In my house, I don’t consider Thanksgiving to be over until I’ve finished all the leftovers in the fridge: all the stuffing, all the potatoes, every scrap of turkey, and every piece of pie.


Now that my fridge only has deli meats and a pint of blueberries left, I can finally reflect on the joyous holiday binge and Top 10 lessons I learned about family dinners:

  1. I may sit in a center seat at the adult table, but I will always get the head seat at the kid table.

  2. There actually is such a thing as too much pie.

  3. Being old enough to drink with your family makes for a fun night.

  4. If you don’t give your relatives leftovers, you’ll have enough food for over a week.

  5. Being old enough to drink with your family makes them significantly more tolerable at awkward moments.

  6. Undoing your belt and pants really makes the holiday special.

  7. The fact that I gained seven pounds and didn’t split my pants is a miracle.

  8. Beer goes great with dessert too (even the sweetest of pies).

  9. Laughing does wonders, especially over childhood stories.

  10. Older relatives pull out their phones more often than the college kids.

Most importantly, however, I see how critical my family is to my overall development as an adult. Whether I learn what to do or not to do (depending on the holiday or year), I learn how to build and foster a loving relationship with the people I needed most as a child.

Though one could argue that Black Friday reigns as the king of Thanksgiving week, I can’t help but feel that a real, genuine Thanksgiving dinner and celebration are more important than any television or car deal. If I left the house early to buy the latest electronic device or to score a sweet deal on furniture, I would have missed out on conversations and laughs that help me define my relationships with my family. Any one of them could be gone tomorrow, and I luckily did not make a foolish decision to wait in line for several hours to fulfill my wish list. It’s so important that people build these relationships because of the impacts they can have on life—from as small as a personal level to as large as a world-wide phenomenon—because it helps us realize how and why we’re really human. I wouldn’t trade that for any 45” TV or premium leather coat any day.


Editor’s Note: Now that I think about it, there is NO SUCH THING as too much pie, especially if you aren’t afraid of falling into a diabetic coma.