Thanksgiving Traditions

Our contributors got together and compiled a list of their special Thanksgiving traditions.  This is our last post for the week and we hope everyone has a wonderful holiday!

In The Leatherbarrow house…

We have some wonderful Traditions.

  1. We get together with our close friends and our families, sit around the table during the feast, and then, going turn-by-turn we say what we are all thankful for, being sure to make fun of any super serious ones.
  2. After the feast I have my first glass of Egg Nog and watch whatever pro-football game is on and I talk about how the pros never play as hard as the college teams.
  3. We finish the night by getting together as a family and watching The nightmare before Christmas to kick off the coming Christmas season, because the next day we are going to cut down a tree!

In the Beasley house…

Todd and I had our first date on Thanksgiving Day when we were just fifteen years old. That may seem like an odd day for a first date, but Todd lived near Utica Square and his family always had a large group of people over to their house so they could all walk to Utica together for the “Lights On” celebration. Afterwards, everyone would come back to his house for hot chocolate and dessert. For the past 28 years, we have bundled up babies and traipsed after teenagers making sure not to miss our favorite Thanksgiving tradition. Some years we were shivering, and other years we were sweating, but the tradition has become a sentimental symbol of a young first date that blossomed into a beautiful love story.

In the Araujo house…

As someone who loves to cook, it’s no surprise that I love Thanksgiving. But my favorite part of the holiday comes after the turkey, dressing and mashed potatoes. We push the living room couches back and the entire extended family sits in a big circle. We pass a bowl of dry beans around and each person grabs a handful. As the bowl is passed around the circle a second time, each person shares the things they are thankful for. With each gratitude report, a bean plunks back into the bowl. Along with the beans, numerous tears inevitably fall as we share the blessings (and sometimes disappointments) we’ve experienced in the past year. It’s a beautiful time of authenticity and thankfulness as a family.

In the Philippsen house…

As October gives way to November, and the leaves turn their beautiful autumn hues, I cannot help smiling as I breathe in the crisp fall air in anticipation of spending time with my family in Dallas for Thanksgiving. As my cousins and I have grown older, our family has gotten larger with the addition of spouses and children of our own. One thing that hasn’t changed are our traditions that have served to bring us together, often after having not seen one another since December of the previous year. A few traditions that serve to remind us of the love and gratitude we should show year ‘round are:

  • Circle of Thanks – before breaking bread and diving into Thanksgiving fare, we stand in a circle and each person is paired with another and is expected to share an expression of why they are thankful for him or her. This tradition prompts us to stay abreast of family through phone calls, cards, and social media so we can have something of substance to highlight.
  • Games – we play spades, dominoes, and the crowd favorite, Catchphrase late into the night and after our annual viewing of the Dallas Cowboys’ game.

In the Westfall house…

A strange Thanksgiving tradition emerged in our family about 15 years ago. My parents bought a ranch in Skiatook and each fall, the Hale clan saves our pumpkins from Halloween and sets them up at the ranch to use for target practice. Nothing gets us into the holiday spirit like blowing a pumpkin to smithereens.

In the Tiger house…

My parents are big Dallas Cowboys fans. My dad is a pastor, and so attending games on a Sunday were typically difficult to do, so after my grandmother passed away in the late 80s, we started a new tradition of going to Dallas to watch the Cowboys play. Our traditional Thanksgiving lunch for our family of four was Black Eyed Peas, and then after the game we would go to Denny’s for dinner. Thing have changed now. Instead of four of us, there are ten of us. Having the little ones around make every experience a little bit different, but we love being together as a family, and isn’t that what Thanksgiving is all about?

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