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In our country Thanksgiving is a tradition. And yet, within that tradition lives millions of other traditions…each family’s individual patterns for that day…what they eat, what they talk about, who they spend time with, what they do afterwards.

I love our Thanksgiving tradition. We drive three hours north to spend a few precious days with family we don’t get to see enough. There’s the amazing food, the endless football, the Christmas movies we’ve been waiting all year to see…but really the best part is the talking, laughing and telling stories.

For example, as I sit here typing this…because there’s no holidays off from this commitment!…I’m also listening to the story of the night our niece arrived in this world almost three years ago. We’ve heard the story before but it’s so good it’s worth retelling…the iconic moments, the way the couple laughs or rolls their eyes at certain parts, the fact that the subject of the story is playing with LEGOs at our feet. Later, after we’ve eaten, we’ll sit around the living room talking, someone might strum a guitar, and more stories will come…and inevitably laughter.

I’m thankful for so much, but in this moment, as a writer pounding away at the keyboard anxious for my annual taste of turkey and finally being able to listen to Christmas music, I’m thankful for stories…the ones in our Thanksgiving tradition…the ones in our lives….the ones in my head.