I have always wondered why the best holidays fall into the coldest seasons of the year. Perhaps they are situated to help us get through the long, cold dark months, except of course if you live in Florida, Texas and the Land of Fruits and Nuts. Most of the rest of us must dwell in perpetual darkness to some extent. We start with Halloween then move to Thanksgiving and of course Christmas. Then it is on to New Years and finally St. Patrick's Day, a favorite of N of 50.
I think Thanksgiving always gets the short end of the stick when it comes to celebration. After the introductory lessons of grade school, pilgrims and paper turkeys, it's all about football and shopping the day after. I have let it be known to My Beloved that if the day ever comes that I find myself out of retail, don't ever ask me to shop the weekend after Thanksgiving. It's just not gonna' happen.
In my youth I believed Thanksgiving was always the sendoff to winter. Sunny and warm days are finally behind us and the only hope of fun was winter's first deep snow to play in. My beloved parents were not subscribers to 'Chef's' magazine or any such culinary endeavor but they always managed to put a great Thanksgiving feast together. More often than not 32EM would attend which made our little family complete.
Beloved Father usually handled most of the work on the main courses and Sainted Mother the side dishes or desserts. Usually the turkey was juicy although we had our share of slightly drier birds. The day always started out with the Macy's parade and often watching the original Miracle on 34th Street movie. (I don't think the later version ever compared). As the day wore on football became the dominant viewing option and as the years went by we would often sit two TVs next to each other to watch multiple games. After the main dinner early in the afternoon the day became a snack-fest. We were able to gobble up all the things we never had during most of the rest of the year. One of my favorites was dates rolled in powdered sugar. I always made the mistake of inhaling as it approached my mouth resulting in a coughing spell. Then it was down the hatch.
In the evening games usually came into play. My family is quite fond of Euchre and we would often play for hours at a time. The original game of Probe was also a hit for many years. We purchased a newer version (I don't remember why) but it was never the same. I think we graduated to Uno for a time before we all began to move away from the homestead and Thanksgiving was never the same.
We have all started our own traditions with our extended families through marriage and in-laws. After the death of my parents you 'can't go home again,' but it is still one of my favorite holidays with memories I will always treasure. (Especially N of 50 spilling his dinner on the living room rug causing a massive stain never to be removed. Sorry, I couldn't resist that one.)