What Thanksgiving Is To Me

Thanksgiving is….

  • memories of my parents who are no longer here to celebrate this day with me and realizing how richly blessed I was to have them for parents.  I’m thankful they established Thanksgiving Day traditions when I was growing up, and that my sisters and I are continuing on with those traditions today.  The table seems empty without them but they live on forever in my heart.   
  • watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade every Thanksgiving morning.
  • being thankful for both my sons being able to come home for Thanksgiving (one almost didn’t get to come, but he is home)! 
  • being thankful that my husband doesn’t have to work this year on this day, and feeling very grateful for all those in the medical profession and other helping professions who do have to work and be away from their families on Thanksgiving.
  • a set of vintage Gurley Thanksgiving candles that make me smile every year.  My mother had these on her dining room table every year at Thanksgiving (well actually my sister got my mother’s set and I bought exact replicas off of eBay)!  It’s all about tradition! 


  • Kings Arms Tavern Sweet potatoes.  When I was a senior in high school, I took a school-related trip to Colonial Williamsburg and Washington D.C.  Best. Trip. Ever. We ate at Kings Arms Tavern in Williamsburg which continues to be one of the best meals I can ever remember eating.  You could request recipe books as you were leaving and I got recipes for everything I had eaten.  I have made these sweet potatoes every year since 1976.  Again, it’s all about tradition!


  • Happy memories of waking up as a child to the smell of my mother’s wonderful cooking – the turkey baking in the oven, and the smell of onions sautéed in butter.  Ummm…..
  • Memories of gathering around the dining room table with family (we only ate in the dining room on special occasions like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter). 
  • A Napco Turkey covered dish.  Again, this was always the centerpiece on my mother’s Thanksgiving table (along with the Gurley candles).  I bought the matching turkey planter, and the candle sticks and the salt and pepper shakers.  It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without these.   


  • being thankful for blessings of this past year.  For happiness, health, home, church, friends and family. 
  • being able to gather with family and listen to the cousins asking year after year if they will EVER get to “move up” to the adult table. 
  • my sister’s pumpkin pie
  • kidding my sister every year about the time she made a no-bake pumpkin pie, but forgot to bake the pie shells.  She will never live that one down, and it wouldn’t be Thanksgiving if we didn’t tease her about it at least once. 
  • memories of the Cherry Heering liqueur my father used to have on every Thanksgiving.  I always liked the smell, but abhorred the taste.  Yet I tasted it every year, and every year, it disgusted me.  But it was tradition. 
  • remembering how my mother used to make turkey gravy every year and she was her own worst critic.  It was always delicious and everyone loved it, but she continued saying until the day she died how she couldn’t make good gravy. 
  • smiling at the pictures taken of my kids with a turkey leg when they were babies/toddlers. 

    My oldest son at his 2nd Thanksgiving


My youngest son on his 2nd Thanksgiving
  • Remembering with much laughter, the first time I hosted Thanksgiving for my family in my home.  It was my first time to ever cook a turkey.  I made the dressing, stuffed it into the turkey but never removed it from the carcass of the turkey to serve it.  I didn’t even realize it until we had just finished eating, and I screamed out, “Oh no!  I forgot to serve the dressing!”  Everyone all at the same time said, “well, I was wondering where the dressing was!”  But not one single person said anything!! 
  • loving the memory of reading the story of Thanksgiving to my boys when they were little.  Every year on the night before Thanksgiving, we would read a book about the first Thanksgiving.  It meant a lot, perhaps more to me than to them. 
  • Egg nog and boiled custard.
  • being thankful for our military who made it possible for us to be able to celebrate this day and have the freedoms we have in this country today. 
  • being thankful to God for the many rich blessings he gives me.  
  • listening to my brother-in-laws and nephews screaming at the TV watching football. 
  • having the desire to call my sister every year on Thanksgiving, just because I know she will answer the phone by saying,  ” Happy Thanksgiving” just like my dad always did, in his very sincere and kind voice.
  • my mother’s gold tablecloth.
  • my cheesey turkey lights!
  • my sister’s turkey napkin rings…. wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without these!  She made them when she was in high school. 

  •   wishing year after year that Martha Stewart would come arrange my cornucopia.
  • watching a Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

  • a delicious meal shared with people I love. 

Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. 

Gail ♥

About Gail

I am a wife, mother, sister, aunt, friend, veterinarian, and wanna be writer. I love nature and animals of all kinds, music, cooking, and spending time with my family.
This entry was posted in Memories, Thanksgiving and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to What Thanksgiving Is To Me

  1. Paula says:

    Such good memories. I am thankful that our family has always celebrated Thanksgiving in a big way. To this day, it is still my most favorite holiday. Thanks for the walk down memory lane!

    • Gail says:

      I am glad too that we are still keeping up the Thanksgiving traditions that we were raised with. And when we are gone, hopefully our kids will keep them up also!

  2. Elizabeth S.O. says:

    I love those turkey lights!

  3. indie says:

    There are turkey leg photos of me in the high chair too. 🙂

  4. Gail says:

    Reblogged this on Moonlight Reflections and commented:

    I’m busy in the kitchen this Thanksgiving morning so I’m reposting this Thanksgiving blog from a few years back . Happy Thanksgiving to all!

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