Thanksgiving At The Brogans

NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 26:  Crowds watch the Than...
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Aaron Lee wished me Happy Thanksgiving. I said I wished he was with us. He said he would like to be with us as he has never celebrated thanksgiving before. Aaron lives in Malaysia.

Explaining Thanksgiving is complicated because there are so many piece parts. Everyone has a story. This is mine. The picture above is from the Thanksgiving Day parade. When Chris and Thom were little, we used to go to Mom and Dad’s early so we could watch the parade on their colored television.

Thanksgiving has always been a family event. That makes for lots of memories and great stories to be told and retold. In addition to the stories, there is the food.

When Steve’s Mom was alive, there were about 30 people for Thanksgiving. She and Dad were the perfect hosts. They wanted everyone to be comfortable and happy. Our son Thom was not into Turkey. Mom always had a Thanksgiving “hot dog” for Thom. She was the perfect grandmother. I remembered that this morning.

Our five year old grandson Harold does not like turkey. His favorite food is Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. We prepared that for his Thanksgiving dinner today and he was happy. Our granddaughter Cindy delightfully joined him. You can be sure we will be serving Kraft Mac and Cheese for many years to come.

At Mom’s, Turkey was the main event. There was mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, squash, peas, carrots, and whole kernel corn. Condiments included three kinds of stuffed celery, all kinds of pickles and relishes, deviled eggs, cheeses and crackers, mixed nuts, and mixed drinks.

As years went by, side dishes became more diversified and interesting. Mom had a passion for food. We were the beneficiaries. She was the only person I know who had six different recipes for pecan pie.

Thanksgiving desert was an exciting challenge of choosing from eleven different pies, cakes, cookies, whoopee pies, and Chris’ favorite, chocolate chip brownies.

Everyone serves different foods and has different stories to tell, but I think the premise is much the same. Thanksgiving is a special day that we set aside every year to remember our family traditions and relive our memories.

Do you have a day like this in your culture?

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  1. says

    Being Jewish, I have several days of thanksgiving which all come with their own special story and food. Each of them holds special memories because the feeling, the crowd and the buzz at my grandparents house where I celebrated as a child all were different. Passover was somber but included laughter and song, and of course more food than is possible to eat. Break the Fast after Yom Kippur was a meal which my grandmother spend days cooking and preparing and was a celebration of thanksgiving for being given another year to be our best. And then there is Hanukkah, which features the centerpiece of the holiday – latkes. Friends and family gather, not unlike Thanksgiving, to remember how fortunate we are. But there is always a debate about which topping is better – applesauce or sour cream.

    I love holiday that get friends and family together!

    • Diane Brogan says

      Sara, thank you for sharing your special holiday traditions. It was just this year that I realized that it is the memories of Thanksgivings past that make the holiday special for me. 

      I think all faiths and cultures have food in commmon as part of the celebration.

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