Thanksgivings Past

16 Nov

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

Posted by on November 16, 2010 in Uncategorized


13 responses to “Thanksgivings Past

  1. Lisa notes...

    November 16, 2010 at 10:37 am

    What a beautiful idea to sign the tablecloth. Hmm…I wonder if I could do something like this year and start a new tradition. Thanks for sharing your beautiful memories of Thanksgiving in the past and your Thanksgiving now.

    • apesydaisy

      November 16, 2010 at 10:41 am

      Glad I could help someone start a new tradition! Thanks for visiting.

  2. floyd

    November 16, 2010 at 11:51 am

    This was truly heart warming. Since you shared some pics of your family, I can almost see the setting, it doesn’t seem like it but it is perfect. As close as one can get this side of heaven.
    The picture of your dad, as you know stirred some personal memories for me. That post took me back down my memory lane to inspire my last post. With your new post I’m reminded that this will be my first ever Thanksgiving without my dad. Contrary to my last post this time will require I be strong for my mom.

    As always, thanks for writing from the center of your heart.

    • apesydaisy

      November 16, 2010 at 11:54 am

      Floyd, your reply touched my heart. i will be thinking of you on Thanksgiving as I can only imagine what it would be like to not have my dad there. You will be strong for your mom, I know, but you will be in my prayers.

      • floyd

        November 16, 2010 at 1:37 pm

        Thanks April, truly for my family and me Thanks. I couldn’t ask for more from anyone.

  3. Jason

    November 16, 2010 at 2:01 pm

    I like the signing the tablecloth. That’s a cool way to remember each year.

    • apesydaisy

      November 16, 2010 at 2:07 pm

      Thanks Jason. We wish we had more family members coming so we could start it up again, but as it is, it would be the same 10 names each year for 10 years if we did it now.

  4. Hazel I. Moon

    November 16, 2010 at 4:54 pm

    My grandparents did not have a long enough table, so Grandpa got out some saw horses and a plank of wood for us all to get around for our dinner. Now when our family comes to our house, we have the folding tables, and we enjoy the food and the day. God is good and greatly to be praised.

  5. Bridget

    November 19, 2010 at 10:47 pm

    I love that tablecloth idea! Your description of Thanksgiving’s past made me smile, and made my mouth water a little too. Thank you!

    • apesydaisy

      November 22, 2010 at 7:35 am

      Thanks Bridget! I know, as soon as I started writing I was hungry!

  6. Joanne Norton

    November 22, 2010 at 7:07 pm

    Some of your family T-giving events were wonderful! The tablecloth, the games, the wonderful dishes, the family fun. What a treat! And what a blessing that you are hoping that it will go forward to the next generation(s), even as our society has changed.

    You expressed it beautifully.

    • apesydaisy

      November 23, 2010 at 7:30 am

      I love passing down traditions from one generation to the next, especially where the holidays are concerned! 🙂


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