Evolving Traditions: Thanksgiving
Time goes on. Things change. Traditions evolve. Whether you like it or not, things you once knew as a constant will no longer be. This applies to a lot of things, but some are harder to take than others. As is with the Caselli family tradition on Thanksgiving.
As long as I can remember, my family would pack up our things and drive 3 hours west to a small California beach town called Santa Cruz. Known for it’s awesome Beach boardwalk and incredible surfing, Santa Cruz is located on the west coast of California. It has long beaches and an endless amount of it’s own unique hippie culture. We would look forward to it for weeks in advance, and would always think the three hour drive was way too long.
Every year my grandparents would rent a house for a week right on the beach. All the Caselli’s would attend including my Grandma and Grandpa, my Uncle Mike and Aunt Nancy and their three kids Stephen, Bryan and Lisa, My Uncle Jim and Aunt Julie and their two kids Matthew and Alex, and of coarse my brother Tony, my sister Anna and my parents. It was a big group in a big house. We loved it.
We would do the normal Thanksgiving things like go to the movies and eat Turkey and lounge around the house talking in the awesome views from the multiple balconies looking over the water. We would watch the sunset every night, and we would go play football on the beach even though it was too cold. Then, before we would make our annual trip to the Beach Boardwalk (which is just a year round carnival right on the beach in downtown Santa Cruz) all the grand kids would line up to receive their 10 dollars from Grandpa. The memories are great and I will never forget them.
But as I mentioned things change. I think for the Caselli’s traditions die very hard. Three years ago Grandpa Caselli hit 90 years old and moved into a Senior Living Facility. Years before that, it become harder and harder on him to make the trip, so we decided to put Thanksgiving in Santa Cruz on hold for a little while. It wasn’t easy to swallow (especially for Grandpa). I can’t say the grand kids didn’t have a part in postponing the tradition, as I now live in Georgia and Stephen and Bryan now live in Southern California. We all have grown up and are developing our own lives along with our own traditions.
Things change. Traditions evolve. Old traditions are changed and become something completely new. I now have a new extension to my family with the addition to my wife Priscilla’s family in Beaufort, South Carolina and Jacksonville, Florida. We spent our Thanksgiving in Beaufort at Priscilla’s parent’s house. Also right on the water, Beaufort is a small town with a large Southern influence. This new Thanksgiving is not what I’m used to, but is something I am embracing as a new tradition. But as I will never forget my times in Santa Cruz, I will not see it as a new tradition, but only as a tradition evolved.