Thanksgiving Rituals

Just before digging in, my family goes around the table, one by one, and says what they are most thankful for.

I like that tradition.

But this year I’ve got a new one, inspired by The Stone Diaries by Carol Shields. One character, Alice, describes her favorite childhood game. She and her siblings would start by relating their very first memory, then go around in a circle, memory by memory, until they got up to the present day. Alice said that the best part of the game was thinking that she’d had all the memories and being surprised by the amount of new stuff she heard.

Anyway, it’s just me, el Hubbo and Princess Fuzzybutt this year. We’re getting up early to clean the house so it’s nice for our four-day weekend. We’ll have a ten-pound turkey with stuffing, some broccoli casserole, green beans and pumpkin chiffon pie… and we’re going to start this new tradition.


Men are from Mars, women are from Venus, dogs are from Pluto.

an excellent idea!.. I am all for new traditions. Especially when they make people realize what is really important in life. Let me know how it goes… I believe I may try to do the same.


“Only when he no longer knows what he is doing, does the painter do good
things.” --Edgar Degas

We used to do that too Canthearya. Its good to sit back, refocus and think of all the things we are truly blessed to have.


I am me… accept it or not.

Ya know, I just started talking to a girl who said her family has the same tradition of relating what they’re thankful for, but they don’t really get along all that well. I got the impression that her answer (at least in her mind) was she was thankful no one had thrown a drumstick yet. I fully expect her to be blitzed out of her gourd by around 8.

As for my family, we really don’t have much in the way of traditions. About the closest we come is the poker game that we play after dinner every year. You know, I don’t mind taking money from my smart-ass uncles or my parents, but when you hear your grandmother say something like, “Now, Zackariah, you took Grandma’s card,”…well, that’s just a little bit of guilt I could do without.

Not that I don’t take the money, mind you, I just don’t feel as good about it.


Then he said, “That is that.”
And then he was gone.
-Dr. Seuss, * The Cat in the Hat*

We have, at my house, one Thanksgiving tradition - Mass Chaos. (Considering there are just 8 of us, we work tremendously hard to accomplish this, year after year.)

Our family always divides into two groups - the Pilgrims and the Indians. The Pilgrims are not allowed to eat anything but dirt and rocks for the six weeks prior to Thanksgiving Day. The Indians arrive in traditional garb and show the pilgrims how to grow food. Several of the Indians succumb to diseases carried by the Pilgrims. On Thanksgiving Day both parties feast on traditional fruits, nuts, veggies, and wild game. Shortly after the meal the Pilgrims gather the Indians together and march them to a small corner of the property called “the reservation”. Several more Indians succumb to disease. The Pilgrims then proceed to chop down every tree on the property and build a strip mall. The Indians remain in “the reservation”, drinking whiskey and trying to get casino gambling laws passed.

Actually, the whole family gathers at one house and eat huge quantities of food. The men then gather in the living room to watch football while the women - well, I’m not sure what the women do, but they do it in their own group.


The overwhelming majority of people have more than the average (mean) number of legs. – E. Grebenik

It’s just me, my wife, and daughter in Seattle. About 1000 miles from the nearest relative. Our tradition, if you can call it that, is to have a great dinner at a restaurant on Puget Sound followed by whatever family movie is being released right about then. It means we spend the day together, and no one has to clean up afterwards.