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What Are Your Thanksgiving Family Traditions?

Traci Taylor

When I think back to Thanksgiving as a kid, I’m filled with memories of my grandma’s candied yams that melted in my mouth and my grandpa’s gravy that he’d make in mass quantity- it was so good that we kids would sneak tastes of it with our fingers when we thought nobody was looking. As an adult, I learned that the grown-ups knew what we were doing.

I remember the sound of leaves crunching under my feet as I’d run around my grandparent’s yard and the warmth of the fire in the wood-stove, in front of which I’d curl up and nap after a big meal. I remember Thanksgiving being one of the few days that we kids were allowed to sit at the “big people” table in the formal dining room.  I remember laughter and togetherness.  We weren’t distracted by computers or cell phones or the TV.  It was just us, together and making memories.

What I remember of though about Thanksgiving was our family tradition of making gingerbread houses.  I don’t know who came up with the idea, but it was explained to me when I was older that the purpose was to keep us kids from being under foot while the grownups prepared the meal.  We kids would sit at the table and create gingerbread houses and somehow it always became a competition to see who could make the best house or who could get through the whole craft without eating all of their candy before their house was finished.

My husband and I are still working on what our family Thanksgiving traditions will be. So far, it’s been that we alternate visiting the in-laws so that neither side our families feel slighted. I’ve learned when you’re married, suddenly everything becomes about compromise. We’ve claimed Christmas for ourselves, so we share Thanksgiving with everybody else. Is there something special that you and your family or friends do together every year for Thanksgiving that you think my family would also love to do? Be sure to leave a comment below- I can’t wait to hear your ideas!

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