Favorite Holiday Traditions – Sam Bessey

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 Executive Director Sam Bessey.


My favorite holiday tradition is Wednesday night of Thanksgiving week.  Back in college, this night was the night everyone was back home with nothing to do but hang out.  Many good stories from these nights.  Freshman year it provided a chance to touch base with high school friends – compare notes of how college was going – but as time went on, I found this night to be an extension of my Oregon experience, which tied college to home.  Mom’s deviled eggs were always a hit when my Bay Area Oregon friends would visit the city on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.  This day also gave me my first chance to meet my new best friends’ best friends.  The ones who went to other schools like Stanford and Brown who also got to come home for Thanksgiving and make a year’s worth of visits in one night.  Meeting these people made my college experience – and life since – immeasurably richer, and the Wednesday before Thanksgiving is where it all started.

This is a tradition that has a place during specific times in ones life.  These days, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving doesn’t look too different from from other Wednesdays.  But as the kids get older and – God willing – head off to college, I’ll be sure to get my visiting done Tuesday or Wednesday during the day.  I wouldn’t want to deprive them of the joyous confluence of college and home life that happens on the Wednesday night before turkey.   So I’ve got a while before I get to experience my favorite holiday tradition again in a new way through my kids.  Not sure I’ll make them eggs, but I hope Evelyn and Matthew bring their new and old friends by.  Until then, I will hope that today’s undergrads are enjoying this night as much as we did.  And, I’ll use watching Love Actually as a substitute favorite tradition in the meantime.



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