With the holidays fast approaching, I’ve been thinking back to the holidays I had as a child. I grew up in Holland, MI and most of our family was on the other side of the state in Bay City. While most of my friends would travel to family on Thanksgiving, we would stay at home.
Nearly every year, we would do the same thing. We’d get up and watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Usually I was the only one who watched it from beginning to end. My mom, with some help from my dad, would start working on our Thanksgiving feast while the parade was going on.
After Santa made his big entrance, we would turn the channel to football. Lunch was always cheese, crackers and summer sausage. It was enough to keep us from being hungry but not enough to make us too full before dinner.
Usually during the game, my sister and I would get out our room Christmas things and decorate. Though when I was in high school, I started following football so I would watch the game with my parents.
After the game, we’d have our turkey dinner with all the trimmings. We use my mom’s china and drink sparkling cider from wine glasses. We would have apple and pumpkin pie for dessert.
Our Thanksgiving continue on Black Friday. We never went shopping, except at this local craft type store that always had a 50% off coupon. What we did instead of shopping was we would go to cut our Christmas tree.
We had a Christmas Tree farm we went to every year. They would give us a saw and a sled, and we’d all tromp out into the farm to find the perfect tree. Some years it would be really cold and snowy, but there was always hot chocolate at the barn while our tree was measured and wrapped up.
We would spend the rest of the day decorating the house. My mom really loved Christmas so we had a lot of Christmas stuff. The whole house would be decked by the evening and we would always sit down to watch a Christmas movie – usually It’s A Wonderful Life.
This tradition continued pretty much until my mom passed away. She was really sick her last Christmas, but still came out to the Christmas Tree farm with us. My dad, sister and I tried to keep it going after she passed but it wasn’t the same.
Now I have a family of my own and we do our thing for Thanksgiving. But I still have fond memories of my childhood traditions.