Wednesday, November 16, 2011

My most memorable Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is just a week away.

The holiday has changed over the years.

Fewer and fewer families have persons who remember how Thanksgiving was celebrated before World War II.

I remember my family, along with my grandparents, would spend Thanksgiving at one of my great aunt’s home. There were quite people gathered, small children included. It seems that there was always so much food, so many more courses than today, but perhaps I’m wrong. At least it seemed so at the kids’ table as we waited for all the courses to be served so we could eat the special dessert with lots of sugar.

Usually an adult would be in charge of keeping us quiet and being sure we ate what was placed before us. But we had to stay at the table as long at the adults, who seemed to have lots of conversation going as they ate slowly, while we were eager to go outside to play with our cousins.

Back then table conversation was important and meaningful because there wasn’t football to watch; television hadn’t been invented yet. There was a radio in the house, but wasn’t protocol to have on while at the table. The discussions were boring and we would fidget hoping to leave the table soon.

On my most memorable Thanksgiving, the adults began discussing what the after-dinner activity should be.

One of the boys at the kids’ table started singing “Over the river and through the woods, to Grandmother’s house we go...” and was reprimanded for singing at the table. But, one of the younger adults at the grownup table stood up and continued singing the well-known Thanksgiving song.

Then it began. Most arose, and a huge chorus of men and women joined in and and we all headed for the parlor where the piano was. Fortunately there were several who could play and one song led to another and kids and all went through a repertoire of hymns, Christmas songs (“Up on the Housetop”) went over big and then on to singing rounds.

It seems as if the old and young had a common bond in the sing-along and the singing went on after dark and the women finally left to clean up the delicious meal all had enjoyed. 

Can you imagine suggesting such entertainment today following a dinner on a holiday especially Thanksgiving or New Year’s? In some homes TV trays are used to enjoy the meal without missing a play in the football game. Would the younger folks even know some of the songs? How may families have a piano or even a piano or even someone who can play one these days? I’m not criticizing, I’m just stating facts.

However you celebrate, enjoy the holiday with your family.

Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!

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