We all had a memorable time at our 10th annual celebration of “Bransgiving” at Wyndham Mountain Vista in Branson, Missouri. Too often, people are bound by a date on the calendar or families argue about who went where for the last holiday. Our family has solved this issue by choosing a weekend that works for all and celebrating together in Branson. That frees the actual holiday. Our three children each get a three bedroom condo and fill it with whoever they choose to bring. Two widowed mother-in-law’s have been coming, and they thank us each year with tears in their eyes.

The Branson team has been wonderful to us. Each year, our rooms have all been close together and they deliver a long table for us to add to the dining area so no one has to eat at the coffee table or counter. If we forget a mixer or need a larger pan, they are so accommodating. They seem to really appreciate and enjoy what we are doing, too!

Many traditions have developed with a new one beginning each year. Some of these are as fun as going to Branson Landing to see the fountains after dinner, as silly as having the grandchildren’s pictures taken in front of the same Christmas tree each year, or as seemingly insignificant as bringing the same holiday decorations. This year, we replaced the trip to Silver Dollar City with an amazing visit to the Top of the Rock. We always bring photos of past “Bransgivings” and delight in watching how the children and grandchildren have grown up. Fearing that maybe this would get old, our greatest joy has been seeing how the entire family talks and looks forward to this special time together. It was our grandson who coined the term “Bransgiving.” He and his Dad made a plaque that we proudly display every year. Someday health, college or careers may prevent all of us from cherishing this time together, but the tradition of “Bransgiving” will always remain a big part of the Olson family history!”

Richard Olson