11.22.2013

Thanksgiving: A Family Favorite


For as long as I can remember, Thanksgiving has been the big holiday in our family. We always had large gatherings with my Dad's side of the family and it's a day that we look forward to all year long.

Even from a young age, I always loved Thanksgiving. We would get together with family that we didn't see any other time of year. Everyone was always so happy; catching up, telling stories, and eating delicious food.

Originally, I think the location of Thanksgiving switched between my Gram's house, and her twin sister's house. But in more recent years it was mostly with my Gram. After my Gram passed away, we started a new tradition. Every other year switches off between my parents house, and my Aunt Cheri's house in Oregon.

One of my first memories from Thanksgiving was listening to my Auntie Alice tell us about the big flood that happened in Guerneville, where she lived. I looked up the flood, and it was in 1986 (unless there was another one), so I'm sure she must have been just re-telling the story. Because I doubt 1 year old Theresa would remember it so clearly.

She worked at the Safeway there in town, and talked about how the store flooded and she had to go up on the roof to escape the water. Maybe it's my 1 year old memory, but I think she was taken by helicopter from the roof of Safeway.  I can remember sitting there in awe, completely captivated by her story. I'm interested to hear what my family says after reading this, because I could have completely made that up. But that's how my memory tells it.

I don't know if this is more recent, but I always associate Thanksgiving with my Auntie Alice. It was usually the only time we saw her all year, and she was just so fun to be around, always making us laugh. Specifically a few years ago, when she had us all howling in a fit of laughter around the table after our Thanksgiving feast. Something about a "bitch on the couch" that would be too hard to explain if you weren't there with us. Sadly, we lost my Auntie Alice to cancer in 2011. And since Thanksgiving was also her favorite holiday, last year we had something extra special planned for our family in her memory.

It was my Aunt Cheri's turn to host Thanksgiving in Oregon, and my generous cousin had the idea that we should rent a house on the coast in Seaside, and all spend the week there as a family. We rented the most amazing house set right on the cliff with an ocean view. It was basically a slumber party for 16 of us, and it was without a doubt one of the best Thanksgiving weeks to date.

Not only was the house we rented amazing, but spending those few days with our family was so much fun. We went for walks, played games, watched football, random episodes of Duck Dynasty, cooked, ate, and drank to our hearts content, and really just appreciated spending time together.

A few years ago, my Aunt Cheri started a tradition of making the girls aprons to wear while we cooked on Thanksgiving. This year, our aprons all had family pictures on them with my Auntie Alice (who is Aunt Cheri's sister). It was so thoughtful, and a fun way to celebrate her memory and have her there with us.

The most special and memorable part of our trip, was the night before Thanksgiving. As you know, in Oregon it rains A LOT. And after dinner, there was a break in the rain. So my Aunt Cheri seized the opportunity for something special she had planned. She had purchased Thai Wish Lanterns for us to to light in memory of Auntie Alice. I'll never forget being on the beach with my family lighting them and watching them float off in the distance. It was really, really amazing. And I know it is something that meant a lot to each of us, and no one will ever forget it.

As you can imagine, I am so looking forward to seeing my family next week. We'll be in the foothills at my parents house this year. I'm so happy that Andrew gets to join us, and see why this holiday is so important to me.

Thanksgiving is all about being grateful for our families and the blessings in our life. And I couldn't be more thankful for mine. Last year, Christine was 24 weeks pregnant with little Phillip, and this year he'll get to join us in the turkey, cranberry sauce, and spanakopita feast! It seems like each year, this holiday becomes more and more special.

I hope that each of you are able to spend time with your family and friends on Thanksgiving next week! And know that I'm so thankful for all of you, my readers, that have made blogging such a fun and rewarding hobby!


Queens of pie making :) 
our house was up on that cliff
We woke up to a rainbow from Auntie Alice Thanksgiving morning
My sister made a "Thankful Tree" and we all wrote down things we were thankful for
My sister always does the tablescape...my Aunt brought everything from home to our rental house in order to make it feel festive!
My cousin Steve got a special apron since he's always on dish duty :)

These pictures make me so happy. Everyone says their family is the best, but mine actually IS the best! I can't wait to celebrate next week!!

6 comments:

  1. I love this! What an incredibly sweet way to honor your auntie! I also love the rent a house concept - I would imagine that would be a lot of fun! I'll be in Auburn for Thanksgiving as well. If you see me and Finn on a walk somewhere make sure to call out to me!! David's parents are near the bird sanctuary, is that close to you?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Awesome post! And I loved the pictures! Sounds like a very close family and I'm sure your aunt will be watching down on your family this year with a smile. We are heading to Nashville TN this year for the holiday as my husband Is officiating a football game there. I get a break from the cooking as I cooked for my husbands entire family last year. I had a packed house, but I loved every minute of it. You inspired me so I will have to write a post about it along with pictures. Thanks for sharing your story :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. sounds so fun! I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

    ReplyDelete
  4. gosh- you and your family are too cute!!
    love the personalized aprons - so fun!
    hope you have a safe week with loved ones this week- thinking of you sweet friend!

    ReplyDelete
  5. This is so awesome. I love your aunt's idea of making aprons with pictures of your Aunt Alice on them. So incredibly special...AND you lit the lanterns. What an amazing Thanksgiving!

    ReplyDelete

Pin It button on image hover