Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Thanksgiving Plans and Traditions

During my growing up years all but one of my moms brothers and sister lived within a 10 mile radius of each other. That meant that all of the cousins grew up together. We were all close to the same age so we became good friends. We got together often. But the holidays were always a special treat.

For thanksgiving all of the kids would usually make Pilgrim and Indian hats or vests, and sometimes a whole outfit at school. So when we got together for the Thanksgiving feast we would all come dressed in our costumes. A lot of times we would even paint our faces to go along with it. I remember getting ready for bed the night before Thanksgiving and watching my mom put the frozen turkey in the bathtub to thaw. The morning of Thanksgiving was always a flurry of excitement as we prepared for the feast. If it was at our house I usually set the table and helped mom carefully dust off the china. I have a lot of great memories of Thanksgiving.

Most of the time we would alternate between my moms family and my dads family. As often as possible, where ever we were we had one final tradition that I remember. Right before the blessing on the food my dad would have everyone go around the table and share one thing that they were grateful for. I remember the feeling of love that it created within the family. Thanks mom and dad for establishing so many wonderful family traditions!

Now that we're all spread out throughout the country, my parents and brothers and sister are all trying to establish new Thanksgiving traditions. Most of the time, Leif and I alternate each year between our families.

This year we have a special treat! Some of my family is coming to MY house!:) We will miss everyone else who won't be there! But I'm really excited to host Thanksgiving for those who will be here. We will have around 20 people over for Thanksgiving day. We'll line up a couple of church tables down the center of our house, decorate them like crazy, spread some delicious food down the center, and celebrate our gratitude for life with a wonderful feast!

That evening whoever is still around will watch traditional Christmas movies with us and string popcorn and cranberry garland for our Christmas tree. We'll make some delicious hot chocolate in our fun VitaMix and eat leftovers throughout the night.:)

In the morning, all of our family members that are around will gather back at our house. We'll load up in cars and trucks and head up to the nearby mountains. Leif's dad will lead us to just the right place, and we'll go Christmas Tree hunting! Leif's mom we'll pick hers and we'll pick ours, the men will cut them down, and Behold! The Christmas season has arrived!

I'm really excited to have my mom to help me decorate my tree this year! I want to decorate it like an old fashioned Christmas. So we'll use the garland that we made the night before as well as decorated sugar cookies that we'll decorate beforehand. I have a lot of homemade decorations that my mom made when we were growing up.
I think it will be a really neat time filled with a lot of good memories!

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