A Holiday Homework Assignment Is Reminiscent of Our Favorite Family Tradition, Part One



Thanks to a holiday homework assignment my great-nephew Westley got, our family has revived its memories of our favorite family traditions, decades of Thanksgiving dinners together.


Westley, my brother’s grandson was given an assignment for his grandpa to write about his favorite childhood holiday. No hands down, it was Thanksgiving. We had the best Thanksgiving dinners ever.

Norman Rockwell Freedom From Want Traditional American Happy Family Thanksgiving Christmas Dinner Turkey Holiday

Family and friends attended from across the country. This included California, Kansas, New Jersey, Connecticut, and New York. There were brothers and sisters. Step-brothers and sisters. Aunts and Uncles, cousins, and close family friends. That alone could total between twenty to thirty folks. of course, there were both adults and children of all ages.


First ritual:

Some of the family arrived Wednesday evening. Since the kitchen was off-limits, dinner was always at our favorite local Italian restaurant, La Serenata. This worked out perfectly because their food was great. So we stuffer ourselves. As a result, we wouldn’t need to eat again until Thanksgiving dinner. The smells throughout the house were irresistible. Because we were so full from dinner, we were able to refrain from tasting anything that night.

Second ritual:

The cooking of the turkeys was an all-night affair. This was because they were so large and because they had to be basted constantly to insure the perfect browning of the skin. I mention turkeys because there were always two turkeys. The only way to ensure there would be enough and to accommodate two types of stuffing was to have two turkeys. One turkey had sausage stuffing. The other had chestnuts.

We required two turkekys to accomodate all the guests and two types of stuffing, chestnut and sausage for taste preferences. Photo from Classy Cooking.
Third ritual:

Two tables had to be set up to accommodate everyone so One was for the adults. Another for children. In order to fit both, the former was in the dining room and the latter was in the living room.

Fourth ritual:

The adult table decor was like something out of a magazine. Every piece of fine china, glass, silver, and table linens came out for use at this yearly event. There were gold-leafed trimmed china and glassware from my grandmother’s marriage; engraved silverware from my mother’s marriage; gold woven table linen with matching napkins coordinated with my grandmother’s dishes. In addition to all of this was a set of two-tiered centerpiece plates. One had a female figure at the top. The other was male.

Antique Meissen two-tiered cake or dessert plates


The Norman Rockwell Museum
Roast Turkey Recipe from Classy Cooking
Antique German Meissen two tiered plate

This blog post continues with Part Two of ‘A Holiday Homework Assignment Is Reminiscent of Our Favorite Family Tradition’.

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