We love traditions in our family. So much so, that if I ever attempt something new on Thanksgiving, I hear about it in a big way. Case in point, I’ve been doing Thanksgiving for the past oh, probably fifteen years – it’s MY holiday and I love having it. My sister takes Christmas Eve, but one year we (she and I) decided to change things up a little. I switched my Thanksgiving with her. She did Thanksgiving and I did Christmas. Well, you’d have thought I’d betrayed my country or something. My kids, who are well past their teens, had a “fit”. “Mom, promise us you’ll never switch holidays again. You have to do Thanksgiving – it’s not the same!”
Yes, that was the point! Well, I haven’t been able to switch ANYTHING since. Not even a recipe. The entire family expects, green bean casserole, sweet potatoes with marshmallows, copper carrots, two turkeys so there’s enough white meat to go around and a table full of desserts. One year, I dared to try a new cranberry recipe AND didn’t make the green bean casserole. Oh, my goodness – the roof almost caved in on my head. Not gonna do that again.
Though, we’ve lost dear ones over the years, our family continues to grow with extended family members. The younger ones, bring boyfriends, girlfriends and now I have a new son-in-law. It seems the Kid’s Table is now bigger than the Adult’s Table, so last year, I thought it’d be nice to offer them our formal dining table to have their meal. I was hit with a resounding “NO!” from every one of them. All in unison. Okay, I get it. Nothing changes. Ever.
Another family tradition is to play outdoor games. As you can see in the photo, we almost always have nice warm weather on Thanksgiving. No burning fireplaces for us in California. We go outside after dinner and play bocce ball, or Blongo ( which I don’t have a picture of). Here, the backyard is set for ping- pong and badminton. My husband is great about designing contests and he usually gives out prizes.
And of course, being Italian, we always have Too Much Food as displayed here on our dessert table. I’m always making a few things, to be sure, and then our guests usually bring their own specialty. The result – more dessert than an Army unit could devour.
I love the Thanksgiving holiday spirit that brings family and friends together. By now, we’ve all had our fill of turkey and are vowing to diet and exercise the rest of the weekend. Count me among you!
The first Thanksgiving celebration was in 1621.
The turkey was first domesticated in Mexico and Central America. ‘
A female turkey is called a hen.
A male turkey is call a tom.
The great statesman Benjamin Franklin lobbied to make the turkey our national symbol.
The female turkey makes a clucking sound.
The male turkey makes a gobble sound.
A mature turkey has 3,500 feathers!
Minnesota produces the most turkeys annually.
Wild turkeys can run 25 mph!
Wild turkeys can fly up to 55 mph!
The Wampanoag tribe first celebrated Thanksgiving with the colonists.
90% of Americans eat turkey on Thanksgiving Day and 50% of Americans eat turkey on Christmas.
The skin that hangs on the turkey’s neck is called the wattle.
Abraham Lincoln specified that Thanksgiving would fall on the last Thursday of November.
Franklin D. Roosevelt attempted to move Thanksgiving Day to the fourth Thursday in November to create a longer Christmas shopping season.
Do you have any “must do” traditions for the holidays?
From our home to yours, have a safe and happy Thanksgiving weekend with love from Charlene!