What a Traditional Thanksgiving Means to Me

What a Traditional Thanksgiving Means to Me

Thanksgiving is a time to gather with family and friends to give thanks for one another and celebrate the bounty of the season. That bounty usually includes a lot of food, a lot of football and a tryptophan-induced nap, which sometimes is in preparation for black Friday or, now, even Thanksgiving night shopping. Since moving to Long Island five years ago I spend Thanksgiving with my husband’s family, which means my former tradition of catching an after dinner movie with my dad is no longer; however, since taking up residence in East Northport I started another tradition with an activity I enjoy almost as often (and as much) as going to the movies: running a 5k. Getting up early on Thanksgiving morning, lacing up my sneakers and bundling up in accordance to the weather is easier than you’d think, especially since I use the run to justify that second piece of pumpkin pie and fourth glass of wine. Running 3.1 miles hardly compensates for those calories, but on Thanksgiving it is okay to use these deceptive measures, and pants with an elastic waist, to lift the fork up for another (and another…and another) bite. The great thing about traditions is that they can start anytime. The key is sticking with them, even when it is easier to throw in the towel. Every year I am invited to run another local turkey trot or am tempted to stay in bed and lazily start the day, but I don’t give in. Traditions are also best when shared. Last year my husband, a former turkey trot spectator, donned his first race rib and ran/walked alongside me. Even if he never decides to join me again, I do not run alone. As I jog through Nissequogue River State Park I smile knowing I am sharing my tradition with my fellow runners and that together we give thanks for our health and celebrate the fallen leaves that surround us.