The holidays always conjure up so many memories for me; Thanksgiving is no exception.
Thanksgiving was always a big deal when I was growing up. All of the family would gather at my parents house, including cousins, aunts and uncles and grandparents. Every year my mother would place a white tablecloth on the table and ask each person present to use a permanent marker and sign their name and the year. She would later embroider those signatures into the table-cloth so we could see who was there each year. We would set up five or six tables all over the house to accommodate everyone and each table was decorated and the good dishes and silverware were always used. Mom would wake up at five in the morning to make sure the turkey, which had been cooking all night, was moist and almost ready. I would wake up to the smell of my great-grandmothers dressing and my grandmothers apple cake.
My mouth is watering now thinking of all the goodies we would eat…cranbrosia, yams with tons of marshmallows, turkey and roast, and of course pumpkin pie! Every year we stuff ourselves on such deliciousness!
Every year for Thanksgiving, the women would set up the kitchen and ensure everything was cooked and ready to go. The men would turn on the television and start watching the game and the kids would play outside. We used to toss the football around, practice our “cheerleading” moves and play tag. After dinner we would gather around a table and play card games like Skip-bo or dice games like Yahtzee and just enjoy each others company.
Now, years later, things are slightly different for Thanksgiving. The women still fix and set out the dinner, the men still turn on the game and the kids still play, but instead of having 20 or more people, there are only our immediate family and maybe an extended or two. The kids are no longer playing tag and tossing a football, instead they are playing video games and watching movies.The table cloth no longer gets signed because the same people are here year after year. There are no card games after dinner, just sleepy faces and nap time (though I have to say, now that I am an adult, I like this change!).
I must say that I miss the days of old when we had all our family, extended and otherwise, with us for Thanksgiving. I miss the screaming kids, the laughter, the shouts when the football team made a touchdown or lost a pass. I miss having everyone around passing dishes piled high with more food than we could eat. But I am grateful still. Grateful that we still have most of our family on this earth. Grateful that we can still have family Thanksgivings with all the trimmings and eat until we are stuffed and then eat some more. I am grateful that my son will have some family traditions that he will look forward to. He will remember Mimi’s dressing, turkey and roast, cranbrosia, rolls and yams with marshmallows. He will remember playing with his cousins and his Uncle Moi while his stomach growled because the house smelled of great things to come. He will remember the men watching football when he is older and he’s on the couch with the game on. I am grateful that my son will have such fond memories of his family and will pass those down to his children.This post has been part of a blog carnival at Bridget Chumbley’s One Word at a Time. For more stories on “Gratitude”, please visit http://www.bridgetchumbley.com/2010/11/gratitude-blog-carnival/