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Thanksgiving Traditions and Memories

By Rachel Paxton

Family and tradition. Isn't that what the holidays are really all about? The holidays are the one time of the year that families come together and create memories that will stay with them throughout a lifetime. Children who don't get to spend time with their grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins are really missing out on an opportunity to form a bond that only close family ties can create.

I love to learn about how other families spend their time during the holidays. Some of people's fondest memories are from visiting with friends and relatives during the Thanksgiving holidays. I have put together some of my favorite Thanksgiving traditions that people have submitted to the Creative Homemaking web site.

Jeanette...My favorite memories are of my mother's family gathering at Grandma's house. The holiday did not begin until everyone got there. We often played cards or other games. The most fun is when we would go for a long walk in the country. This would include whomever wanted to go, and would always be an adventure.

Bethany...We rotate homes every year for Thanksgiving. Whoever's house Thanksgiving is at makes the turkey. Everyone else generally brings a vegetable, dessert or salad. Grandma always makes the dressing.

Mrs. Lee...Every holiday we always would write one thing we were thankful for on our place cards.

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Shelly...One of my favorite holiday memories is the gathering of my mother's family at her aunt's farm at Thanksgiving. I remember gatherings including five generations with relatives we only saw every couple of years, but with whom we shared a common ancestry and a common faith. These bonds allowed us to become reacquainted with one another over the course of the day and gave an almost hallowed meaning to the phrase "family ties". Even as a child, I knew my actions reflected on my family, and I would never do anything to bring dishonor to my family. Those family bonds are absent for so many people these days.

Ginger...Each year my husbands family (most of them live near) get together for the Thanksgiving meal. Each family brings a part of the meal (decided by the hostess) and we give thanks to God and enjoy each others company. It's a great time to catch up.

Kathy...Making the center piece with my children when they were little we used to go gather liquid Amber leaves and press them between two pieces of wax paper with some scrapped crayon and name tags also in with the leaves. The kids always looked so forward to this and we kept this up for many years now we make different kinds the kids are older so now we bake together instead which is a lot of fun. Having Thanksgiving at our home is tradition we love.

© Rachel Paxton
Rachel Paxton is a freelance writer and Christian wife and mom who is the author of What's for Dinner?, an e-cookbook containing more than 250 quick easy dinner ideas. For more recipes, organizing tips, home decorating, crafts, holiday hints, and more, visit Creative Homemaking at


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