By: Cindy Anne Duncan
The gathering time has begun, as you begin your day, many things you have already prepared, some you have not. The aromas from the kitchen, the Macy’s Parade on television, and then it’s off to the football games. The laughter of children running around, playing in the leaves, and simply enjoying this lovely day we call Thanksgiving.
Many of us reflex upon the year gone by, tell stories of much older days, there’s always a group plotting their “Black Friday” Christmas run! New wives added to the family are gathering recipes from Grandmothers, and Mothers to make sure they can make the same pecan pie, which her new husband says is the “best” in the whole world. And cousins of all ages catch-up and play and just enjoy this blessed day. It is a day to just give thanks for all in our lives.
Turkey is generally the tradition of the meal, with dressing, giblet gravy, ham, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, dinner rolls and pumpkin pie. However, Thanksgiving means much more than good food. There are traditions passed down from generation to generation. I decided to do some research on the “Thanksgiving Traditions,” some may hit home, some may not, and some may give you an idea!
1. Why not volunteer to help out the less fortunate this year? You could find a shelter serving Thanksgiving dinner to the homeless this year. One tradition that Victorian families shared together was to prepare Thanksgiving baskets for the hungry, they called them Thanksgiving Day Hampers.
2. A great movie to watch together as a family is “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.” This movie was released in 1973 and displays’ Charlie Brown’s misadventures as he attempts to prepare Thanksgiving dinner for his pals.
3. You may purchase or simply make your own Thanksgiving Memory book. Ask everyone to make a list of what they are thankful for. Before eating Thanksgiving dinner, have everyone share the one most important thing on their list for which they ate thankful for. Then place their list in your Thanksgiving Memory book. As your family grows, this will serve as a great book for years to come.
4. Make sure everyone is up and “warm co-co” is ready, for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. This parade celebration has been a tradition in New York for almost 80 years now. Everyone in the family will enjoy the bands, gigantic balloons, outlandish floats and of course Santa Clause. For while celebrating Thanksgiving, they will be ringing in Christmas as well. Don’t miss this; it is for sure a family tradition!
5. If you have an athletic family, instead of watching the football game, have one of your own…or do both.
6. This is also a good time, if your family pick names for Christmas, to gather together after dinner and pick names, “Shhhhh”…… this must be kept a secret!
7. Don’t let the wishbone go to waste, make sure and let two people make a wish and pull it. The person who gets the bigger piece of the wishbone will have their wish come true! Nothing is stopping anyone from silently making a wish during this “Wishbone” tradition.
8. Those that are headed out the door the day after Thanksgiving will be preparing their list and getting ready to head out the door for the early bird specials. “Black Friday,” as it has come to be known, is the year’s busiest shopping day.
Whatever your plans are, I pray that you have a wonderful, safe, healthy, happy Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is a time, a day, and a celebration that we set aside to reflect and count the many things we are thankful for. It is a bountiful, beautiful jeweled season, families are gathered, the food is yummy and Christmas is just around the corner.
I leave you with one last tradition, start a Thanksgiving Journal, all the year round. Before you go to bed each night, simply reflect on the day, count your many blessings, and see where and what you can do to make this world, that we live in a better place. Who can you help, with a kind word of encouragement? Who can you help, when the road they are traveling is a long one? Who can you show that in the middle of a storm, they are not alone, and help walk them through it? An animal lost, alone and hungry? The shut-ins, the lonely, it could just be a telephone call or card to brighten their day? Those you know may not have a gathering table to come to, not just on Thanksgiving Day….all the year through? Who do you know that a Thanksgiving Hamper could help in the cold days of December?
As you reflect and count your blessings each night, in your journal, I promise you, your head will rest a little lighter on the pillow. For “Thanks” and “Giving”, go hand and heart, and I assure you the next morning you will have a brighter start.
The “Wishes” of life that matter the most, I wish for each and everyone,
All things good,
Cindy Anne Duncan