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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Family Traditions

With Thanksgiving fast upon us, I wanted to take a moment and talk about family traditions, especially for this holiday. It’s my favorite one and I think so much of that has to do with my grandparents, who were very special to me.

            The first tradition? Fall cleaning. I know. How sad that cleaning is right up there at the top of the list. Every year while I was growing up, I spent the weekend before Thanksgiving with my grandparents….cleaning. Windows and blinds were washed and new draperies were hung up. All decorations and pictures were removed from the walls and those walls got a scrubbing (including the baseboards) before those newly dusted and polished decorations and pictures went back on the wall. The kitchen would be cleaned too (we’re talking getting down on hands and knees to scrub the floor). We did this kind of heavy cleaning in the spring, too, but I digress.

            After all the cleaning? The second tradition: cooking. Oh yes. Grandma was a great cook (and so was Grandpa, who actually did more of the cooking than she did!). There was homemade date nut and banana breads and rice pudding and pies! Oh my! The pies. Pumpkin and apple. Cherry. Mince meat. And of course, there was Grandma’s cheesecake, a little piece of heaven right here on earth. Turkey with all the trimmings and those little special dishes Grandma made. Stuffing balls were my favorites (and still are and yes, I make them every year).

            Third part? Family coming to visit, sitting around the table and eating until chairs were pushed back, a trouser button or two might be opened and everyone groaned because they were so full.

            I still have all these traditions. I still clean like a maniac (and my house smells like Pine-Sol when I’m done) and hang those new draperies and I still cook. I don’t make the Mince meat pie as it just wouldn’t be eaten, but I make everything else, including the cheesecake and I still have family over (well, sort of. My friends are my family now). My grandparents as well as my parents are gone, but that doesn’t matter. I can still see them all gathered around the table, laughing (I can still hear my grandfather’s laugh…it reminded me of Popeye), still see my grandmother making up care packages of leftovers for all of us to take home and isn’t that the best tradition of all?

            What are some of your traditions?



1 comment:

  1. That all sounds fabulous! I used to have a big Thanksgiving but as many are now gone and some can't drive the distance anymore, it's small yet still wonderful. I love the smells of cinnamon and cloves, soft lights, and dogs getting their own scraps of the goodies. The idea of an elastic waistband is always there, but I force myself not to do that, so I may behave an inch better!
    Happy Thanksgiving!