I think that growing up, we all had certain traditions that we did as a family. Mine was no different. Today I wanted to reminisce in a few of my family’s Thanksgiving traditions while growing up. I am feeling nostalgic I suppose.
I say growing up, my parents have divorced in my adult life. Some of these traditions are sort of carried on in their own ways now, but they were so very important and happy when I was younger. I hope that Chris and I will start a few traditions of our own for each holiday.
On Thanksgiving day growing up, our house always had the aroma of delicious foods! My mom literally spends most of Thanksgiving Day in the kitchen cooking up a huge feast. She stops at nothing. She cooks the usual foods you see on Thanksgiving: turkey, ham, stuffing (northern style, none of that southern stuff that is swimming with all things horrible for you), sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes and gravy, cranberries, and rolls. She also makes a made from scratch Italian dish, usually either stuff shells (my favorite) or lasagna and pepperoni rolls. Let’s not even get started on the deserts! Apple pie and pumpkin pie are always seen, as well as pecan tassies and pumpkin bars. My mom is the best cook I know. I am not just saying that because she is my mom, she is seriously amazing. I hope one day I can learn how to make her pie crusts. Everything she does is always from scratch.
Another tradition for Thanksgiving is that my mom always bought a special box of mixed chocolate to snack on throughout the day. She would leave the map of what chocolate was what out on the counter so we could try different ones. You certainly have to have a cheat day for Thanksgiving if you are around there!
My family wasn’t huge into sports, so football games were not playing on the TV. Instead, we would watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. I always loved all the music and watching all the cool floats every year. I loved the dancers, majorettes and marching bands too. My favorite float every year was always Snoopy because it was my moms favorite. Chris is a huge Snoopy fan, so that makes me happy. Snoopy décor manages to find his way into every holiday for me still and I love it!
Thanksgiving evening was the same every year. When dinner was said and done, my dad would put up the Christmas tree and the lights. We used to laugh because every year there would be an issue and he would get totally pissed and start banging stuff around and bitching about how he wasn’t going to do it next year. Whatever, every year he did it! For awhile he really got into it, he made an entire Grinch scene for our front yard out of wood and painted it and had spot lights for it. The Grinch himself even stood on our roof at the chimney with a bag. We had Whoville in our yard with Max (the dog) Cindy Lou who, and a few Who houses. It was amazing and so special.
My mom, sister and I always decorated the tree every year. We would spend hours hanging the ornaments and talking about all the memories of the ornaments. Some my sister and I made over the years, some were pictures from when we were younger, some relatives who had passed bought or gave us them. It was always so much fun.
Every year when the tree was up, we would all sit down as a family and watch the same two movies. Eddie and the Cruisers and Eddie and the Cruisers II Eddie Lives. My favorite (and my moms) was always the second one, and that is usually the one we would request. I love love love the music in it, and still do to this day. You can download some of the songs on Spotify and that makes me soooo happy! My favorite songs from the movie are “NYC Song,” “Garden of Eden,” “Some Like It Hot,” “Dark Side,” and “Boardwalk Angel.” There are some guitar and saxophone solos that give me chills! I think the first movie came out the year I was born, 1983. The first movie is a lot of flashbacks to the 60’s when the Eddie and the Cruisers band played in New Jersey. The second movie takes place in present time and is about Eddie’s life after people thought he was dead. I just love them.