Thanksgiving Like No Other

Imagine: almost forty New York Italians all under one roof for 7 days.

Well that’s my family during Thanksgiving.

And yes, it’s exactly like what you’d imagine. Loud, crowded and there’s LOTS of food.

We all play cards every night, there’s dance parties, competitions and sometimes just chilling around the kitchen singing our family’s favorite songs.

It’s not your traditional Thanksgiving get-together, that’s for sure.

My dad is one of five siblings– and they all have kids.

And some of those kids have kids. And we all live in New York, Florida and everywhere in between. That being said, we don’t get to see each other very often. So thanksgiving is our one time a year that we all get to be together.

We definitely make the most of it.

We are such a big family that we have to rent houses that have at least 18 bedrooms (and even then we’re crowded) and we’re getting to the point where two refrigerators aren’t enough either.

We have payment plans for each family, committees for cooking, clean-up, entertainment etc. The menu for the week is made the year before. Assignments for gift exchanges come in the summer, and we start looking at houses for the 2020 reunion.

It runs like clockwork.

The one thing that gets me every time we spend Thanksgiving together is the overwhelming feeling of love and togetherness. We (almost) never argue and there’s always laughter and plenty of jokes going around.

That’s because there’s no time for that. If we all saw each other more often then it’d be a different story.

But here, there’s way to much catching up to do, dance parties to be had, cooking to be done and money to lose.

We even make a music video of our family every year. From “Hello” to “Bohemian Rhapsody” we’ve done all kinds of choreographed music videos thanks to iMovie and my very talented cousin (our music video director). Yes, we are THAT family.

We go so far as to not only celebrate Thanksgiving together, but the day after, we celebrate Christmas together with more food and gift exchanges; the whole nine yards.

Something that I always looked forward to when I was a kid was the italian food. We do the traditional Thanksgiving dinner with the turkey and stuffing, but for Christmas we do Italian food. Some of my aunts start cooking at 10 in the morning to be ready for Christmas dinner that night. And the same goes for Thanksgiving. There’s just way too much cooking to do to feed everyone.

Photo by Liz Hipes

But then there comes my least favorite day of the year. The Sunday after Thanksgiving. The day we all depart with hugs and kisses and “To be continued’s.”

This is the day I dread the most. We all go in our cars or catch our flights to go our separate ways.

Yes, my family is very loud, very extra and overwhelmingly Italian, but I wouldn’t change my crazy family for anything.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a payment due soon for next year’s Thanksgiving reunion.

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