Friday, November 12, 2010

holiday traditions part 1 . . .

Over at Charming Chatter, the home of the Charming Girls' Quilt Club, the theme for the next two months is:

(Click on the button to see the post, and check out
others' holiday traditions!)

A lot of folks are sharing their combined holiday traditions, or just their Christmas traditions, but I wanted to break my traditions down to two separate posts, one for Thanksgiving and one for Christmas. I *love* Thanksgiving and as a genuine Mayflower descendant, I rightfully wanted it to have it's own limelight!

Since I was a little girl, the table setting has always been important.

Between pretty serving dishes and full place settings . . . there's never an inch of free space on our Thanksgiving table!

I love arranging flowers, so I make sure we have fun and pretty table center!

Grandpa's fudge has been a must at every Thanksgiving I can remember! In my thirties, the job of making the official Thanksgiving fudge was passed on to me. I've faithfully made it each year, until two years ago, when my daughter decided she wanted to be the official maker-of-the-fudge. This is the best homemade fudge I've ever had -- an old BH&G recipe, tweaked by my grandpa!

Rarely does a piece of fudge make it past Thanksgiving day!

Growing up there were always at least two tables, and invariably one was a kid's table. I always wanted to sit at the adult's table -- I thought the kids' table was unfair! Then when I was finally able to sit at the adult's table, I missed the hilarity of the kids' table! I resolved when I was younger that I'd do my best to work tables so that everyone sat together!

The Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade is a must. It will always be a must, just like football is a must for a lot of the men in my family. I've always pulled dinner together to the happy sounds of the parade!

As my sisters and I got older, we watched The Sound of Music on Thanksgiving evening. I've not ever been able to quite get my family to jump on that particular bandwagon, but we always do watch something! The last few years it's been The Santa Clause, which is another of my favorites and seems like an appropriate way to ease into the Christmas season.

When Todd and I first married and the kids and I moved to Alabama (1996), it was the first time I'd been responsible for Thanksgiving dinner (and the turkey) on my own! In fact, there had only been three other times I'd missed Thanksgiving dinner with my folks and family! One thing that quickly became a tradition for our new family Thanksgiving dinners was that everyone got their favorite pie! Joc's was blueberry glace, James wanted apple, Todd always asked for pecan, and I made a pumpkin for myself and Todd's dad. The desserts were nearly as important as the turkey!

Another family tradition was the playing of spoons . . . this actually happens pretty much whenever members of my expanded family get together! We've been playing for years and years, and the game has made it into the next generation! It's fun because it's a game easily played by folks of *all* ages!

I think spoons were being grabbed up in this photo!

Last year was the last time for us to have Thanksgiving in our home; this year new traditions begin and our darling daughter will host the family Thanksgiving gathering! If I were going to give her tips on making it less stressful, I'd share the following things:

Write a list of the things you need to do and to cook. Stuff is less likely to be forgotten in the hustle/bustle of the day if you've got a list to go by!

Set the table the day before and put a sheet over it (to keep out dust and cats).

Put your serving dishes out and label them so you remember what goes where!

Don't feel bad asking for help; both in getting your home ready and in food preparation.

Don't sweat the small stuff!

Don't feel compelled to rush to the kitchen to clean up after dinner! Spend time with your guests, allow your food to settle, and enjoy the day!

Know how you're going to handle leftovers!

My last tradition regarding Thanksgiving? I keep up my fall/harvest decorations up until the first Saturday past November 30th. Then I switch out to Christmas!

Gobble, gobble!


4 expressed . . .:

DocSly said...

What wonderful memories you must create. The table is gorgeous. Don't you just love having your family near on holidays?

Paula and Mel said...

Your Thanksgiving sounds divine! I wanna come to your house!
Since DH retired and we travel in the winter we now have Thanksmas. We first celebrate Thanksgiving,clean up dishes,and have our Christmas. Open gifts, play with gifts and then have another big meal in the evening for our Christmas dinner.
It is a lot of work but I manage to get it all done, have fun and smile while I hear all the activity in the house.

Now, about that fudge. I could have eaten my computer looking at that picture. You can not show a picture like that and no recipe. LOL! I guess I will have to hunt you down and eat all the fudge.
Have a great Saturday.

Gmama Jane said...

I loved reading your family traditions. I'm planning to start this on my blog after Monday. I'm supposed to be guest blogging at Stash Manicure IF everyhting goes as planned. Last time my computer had a virus so I hope I'm clean! Anyway, I love "peeking" inside other families and getting a look at how families interact. God designed the family to be such a source of strength and I'm glad you found Todd and made a wonderful family!! Your children are delightful. Grandchildren bring a whole new dimension to the Holidays. BTW, good for you NOT allowing Christmas to intrude or take over Thanksgiving. I too love T'giving and like to honor its place in history as well as in our family. I have started decorating for Christmas the Sat. after T'giving mainly becuae that is when my sister and her fmaily leave to go home...decorating keeps me from being so sad.
Love you

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Denise - a lovely posting on your Holiday traditions. Your photos complimented your stories. Oh, the fudge! The card game reminded me of when my grandparents came for Thanksgiving (they did Christmas with others) - but the game was dominoes. My grampie was the worst "cheater".LOL
Thank you for a stroll thru you Holidays