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Monday, November 15, 2010

A typical traditional Thanksgiving

Over the river and through the woods,
To grandmother’s house we go
The horse knows the way to carry the sleigh
Through white and drifted snow

Over the river and through the woods,
Oh how the wind does blow
It stings the toes and bites the nose
As over the ground we go

Over the river and through the woods,
And through the barnyard gate
We seem to go extremely slow
It is so hard to wait

Over the river and through the woods,
To grandmother’s house we go
The horse knows the way to carry the sleigh
I'm Thankful For Family Myspace CommentThrough white and drifted snow

Hooray for the fun
Is the pudding done?
Hooray for the pumpkin pie
Is the pudding done?

With Thanksgiving in a few days and the crisp autumn leaves turning into snow-slick leaves of winter, family gatherings come to mind. For those of you who know me and read my blog, you know that holiday traditions are the backbone of who I am and what I am made of. For the past few weeks, the media has been all a buzz with turkeymania! Everyone is caught up in holiday madness, scurrying about planning traditional holiday dinners with all the trimmings. Favorite family recipes are prepared with tender loving care, holiday candlestick holders are buffed to a gleaming shine, a fall centerpiece is masterfully created and the table is set with holiday runners, vintage wine glasses and polished china and sterling silverware@

No one can say for certain precisely what food was served at Plymouth Rock on that momentous day in 1620, but what is certain is that a tradition was started that has  endured the test of time.  Family and friends still gather together at a loved one’s home to celebrate good times and good people with a celebratory feast.

My Thanksgiving celebration is an old fashioned traditional dinner with all the trimmings. Although we don’t travel over the river and through the woods to Grandmother’s house, we gather each year at my mother’s and she is grandmother to two wonderful grandchildren who bring us so much joy.

As per tradition, the women in the family all cook or bake a dish which has been branded with her name on it.

Mom typically roasts the bird to a crisp golden brown. She stuffs the turkey with bread crumbs, onions, celery, butter and sage. She also makes a sweet potato casserole and bakes those delicious pumpkin pies

I peel and mash the potatoes as well as bake my Irish soda bread and an appetizer of stuffed mushrooms. My sister brings another appetizer of crab meat dip generously spread on Triscuit crackers as well as the world-renown green bean casserole. Would it be Thanksgiving without it? Her daughter Kendall adds to the feast by baking her yummy pumpkin cookies. My brother and his wife live in Wisconsin and have made trademark sausage and artisan cheeses a tradition in our home.

And while the women folk are bustling about in Grandma’s kitchen in preparation of the celebration, what are the men folk doing? Why, watching football, of course while munching on appetizers. My brother-in-law and his son can’t shove those stuffed mushrooms in fast enough. But when it comes to the final countdown, the men all chip in with all those last minute details to bring the meal full circle, beginning with Grandpa carving the turkey.

After dinner and after the pumpkin pie, we all waddle into the living room for more football. While our meal is digesting, we draw names for our Christmas grab bag gift, something that has made its way as part of the Donovan Thanksgiving family tradition

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Myspace CommentWhether you travel over the river and through the woods to Grandmother’s house or not, traditions are the hallmark of family and are born to be passed on from generation to generation. Whatever you do or however you celebrate, wishing you and your family a safe and blessed Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving and Holiday Wishes Myspace Comment


Sharon Donovan said...

Allow Oliver to bring you a big slice of his home-made pumpkin pie while you tell us how you celebrate Thanksgiving.

Larry Hammersley said...

Hi Sharon: I'm so glad you are up and about again. Hope you got my card sometime back. Well, I've celebrated Thanksgiving for the last several years by meeting with running friends and we go for a five or six mile run together. Well, being now 72 I run with the slower crowd. This year there is a more organized competitive run in Mitchell, IN. It is four miles. I look forward to running with all my friends for that. Afterwards, Sue, my wife may be ropped into cooking by other relatives. We all like her cooking. Larry

Lisa Alexander Griffin said...

Sounds like a wonderful Thanksgiving you guys have, Sharon. :) Ours is very similar. Love getting together with my family, and all the delicious food is just an added plus. :)

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!! Glad to see you back up and about. You are a true inspiration to so many.

