Traditions. Everybody has them, but we don’t always remember how they got started. The story usually begins with, “When I was young”, or, “I remember growing up, this is what we used to do.” As an example, growing up I can remember going at least once to my grandmother’s house in Howard Beach, NY and watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade on TV. Afterward, I went into one of the small bedrooms in her 2-family home, where my uncle put on a puppet show from behind the wall.
To this day, I still enjoy the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade and waiting for Santa to appear at the very end, ushering in the Christmas season. No more puppet shows though, but that’s ok.
I am 50+ years old and I still wake up early on Thanksgiving morning to watch the parade. Even at my age, I still get emotional when Santa appears. I enjoy that tradition in my home, and have tried to share it with my kids, even though they would rather sleep in until 3 pm - just in time to sit down to dinner. Plus, they don’t believe in Santa.
It is the one day each year when I don’t have to answer the question, “What’s for dinner?” We always have turkey and 27 sides including homemade applesauce and jellied cranberry sauce from a can. You know the kind - the grooves from the can’s interior are jellified imprints on the outside of the cranberry mold? Who knew those imprints would be so helpful when slicing perfectly sized portions?!
I do love to hear the compliments, “This carrot soufflé is so good it tastes like dessert!” or “This stuffing is delicious!” or, “Use the gravy, it covers up the dry turkey!” Everyone is a food critic in my house.
I look forward to a warm cinnamon roll (or two), a mimosa and Eggs Benedict to start my Thanksgiving, its traditional after all. I also look forward to talking with my Dad and siblings on Zoom because we can’t be together, and its not because of travel restrictions, but the fact that we all live in a different region of the US.
This year it will be relatively quiet in our house. My oldest son is serving in the US Marines abroad, and won’t be home for Thanksgiving. I know I am going to be a bit emotional missing him. So, the three of us will devise new ways to decorate the table, and research new recipes to repurpose the leftovers of a 25 lb. turkey.
I am getting a little bored with the usual leftover traditions - turkey tetrazzini, turkey soup, and turkey-infused martinis!! It’s time to try new traditions – turkey pumpkin ala mode crumb nog!
I’m thankful for my family, friends and my new SKoC family – podcast listeners from all over the world!
This Thanksgiving, take the time to slow down and be grateful for all of your blessings especially your loved ones. And, remember to start a tradition of laughing, at least a little bit each day!