The most important Stanley Clan tradition for Thanksgiving is enforced by my mother every single year. After the first pass through of food is consumed, Mother starts asking everyone what they are thankful for this year. You don't get to pass or ask for a later turn; we have all learned to prep for this moment starting in October. We have a few traditions within this tradition. My brother makes his daughter say she is thankful for him and one brother-in-law makes sure he always says he is thankful for his wife before saying anything else. He made the mistake of having lots of things to be thankful for one year, and she was not mentioned.
We have the traditional Thanksgiving food. Since we are a very large group with lots of opinions, we often have two different versions of those traditional foods: stuffing both cooked in and out of the turkey, two variations of cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes with marshmallows and sweet potatoes with candied pecans, and it just goes on and on. My older sisters bring dishes over and usually my little sister helps my mom cook the days leading up to Thanksgiving. However, she goes to Georgia Tech and their game against UGA is at Tech this year so she is not coming home for Thanksgiving. This is also my first Thanksgiving being married, so it will also be my first Thanksgiving cooking. I have been assigned mashed potatoes - wish me luck.
Being that we live in Florida, we usually eat our Thanksgiving meal outside in my mom's back yard (hatemail and requests for an invite are both acceptable and expected). We used to clear out her living room furniture and replace it with a string of rectangular tables, but since the grandkids got a bit older we ran out of space inside. Mother wants us all to be together for the meal, so she moved us outside rather than creating a kids table in a different room like we have for other family events. Here are a few pictures from Thanksgiving 2008.
|I went through a brunette/no bangs phase.. also, that niece is now 8 years old!|
|Playing in the sun on Thanksgiving - they are all 10 years old now|
Do y'all have any fun Thanksgiving traditions? My brothers all end up napping on the couch/floor during football and eventually my mom kicks us all out of her house, but I figure that is pretty typical of the holiday. Check back tomorrow for Melinda's Thanksgiving traditions!