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A&I WK3 , Magnificent Mums – My Favorite Thanksgiving Memory

Saturday, November 17, 2012

I have been pondering this theme for the last few days just trying to find one, just one memory that was good for this holiday. It has not been easy and I don't think I will come up with one holiday that I would like to relive completely, but perhaps more of just simple snid-bits of the parts that I remember making me really happy.

I know while growing up each and every thanksgiving was the exact same. My parents always bought a HUGE turkey, the biggest one they could find which was usually between 18 to 25lbs. The meal was the exact same every single year, Turkey of course the main show with real mashed potatoes, corn, green beans, turkey gravy, out of the bag dinner rolls, turkey gravy, stuffing with the gizzards, olives, pickles and canned jellied cranberries. Oh of course my mother made real pumpkin pies every single year from our garden. No one was allowed to help her except for dad and that was very little....She always wanted all of the credit of making such a feast. Then before sitting down to eat we had to all stand behind the table all together and have our picture taken in front of this feast that was placed before us(oh we HAD to dress in our Sunday best for most of the day as well). Afterwards we. Meaning my mother and myself cleaned up and did the dishes and such. Then it was 7up with cranberry juice as a “cocktail”. I remember in the morning we would watch the parades on TV and in the evening it was usually what ever family special was on, I mostly remember it begin ET. Our day was never concluded with out a fight or two between me and mother or mother and grandma(her mom).

As an adult for the most part I haven't made thanksgiving meal but a handful of times in the last 17yrs. When I first moved to TX and was engaged to DH at the time we went to his families for Thanksgiving and was totally different, I cant seem to recall the minute details anymore but all I know is that everyone was allowed to pitch in, there was no high levels of tension. Then the year I was pregnant with DD I tried making Thanksgiving out of a box that United Grocery store was selling, well lets just say it was a disaster...lol. Not only from the fact that all the food to look at made me feel sick, I didnt cook very well at the time either. The next Thanksgiving I truly remember is when DD was a little over two and DS was 9 months and I did a whole layout like what my mother would have done and got pictures of the kids with the food, but for some reason that just didn't feel like “our” holiday but rather a reminder on how mine were growing up.

Then there was the first Thanksgiving that we went to as my family with my mother, dad, sister, and brother when we first moved back to WI . Still mother was the same way not wanting any help of any kind. She just did it her usual way and as always she found someone to harass all evening long, my grandmother. Also a fight between myself and my mother over something so little that she blew up over, and all I was trying to do was help. After that I really haven't done a true thanksgiving meal as such. I have prepared Turkey and dressing and cranberries and ham and homemade dinner rolls but just no on a particular day, for one I haven't had a kitchen big enough for me to prepare such a huge meal and two I just felt horribly remembering all of my “thanksgiving” days. So our day doesnt surround around the meal but instead on other family things. We may watch the parade together in the morning and then football in the afternoon and what ever movies we may like in the evening....its a day of togetherness and NOT about the food dished.
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RFJSJ50 11/20/2012 10:22PM

    My Thanksgiving memories are good from when I was a child, but not good after that. I skip the family meal and visit with my mom in the evening. It's easier that way.
Sheila

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BARBIE176 11/20/2012 10:16PM

    Your idea of the day being about togetherness rather than food sounds emoticon emoticon

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DBELLE39 11/18/2012 4:13PM

    Lots of memories, I can relate to some. My grandma would always prepare this bodacious feast, enough to feed an army, but there was typically only 8 of us. Needless to say there would be much food left over to send home with everyone. I find myself preparing a large feast as well, but with our gathering of 18-20 there is usually not much leftover, expecially the turkey & ham, those get gone quickly.

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CATHYGETSFIT 11/18/2012 3:39AM

    Our holiday dinners were somewhat like yours when I was growing up. Except that mom always asked for and wanted our (sister and I) help. We never got into arguments or fights. The last 10 years or so my mom started taking everyone out to eat instead of making a meal. Mostly because it's really hard on her back since she was injured in a car accident many years ago. The meal wasn't and shouldn't be the center of the whole day. For us, it was about being together and the meal. I'm sorry your mom created such a drama around the holidays. I still don't know what we are doing for Thanksgiving. It might just be me and my DH. If it is, then I probably will not make anything different than any other day of the year or I'll make some turkey breasts for the two of us. We'll just have to see.

