Local Families Share Their Beloved Thanksgiving Traditions and Sweet Memories
My favorite holiday is Thanksgiving. There are so many fond memories of family coming together, crisp fall weather, good tastes, smells, and feelings of thankfulness to God for all He’s given us, and a deeply-rooted sense of pride, patriotism, and honor for our country. I’ve felt duty-bound to impart those ideas and feelings to my children, so they too can know how blessed we are to live in this nation and be free.
When my older children were little, they would act out the first Thanksgiving with their cousins. Some would dress as Pilgrims, and some as “Indians.” We do have some Native American roots, so mine usually took pride in that fact, and enjoyed dressing the part, although there were a few occasions when we made Pilgrim hats.
Since we now have three grandchildren (so far), I have bought a package of feathers for a game. The object is for each participant to keep their “turkey” feather up in the air by blowing on it, furiously. This winner, of course, is the one whose feather stays up in the air the longest. This ought to be fun!
If I can find enough corks and some small artificial flowers to stick in them, I will take a long plastic container (like the one in which I store Christmas wrapping paper), fill it halfway with water, and players can blow their “Mayflower” corks, and race each other down the waterway! I’m laughing just thinking about it.
Prayers of thanksgiving were a part of those early years, as they are today; though somehow parades and football keep encroaching more each year on family time and offerings of gratitude. It’s so important, though, to teach our children traditions that convey lessons from history and establish roots, value, and self-worth. We have so much to be thankful for here; most of us have never experienced lack as those who do not possess such liberty. This year, I hope to see a return to what matters most during this important national holiday.
Kari Roberson of Canton shares her favorite family tradition:
Our family shares a family tradition of a certain tablecloth. I purchased a large, white, flat sheet and Sharpie markers back in 2002. I then put it on the Thanksgiving table that morning. Family and friends, whoever was able to make it, were instructed to write out their ‘thanks’ on the sheet. Year after year, we used the same sheet. It has some worn words on it, but every year, we are able to look back at what we were thankful for!
Patricia Shaw of Tyler shares her family’s traditions:
We spend each Thanksgiving with in-laws. Every year, I plan crafts for the nieces and nephews, both for Thanksgiving and for Christmas take homes. We have made things from dough ornaments to family aprons, etc. I also keep a Shaw Family Thanksgiving binder, where the kids write down what they are thankful for, and I also try to keep at least one drawing from each kid. It is fun to take, and let the kids see how much their skill level has changed! Considering that we are about to have the 15th Shaw baby this year, it can get pretty full! I LOVE Thanksgiving!
Beth Ordway Longar of Tyler shares fond memories of Thanksgivings past:
My husband was raised on cornbread stuffing, and being a good New England girl, I was raised on sage stuffing, so we always have both at our house. LOL! As a little girl in Connecticut, I can remember several Thanksgivings when we got snowed in at relatives’ homes and had to stay longer than expected. We were always doubly thankful for plenty of leftovers!
Another of Beth’s memories:
I was probably about four one year, when my family was hosting all the festivities. My mom was working like crazy to get everything ready. I think my brother and I were probably making messes faster than she could keep up and not particularly helpful, so she banished us to the basement to play and clear out. Seems safe, right? Well, we found an old tire and decided it would be great fun to roll it back and forth to each other. After two or three exchanges, he rolled it to me and I jumped out of its path, only to watch in horror as it crashed into the water pipes, causing them to burst and water start gushing out all over the basement!!. At that same exact moment, we heard the doorbell ring, and knew our company had arrived!! Oops!! After an emergency plumber visit we carried on with our Thanksgiving feast, but my brother and I were a bit sheepish for days. That was in Connecticut, too. Oh! And, I remember going to a turkey shoot, and Daddy won the shoot and the turkey for our dinner!
The Northeast Texan wishes all of its readers a very happy and blessed Thanksgiving holiday! Please feel free to share your fond Thanksgiving memories in the comments section below.