As long as I can remember, there have been traditions in my life at the holidays. Thanksgiving was no different. Whether we went to grandma’s house or stayed home for Thanksgiving, my mom would get up before the rooster (so to speak) and begin getting the turkey ready for the oven.
While it was cooking, other parts of our Thanksgiving Day would begin. Daddy would usually get up, have coffee and read the paper. We would have a small breakfast, unless we were at grandmas because she always cooked a lot of food, and have idle chitchat in the kitchen until mom would run us out.
We would turn on TV and watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. One of my fondest memories of Thanksgiving Day was waiting to see what the new floats of the year were and wondering which of the old ones would come back. I think the parade was always my favorite thing to watch on Thanksgiving Day.
Mom would start on the sides mashed potatoes always a must, gravy from the bird drippings, veggies of some sort, cranberries shaped like the can (of course), relish tray consisting of carrots, celery, pickles, broccoli, ranch dressing, olives and deviled eggs, which I inevitably tried to sneak when mom wasn’t looking, then stuffing and brown and serve dinner rolls.
Then the marvelous moment would occur and mom would take the beautiful delicious smelling brown bird out of the oven. It was the best smell ever. The bird would rest on the counter taunting us while we dressed the table and put the rest of the food out, saving the middle of the table for the bird of course.
Dad would bring the bird to the table and begin carving and then we commenced feasting on the wonderful food mom had made. We would eat and talk telling each other, what we were thankful for and what we hoped to be thankful for in the future.
Desserts in my home were pumpkin pie and apple pie and pecan pie all with vanilla ice cream, unless you are like me and like a big slice of cheddar melted over your apple pie. My dad would always have “just a sliver” of each.
These days with my own family, I still hold many of the traditions my mom and grandmother had. We still watch the parade every year, along with football because my Hubby likes football. I still make way too much food.
Although I have changed a few dishes added some different food, the core value of the tradition for me is family. No matter what is on the table, feasting on the love of your family and the time you get to spend together is the very best feeling in the whole world.