Friday, November 7, 2008

Thanksgiving Memories

Thanksgiving is one of the few holidays that is very relaxing and enjoyable. The basic premise of the holiday is to eat a lot of food, watch football, and celebrate together as a family the many blessings that we have and receive daily. We are truly a blessed people to have the many blessings and luxuries of life that we enjoy on a daily basis.

As a child I have many fond memories of Thanksgiving. I remember preparing the night before the big day by setting up the tables and chairs and helping my mom get the house ready for the large group of extended family that would be coming the next day. When Thanksgiving morning arrived my brother and I would put on our clothes and coats and play the annual game of Thanksgiving football. We played the game one-on-one and would hold our little game in rain, sleet, or snow. I remember many years when the snow would be coming down heavily but we would still be out there running around tackling each other. We would then come in and have a cup of hot cocoa and get warmed up and start helping our Mom finish up the final preparations for the big dinner.

About this time, the relatives started to arrive. My uncles, aunts, and cousins would come over for the big feast. It was fun to visit and play together while waiting to start the meal. We would often watch football while waiting. I remember watching many games with my uncles and cousins on Thanksgiving afternoons. The nearby coal stove would warm the room while we watched and the aroma of the food being cooked in the kitchen filled the entire house. We would snack on appetizers of chips and dips and veggie trays.

My Mom made the best Thanksgiving dinners. If the smell of her homemade rolls didn’t delight you, the taste of the crisp buttery outside and soft inside would win you over quickly. Her golden basted turkey always smelled incredible and the slices were moist and would melt in your mouth. She always made the best mashed potatoes and gravy. She used potatoes right from our garden and made the gravy from the turkey drippings. To this day when I smell hot butter rolls or a large turkey cooking in the oven I often think of the Thanksgiving days growing up as a young boy.

After enjoying this incredible meal every year, we would then retire back to the TV room to watch more football. The Dallas Cowboys would play their yearly game and it always seem to be an exciting game full of long passes, hard hits, and close finishes. After the game the desserts would start making the rounds. My Mom made pies, cakes, cookies, ice cream, and every other dessert you can imagine. As a child I thought this holiday rivaled Christmas. What can be better than lots of food, football, and family?

Now I have my own family, and we trade off every year going to my wife’s family for Thanksgiving one year and my parents the next. I still enjoy the hot rolls, the moist turkey, and watching football. I still enjoy the family and visiting together. I no longer play my brother in the annual football game, but the memories will always be there and I will play it out in my mind every year Thanksgiving comes around.

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