Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because they are particularly fond of lists at The Broke and the Bookish. They’d love to share their lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!
With the holiday upon us (at least for those in the States), I find myself thinking more and more about family. The last couple of years we’ve not had the big Thanksgiving meal. My husband’s had to work so it’s just been us. Last year my parents came up for the day and we did the Cracker Barrel thing which was good, but still not the same.
Growing up Thanksgiving was an all day event. We spent the early morning and lunch at my Papaw’s house, then drove to my Granny’s house for dinner. We’d spend the rest of the day there, then drive down to Birmingham and spend the weekend with my mom’s cousin. Black Friday shopping consisted of an early Thanksgiving breakfast, followed by all-day shopping (more like window browsing) at the Galleria.
For this week’s top ten topic (“Thanksgiving themed Freebie”), I wanted to list some of our Thanksgiving staples. These are things I’ve missed since living away, in no particular.
Top Ten Thanksgiving Family Traditions
1. Papaw’s Deep-Fried Turkey
My Papaw got a deep-frier when I was junior high (I think) and from that year on we had deep fried turkey. If you’ve never had it you just don’t know what you are missing. It is SO good! Usually turkey is dry which is why you slather in dressing and gravy, not this turkey. It’s juicy and cooked to perfection 😀
I’ll never forget one year, we got there early and Papaw was still prepping the turkey in the sink. He had the syringe to inject the seasonings and it just would not go in. So he pulled it out and put it in another place in the turkey’s leg. Next thing I saw was the seasoning squirting out back into Papaw’s face! The funny part was his reaction. First thing he did was not wipe himself off, but look to see if anyone saw him. 😆 I laughed so hard!!!
2. Pound Cake
Mmmm…..every year my mom would make pound cake specifically for my Papaw…and Dad…and me. I guess she made it for all of us because we devoured it. It’s one of my favorite desserts! Especially when she makes the chocolate one. Here’s the recipe if you think you need it…you know you do 😉
3. All the Mashed Potatoes You Can Eat
My favorite part about Thanksgiving y’all is the food 😀 and I LOVE mashed potatoes! Doesn’t matter which house I’m at, there’s always mashed potatoes and they are so good!!!! It’s no wonder I have to diet after all these meals.
4. Friends Marathon
Every year the WB (now the CW) would show all the Friends Thanksgiving episodes and every year I look forward to it! Now that the show is on Netflix though, I’ll probably pull them up on there…no commercials! YAY!!!
5. Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
As a kid, this was the only thing we did at my house on Thanksgiving morning was turn the TV on and watch the parade. Why? Because we were always heading out the door to someone else’s house. I still like to watch the parade, but my son is just not interested in it. I think if we could actually be there he would love it, but seeing it on TV is just not his thing.
This is a newer tradition for me. My dad wasn’t a big sports fan so I didn’t have much exposure to it growing up. My husband on the other hand played football of 11 years (I’m probably way off on that number) and even played in college for a couple of years. SO I am now a football connoisseur. And undoubtably we will be watching a football game on Thanksgiving, even though it will not be one of our teams (TN Vols or Titans). This is what confounds me! Why watch if it isn’t your team?!
7. Tag Football
My dad was the youngest of 9 so I have a lot of cousins on that side. The ones that are closest to my age however are mostly boys. At many of our get togethers (not just Thanksgiving) I can remember them playing “tag” football. I’m almost 4 years younger than the next one closest in age so when they let me play I tackled. Or tried too at least 😉
8. School Playground
Papaw lived right in front of an old school. So when we were all bored we would walk through the woods to play on the playground. Again this wasn’t something we necessarily did just on Thanksgiving, but it is when I would see my cousins. It was always fun. Though I do remember getting in trouble once because I picked up a pack of play cigarettes (does anyone remember those? They were gum but you could blow on them and it would blow powdered sugar.) and proceeded to eat them. My older wiser cousin made us go back when I wouldn’t give them to her 😉
9. Shopping (on Friday, never on Thanksgiving!!!)
Every year once I got old enough (you know so that I actually liked shopping) my mom and I would get up early and hit the sales. We’d get there when the doors opened. You know back when they opened at a reasonable 5 or 6 😉 and not midnight or 8p on Thanksgiving Day! We rarely bought anything and were always done by 9 or 10 and had a late breakfast. It was so much fun! This is one tradition I’m hoping to resume if we move home next year.
10. Christmas on Thanksgiving
This is a tradition that stopped when I was a little girl, but it is still one I miss so I thought I’d share. As I mentioned my dad is the youngest of 9 so on Thanksgiving his family would exchange gifts for Christmas. My grandmother would already have the place decorated and presents wrapped. The whole bit! She died before I was born, but my Papaw carried on the tradition for a few years after I was born. We still got together and did the Thanksgiving dinner but no Christmas. It was always fun to get a present so early! BUT the best part was just having all the family together. It happens so rarely 😀
While not all of these are traditions in the traditional sense (see what I did there 😉 ), they are all important parts of the day to me. This year is going to be hard. Papaw passed away in September and I miss him so much already, even more so as the holidays approach and I know he won’t be there. BUT we will still celebrate. We won’t be able to go home again this year, but my parents are coming up for the weekend and I’m cooking dinner this year instead of buying. Should be interesting. What traditions do you look forward to every year?