Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thanksgiving Thoughts

As we prepare for Thanksgiving which I didn't even realize was just next week, I always get a little nostalgic. In our house it is a very quiet holiday with just our family. My in laws are always gone to their cottage so we have become accustomed to our quiet day. I cook a full meal with all the trimmings.

Of course I now cook most of it the day ahead so I am not dead tired on the actual day and what is it about Thanksgiving leftovers? Reheated they taste twice as good. I cook my mom's exact menu and never vary from it. It would not be allowed in this house. My husband always loved my mom's cooking so it is a little like  being with her again in some little way.

When I smell the sauteing celery, onions and sage in preparation for the stuffing I am swept back to Thanksgivings as a child and getting up to my mom who had been in the kitchen for hours. I even prepare it in the same pan she did. My connection to the past is important but I want my kids to have the same warm memories of the holiday prep I did.

Our day is very informal and we always watch A Christmas Story after dinner. Then the day after, the madness starts. The countdown to Christmas and all the shopping, wrapping and baking beckons.

There is one little tradition I started a few years ago that is so perfect for the holiday. I gave everyone a notecard and pen and told them to write on it what they were thankful for and then we share them at dinner. Now each year they are placed on the table for us to re-read and laugh over. Some of those were touching but also funny when written by a young kid.


  1. What a lovely sweet post. Beautiful. Have a great holiday and enjoy. Mine will be very quiet also!! Cannot wait.

  2. Elaine, that is a terrific tradition you have. I do not cook at Thanksgiving for just two of us so we go to Joe's brothers house and enjoy that a lot. We have much to be thankful for. Happy Thanksgiving ♥ Olive

  3. Isn't it funny about the holidays and traditions? We have the same menu every year too, the same as I remember growing up. This year will be very quiet for us as well.
    Have a great weekend!

  4. what wonderful traditions, and cooking in the same pan must really be bittersweet....I always miss my dad at the holidays, he loved them...I LOVE your holiday decorations!!!!!!

  5. I love the little notecards. I like that idea! A Chrsitmas Story cracks me up! That is a very neat tradition!

    Ricki Jill

  6. Elaine, I am so sorry to hear about your neighbors passing. And I didn't know that you home schooled!!!! Good luck with the school for your daughter!!!
    Now, about your wonderful. I have always done the same thing. But we used to always go to my Mom's. In the past few years, with the grandkids and all, we have stayed here in town. I have ordered our entire meal from Marie Callender's for the past few years. It has made it so that I can enjoy the holiday too. But I cook a turkey and trimmings on the weekend sometime too, so we have sandwiches and leftovers. I love that you are keeping the traditions of your Mother's alive!!!
    PS I couldn't find your blog last night...kept saying it had been removed?

  7. We all celebrate in different ways. It seems every year is different for us. I usually am the hostess but not this year.
    Sometimes quiet is really good. Happy Thanksgiving.

  8. You are so traditional Elaine and that is a beloved characteristic.....keeping that tradition alive for your children s priceless.

    Happy Thanksgiving my friend,


  9. For me, holiday traditions are very special...same dishes cooked the same way with maybe a new dish or two thrown in. Holidays are alternated with my older daughter who wants to have some at her house but she's not so keen on holiday traditions and prefers to have something other than turkey. As long as we are together as family being thankful for what God has given us, that is much more important than what dishes are served.