Thanksgiving Memories of Mom
Growing up, I always loved Thanksgiving.
I am not sure if it was because of the traditions we had as a family or if I liked it because there were no gifts or because it was always a quiet and reflective kind of day at our house.
I just liked it.
My brother and I were not allowed to watch much television growing up (a rule that I am now very grateful for), but on Thanksgiving morning, we got to watch the entire Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade … which we did as a family.
Mom would be in the kitchen starting the preparations for dinner and Dad, Chris and I would be in the living room marveling at the marching bands, the various hot air balloons floating down 34th Street, the massive floats and signing along with the musical acts.
Mom would slip in an out of the living room to watch some of the more special acts and I would then follow her back into the kitchen to help her with the dinner prep.
I loved being with her, I loved helping in the kitchen … I loved every minute of that.
It was my job to set the table, and Mom would give me table-setting lessons as we worked.
How to fold the napkin, the proper placement of the fork, knife and spoon. I loved that we got to use the good china on Thanksgiving and I was always very careful not to break it. It was also my job to plate the olives in the fancy glass bowls (we had both black and green on this day).
Mom was teaching me about manners, how to set a table and how to entertain and be a good host. The funny thing is that I am so grateful for her manner lessons, I still love to set a pretty table when guests come, and I LOVE entertaining.
All these things so sound simple but it was the quality time with her that meant so much to me.
The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade would culminate with the famous holiday float with Santa … and that was my favorite part. Dad would get us all excited and make sure we saw Santa on the float and remind us that we had to be good from now until Christmas.
After the parade was done, Dad would take Chris and I out somewhere … I remember going to the park and playing catch and sometimes going for a drive. I think this was Dad giving Mom a break and getting us out of the house for a while so she could put the finishing touches on our dinner. I loved it because it was quality time with Dad. He always made this time special and he talked to us less like a Dad and more like a friend for a while.
After a few hours of being out of the house, it was finally time for dinner.
We four gathered around the dining room table (which we only used for holidays and special occasions) and Mom or Dad would start the meal by explaining why we are thankful for all that we have and saying grace.
Thanksgiving dinner would commence with the traditional bowl of Del Monte fruit salad (from the can … it was the 70’s you know) which I loved. And then Mom would carve the turkey and we would take turns passing around the various sides. Oh, and the olives … gosh I loved those.
I remember the dinner itself was quiet, as it was just the four of us gathered around this large table but I also remember us talking as a family … like really talking and really connecting.
I loved that … and I still do.
Even after all these years, I am still not sure why I love Thanksgiving so much.
I love that it’s a quiet holiday, I love that there are no gifts exchanged, I love the food that is served, I love that the holiday gives us a time to reflect and be thankful.
But most of all, I love that Mom and Dad made it special by giving us their time … whether that was sitting together watching a parade, teaching me how to set a proper table, playing catch in the park while dinner was being prepared and talking … really talking.
And even though my Thanksgivings with Mom were cut way too short … I am so so thankful to have had fourteen wonderful holidays as a family and creating memories that will last a lifetime.
I have so much to be thankful for.
So much love,
MLS P.S. What are some of your special Thanksgiving memories with your Mom? I would love to read your stories in the comments below.