Thanksgiving was always hosted at my Uncle Mickey and Aunt Bev’s house, a tidy little tri-level in a tidy little neighborhood about half an hour’s drive from my grandparents’ house. Sometimes the yard would be clogged with snow, sometimes with the last of the autumn leaves. The air was invariably crisp and cool outside while the hot ovens and busy guests heated the inside to just this side of toasty.
|The first Thanksgiving turkey I ever made|
I remember the TV being tuned to football, coolers stocked with the soft drinks my mom never let us have at home, and the smell of pumpkin pie promising deliciousness, even though I never actually liked it. I loved the jello molds and cranberry dessert, the green bean casserole and the mounds upon mounds of mash potatoes topped with melted butter. There was the stuffing that I avoided, and the rolls that I binged on. There was real butter and homemade whipped cream, sweet potatoes topped with marshmallows and a turkey so big, it always managed to be more than enough for the crowd of relatives who squeezed into the long line of tables filling the living and dining rooms.
After grace, we’d all say something we were thankful for before, at long last, diving into the glorious feast. We fed our mouths, our hearts, our souls, and our spirit there at the Thanksgiving table. We caught up with each other’s lives and reminisced about old times. We looked forward to the future as we gave thanks for the present. By the end of the day, we would all be full to bursting, lounging on every available sofa and chair with sated smiles and droopy eyelids. The food would be put away, the daylight long faded to black, and before long we would pile into our frosty cars, once again heading away to our own lives, already looking forward to the next year when we could do it all over again.
|Last year's Thanksgiving with Catherine Gayle :-)|
It’s been many years since I’ve been to Chicago for Thanksgiving, but the memories will always burn bright this time of year. This holiday is sacred, reserved for nothing more than family, friends, food, and thanksgiving. In all my years, I’ve never bought a single Thanksgiving decoration, or done anything else to dilute the simple pleasure of the day. For as long as I live, I’ll never disrespect the day by bypassing it for Christmas. Others can wait in line for a well-priced TV or half-priced jeans, but this Thanksgiving I’ll be doing what I always have: enjoying a day at home with those I love, focusing on the things that really matter in life.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone – may your day be filled with all the best things on this, the beautifully uncommercial holiday :)