Thanksgiving is just a week away. For some reason, the last three months of the year seem to fly by much more quickly than the beginning of the year. It’s like when you have kids. As soon as they become teenagers, it feels like a minute goes by before they are grown and out the door.

I’m pretty sure one of the reasons why I like Thanksgiving so much is because of those kids. They loved everything I cooked and did for the holiday. We used to trace their little hands onto different colored construction paper and cut them out to make paper turkeys.

One year we made paper hats to be pilgrims for thanksgiving
Thanksgiving 1987

We decided to be Pilgrims one year and made paper hats for all of us to wear during dinner. The boys thought that was so fun. I have a poster my youngest brought home from school that he’d made for me. On it was all of the things he was thankful for. It made me cry and I kept it up on the refrigerator for a very long time.

My son made me a Thanksgiving poster in school

I loved making them all of their favorite foods too. And each and every year I had to make 24-hour Fruit Salad for them. It is such a tradition, that when my youngest son got married, his wife asked for the recipe. Like me, she tried to make it healthy, but gave up. It’s just one of those kind of gross, completely unhealthy dishes that everyone loves just the way it is.

24 hour fruit salad is a thanksgiving tradition
My sister’s recipe
24 hour fruit salad is always served at Thanksgiving in our house
Thanksgiving 2016 Fruit Salad

When we were living on the farm, I had this great idea to kill and clean my own turkey. I had a friend who raised turkeys and she invited me over a few days before Thanksgiving to “get our turkeys ready”.

We actually chased after turkeys in a pen until we caught two. I’m not sure what part of me forgot that I would then have to kill and pluck said bird. I hated doing that as a kid, so what was I thinking? Then came the part of cleaning out the entrails, or “dressing” it. Remind me to never, ever do that again. I hated every part of it and honestly couldn’t eat any turkey that year.

I’ve had big Thanksgiving dinners with a dozen or more people, and a few with just two. I’ve hosted dinner and gone to other homes. There’s even been a few times I’ve celebrated Thanksgiving at the beach. We may do that again this year.

Thanksgiving at the beach
Thanksgiving at Ledbetter Beach 2009
Beach Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving 2009

No matter where or how I’ve celebrated this holiday, it’s always my favorite. I am thankful for my life, health, family and friends. I  feel so lucky when I take a moment to reflect on what I’m thankful for, and I’m grateful to have a day to celebrate it.

What are your favorite Thanksgiving traditions or memories?

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