Favorite Holiday Traditions – Brad Beskin

For this year’s Thanksgiving blog series, we decided to ask the Central Office staff to tell us about their favorite holiday traditions. Each day this week, you’ll hear from someone on staff and find out what each of us like the most about the holiday season, and hopefully you’ll let us know your favorite traditions as well.

Next up is Assistant Executive Director Brad Beskin.

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Every year, my father’s family gathers at his house for Thanksgiving.  It’s a large gathering, which means my father is always in rare form.  “BRAD!  Stir something or get the hell out of my kitchen!  No, in fact, make yourself useful and pour your aunt another cocktail!”  It’s always fun, especially with the arrival of my cousin’s two daughters who steal the spotlight…even from me.  This tells you just how cute they are.

Many of you know of my love affair with food, so you know that Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays.  I don’t binge eat like some, but I adore the variety it offers.  And the Beskins know how to cook.  We get much of our skills from my Grandmother, Jane.  Some of my earliest memories involve food at her house.  And while the younger generations assumed control of most of the cooking for Turkey Day, she always provided minced ham for hors d’oeuvre and a fruit aspic for dessert…two of my favorite things on the planet.

We lost my Grandmother this month.  She missed her 92nd birthday by less than a week.  There will be an empty seat at our table this year.  The minced ham is now my responsibility, the aspic my cousin’s.

In the true spirit of Thanksgiving, I’m thankful for my Grandmother, all she taught me, and all we shared together.  I’m proud of my family and its strength, especially that shown by my dad and my uncles in the last two weeks.  I’m glad to be gathering with them, my sister, and my cousins this weekend.  We’ll miss my Grandmother, and while she’ll never be replaced, our family continues to grow.  We’ll welcome new members of the family to our table, support our youngest as they grow, and honor the legacy she created with my Grandfather…one of 92 years, three strong sons, many grandchildren (like me), and two beautiful great granddaughters.  And I promise to do the minced ham justice…I’ve been researching and practicing all week.

To tie it back to Chi Psi, Thanksgiving always makes me think about this:  In each educational program I run, we start by talking about Chi Psi values.  Every time, an undergraduate describes his Chi Psi “family” and refers to it as his “home away from home.”  Try it for yourself; you’ll see that it’s a pervasive theme across our Alphas.  Every Thanksgiving, I’m proud of our organization for providing a home away from home for our young men.  I’m proud of the support our men show for each other and grateful for the support that’s been shown to me.  Every Thanksgiving, I’m proud of our Family of Gentlemen!

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