The smell of the stuffed turkey in the oven throughout the day as a kid.
The Thanksgiving Day Parade playing in the background all day long, the one day my father did not have a fit that in his words, "That tv is blaring in there and nobody is watching it." I think back now and even though no one was sitting there in front of the set for any extended period of time we were all watching it and being a part of it.
I have gotten into a lot of arguments over this one, and I swear "The Wizard of Oz" was on Thanksgiving night and we all watched it. Some say Easter and I say, no way, even if Google or Siri or Alexis prove me wrong. It is my memory. FYI it was on the other night and I watched it and scary little munchin that I am, I can recite quite a few lines from it. One of my very favorites was when Auntie Em, says to the witch, "Almira Gulch, if I wasn't such a good Christian woman I would tell you exactly what I think of you. Be gone, before someone drops a house on you!" It may not be word for word but close. I love it!
My mother gathered everyone, for as long as I can remember. She wasn't the best cook, my grandmother lived with us, so as Granny made sure everyone knew she was in charge of the holiday meal. My mother was a great decorator and her table was beautiful, she helped in the kitchen when her mother allowed it. I was allowed to scrape the leftover brown sugar and melted butter from the iron skillet, once it had glazed the sweet potatoes. It was a role I gladly accepted. After my grandmother's stroke my mother took over the responsibility of cooking the turkey. It is not rocket science but a skill set that must be learned through times of too dry, under cooked, overcook, the dog just took a good chunk outta it and the scrutiny of anyone else that did not do the cooking.
I started hosting the family holiday meals, specifically Thanksgiving approximately 27 years ago. How can I be so specific and so sure? MY first born son was born the day after Thanksgiving and we celebrate his birthday at the family gathering. The first year or two, I was in charge of dessert, the birthday cake with pumpkin pie on the side. Then my mother passed the apron and I have been hosting both Thanksgiving and Christmas for at least 25 years.
I have this, it's not quite a phobia but a foreboding about the number of quests around my Thanksgiving table. I can't have 13. It has something to do with the Last Supper and someone being missing from the table the next year. I always count guest in this way and try and fill in to make sure this does not happen. I know it is crazy but no one is perfect. We all have out little things.
Relatives, of course it is always the women ask, what can I bring? I am not that big a planner ahead and I just say whatever you like. There is a standard, and I have cone to learn in my years of experience you don't mess too much with the tradition. Certain items must be included. I have tried to slip in something new and exotic and many times have been met with the reaction of...What's this? Where's the peas? It's funny. There are certain things you can not change with traditions. My table doesn't look exactly like my mothers table.
We all know it's not about the food, its more about what you bring to the table.
It is a gathering.
Happy Anyone in your Circlesgiving