When I was 8, my grandfather brought three large turkey hats to Thanksgiving for my younger sister, cousin and me to celebrate with. The hats were so big that the turkey legs came to our shoulders, and our necks and heads were completely hidden. Adding to the hysterics were our muffled voices behind the thick, stuffed turkeys. Every year since, the ridiculous hats reemerge in conversation after everyone finishes their meals — everyone except for my Poppop, who takes his time savoring each bite, clearing each tasty dish, and quietly giggling at our absurd discussions.
I consider myself to come from a rather close-knit family, each of us valuing the precious time we spend together for various reasons — all of which don’t matter, for they keep us laughing, and make us feel as though no time has passed without each other at all. For as long as I can remember, we’ve had a holiday routine: my mother always cooks the most incredible meals, my Mimi keeps everyone chatting throughout the duration of her visit, my younger sisters entertain us with their goofy observations/comments, I decorate our home floor to ceiling while my dad decorates the exterior of the house, Poppop watches his golf and plays cards with us, and Grandpa brings his beautifully selected and wrapped gifts.