Our Family’s Gathering in Thanksgiving Day

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Thanksgiving arrived in November, as it always had historically. However, the Thanksgiving in 1999 stands out in my memory. Initially, I anticipated it would follow the usual tradition. The long wait for dinner, the consumption of the same dishes we had every Thanksgiving. A medley of vibrant vegetables, yams, stuffing, and a sizable, flavorful Tom turkey. And of course, the delectable desserts typically comprising apple and pumpkin pie.

After dinner, our usual routine was to gather around the television and watch the football games. Specifically, we eagerly followed the Detroit Lions as they took on either Green Bay, Minnesota, Dallas, or the Chicago Bears. These were the only teams they had faced on Thanksgiving Day since 1938. However, this year was a complete departure from our tradition.

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Since birth, my father has been a devoted Detroit Lions fan. On the Monday before Thanksgiving Day, he surprised us by quietly entering the living room and standing in front of the TV while we were watching. Right as my mom was about to request him to move, he handed each of us a white envelope. We excitedly tore open these envelopes like ravenous creatures pouncing on food.

The room was filled with astonishment and awe, as if a supernatural entity had appeared. I gathered the courage to break the silence and spoke a few words. To express my amazement, I exclaimed “Holy Shit!” which echoed throughout the house. My mother responded by giving me a disapproving smack on the leg. Inside the envelope was a plane ticket for Wednesday at 12pm, taking us to Detroit Michigan. Additionally, there was an intriguing silver and blue ticket that allowed us access into the famous Pontiac Silver Dome, where the Lions football team played. It struck me in that moment that we had never shown such immense admiration and reverence towards him before; he truly seemed divine.

As the days leading up to our departure approach, time seems to slow down. It feels like an eternity before we finally leave. My warm bed becomes a restless place as I lie awake, staring at the ceiling in disbelief of what is about to happen.

Finally, Tuesday turns into Wednesday and we start packing our bags, loading them into my father’s red GMC Jimmy. By 10:00 in the morning, we reach Orlando International Airport and check in our bags. Shortly after that, we board Continental Airlines Flight 54 bound for Detroit. I quickly locate my seat next to the window and eagerly wait for takeoff.

Upon reaching Detroit following a brief rest and meal, we were greeted by the sight of a stunning city on that delightful afternoon. The cold winter air echoed with the melodious songs of birds, adding to the charm. Everyone was filled with determination to make the most of our time in this place. Our destination, conveniently situated just five minutes away from the Lions cage, was the Holiday Inn. With great excitement for what lay ahead, we made an early decision to retire after dinner. Regrettably, sleep eluded me throughout that night. It felt reminiscent of my childhood days when anticipation for something special kept me awake as I tossed and turned due to anxiety.

The time came, the alarm clock buzzed at 9am and we started getting prepared for the big game. Dressed in blue and silver, we arrived in the parking lot of the Silver Dome, finally finding a spot in the large crowd to park. By then, it was nearing 11 am and my dad decided to set up the Weber grill and cook some shih kabobs with steak and potatoes. So, my brother and I left my mom and dad to enjoy the festivities outside the dome. We returned to the van just in time for a delicious meal. After enjoying our feast, we headed to the Silver Dome.

After satisfying our appetites like Thanksgiving feasts, we headed to the famous stadium. Opting for the north entrance, we located our seats in section 218 of the middle bowl. As the game began, I sensed the intense energy radiating from 80,000 passionate football fans, all rooting for their respective teams. It was incredible to realize that my family had now become part of a longstanding tradition. When the final quarter concluded, the scoreboard showed Lions 21 Bears 17. We all joyously celebrated as if we had triumphed in a grueling battle. Amidst the cacophony of high fives, hugs, and exuberant whistles from fellow spectators, I cherished this moment because I knew it might never occur again or at least not on Thanksgiving.

Reflecting on the past, I can only fondly recollect the incredible moments we had in Detroit.

Every small aspect is permanently etched in my mind, guaranteeing that I will always remember that journey,

for which I was immensely grateful. It took place during Thanksgiving in ’99.

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Our Family’s Gathering in Thanksgiving Day. (2023, Apr 12). Retrieved from


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