I have some happy memories of Thanksgiving when I was a little girl. My immediate family would gather round the table. This included my grandparents, my parents and my two sisters. I was the youngest! I felt very happy and loved in my family, and enjoyed those celebrations.
Although both my parents had big extended families,we never shared Thanksgiving with them. It was a pretty simple holiday. My mother insisted on being alone in the kitchen preparing the meal. We knew to stay out of her way. If we went near her or her preparations, she would get really upset. She wanted everything to be perfect.
It wasn’t a totally traditional American menu because it always included chopped liver, and Matzah Ball Soup. We had the other things: stuffing, turkey, sweet potatoes with marshmallows, green beans with mushroom soup, cranberry sauce, a salad, and pumpkin pie for dessert.
My mother never changed the menu. It was the same every year. Later, my sister added her cherry jello mold (with sour cream) which I later added to my own celebration. Unfortunately, I never wrote down my mother’s recipe for matzah balls, chopped liver, or stuffing. I’ve made all those things, but it never tasted like my mom’s.
One day my oldest sister offered to take over the Thanksgiving celebration. (By this time, one of my sister’s and her husband had moved out-of-town.) My mother was happy to relinquish her role as hostess.
Now, our celebration included my two nieces, my brother-in-law, and their dog, Gus, who gleefully ate all the scraps. (By this time, my grandparents were long gone.)
Eventually, my family scattered, and Thanksgiving together came to an end.
I did get everyone together for Thanksgiving in 1979, but it never happened again.
Nothing lasts forever, even families. The best thing to do every year is be thankful for what you do have, and savor every moment together.
Happy Early Thanksgiving!
I’d welcome comments about your childhood Thanksgiving celebrations! What’s your happiest memory?