I think the “holiday season” is officially here.  Those weeks when all thoughts turn toward Christmas..and to Thanksgiving as well.  Although, admittedly, Thanksgiving does not demand our attention nearly as much as Christmas.  But, I really like Thanksgiving.  I refuse to rush past this holiday…and, so, here’s to a very random mix of Thanksgiving memories.
1 – In an effort to give Thanksgiving its full attention (when the kids were younger), we never put up a tree – or any other Christmas decorations – until after December 6th.  My husband’s birthday is on the 6th so we celebrated that day as well and, then, we would jump all in with our Christmas spirit.  That said, we have plans this year to put up our tree on Thanksgiving night.  This will be a first for us.  Whether we like it or not remains to be seen.
2 – When I was a girl, Thanksgiving always meant a road trip to Charlotte, NC.  This is where my mom’s family lived.  My grandmother and several of my mom’s aunts – all of whom were amazing southern cooks.  The food was amazing and there was always enough for everyone gathered.  And ten to fifteen more.  So much food and all of it beyond delicious, but the highlight was always Aunt Wilma’s feather biscuits!
3 – The kids always sat at the “kids’ table” in the living room.  The kids’ table was typically a square card table and a few extra TV tray-type tables.  We didn’t care.  We just loved eating “by ourselves” without the adults.  Well, except for Uncle Rob.  I only remember Uncle Rob as very wrinkled – aka old.  I’m sure he was young at some point but I don’t remember it.  He was also a man of few (very few) words and I think the adult conversation (lots of women) was definitely not his idea of a fun time.  He always joined us kids in the living room.  We loved it!
4 – One reason (probably the main reason) we enjoyed being separated from the adults….was that I grew up during a time (or maybe it was just both sides of my family) when children were to be “seen and not heard.”  At least at the dinner table.  Meals could get long.  And boring.  Having our own table and being able to talk all we wanted was a holiday all by itself!
5 – Thanksgiving meant turkey.  I do not ever remember ham at Thanksgiving.  My dad would eat absolutely anything my mom made (she was an amazing cook herself – having learned from some of the best) but he (absolutely) would not eat ham.  Not at Thanksgiving or at any meal.  I remember this being a bit of a big deal….but I am not exactly sure why?!
6 – When our daughter was 14 months, we celebrated Thanksgiving just the three of us.  I do not remember exactly why but I assume my parents went to visit my brother.  Just guessing.  However, it snowed over a foot which was very unusual.  For some reason, I can remember that Thanksgiving as clearly as if it were yesterday.  Sweet little Emily in her pink snowsuit and the snow almost to her waist.  After we had our dinner (I am NOT an amazing cook and missed that gene), we went to the local nursing home in order to visit.  All of the residents were just in love with our redheaded peanut!:)
7 – When our kiddos were young, we (again) spent every Thanksgiving going to Charlotte…..but now to my parent’s home!  They had a beautiful home and lots of elbow room.  My dad always seemed to have the latest electronic or fun entertainment.  As far as I can remember, the weather was always wonderful in southern North Carolina in November.  Not too hot but not chilly.  Perfect for walks, backyard football games, or anything outside after an enormous meal! The weather was also perfect for the annual Thanksgiving parade downtown.  Well, actually, in Charlotte, it is called uptown.  Go figure.  They had an amazing parade every year.  I wonder if that is still a thing!?!
8 – One year when my nephew was just a baby (so a little over 20 years ago), we were all gathering at my uncle’s farm for Thanksgiving.  My brother was in Kazakstan.  He was living there at the time and his son was born there.  When they got to the airport in order to fly to the states, something was “missing” (I honestly do not remember the details) with the baby’s papers and they would not let them leave the country.  It became a bit of a nightmare and, at one point, we were even making calls to our congressmen for help.  I wish I could remember exactly how it got settled.  I know they missed dinner:) and it was one of our more memorable Thanksgiving.
9 – My grandmother (not the one in Charlotte) passed away, very unexpectedly, one year at Thanksgiving.  Our youngest was a newborn and we were actually going there for Thanksgiving so she could meet the newest baby.  No, not exactly a great memory but one that always comes to mind when I consider Thanksgiving.  When we arrived, she had been cooking and preparing for days already and the makings of a wonderful meal were already in the refrigerator.  Her last labor of love.  That’s what Thanksgiving meals truly are – a lot of work but certainly labors of love!!
10 – One Thanksgiving when our children were a bit older, we went out to dinner for Thanksgiving.  We went to a high-end hotel.  Not only was it decorated beautifully for the holiday but the dinner spread was enormous as well as unique.  More than anything my children had ever enjoyed.  There was music, professional family photographs, and just a wonderful time.  We were hooked and began going there every year.  Often, we would invite others to join us and we honestly have the best memories of Thanksgiving dinners there.  I never really planned or even envisioned eating “out” as our Thanksgiving tradition but it has, indeed, become just that.  And we love it!
I am linking up here…sharing Thanksgiving memories – but would love to know one of your favorite memories for this special holiday.  Let me know in the comments…and happy Friday to each of you!!

8 Replies to “Memories from Thanksgiving”

  1. You have some great Thanksgiving memories! Thanks for sharing them. It is interesting how traditions get started… and then end when new ones begin. When I was growing up, we didn’t put our Christmas tree up until December either. I don’t remember anyone decorating for Christmas before Thanksgiving. I think decorating early and so over the top (I’m fairly guilty of this so not trying to sound “above it”) became more of a thing with the popularity of social media. We can show others our beautifully decorated spaces and we do. As decorations have become extensive, it kind of makes sense to put them up earlier since it’s time consuming to do. Just my two cents on the Christmas decorating before Thanksgiving phenomenon. Though, I will cut myself (and everyone in my town!) some slack because out town has a fun, “Christmas in Springboro” festival the weekend BEFORE Thanksgiving. So, it seems on town trend to have at least some decorations/ lights up by Thanksgiving ;). Have a great weekend!

    1. Well, we are about to “join the trend”….not sure how long we will be trendy but you never know!!? Hope you have a great weekend ahead….and I think a town festival sounds ideal!!

  2. wow. you’re taking me down memory lane this morning, Jennifer. those were the days.
    the holidays are much different in this season of life. simpler, quieter, more reflective. i’m grateful for the legacy and the memories from the past. but i’m happy to be present right where i am right now. God is good.

  3. I have to know.. what are feather biscuits?! You have so many wonderful Thanksgiving memories! We used to travel to North Carolina to see my aunt but usually more around Christmas time (I think??– I definitely remember a tree being up but I don’t really remember gifts so maybe not..) anyway the weather in Wilmington was always beautiful!

    1. Hmmm – I will have to think about how to describe feather biscuits. Incredibly light, fluffy, and delicious yeast rolls. No one has been able to duplicate them since my aunt passed away. Not sure what her secret was…but they were everyone’s favorite!

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