Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sunday Salon - Happy Thanksgiving!

This week I am looking forward to spending time with family. I don't actually like turkey or stuffing but when I smell that bird cooking, I know that my family will soon be sitting down together - talking, laughing and raving about how my mom has gotten the best "do" on "Great-grandma's Beans" ever. We'll all eat more turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, cranberries, scalloped corn with oysters and frozen salad than we should. And sometime later, my mom will pull out several different kinds of pies and a couple of other desserts and we'll all moan about how full we are as we plop some whipped cream on top of our pumpkin pie.


But Thanksgiving with my family is not entirely about food; it's about the traditions that my parents have created for the family to celebrate each year. When the oldest grandchildren were still in grade school, my parents put together a "turkey trot" for the them. It's a treasure hunt, with clues for each child and, when they were younger, a pilgrim hat to be worn. With grandchildren in their 20's and the baby of the family now in high school, you might think it was time for the turkey trot to fade into history. But, to the grandchildren, the turkey trot is as much a part of the day as the turkey and it has evolved so that they continue to be challenged as they hunt for their treasure box.

As an alternative to walking around the block to burn off some of those potatoes one particularly warm Thanksgiving Day, a group of the guys headed up to the football field at the nearby high school to toss some footballs and kick some field goals. A competition ensued and a tradition was born. Now, no matter what the temperature (and it has been very cold some years) a good portion of the family heads up to the field to compete and watch as my brother-in-law attempts to maintain his dominance of the competition.

The tradition that most reminds each of us how very much we have to be thankful for happens late in the afternoon when Grandma, the moms and the grandchildren head over to do some shopping. But we are not shopping for ourselves (a point that was often difficult when the children were in single digit ages!). Each of the grandchildren is giving an amount of money by my parents to select gifts for children whose families need help at the holidays. Most years we adopt a family. The grandkids are in charge of selecting gifts for the children. The moms and Grandma make sure the parents have gifts to open as well. When we get back to my parents’ house, we wrap the gifts. Knowing that we are able to bring some happiness to another family is something we are all grateful for each year.

17 comments:

  1. It sounds like your family has some marvelous Thanksgiving traditions. I hope you have a wonderful holiday.

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  2. Thanks for sharing! So nice to read about how you spend your Thanksgiving!

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  3. I could not do this if it were not for the help of my three daughters. It is a wonderful holiday--and it is so gratifying knowing that the grandchildren (some of them now in their 20s) still want to shop and hunt for a treasure. What a blessing.

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  4. What fabulous traditions you and your family have for Thanksgiving! From the dinner, to the Turkey Trot and shopping, it all sounds wonderful!

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  5. Wow! I love your family's Thanksgiving traditions - they are just lovely! Hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving!! Cheers!

    P/S Thanks for sharing!

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  6. Sounds wonderful!! Hope your Thanksgiving is great this year too!!!

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  7. okay... I hate to ask but what is 'frozen' salad?

    Sounds like you have a wonderful Thanksgiving feast planned.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

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  8. What a wonderful post! Thankgiving truly is one of the best holidays around--food, traditions, reflections--Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

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  9. There are actually two different frozen fruit salads. Mix of fruits and juices and one has whipped cream. My oldest nephew inhales them! It is a nice light counter to all of that heavy food.

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  10. What great and wonderful traditions! I can't wait to hear about your day this year! Hope you love and everyone is happy and safe!

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  11. That is so great you have those traditions. I wish I would have put something together like that when the kids were younger. My husband and I both lost our parents at a young age so we really dont have a lot of tradition or family. Its just us and our two boys who are now 19 and 21.

    We eat... do a little tv and probably play some wii. :)

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  12. Very nice to hear about your Thanksgiving! Have a good time!!

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  13. I love all of your family traditions. It is my favorite holiday because it is all about family and being thankful for everything you have and realizing it is probably all you need.

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  14. Didn't I already comment on this? Sorry - I'm sure I read this yesterday or before... anyway, HAPPY THANKSGIVING! (I only like turkey they day it's prepared - I can't stomach leftover turkey which makes my husband sad - oh well)

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  15. Your family's Thanksgiving sounds wonderful. I really like that you celebrate the spirit of the day by buying gifts for children whose families need help. That's a terrific tradition, Lisa! The football game (I knew your family had to play football on Thanksgiving!) and the Turkey Trot sound like such fun! And laughter burns a lot of calories - so you can eat even more. LOL

    Have a very Happy Thanksgiving!
    ~ Amy
    xoxo

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  16. What a wonderful tribute and such happy memories of Thanksgiving! Thanks for sharing with us. I hope you are enjoying a great Thanksgiving day with your family.

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  17. That is such a great tradition. I have only once exprerienced American Thanksgiving, I'm sad that in Finland we don't celebrate it.
    I hope you had a great time!

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