Hands down…Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I like it even more than Christmas. Don’t get me wrong, Christmas is right up there as my favorite time of year, but I love the cozy comfiness that is Thanksgiving Day and the downtime for family to just hang out and eat lots of turkey and stuffing and not worry about how it is going to affect our waistline.
Thanksgiving is the day to reflect and be thankful for all that we have. It is also the day that the holiday season officially starts. It is WIN/WIN all around.
But Thanksgiving is even a little bit more…celebrating Thanksgiving Day is about traditions.
Family, food, and TRADITIONS! Every family has their own traditions that carry on throughout the years and my family is no different.
Thanksgiving at my house is set into a mold from which we rarely deviate. It would not feel like Thanksgiving if we did.
I am always striving to share more personal things with you all, so I thought I’d share a few snaps of my Thanksgiving day.
Thanksgiving is not Thanksgiving at my house without waking up in time to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. I have not missed it since I was a child. In 1979 I was actually in the parade. Growing up, my sisters and I would stay in our pj’s and watch. We loved the balloons and Bullwinkle was our fave. We were sad when they had to retire him back in the 80’s. The Rockettes make me smile every year and wish I had legs like theirs :-)
Now I watch from the kitchen TV while Ed and I get food prepared. My daughters help when the commercials come on.
The year I was in the parade, I had only 25 minutes from the time I reached the end of the parade route at Herald Square to quickly change out of my costume, grab my packed bags from my employee locker at Macy’s, and set out to Penn Station in a full-out sprint to catch the last train of the day to Philadelphia. There was NO way I was going miss spending Thanksgiving day with my family.
In the afternoon the day is all about football and this year we are excited because the Philadelphia Eagles will be playing. We bake brie with Pillsbury Crescent Rolls and gobble it up while we watch.
On the table there will be turkey and my stuffing carefully prepared from my Mom’s recipe. These are what everyone favors, but there will be string bean casserole, mashed potatoes with gravy, and creamed corn. For dessert – pumpkin pie made with a hubbard squash. I have tried different recipes over the years, but the tried and true recipes always win out in my house.
After dinner, my sisters always do the dishes and help box up the leftovers for everyone to take home. After the kitchen is cleaned up and is officially closed for the day, we gather in the family room in front of the fireplace and TV to watch Home Alone. There is always a big discussion if we should watch the the first Home Alone or Home Alone 2. A few of us usually fall asleep on the floor. When the movie ends, everyone goes home and we go to bed.
The day won’t be perfect. The food may not be timed to all come out of the oven at the same time. Some things will get cold and have to be microwaved. Dinner rolls will be forgotten in the oven until we smell them burning. Someone will spill their drink – the table setting may have some paper plates on it, the pies may not look Pinterest-perfect, but they will be delicious with whipped creme and seconds will be asked for. The oven may decide to stop working when you place the turkey in so you have to cut the raw turkey and cook it on the stove top. (Yes, it really happened one year and Ed was the brave soul that dissected the raw turkey so it could be cooked)
These are the stories that create the “remember-whens” that are what the holidays spent with family are all about. At the time it may seem like a disaster, but depending on what it is, it may even become a new tradition that will be carried on for years to come.
Some families may polish the silver, others may not. Some may eat in front of the TV watching football, others may have a formal sit down dinner at 5PM, while others eat at noon and enjoy the sleep inducing effect of L-tryptophan in the turkey and fall asleep on the sofa while watching football.
Whatever your Thanksgiving traditions are, they are more important than making everything picture perfect. Enjoy every detail and minute of each one. They are what make the day what it is.
I am so thankful for my family and friends and the traditions that make the holiday so special. I am thankful that this little blog of mine has brought so much richness to my life. I am so thankful for each and every one of you.
I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with rich traditions you share with the people you love all around you!