Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Memories


Isn’t it funny what sticks in your head sometimes?

You’d think that holiday memories would be comprised of some really Martha Stewart moments of hearth and home. A beautiful centerpiece, an exquisite meal. Perfectly compatible relatives conversing in harmony at the table.

I don’t know about you, but my memories are more along the lines of Thanksgiving blog12 mayhem.

I remember ten years ago when my son was in preschool. He was supposed to be a Pilgrim in the Thanksgiving program. But he didn’t want to be a Pilgrim…he wanted to be a Native American. Who could blame him? The Pilgrims looked all pious and boring and the Pilgrim costume wasn’t nearly as cool as the feathered headdresses the Indians got to wear. He had a meltdown at zero hour and they ended up letting him be an Indian. But he was still so upset the whole time that he fumed and wouldn’t sing any of the songs.

I wrote an essay in second grade: My Thanksgiving Vacation. It was supposed to be a paper outlining what our plans were for the upcoming holiday…and some thankfulness wouldn’t have hurt.

My essay said that we were going to see my grandmother in Macon,blog11 Georgia. “And we’ll probably eat spaghetti. That’s the only thing my grandmother knows how to cook.”

Oh my. It wasn’t true, but you know how you can visit a relative once every three months and you get the same menu? It was usually spaghetti. My family was laughing over that one for years.

Then, of course, there was the Thanksgiving when my mother was sick with the flu. She feverishly directed the cooking of the Thanksgiving dinner from the den sofa. My sister, grandmother, and I laughed hysterically at one cooking disaster after another. Daddy claimed the turkey had two necks (I’m not sure what that was all about.) Too much eating was happening before the food ever got to the table. And my mother couldn’t find her cookware for weeks afterward.

Sometimes holidays get a little crazy. And sometimes they’re not all like a Currier and Ives print. But sometimes the craziness makes for the best memories to share later. And makes the best stories to hand down through the years.

Pretty is as Pretty Dies –Elizabeth Spann Craig
Delicious and Suspicious (May 2010)—Riley Adams

Happy Thanksgiving from the Mystery

Lovers’ Kitchen!

Mystery Lovers Kitchen


  1. Elizabeth - Thanks for sharing your memories. I think holidays can't help but generate those crazy kinds of stories; every time you mix a group of relatives and friends with serious meal preparation and a dash of chaos, you get funny stories. I remember at the first Thanksgiving that my husband and I hosted after we were married, we wanted to take a group 'photo. So we all gathered around our sofa, which worked fine...until someone sat too hard on one of the arms and broke it. Quite a shot ; )

  2. Thanks for sharing your fun memories with us, Elizabeth. Holidays always seem to invite disaster, but later those moments are the most fun ones of all.

    Margot - your sofa story makes me laugh. I can't top that one, but one Thanksgiving about half of us - without advance planning - showed up wearing the exact same color. We took a picture, of course. Fortunately no sofas were harmed in the making of that photo ;-)


  3. Happy Thanksgiving, Elizabeth! Your holiday stories sound just like my family. One of the most memorable Thanksgivings was when my sister brought her new fiance. He sat next to my grandmother, who was famous for sharing all her doctor visits in detail. She wouldn't stop talking about her trip earlier that week to the gynecologist. Normally, I could thwart grandma's advances into her medical woes, but she was hard of hearing and I was too far away. He squirmed as she went into the gritty details. I finally laughed out loud and said to him, "Welcome to the family!" Fortunately, he has a great sense of humor and stuck around! Grandma has since passed, but I think of her every Thanksgiving and have to smile.

  4. Margot--Oh, that is TOO funny. That's the thing about furniture when you're really young--it's just not reliable! And ours was always really low to the ground, which made it tough for our older relatives--they couldn't get back up again!

    Julie--So it looked like y'all were making a really cheesy reunion photo! You couldn't have planned that if you'd tried!

    Stacy--He stuck around! You played just the right note with your comment. That is hilarious, though! And now you have this great, funny memory for the holiday.


  5. Elizabeth/Riley - Thank you for making me smile this AM!! Could not agree more!

    Happy Thanksgiving to you
    & all your family


  6. Mayhem on Thanksgiving. Sounds like a plan. Oh, wait, that is my plan. Lots of people in a tiny space. Lots of food, loud talk, and laughter. It's a plan! Happy Thanksgiving to all!

  7. Cleo and Avery--Happy Thanksgiving to both of you! May mayhem reign! :)


  8. I think mayhem memories are the best. They make you laugh for years to come and it's things like that you wind up telling your grandchildren about that way they have good memories of relatives they might not have ever seen. Wishing all a safe, healthy and Happy Thanksgiving.

  9. Mason, you're so right. I love to tell my kids funny stories about relatives they weren't able to meet. Happy Thanksgiving to you, too!

    Mystery Writing is Murder

  10. Just dropped by to say Happy Thanksgiving to a group of my favorite people. Where else is there a group of women who enjoy food, mysteries, and have a great sense of humor? As evidenced by the stories of group photos, sofas with broken arms, and grandmothers who like to tell stories.

    I have no Thanksgiving horror stories, but my worst Thanksgiving was the one in which I was sick, and didn't get to go to my aunt's. Darn, and I was the official dressing taster, too.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    Lesa -

  11. Happy Thanksgiving to you, too, Lesa! We're thankful for *you*!

    I hope your aunt saved some dressing for you! :)


  12. Hope your Thanksgiving went well today - not too much chaos and lots of good memories!

  13. Janel--It went well, thanks! And absolutely no food disasters (for once.) :)