My favorite Thanksgiving memory is from my childhood. My entire extended family got together to celebrate the holiday at my Aunt Kay and Uncle Ted’s house.
That afternoon, a huge snow storm rolled through our area and everybody had to spend the night. I’ll admit the house was crowded, but it was really fun being around all five of my cousins.
The next morning, after breakfast, my cousins and I were playing a game where we took turns punching each other’s shoulders. I guess the game had got pretty loud because my Uncle Ted came in from the other room and shouted, “If you don’t stop this in the next 30 seconds, everybody is going to separate rooms!” Two seconds after Uncle Ted yelled at us, my cousin Paul gave my Uncle Ted the finger behind his back. This made us start to giggle. The giggling just made Uncle Ted angrier, but right as he was about to explode, the doorbell rang. Uncle Ted left to go answer the door.
I don’t know why, but we all followed my Uncle Ted to the front door. When he opened the door, two kids from the poor neighborhood were standing on the steps. They told Uncle Ted they were going around to houses on the block shoveling driveways to make some extra money. Uncle Ted thanked the poor kids, but told them he didn’t need any help. After he shut the door, my Uncle Ted looked at all of the kids and called us “lazy brats.”
As you might imagine, we were pretty embarrassed to be called “lazy brats.” It also made us kind of mad. So much so, that we stopped punching each other, got dressed and went outside.
Ten minutes later, when we were all outside, my cousins and I were able to track down those two poor kids on the next block over. When they saw us, my older cousin Tommy yelled, “Nobody wants you in this neighborhood dirt bags!” and all of the cousins laughed. I followed Tommy’s lead by shouting, “Get the fuck out of here!” That got a pretty good laugh too which made me feel great.
To make a long story short, we ended up taking the shovels from those poor kids and chasing them back to their own neighborhood.
Now that I’m older, when I look back on that snowy Thanksgiving, I always get a good feeling because not a lot of people can say their cousins always stick together.