Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving Traditions

Growing up I’m sure you (like I) learned the ‘basics’ about Thanksgiving…but here are some things you might not have known.

  • The first Thanksgiving celebration lasted three days. (Sounds good to me! Maybe we should change how we do things now…move to a three day feast!)
  • Mashed potatoes, pumpkin pies, popcorn, milk, corn on the cob, and cranberries were not foods present on the first Thanksgiving's feast table. (No potatoes or pumpkin pie?!)
  • Lobster, rabbit, chicken, fish, squashes, beans, chestnuts, hickory nuts, onions, leeks, dried fruits, maple syrup and honey, radishes, cabbage, carrots, eggs, and goat cheese are thought to have made up the first Thanksgiving feast. (Maybe we should change our menu! Lobster?! YUM!)
  • The pilgrims didn't use forks; they ate with spoons, knives, and their fingers. (Please don’t tell my boys this…they will insist on eating with their fingers.)  

    Since that first Thanksgiving each family has developed their own traditions for this day of thanks. Growing up we had a small family. Just my mom, my brother and me. I remember a few Thanksgivings spent at the homes of my mom’s friends. (Unfortunately our family lived too far away for visiting.) We didn’t really have any big traditions other than those related to food. Turkey, of course, and my mom’s yummo corn casserole were a must as well as the standard mashed potatoes, stuffing and gravy. YUM! 

    Since I’ve been married we’ve gone to my mom-in-laws for dinner. I will never forget my first Thanksgiving with them. I was SO pumped for turkey and the usual side dishes! As we sat down to eat I looked around…where was the turkey? Hmmm. Maybe it was finishing up in the oven. Maybe it was in the kitchen waiting to be carved. Soon the whole clan was gathered at the table and my mom-in-law finally sat down…the universal sign for “everything is out and ready…time to eat!” But guess what….still no turkey. Instead where the turkey would be shining in all it’s buttery, brown glory there was an imposter! A ham! What had happened? Surely this was Thanksgiving not Christmas! I must have been easy to read because the next Thanksgiving (and all the ones thereafter) there has been turkey for me. Even though they had their own tradition of ham on turkey day (I guess no one liked turkey) they were willing to change it just a bit to accommodate their ‘new’ family. I love them for that.
    Now, 12 years later (wow…twelve!?) there are more that enjoy turkey than just me (my boys love it) but we still have ham too. I also always make sure to bring my beloved green been casserole as well. I really should make that corn casserole my mom always made…maybe we’ll have that for Christmas dinner. 

  • Point is, no matter what your traditions are or how you celebrate it’s all good. As long as you feel blessed by those around you and are thankful and thoughtful of your blessings then you’ve had a wonderful Thanksgiving day. And remember, don’t just count your blessings tomorrow, but count them every day. For each day is a blessing.
    Give Thanks