Friday, November 18, 2016

Thanksgiving ~ Our Memories Through the Years of this Sharing Holiday

(c) Personal Photo
Our Thanksgiving Tradition - Sharing with Friends

Our Thanksgiving Tradition began quite accidentally in 1962.  First Thanksgiving together, first year of marriage, new baby, new job in a new State far from family, and Bob, a radio broadcaster, had to work on Thanksgiving Day.  As it turned out, Bob's co-worker was also new to the State and had no family nearby, so Bob brought him home for dinner with us.

This began a 40-year tradition of 'sharing' our Thanksgiving Dinner with someone who would otherwise be alone and probably not even have a traditional holiday dinner. We fed a turkey dinner to a lot of grateful bachelors over the years and it always felt like the perfect way to celebrate this "sharing" holiday.



Pilgrim Greeters



Our church in Lincoln, Nebraska had a tradition for the Thanksgiving Service of having a family with a pair of children be 'greeters' for the congregation. Someone in the church had made pilgrim costumes for the greeters to wear. In 1969 our children (
Chris & Kim, brother and sister, ages 7 & 4) were chosen - not just because they were so cute (well, they were!), but because they were the right SIZE for the only pair of costumes available. Chris & Kim had a marvelous time "dressing up" and greeting everyone at the door to the church.


What Can I Bring?

 

Friend Eric, daughter Kim, & son-in-law Paul at Thanksgiving Dinner

 Dinner guests often ask "What can I bring?"  For several years, while living in Georgia, we invited a young bachelor friend of our daughter and son-in-law to Thanksgiving Dinner. Eric was a broadcaster with a Public Radio Station and had to work on holidays, so he came to dinner after work. Eric always wanted to "bring a dish", so we left 'dessert' up to him. The first two years, Eric brought TWO kinds of pies, a third different dessert, like a cheesecake, AND a bag of Peanut M&M's.



These extra desserts Eric brought worked out well when our shared table included our daughter and her husband from St. Louis and another year when we also had my brother & his family, making Thanksgiving a bountiful 'family & friend-filled holiday.


One Thanksgiving Eric was the only dinner guest, thus there was only 3 of us eating an entire Thanksgiving Dinner. Therefore, I admonished Eric to bring only ONE dessert -- there was only SO MUCH that we could eat!
 

Away for Thanksgiving 


This Thanksgiving day it was my son carving the turkey. 

From being the home my family came to for holiday celebrations, Thanksgiving 2010 the 'tables' were reversed and I spent Thanksgiving at the home of my youngest son in Kansas City, Kansas.


Grandsons Nick & Jake

Thanksgiving with my Grandsons!
 
My Grandsons made the Thanksgiving weekend at my son's house even more special as Thanksgiving is:


~a family time,


              ~a sharing time, 

                                   ~a loving time!







Happy Thanksgiving from the Austins!


Related article: Thanksgiving Themes


(c) Wednesday Elf  article originally published 11/3/2009.   Updated 11/18/2016.

12 comments:

  1. What lovely memories for you and your family. The true spirit of Thanksgiving for all to see. Happy Thanksgiving to you too Miss Elf.

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    1. Thanks, Olivia. Next year I'm celebrating both the Canadian and the American Thanksgiving so I can have roast turkey both in October and November! After all, my ancestors came from Canada, so I should celebrate your Canadian Thanksgiving to remember them by.

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  2. Like you, we have hosted the Thanksgiving dinner for our family for decades. During the kids school & college years, I never knew who would show up at our table, but their friends were always welcome. Thanksgiving is a wonderful celebration for us, but for me it is a time to sit back and really count my blessings! Oh, and I have to tell you. I just love that pilgrim family photo!

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    1. Mouse, it's always special when friends join our family for Thanksgiving dinner. And, delighted you liked our Pilgrim family photo. We had a lovely time being greeters at our church Thanksgiving celebration.

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  3. I remember a Thanksgiving when we lived in Kansas City and my husband,also a radio broadcaster, also brought home a fellow broadcaster with no in town relatives. A very nice Thanksgiving that I remember fondly 25 years later. Love your tradition

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    1. Broadcasters make the most interesting dinner guests, Mary Beth! Glad you got to experience it too. I lost count how many radio, and later TV, broadcasters we fed over the years!

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  4. Happy Thanksgiving to the Austins! Thanks for sharing your Thanksgiving history. Your family has made a lot of good memories, which is always my favorite part of a holiday.

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    1. The memories are special, Susan. Happy Thanksgiving to your family too.

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  5. Oh how sweet. I love the idea of sharing the day. Happy Thanksgiving to your family.

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    1. Thanks, Dawn. Thanksgiving, to me, has always been a sharing holiday, so I'm happiest when I can share the meal with others.

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  6. What a wonderful tradition. We've had many different thanksgiving traditions that included people who were not "blood" family. Thanksgiving is more special when you can share it with soneone. Your tradition set a great example for your children.

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    1. Barbara, I think traditions are special, especially around a holiday like Thanksgiving which is such a sharing time. Thanks for visiting.

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