This time of year, it is not uncommon for us all to begin pondering holiday traditions. Depending on where you are in the world, you may have some slightly different ways of celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday. For instance, India celebrates through a number of harvest-related festivals that take place in different regions. If you came from Ancient Greece, you may remember the tradition of the cornucopia. Greek mythology says that this was actually an enchanted goat’s horn created by Zeus that produced an eternal supply of whatever its owner desires (eternal flow of milk chocolate, anyone?).
But let’s focus more on what tradition means to us as individuals. I have recently found that all those on staff here at the Centerville Public Library have some very interesting Thanksgiving traditions and books to go along with them. I believe you may find some of them fascinating, heart-warming, moving, and well…familiar if your family has similar practices:
Penelope: “One of the fondest memories I have of my Dad has to do with Thanksgiving at the ocean. We used to go visit the WWII bunkers at Tybee Island and have a great time! I’ve gone down to Tybee several times for Thanksgiving and it always reminds me of my dad and the wonderful times we have together.”
Favorite Thanksgiving book: ‘Twas the Night before Thanksgiving By Dav Pilkey
Cindy: “My mom is English, so our traditions are reminiscent of her origins. She makes homemade yeast rolls and Christmas crackers (known better in America as “poppers”). The crackers are obviously more of a Christmas tradition, but the whole family congregates for Thanksgiving, so we always have them then.”
Favorite Thanksgiving book: 10 Fat turkeys by Tony Johnston
Karbecia: “My family has a cookie and ornament swap. Everyone makes 1 dozen cookies and brings a unique Christmas ornament. The game works like Dirty Santa, except with sweet treats and neat ornaments! On the day after Thanksgiving when we are tired of turkey & dressing, we usually have a seafood feast.”
Favorite Thanksgiving book: There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie by Alison Jackson
Heather: “Our whole family –including extended- gets together for my mom’s famous homemade egg noodles. My friends even come over and fight about who gets the most noodles from my mom! We also pitch in and help make my grandma’s recipe of bread dressing. On the day after Thanksgiving, it is our family tradition to put up and decorate our Christmas tree.”
Favorite Thanksgiving book: Happy Thanksgiving, Gus by Jacklyn Williams
Nancy: “For Thanksgiving, we always go to my sister-in-law’s house and all bring yummy dishes to eat! We eat in the mid-afternoon. We live close to each other, so we get to visit throughout the year, but Thanksgiving day is still very special to us.”
Favorite Thanksgiving Book: Thanksgiving Visitor by Truman Capote
Joy: “We have Thanksgiving lunch with my mother-in-law’s side of the family – and there is always way too much to eat. We have all the traditional treats – turkey, rolls, stuffing, and Aunt Faye’s pumpkin pie! Then, we have dinner at my father-in-law’s where we eat too much again… but this time, it’s Bar-B-Q & homemade ice cream!”
Favorite Thanksgiving Book: Arthur’s Thanksgiving by Marc Brown
Sue: “We are an air force family, so we usually just celebrate wherever we are at the time, with whomever happens to be traveling with us! We also welcome in other air force men that aren’t able to return home for the holidays. one of our fun traditions on Thanksgiving day is to eat until we are bursting, “fall” out of our chairs, and start singing Christmas carols to ring in the next holiday. As you can imagine, our visitors that aren’t familiar with this tradition give us some very funny looks – but it’s so much fun!”
Favorite Thanksgiving Book: A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving by Justine Fontes
Regina: “Sometimes we got to my in-law’s for Thanksgiving and have ‘turkey 3 ways:’ fried, smoked and baked! We are gobbling by the time we leave there!! In the past, we have all gathered at my grandmother’s on Thanksgiving Day and started our holiday baking with her. She had 2 very special dishes she would always make. She passed away this year, but we plan to continue her baking tradition for years to come.”
Favorite Thanksgiving Book: Well, it’s actually a song – “Hello, Mr. Turkey.” Try it sometime… you kids may really enjoy it!
And then there’s me (a.k.a. Laura). My tradition is pretty simple – we have Thanksgiving lunch with my in-laws where we have homemade Brunswick stew. Then, we visit with my parents and eat the traditional turkey & dressing for supper (I’ve learned that 2 Thanksgiving feasts in the same day is better known as a “food coma”… can anyone relate?). I have to say that my favorite Thanksgiving book is A Turkey for Thanksgiving by Eve Bunting.
So, now it’s your turn – tell us about you and your family’s Thanksgiving traditions and/or favorite Thanksgiving books in the comment section below.