But We’ve Always Done it THIS Way…

This week’s topic is Thanksgiving traditions. I looked up the word tradition because I wasn’t sure exactly what length of time a particular way of doing things had to exist before it became a tradition. Of course, none of my sources answered that question. Definitions like “a continuing pattern,” “a long-established or inherited way of thinking or acting,” and “a customary or characteristic method” leave the time line open to debate. So I guess that’s a good thing, because it seems that just when we get comfortable doing things one way, things happen and we have to adjust to doing things a new way.

In my younger days, we always had a nice roast for Thanksgiving. My father didn’t like turkey, so we had beef. And we always had rice, because mom cooked and served rice with  every meal. We usually had a green vegetable, like broccoli or cucumber. It was mom and dad, my brothers, my grandmother and me – we didn’t have any other relatives on this continent. The next day, my friends and I would catch the bus into the city with our babysitting money and we’d start our Christmas shopping. I remember being more enchanted by the window displays than the items for sale. One of the large department stores had a miniature train that traveled on a track installed along the walls high above our heads and we’d watch it travel from room to room.

Cooked Turkey on Yellow Platter CloseupLater on, after we finally convinced Mom to take it easy, my husband took over the cooking. I cleaned the house and he’d take care of the food. We had a turkey, but in deference to Dad’s taste we also had a small roast or ham to go with it. There were plenty of people here, because in addition to mom and dad we had my husband’s kids and families as well as our children. Sometimes the kids would come before or after visiting other relatives, so we had people coming and going for most of the day. The television would be tuned to football games, and we’d either watch or nap. I always took the turkey carcass and put it in a stock pot to make soup (it’s one of the few things hubby lets me cook without his supervision). By this time, Black Friday shopping became more frenzied and I avoided it as much as possible. I’d use the rest of the long weekend to catch up on school work, projects around the house, or get started on Christmas projects.

Depositphotos_28944579_m-2015This year, my daughter has decided she wants to host Thanksgiving. She doesn’t care for turkey, so we’re having pork loin. We have been delegated to bring the stuffing and one pie (hubby will take care of those). It’ll be her family, hubby and me, our younger daughter and her boyfriend, and my mother. I don’t know what will happen the rest of the weekend, but my to-do list is pretty long right now, so I will have no trouble keeping myself occupied. Of course if mom or my daughters have other plans I’ll happily put the list away and deal with it later.

Over the years our Thanksgiving menu has changed, and the location has shifted, but the gathering of family has remained an important tradition that I hope will always stay in place. 

About Patricia Kiyono

During her first career, Patricia Kiyono taught elementary music, computer classes, elementary classrooms, and junior high social studies. She now teaches music education at the university level. She lives in southwest Michigan with her husband, not far from her five children, nine grandchildren (so far), and great-granddaughters. Current interests, aside from writing, include sewing, crocheting, scrapbooking, and music. A love of travel and an interest in faraway people inspires her to create stories about different cultures. Check out her sweet historical contemporary romances at her Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/Patricia-Kiyono/e/B0067PSM5C/
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12 Responses to But We’ve Always Done it THIS Way…

  1. wish you a joyful one!


  2. Black Friday shopping wasn’t always crazed like it is now? I bet seeing all those displays in the city was wonderful.
    I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      It sure doesn’t seem like it, Angie. I don’t remember the big ads like we have now. We didn’t have all the electronics and big-ticket items. Of course, we wouldn’t have been in a position to buy them, even if we’d had them. And we didn’t have shopping malls either. We took the bus downtown, so we didn’t have to bother with parking.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. jeff7salter says:

    good distinction about what constitutes a “tradition”.
    One of my family members said one year that we had to go to a movie on Thanksgiving evening because it was our tradition.
    “Huh?” I said. “When did we start that practice?” [I wasn’t being dense… I was genuinely perplexed.]
    “We started it last year,” said this person.
    Oh. One of those ingrained traditions!


  4. We meet at youngest daughter’s house (the biggest) and we have a list what each person brings. It makes it nice so minimal cooking and more time to enjoy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      It’s always better when the work is split up, isn’t it Kathy? As you say, that gives everyone more time to enjoy each other. Thanks so much for sharing.


  5. Kathy Savoure Kuhar says:

    My almost 90 yr old Mother in Law insists on still having the Thanksgiving Dinner. One huge Turkey and 3 additional turkey breasts! of course, we all help her since she can’t lift that turkey into and out of the oven anymore! Whole Family gets together and we love it!

    I don’t think it really matters what you serve or eat, as long as family and friends get together and you all have a good time. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!


    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      You’re absolutely right, Kathy – it’s family and friends that count! It’s so nice that your mother-in-law is still able to host the gathering – with help, of course! Happy Thanksgiving to you, too!


  6. This year we’ll be celebrating Thanksgiving at our daughter and son-in-law’s house on the other side of the state. Our son is home from Wyoming and it is about the only time we will all be together, because he leaves to go back early December. Daughter and I split up who brings and cooks what, and my husband usually helps with the turkey. And you’re so right, it doesn’t matter what you eat, it’s being all together that matters. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, Patty!


    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      It’s awesome to see the kids taking over the family traditions, isn’t it Lucy? It’s fun to share the work with them. Thanks so much for visiting!


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