Sharon Donovan said...

Hi Larry, yes I got your lovely card. Thank you for your kind thoughtfulness. Wow, you really must be in terrific shape to do such a run. You deserve second helpings after such a workout.
Happy Thanksgiving.

P.L. Parker said...

We used to all get together at my parents' house but mom's health has altered that. Now I do the Thanksgiving Feast. Might not be quite as wonderful as the ones she hosted but I am trying. (I will never get the knack of making Parkerhouse Rolls. Mine never stay shut down like hers did.) We have a few family recipes handed down from my Danish grandmother that we use. Sweet and sour red cabbage is one of them.

Redameter said...

My daughters and I have a black Friday routine actually. After we have stuffed ourselves with Turkey and ham and sweet potato cassarole, we gather the adds for all the sales, and plan out our route which store will be visit first.

We go to I-Hop about 2 or three in the morning, have breakfast, and finish planning our shopping trip. Then about 5 we hit the first opening stores. We shop until about 2 PM the next day and then we go home with almost all of Christmas bought. It is fun and all the girls are together at this time.

Linda Swift said...

Hi Sharon. Thank you for sharing the poem I remember from my childhood. Doesn't it give you a warm and happy feeling to read those words? Our TG tradition is very much like yours. Years ago a new friend wrote me a letter on TG, thanking me for my friendship and saying she selected one person to thank each TG. I've adopted that tradition since then and this year I am going to thank you. My life is richer because I know you and have your courage and attitude toward life as an example of how to respond to life's adversity. So thank you, Sharon, and I wish you and all your family a wonderful holiday. And I know they are all so thankful, as we are, to have you with them this year. Linda S.

Sharon Donovan said...

Hi Lisa, thank you for your kind words. Yes, Thanksgiving is especially near and dear to my heart this year. Happy Thanksgiving.

Lori, Sr. Editor for Wild Rose Press said...

With my grandmother gone now, traditions are changing and re-establishing. This year, I will host my mother and my own kids. We all pitch in and cook together with everything as streamlined as I can possibly get it. (I like to watch football too!)

Hey, when does Oliver don his apron and make a meal for all of those visiting the blog? :)

Laurean Brooks said...

Hi Sharon: I'm not fond of pumpkin. "Oliver, bring me the sweet potato casserole...please."

Until the last couple years when our family grew and scattered we celebrated Thanksgiving either at my house or my sisters.' After a meal of turkey & dressing, ham, cheesy potatoes, broccoli casserole, sweet potato casserole, plus a dozen scruptious desserts, the family pulled out board games.

"Sorry" and "Mad Gab" are my favorites. I love to strategize with "Sorry" and I enjoy unscrambling the word sounds to form a coherent sentence in "Mad Gab."

Always a day filled with love, laughter, and hilarity. Besides Christmas, Thanksgiving is the only time much of our family sees one another.

Sharon, I wish you and everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving. God blessed us by bringing our ancestors to a new, free country where we could worship and celebrate Him as we please. Let's given Him the praise.

Happy Thanksgiving to all you incredible authors and editors.@

Sharon Donovan said...

Hi Patsy, I'm sure your dinner will be delicious. Here's hoping you get the hang of those Parker House rolls.
Happty Thanksgiving.

Sharon Donovan said...

Hi Rita, sounds like a fun tradition with the girls, but seriously early. Hope you catch some Early Bird specials for sure.

Mary Ricksen said...

I'll be there at what time?
Sounds just like my childhood holidays.
Now we are all over the country and rarely get to be together. But the memories of one of my aunts cooking the big pan of salad still makes me laugh!
Happy Holiday my friend and MMMMMmmmm stuffed mushrooms!

Sharon Donovan said...

Hi Linda, what a unique tradition. Thanks for choosing me---it's something I will cherish always. I consider your friendship a gift.
Happy Thanksgiving.

Sharon Donovan said...

Hi Lori, sounds like you have a typical Thanksgiving at your house too. Like the Macy's parade and the green bean casserole,football is a Thanksgiving tradition. Oliver, how much longer for that 22 pound bird--all right, more vintage wine and stuffed mushrooms. Hope no one gets tipsy...

