Thanksgiving Through My Eyes As A Child
I love Thanksgiving!
When I was a little girl, I so enjoyed being part of the planning and preparation that filled our home with anticipation of my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins coming together for this holiday that was actually a family reunion for my mother’s side of the family! This was always a time to dress up in nice clothes for the feast and then change them for the fun that was to follow!
The sights of the natural beauty in the color of the falling leaves was unmatched by any sight in the house! This event required my parents, my brothers, and me to clean the house and garage (just in case the weather was nice).
-We set up extra tables and chairs; put linen tablecloths on the tables for a special touch
-All toys, games and balls were put away but not far out of reach-ready to be played with
-The pool table was cleared and cleaned with the pool cues chalked up and ready for use
I remember that there were so many amazing smells that filled our home from the moment we woke up and welcomed this holiday!
-The succulent scent of the butter drenched turkey with spices and stuffed with giblets and bread seasoned with sage, fresh onions, chopped celery, and broth
-Sweet potatoes smothered in brown sugar and melted marshmallows
-Fresh baked chocolate and lemon pies with a crown of meringue cooling on the railing of the front porch
-The homemade, fresh baked bread rolls. (I think if comfort could be described by a smell, it would be homemade, fresh baked bread!)
All of this was enveloped by the sound of songs and marching bands from the television in the living room while the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade was on! I would occasionally take time to run into the living room and dance along with my mother’s favorite thing about the parade, the Rockettes!
Soon we would welcome family from near and far that we get to see once a year! Hugs and conversations started as soon as they walked through the door while we took their hats and coats, heaping them into a pile on my parents bed! The delicious smelling dishes that they brought to share were placed on the table wherever we could find a spot!
Then it was time for the feast to begin! My dad would roll up the long sleeves on his button down shirt and begin his wrestling match to carve up the turkey! He always won his match, and his trophy was presented to all of us as the large platter in the center of the table with a beautifully stacked mountain of turkey! Sometimes there were two platters, one with dark meat and the other one with light meat!
Giving thanks for this abundant feast and the blessing of family was short and to the point before the children were allowed to fill their plates first. The rest of the day would be spent watching football inside, playing football outside, going for walks, playing games, and enjoying conversations over pie and coffee.
Such fond memories of a time that seems to have gone by so fast! Loved ones who have passed away or moved away leaving nothing but the sights, smells and sounds of this holiday in the corner of my mind.
Each of us has our own story and our own memory. As we all know, times change and the way that we celebrate holiday traditions today is often shaped by the good things that we have known and experienced.
Now, its our turn to help shape the way that our children will remember these special times! The details that make moments worth remembering will mean something different or special to each one of them - just like my memory is different from my brother’s.
There are two questions that we can answer to help guide us in making those precious memories with our children, and some suggestions as we make our plans and preparations for Thanksgiving! Because let’s be honest, they will remember something!
1 - How would you like your children to remember this Thanksgiving and capture it in their own words?
Let them see Thanksgiving through your eyes when you were a child, share your memories with them
Ask them what they love most about Thanksgiving and why
Have them help you design the Thanksgiving they want by getting suggestions from them on how to make it special
Start a family holiday journal to capture moments they want to remember
Start a holiday recipe box for their favorite recipes
2 - What things can you include them in to make a memory with them?
Have a conversation while they help you make a dish that you are preparing
Create table decorations together
Ask them what they are thankful for and why
Clean a room together and find a special way to decorate it
Let them choose and copy a recipe for a Thanksgiving dish
While my parents weren’t intentional with creating memories with us, they were intentional about involving us in every part of it! There was no way to feel left out!
All good things come to an end and Thanksgiving through my eyes as a child did too!
As the last of the dishes were washed, dried, and put away and the house was put back into order, there was a sense of simple joy, sweet peace and gratitude for the gift of time to be together!
After the last family member had said their good-bye’s, our family would collapse in a heap of contentment on the living room floor or furniture in front of the television to watch a football game or a show together - thankful to be able to give thanks!
Enjoy the Thanksgiving memories you have by sharing them and
commit to making new ones that will warm the hearts of your children
as they remember with their children one day!
Thanksgiving blessings for our family to yours!