When I was younger, the main holiday I looked forward to was Thanksgiving. This time of the year was always the happiest because everything feels so exhilarating because I am spending quality family time with the ones I love. This holiday comes with the most memorable good and bad times. Thanksgiving with my family symbolizes good food, good times with the family and taking pictures so we can have memories for years to come. The bad part of Thanksgiving is because my great-grandmother is not alive and it makes me sad. But we have to go on and make memories for the ones that are still alive and well. When I think about Thanksgiving, the first thing that comes to mind is good food. Every year my mom, Mammaw and I start preparing several homemade dishes a day or two in advance so we can make sure that we have everything prepared. The food is very traditional with Thanksgiving turkey, ham, yams, deviled eggs, stuffing, potato salad and lemon ice box pie.
That is our family tradition dessert. Delectable smells, good conversation, and the comfortable atmosphere make Thanksgiving one of my favorite meals of the year. I will always have fond memories of the dinner table laden with platters of food. From the time the cooking starts until the satisfaction of the first bites, Thanksgiving never fails to fulfill my expectations. With my whole family gathered comfortably nearby, I cannot help but feel happy. The relaxing hums of a house filled with people I love mingles with the crackling fire to create a soothing harmony. The delicious smell of fried turkey adds to the medley of heavenly aromas wafting through the house. My kitchen is spacious, with a large island and cabinets stuffed full of pots, pans, and utensils. When the cooking starts, however, it seems like a cramped, stuffy jail cell. The odor of pungent onions stings, bringing tears to my eyes much like my Mom’s during a sentimental movie. It is all worth it when the buttery aroma of the candied yams roasting in the oven drift out to envelop the kitchen in yet another delightful smell.
Once the assortment of recipes is cooked to perfection and served onto our plates, it is time to dig into the best cornbread dressing ever created. It is creamy, with a layer of cranberry sauce on top that adds the perfect bite to the otherwise smooth texture. Every time Thanksgiving dinner rolls around. I promise myself not to eat too much. Yet every time, I always feel as if it would be just perfect to roll into bed and sleep away all the food I have put into my stomach. I have always loved the colorful patchwork of personalities that make up my family. I have some families that hate to have their pictures taken and then some that love it. We always have small children running around so my Mom and Mammaw always want me to take pictures of everyone that was able to make it. Naturally for the most part everyone makes a point of being there. Of course, under certain circumstances sometimes plans have to be changed because some people work and are not able to be off. The softness of my papaw’s coat as I hug him is the first sign that the guests have arrived. Dinner conversations are lively, with hilarious jokes that have me clutching my sides and stories that make me wish I could have been there.
With my whole family at the house, we have to split the family into the kid’s table and the adult’s table. This is not a big deal, considering most of my cousins are older, makes me feel like the baby of the table. Well, not the “real” baby. With his chubby little arms and adorable face, Wesley is my youngest cousin. He is not old enough to enjoy the mouth-watering food on the table in front of him though. He prefers the orange mush of a sweet potato puree, straight out of the plastic Tupperware his mom brought. The joyous bustle and the incessant hum of conversation combine to create a warm atmosphere at our Thanksgiving dinner. The roaring fire in the living room adds to the homey ambiance created by seventeen people bustling under one roof. I usually end up sitting with my cousins around the TV, being disappointed by the Chiefs yet again.
Once I am back to the warm glow of the dining room, complete with my grandpa telling a story from his wild days, all is well. The sound of Bing Crosby singing “White Christmas” in his smooth tenor adds the finishing touch to the holiday mood. The comfortable attitude is infectious, and for a time we can all forget our worries over a cup of steaming hot cocoa. The hours of work preparing the food are always worth being able to share a meal with others, and with all the wonderful people in my family, it is impossible not to have an enjoyable time. With its easygoing, laid-back attitude, Thanksgiving tops Christmas as my favorite holiday of the year. The conversations around the dinner table are a refreshing change from the chaos of everyday life. I will always remember Thanksgiving as one of my most precious memories.