Linda Banche said...

In my house, we eat a lot of turkey. *g* I'm overjoyed that you're back among us. Stay healthy and with us for many more Thanksgivings to come.

Sharon Donovan said...

Hi Laurie, wow what a lot of food to prepare. You know, you got me hungry for those cheesy potatoes. Mmmmmm
Speaking of traditions, we have them for our Easter dinner. I make them. LOL
We all have a lot to give thanks for this year. I know I do and will be counting my blessings. Happy Thanksgiving.

Sharon Donovan said...

Mary, Oliver promises dinner is coming right up. In the meantime, have another glass of vino and more mushrooms.

Debra St. John said...

Oh, Oliver you are a darling...yummy, pumkin pie.

Thanksgiving has always been 'our' holiday...when I was growing up, we always hosted the rest of the family. Waking up to the smell of Mom's turkey in the oven was heavenly.

Now that we're 'grown up', my sister is the hostess. But we still have all of our traditional holiday favorites.

Okay, now my mouth is watering just thinking about next week....

Sharon Donovan said...

LOL Lyn, is that you hiding behind the mask of Mary Ricksen?
Seriously though, I have so very much to be grateful for this year and will be sending one up to our creator and the cardiac team for giving me another chance at life.

Sharon Donovan said...

Hi Linda, thank you for your kind words. You know truth be told, I prefer a stuffed chicken to a turkey but tradition is tradition. Happy Thanksgiving.

Sharon Donovan said...

Hi Debra, I love hearing about other family traditions and what makes a house a home for the holiday. Oliver is heading your way with a huge slice of pumpkin pie with your name on it.

Hywela Lyn said...

Hi Sharon

Of course we don't celebrate Thanksgiving as such here in the UK - so the turkeys are safe until Christmas LOL. I love sharing the holiday experiences of my friends in the US though - and my own Thanks go to you and all my other wonderful on-line friends. and to the Creator and the skill of the surgeon and doctors who brought you back to us.

Love and hugs and have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Hywela Lyn said...

Good sleuthing Sharon - you've blown my cover!

Actually that wasn't supposed to happen, I've reposted my post under my real name! :)

Green Grandma said...

Well, Sharon, this makes me want to join your family for the day!! One of our traditions is Questions! I write questions on little cards and pass them around during dinner. Everyone then gets the chance to read their question and answer it while everyone else sits and listens. It gives every guest at the table a chance to be heard and we learn a lot about each other. This is not just a Thanksgiving tradition...we do this at every holiday meal. Questions include "What are you most thankful for this year?," "What is your favorite part of the meal?," "If you could have anyone else here at the table, who would it be?," "Who do you miss most this year?," etc. I try to make the questions appropriate for whatever holiday we're celebrating...that's part of our holiday tradition.

Tanya Hanson said...

What a lovely, lovely post! We always celebrate here at our house...our grown kids come for a few days. Usually other relatives are here but they're traveling north for the birth of their first grandchild. I totally love Thanksgiving. This year my three-year old grandson and I are making a pumpkin pie...we practiced last week.

Kendall said...

Aunt Sharon,

This post was perfect and so accurate, it made me excited for Thanksgiving!!! Love you!

Sharon Donovan said...

Green Grandma, what a lovely and totally unique tradition. I love it! Thanks for dropping in and sharing part of your holiday with us. Looking forward to our December's Writers at Work meeting. I
've missed you

Sharon Donovan said...

Hi Tanya, thanks for sharing your family holiday traditions. Sounds great. Have fun baking those pumpkin pies with your grandchild. Could you have adopted a new tradition? Smile

Sharon Donovan said...

Kendall! Here we go again--the beginning of the holiday season, starting with Thanksgiving. I'm so excited and can't wait for next Thursday and all that mouth-watering food. Don't forget your delicious pumpkin cookies.
Love you too!
Aunt Sharon

Mary Ricksen said...

Oh Sharon- I am so amazied!
And to think this like was via England!
You make me smile!
I want one on my blog too!!