years.”


Author’s note: Changing the date for Thanksgiving is more traditional than Alisa’s family might think.In 1863, President Lincoln made it a legal holiday to be celebrated on the last Thursday of November. In 1939, President Franklin D. Roosevelt changed it to the third Thursday so the holiday would not fall so close to Christmas. Congress passed a resolution in 1941 that changed it to the fourth Thursday in November, and that’s when we celebrate it today!