Thanksgiving when I was little was very small and homespun. I grew up in Minnesota with no extended family nearby, so my small, struggling family of five celebrated Thanksgiving and Christmas without all the usual hub-bub surrounding the holidays. There were no exhausting car trips all over the state visiting people that really didn't want to see you anyway. Dad was on his La-z-boy recliner watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and then the football game with my brother, not white-knuckling it on a country road in a developing snowstorm.
My mother's kitchen smelled of basting herbed turkey and her kitchen cabinets were decorated with carefully cutout images from magazines depicting vintage holiday scenes, happy families dining, and festive decorating ideas. We always had the same meal each year: sage stuffing, corn and bean succotash, butterball turkey, white rolls and the jellied cranberry sauce. The sauce was a mystery to me in how it had been extracted from the can so it lay in a perfectly rippled, molded state in the carousel glass dish. Thrilled at being out of school on holiday but without much to do, I'd spend my time hovering around the table watching her preparations and marveling at all the different colors in that amber toned dish. She would set the table with her white china dishes that were only used for special occasions. They each had a single red rose etched into the center of each dish and were simple and elegant. I came to find out as an adult that she obtained those dishes one at a time in a supermarket promo. Ah, the days before credit cards, when it actually took time to obtain your prized possessions. I rarely see those dishes anymore. Mom is in her 70s and prefers to use festive paper plates so the clean up is less tiring, but those old magazine cutouts are still taped on the wooden cupboard doors. When the fine dishes have made a rare appearance along with the familiar cooking smells, I am filled with the awe of looking at a childhood memory through my now adult eyes.
Over the years my family of five has changed and grown and shrunk with the changes that come with altered relationships, long distance moves and the growing of children. This year will mark the first year my mother has not had a thanksgiving dinner as she has accepted an invitation from a younger in-law who will host a gathering. I and my young children will be shuffled off to my husband's enormous multi-generational family gathering in southern Minnesota. I fear my little homespun thanksgiving has forever been altered by the now customary driving all over the state to attend extended relatives gatherings. Yet, I am thankful for the memories my mother gave me and that fact that despite a strict budget, she created wonderful memories for me. My challenge is to try to recreate holiday memories for my own children. With the help of etsy and the internet, I've tracked down a lot of vintage Christmas decor that we had when I was little along with the wonderful bubble lights for the tree. But Thanksgiving? I'm sad to say my cupboard doors are bare. Maybe its time to get some old magazines off etsy and a pair of scissors.
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!
Oh, and as I promised..... Jojo's big annual sale info:
SALE SALE SALE
JOJO'S ETSY THANKSGIVING SALE
starts on....Thanksgiving! Tomorrow through Cyber Monday, receive 20% off and free gift wrapping on ENTIRE SHOP starting at midnight tonight- so mark your favorites today! Get that fab vintage holiday party dress for a song! :-)
Additionally, starting Black Friday, Jojo's is participating in the Vintage Market Team's fantastic sale- search all members offerings with search term VMTEAMBFCMSALE. Etsy sellers will also start their sale with the tags BLACKFRIDAYETSY, CYBERMONDAYETSY, and FREESHIPPINGETSY.