I hope you and your family can create your own good family traditions for the holidays someday.

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RISINGBLUESTAR 11/17/2012 10:58PM

    The holidays can be tough, especially when the memories are difficult to face. What I am trying to remember is to live in the moment this holiday and not concentrate on the past. It's not always easy. Sometimes, past memories just sneak into your mind but the good thing is you are coming up with your own traditions. You can make this holiday a very memorable one for your children. You don't have to cook meal. Just spending time together and enjoying the company of one another is what matters.

:)
emoticon Here's to a better holiday this year.


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ALEXSGIRL1 11/17/2012 8:25PM

    thankgiving we used to have a huge feast at my granparents house. We were all allowed to help grandma no mistakes no stresses she was an awesome cook. When she passed (she was my best friend) My mom took over and nothing anybody did to help was right .it was high stress and no fun, I was told I overcooked the cookies or undercooked the pies . then as added insult she asked me to bring the soda. Later when the kids were born I did my own thing not as elaborate as the kids got older they helped. now my son is 21 and I suddendly don't know how to cook again . He has to cook because I don't know how. so thanksgiving is sad for me.How did he think he got to 21 if I don't know how to cook. Your right doesnt matter what you cook as long as you are together.Sure do miss my grandma though

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MSMOSTIMPROVED 11/17/2012 4:11PM

    I'm really in the same boat with you - holidays growing up were more sucky than fun and memorable. I am focused now on making new and happier memories with my kids. I've been annointed the person who will bring a new dish for everyone to try over the last few years. I kinda like the fam asking me what am I going to bring this year but, it also adds a little more pressure to be more exotic within reason. This year, I'm stuffing a pumpkin again but, I'm also going to add a new veggie. My kids have fallen in love with Brussel Sprouts-- yes sprouts! No one believes me but, I'm hoping I'l make a batch that will win the family over.

This holiday season is going to be so much better because we have each other Pepper! We can do this.
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A-NEW-TARA 11/17/2012 1:39PM

    Holidays can be such a difficult time for so many of us, but I'm glad you and your family are making your own traditions and spending quality time together do the things you enjoy...after all that is what these gathering should be about. Growing up I had a friend whose family made roast beef and Yorkshire pudding for their Thanksgiving meal, why? Because it was their favorite meal.

I hope you and your family have a beautiful day.
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REFFIE1 11/17/2012 11:39AM

    Having cooked large Thanksgiving dinners for the extended family, I do understand why your mom wanted to cook it on her own. There is so much stuff to be done that it gets hard to delegate because you have to stop and explain what you want and that takes up more time. I don't think the cook ever has a super good time but it is fun to see if you can wow the family. My family is super appreciative of everything I cook and I get lots of praise. I guess I must be an approval junkie when it comes to cooking. I tried a new dessert this year a pumpkin cheesecake that everyone raved about.

This year, for the first time I was so stressed I asked my husband and sons to help me because I was so behind. So there they were cubing up stale bread, chopping celery etc. It was the first time in 23 years I asked for help and it was wonderful to have it.

However, I like cooking and find it therapeutic. Not everyone feels that way when they cook. I think if I didn't have such an appreciative audience I might not bother but everyone begs me to make it. Believe me, if my sister wants to take it on next year I am all for it.

Being Jewish a lot of our family times are about sitting down at the table and eating together. A lot of other ethnic groups are like that too. But you are creating your own unique family memories that are more about doing activities together and there is nothing wrong with that because it works for your family.

I have noticed on cooking shows people are simplifying Thanksgiving by just cooking a couple of turkey breasts or a turkey roast. It doesn't have to be an extravanganza. Down south apparently they make ham. So everyone creates their own traditions. It is too bad your mom created all that family drama around something that could have been pleasant but great that you find ways to make it wonderful for your own family. emoticon

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