Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose. I don't usually rely on my rusty French, but somehow, "the more it changes, the more the more it's the same thing" sounds better in French, and this aptly describes Thanksgiving at our house. We don't vary the menu (at least we haven't since our daughter-in-law Katrina joined the family which required adding regular mashed potatoes to the usual sweet potato casserole recipe I got from Cousin Judy many years ago). Same great food, served in the same bowls and platters, the same branches of bittersweet gracefully surrounding the candles, the same last minute scrambling to make sure everything gets to the table hot,.
Some things, however, do change because we change. We're all a year older, and it shows the most in the grandkids. When we went around the table to say what we are thankful for, almost-six-year-old Leo gave his thanks in Spanish and three-year-old Grady spoke in paragraphs rather than the two or three words strung together with his mother's help last year. The place cards, made on Thanksgiving morning by the kids, will grace all future Thanksgiving tables. For the first time I put fresh thyme in the stuffing, and it did not go un-noticed. So some things actually are different.
Around noon on Thanksgiving, with the turkey in the oven, we took our usual walk around the nearby reservoir, accompanied , as always, by a Nerf football. But this time, Leo and his dad decided to run ahead. We lost sight of them, and when they rejoined us, we realized that they had detoured to a just-off-the-path Dunkin' Donuts where they bought doughnuts and coffee for all. We sat on some rocks consuming multiple doughnuts as multiple passerbyers wondered why our family would be eating doughnuts right before turkey.
That was a change.
The other notable change came after the grandkids were in bed. Our three adult children, three open laptops, end of conversation.
Some changes are not the same thing.